How To

Can You Use Guitar Pedals With a Bass?

Inside the guitarist’s world, the pedal effects are no secret. A common question among the guitarists is whether they can use a guitar pedal with a bass. The direct answer to that question is – absolutely yes!

For an elaborate answer, keep reading.

Difference between bass pedals and guitar pedals

For bass, there are separate pedals – either as an altered version of the existing ones or unique designs. The main difference in guitar and bass pedals is the circuitry present in them. This is responsible for the frequencies they give out, and bass pedal gives lower frequencies than the guitar type.

Other than the frequencies they emit, the EQ curve is also different for both. Aspects like long scale length, different pickups, wood types, playing style, and fat strings play a huge role in the tone difference of the pedals. Manufacturers may modify the circuitry to give good response and sweet spots when you use the pedals.

Sound of guitar pedals with a bass

This is completely dependant on the pedal. The guitar pedals’ frequencies are determined within a particular range. On the other hand, a bass can give you more sub-frequency and low-end sounds. Remember that you might not be able to play low frequencies using guitar pedals with a bass. Check the latest list of bass guitars available in India.

Examples of guitar pedal types with a bass

Guitar compressor pedals 

To put it simply, compressors are not instrument-specific. Its main task is to even out the frequencies to get a consistent volume and attack. There are some compressor models with extra features to meet your specific taste. In conclusion, compressors are universal, so there is no harm in using them this way.

  • Guitar distortion pedals

Whether this combination gives you good results depends on what you want from it. A Boss Metal Zone can give a huge value of gain while a fuzz pedal gives you a lot of saturation. The feature of dry output can help you out here.

  • Guitar modulation pedals

Not many issues will be there for this combination. Though the effects will make the sound like different, it will work well. With this, you can get some good jet-engine or monstrous vocal action.

  • Guitar octave pedals

Using octave pedals can be a little tricky because of tracking. The original input needs to be clear if you want to change the pitch of the signal. Some pitch-shift and octave pedals can track the frequencies while others go up and down. Again, it all boils down to what you want. If you want a subtle upper-octave shimmer, a guitar pitch effects will do the job. Or if you want a clear octave, better go for a bass-specific octave pedal.

  • Guitar delay and reverb pedals

This last combination also doesn’t cause any problems. It doesn’t matter what the input is; the result will work out good.


As you can see, there are no strict rules with music. So, go and create beautiful tones using guitar pedals with a bass.