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Must-Have Accessories for a Bass Guitarist

Certain items are required for your career as a bass guitar player; they simply come with the territory. The trick is knowing which accessories are essential for a bass guitar and which are just plain cool. The following are the items you absolutely must have in order to play comfortably (or at all).

  • Cases and gig bags: You need to be able to transport your bass safely from place to place. Two types of cases — hard-shell cases and (soft-sided) gig bags — give your bass ample protection.

    • Hard-shell cases: A hard case is great for traveling or if you'll be in situations where your bass could get banged around. Fortunately, most basses come with a hard-shell case.

    • Gig bags: If you just need to carry your bass around a lot, you'll want a gig bag (a soft case that protects your instrument from the elements but doesn’t offer a lot of protection from getting banged around). The advantage of a gig bag is that it is a lot easier to use than a hard case. With a gig bag, you carry your bass like a backpack, leaving your hands free to sign autographs for your adoring fans.

      Protect your bass with a hard-shell case.
      Protect your bass with a hard-shell case.
  • Cable: You need a cable to connect your bass to the amp or you won't have any sound at all.

  • Strap: A strap helps you hold your bass while you’re playing.

  • Electronic tuner: An electronic tuner helps you tune your bass, especially in a noisy environment. You may also want to carry a tuning fork in case the batteries in your electronic tuner give out.

  • Extra set of strings: Bass strings rarely break. But if they do break in the middle of a performance, you want to be ready.

  • Rubbing alcohol and cleaning cloth: You want to keep your strings nice and bright, don’t you?

  • Wrenches and screwdrivers: Anything to help you fix your bass when you’re in a bind!

  • Metronome: You may want to take your metronome in case you get a chance to practice when you’re traveling.

    Some of the essential contents of a bass bag.
    Some of the essential contents of a bass bag.
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