Any serious bass guitarist knows the importance of switching up their sound, trying new approaches, and finding exciting ways to distinguish their playing style. A bass effect pedal is a simple way to add character to an already phenomenal sound and allow the bass player to rock out their performance like never before. Effect pedals are small electronic boxes that manipulate the sound signal running through them. Normally they sit on the floor and the guitarist uses their foot to engage a pedal, allowing them to keep their hands free for the guitar. Pedals come in two categories: multi-effect pedals and dedicated effects pedals. A multi-effect pedal is capable of many different types of effects and is a terrific introduction to the exciting world of sound manipulation. If you're not sure what sound you're looking for or have a need to mix and match different sounds to create something totally unique and customized, a multi-effect pedal would be an ideal choice. If you want to have the choice between a ‘growl' (throaty, midrange octave-below tone) and ‘girth' (a deep, smooth octave below), the MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe effects pedal allows you to switch between the two.
If you are looking for a pedal that has a little bit of everything from overdrive, compression, T-Wah, phaser, chorus, reverb and more, the Boss ME-20B bass effect pedal would be a good choice. Well known bass players like Robert Trujillo from Metallica and musical collaborator Leland Sklar have used these kinds of pedals to compress and enhance their unique sounds. If you're looking for a very specific type of effect, a dedicated effects pedal would be right up your alley. When your preference is geared towards the distinctive, sweeping ‘Wah wah' sound of a bass guitar, the MXR M82 Bass Envelope Filter effects pedal will help achieve that low end sound you want. On the other hand, if you love that classically smooth fuzz tone made popular by rockers like Scott Shriner of Weezer or Christopher Wolstenholme of Muse, check out the ZVex Wooly Mammoth Fuzz bass effect pedal. There is no right or wrong sound when it comes to killing a riff on a bass guitar- simply a matter of personal preference and whatever inspires you. No matter the kind of sound you want to make, and however you want to customize your playing style, there is a bass effect pedal to suit your needs.