Below is a list of essential materials needed to learn and play bass guitar – you can’t learn bass without these items. We also provide recommendations for some items – click on the links to check those out.
Bass Guitar – Recommended Bass Guitars for Beginners
Bass Guitar Case – You’ll need a case to protect your bass whenever you travel. Some new basses come with a case. If not, you’ll need to get one. You really have two choices – a hard-shell case, or a soft case (also known as a gig bag). Gig bags are usually the preferred choice for carrying your bass to practice and gigs. They are much lighter and easier to maneuver. Hard shell cases are more protective, but they’re bulky, heavy, and harder to move around. I myself use a gig bag for practices and gigs, and I also have a hard shell case for storage, or for more protection when transporting my bass with other equipment. Whatever you choose, just be sure to get one – your bass needs to be protected. We provide reviews and recommendations for several bass guitar cases in our our Recommended Best Bass Guitar Gig Bags & Cases article.
Bass Amplifier – see our Recommended Bass Amps for Beginners
Strap – The main factor when choosing a strap for your bass should be getting one that is personally the best for you. With that said, there are things to consider when choosing a bass guitar strap. There are definitely differences among straps – and these differences can have an impact on your performance and comfort level when playing bass guitar. To help with choosing a bass strap, check out our article, Recommended Best Straps for Bass Guitar.
Instrument Cable – see our Recommended Bass Guitar Cables
Music Stand – You’ll need a music stand in order to place books, sheet music, tabs, and digital equipment when you’re practicing by yourself and/or at rehearsals and gigs. I recommend a sturdy music stand that’s adjustable – one that can lay flat so you can place a laptop or tablet on top. Click here to see an example of a decent music stand – I actually own a couple of these. I can lay it flat to support my laptop, and i also use it for paper sheet music/tabs.
Guitar Stand – There’s no need to go into lengthy detail about how to choose a guitar stand. Bottom line is you need one (or more). A guitar stand provides a stable spot to place your bass – in between practice sessions, set lists, etc. If you lay your bass flat the tuning knobs get turned and cause your bass to get out of tune. Not to mention your bass can get scratched or damaged if it’s laid on a rough service, or if it falls over when leaned on something less secure. Be sure to check out our Best Bass Guitar Stand for Gigs article.
Bass Guitar Tuner – Recommended Bass Guitar Tuners
Metronome – Is a metronome needed to learn and play bass guitar? You’ll get various responses from those who claim you absolutely have to practice with one, to others who claim that metronomes inhibit your ability to create “groove” and style. There are benefits of practicing with one – particularly when practicing scales, or working on strength building exercises. In short, they can help develop rhythm and timing, and finger coordination. So yes, I recommend getting a metronome. Just something basic that can provide a beat at various speeds and time signatures. There are a bunch of websites and apps that provide free metronomes –> we have a metronome for you to use for free on our site! A lot tuners these days also come with metronomes. Or you can purchase a traditional metronome that provides basic click beats that can help develop your timing.
Materials needed to learn and play bass guitar