Gifts for Bass Guitarists

Looking for that perfect to make your favorite bassist grin? To get you started, our bassist recommends great gifts depending on 1) your budget and 2) the kind of bassist you’re shopping for.

Bassists are known for being quiet, laid back, not showy…basically impossible to shop for! But you can still plop down a gift to make their heart thump.

Whether you’re shopping for a kid who’s starting out or an old timer who’s gigged for years, we have some great recommendations to get you started.

You’ll also find some crucial tips to make sure you don’t buy the wrong item.

14 Top Gift Ideas for Bassists

These are our top recommendations for gifts in different price-ranges. You’ll find more ideas below.

1. Straps are a great way to personalize your gift. You can find relatively cheap ones.

We recommend a padded strap (basses are heavy!)

2. Fret wraps keep the unplayed notes from ringing out.

3. Patch cables connect the effects pedals to each other.

4. VOX Plug 2 Bass Headphone Amplifier (with Over-Ear Headphones)

Some gifts have a selfish element. This little box pumps high-quality sound from the bass directly into headphones. That means your bassist jam out as loud as they want into headphones (or not make much noise).

It also has a drum machine inside that can work as a metronome / backing drummer.

5. Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass
Bassist of Rush shares his love/addiction! Any bassist would love this.

6. Bass t-shirts range from subtle and kinda cool…

To completely a-dork-able…

7. Buying a first bass? Here’s a great starter bass pack. For the price and quality, it’s pretty impossible to beat.

  • Nice Fender bass
  • Good quality Fender Rumble amp (with headphone jack)
  • Necessary cables, strap, carrying case
  • 10 months of lessons though app

8. Two of the most popular bass pedals selling now.

9. Sturdy bag that fits nearly every bass

10. Pedal board with case. Pedaltrain Nano is great as bassists tend not to have tons of pedals, but they have bigger ones as well.

11. Headphones that carry bass frequencies.

12. Band Paraphernalia!

13. Portable stands.

14. Build your own bass kit. These are very good quality kits.

Buyer’s Tips

Bassists are brand-loyal. Think of buying a shirt for the wrong football team. Game over.
Look at the top of the bass, it will tell you what the brand is.

The links below are meant to give you ideas. Once you get to Amazon’s page, you’ll also see related ideas (different colors, bigger, different options, etc). Specify based on your bassist’s preferences.

If you need help, send us an email at sound.economix@gmail.com. We’re happy to consult for a small fee.

Thou Shalt Nots

  1. Thou Shalt Not Buy Guitar Items for Thy Bassist. Basses usually have 4-5 strings. 6 strings = (not bass) guitar. Don’t get your bassist something with a guitar on it!
  2. Thou Shalt Not Buy Embarrassing Clothing. Bassists – like a lot of musicians – have a strong sense of cool. They might not be into “I’M A BASSIST” t-shirts and hats.
  3. Thou Shalt Not Buy Strings! Unless you know the 1) brand, 2) size, and 3) number of strings, you’ll get the wrong ones.
    Unlike guitarists, bassists don’t change their strings that often. So we’d recommend other gifts.

Bass Terms to Understand

Buying bass gear can be a world of its own. Here are some of the most important terms put in very simple English.

  • Bass: can also be called a bass guitar. It is strung an octave below a normal guitar. Most basses have 4 strings, but some have 5 or even 6 strings.
    They are generally electric and need amplification to be heard.
  • Effects pedal / stomp pedal / pedal: small rectangular boxes that add different sound effects to the bass sound. Examples are: distortion, fuzz, overdrive, chorus, envelope filter, and phaser.
  • Amp / amplifier: this is a confusing term. It should only mean the thing that gives the speaker the power to make noise. But often the amplifier and speaker are combined into one unit. This should be called a combo amp, but often it’s just called an amp. If you’re looking for something that your bassist can plug into and make noise, don’t buy a cabinet without an amplifier.
  • Cabinet: this is the box that contains the speaker. A cabinet needs an amplifier to make noise.
  • Cable / lead (cable): this is the wire that connects the guitar to the amplifier.
  • Passive / active: a passive bass doesn’t need a battery to make sound. A passive bass will use a batter to power the pick-ups, which pick up the sound from the strings and send it down the wire.
  • Thump / rumble / low end / bottom : the low frequency a bass guitar makes.

Gift Recommendations

This is a list created by a bassist for bassists.

$10 Gifts

One thing you can’t go wrong with: Place to put a Bass!

This hanging mount will do the job…

…but we recommend spending up if you can on K&M or Hercules brands. (Basses are heavy and you don’t want it falling!)

$20+ Gifts

This is an awesome distortion pedal that’s dirt cheap. Still good quality. Demo below.

Sturdy bag that fits nearly every bass

History of Bass Books…for your little nerd!

VOX Plug 2 Bass Headphone Amplifier (with Over-Ear Headphones)

Some gifts have a selfish element. This little box pumps high-quality sound from the bass directly into headphones. That means your bassist jam out as loud as they want into headphones (or not make much noise).

It also has a drum machine inside that can work as a metronome / backing drummer.

Piece of bass for them. Peace from bass for you!

$50+ Gifts

Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass
Bassist of Rush shares his love/addiction!

Bass is a heavy instrument, so it’s nice to have a padded strap.

Every bassist has one of these Zoom pedals. The latest version houses over 60 effects, and it has a looper, tuner, and drum machine/metronome.
(This is why every bassist has one!)

The only reason it might not be a good gift is if your loved one is a bassist purest and wants absolutely no effects. But still, these are very useful backup tools.

