So, you play bass and you want that powerful distinctive tone that will set you apart as a serious player and give you the control and expression you need to have a powerful musical impact.

You’ve come to the right place!

Step one is, of course, to make sure your ears are trained up to clearly appreciate what goes into good bass tone. Only then can you hope to choose the right equipment, set it up right, and play with great tone.

There are three main areas to think about in bass tone ear training, which falls under the general category of timbre ear training.

1. Tone Controls

The most obvious way to impact your bass tone is the “tone balance” controls on your instrument and amp. If you’re playing electric bass you’ll probably have one or more dials on the body of the instrument which let you adjust the balance between pickups, affecting the volume of bass, mid and treble frequencies. Likewise, your amplifier will most likely have at least two tone dials for controlling bass and treble.

These let you adjust your tone in a broad sense, from a thick, boomy sound to