In case they like lots of effects, here’s the version with the pedal built in. This moves into the next price category, but it’s great because they can control their volume with the pedal and use it like a wah-wah.

$100+ Gifts

In the $100 range there are a number of really nice pedals you can buy. We’ll start there.

Classic pedals:

If your bassist likes the funky stuff, they’ll want an envelope filter and a wah pedal. Here are two of the best:

“So happy you’re enjoying bass, but I don’t need to hear you all the time.”

Sound familiar? Here are some excellent headphones. The bass on these is so good they’ll be happy to be quiet!

A DI (Direct Input) allows the bassist to perform without needing to carry around a huge amp and cabinet. MXR is a great brand. This one also includes a nice distortion effect.

Hard bass case. It’s best to get the exact model for the bass, but some cases fit many different basses. Be sure to check the internal dimensions to see whether the bass will fit.

A good strap lasts a lifetime. And Anthology makes real works of art.

$200-500 Gifts

A DI (Direct Input) allows the bassist to perform without needing to carry around a huge amp and cabinet. This classic by Tech21 has been tried and tested for decades.

Darkglass is making the most lusted-after bass pedals. They’re not cheap, but they do not disappoint.

The Alpha Omega is the most popular distortion pedal to come out in the past few years. Darkglass pedals sound amazing and are built like tanks, and you pay for it.

The deluxe versions have some additional options, but the core sound your bassist wants is on the non-deluxe versions as well. (No one will be unhappy if you don’t spring for the deluxe version.)

You can also get a nice surprise bass in this category. These are a few that are a bit rare, so they might fit in well with the collection.

Beatle’s / Paul McCartneybass:

Fretless basses:

MusicMan Stingrays: great sound for hard rock and metal.

And $o On $o Forth: over $500

If we move beyond these budgets, obviously the skies the limit.

But here are some sound investments for your bass lover.

Mark Bass has also become very popular in the last few years. They are also available in many varieties, but this one is winning awards.

Top Packages for Beginning Bassists

Buying a first bass can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. You can buy a bass and amp of good quality without breaking the bank.

Here’s a great starter pack. For the price, it’s pretty impossible to beat.

  • Nice Fender bass with both Precision and Jazz pickups (called a PJ bass)
  • Good quality Fender Rumble amp. Too small to play out with, but perfect to learn on (also has headphone jack)
  • Necessary cable
  • Decent bag and strap
  • 10 months of online lessons
Fender SQ Affinity PJ Bass Pack BSB
Super beginner’s package with a Fender PJ bass and all the necessities.

Purchase the Fender bass package from Thomann or Amazon.

Fender is the iconic bass, and no one is embarrassed to play a gig with one. The amp is good a well, and at a good discount in the pack.

After that is a very nice package from Harley-Benton (through Thomann). To be quite honest, you’ll get better quality with Harley-Benton, but Fender is a trusted, iconic name in basses. So if you’re giving a gift, go with Fender, but if you don’t care about the name and want quality, I’d recommend Harley-Benton over Fender.

Harley Benton JB-75 SB Vintage Series Set 1
Harley-Benton’s bass package puts quality over brand-recognition.

Ibanez makes high quality basses that are comparatively cheaper than Fender.

Then we add in the necessities.

Here’s a great amp they can use for small gigs:

Although for home use and beginners, that Fender from above is perfect. It comes in different price points: more expensive = bigger + louder.

Note: be sure to stay away from the “Studio” versions of the Rumbles. They’re heavier (made to be in a studio and not taken on gigs), and you get less noise for your dollar.

You’ll also need a basic cable and strap. Here are some suggestions.

A carrying case is also a good idea for protecting your investment.

Recommended Intermediate/Advanced Basses

If you’re wanting to surprise your bassist with a bass they will love, here are some suggestions.

Hollow body basses. These have a more woody sound but still get good bass tone.

Fretless basses. Smooth-sounding and played in every genre of music.

MusicMan Stingrays: great sound for hard rock and metal.

Recommended Classic Bass Amp Brands: Cheaper, but excellent quality

Here are some great amplifier combos that won’t break the bank…or your back!

These are all very good quality amps.

  • Fender
  • Ampeg
  • Hartke
  • Gallien-Krueger
  • Orange

Boutique Bass Amps (more expensive)

Not surprisingly, you can spend a lot on a bass amp. If you’re dropping a lot of cash on an amp, it’s best to be clear this is what you’re bassist wants.

You’ll have to figure this out by:

  1. Listening to their (not so) subtle hints.
  2. Checking their wish lists.
  3. Asking a friend/bandmate.
  4. Asking the bassist directly.

These are some recommendations.

Phil Jones amps are very popular right now. They seem to have it all: great clean sound, can carry distortion, and lightweight with plenty of thump.

They come in many sizes, but this one should do the job for non-stadium players:

Bass Stuff They Won’t be Embarrassed to Wear

Buying clothes for a musician is tricky, to say the least.

We’re recommending subtle designs. There are also lots of funny bass shirts which may or may not go over well…you’re on your own there!

These are some safe bets.

Bass or Bass hat?

Non-embarrassing, pretty cool t-shirts

Recommended Albums for Bassists

Can’t go wrong with the bottom-heavy grunge era:

Metalhead? We’ve got that!

Bassists your bassist worships:

Jaco Pastorius

Lemmy / Motorhead

Slappin’, Funky Bassists

Marcus Miller

Bootsie

James Jamerson created the Mo-town sound

Ever heard of Paul McCartney? Didn’t he play bass?

Or: the Beatle’s-era bass:

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