Strings, technique, plectrums, amps, pedals. They all play a huge part in tone and that's especially true of rock bass.
Rock bass players tend to go the other way, brightening the sound.
See how in the video below.
Rock Bass Tone
Rock is a huge genre and there are many rock bass tones that sound great.
Generally, rock bass players like:
- Bright sounds, so think stainless steel strings.
- Overdrive, distortion, and/or fuzz.
- Tube amplifiers (although you can use any amps and have your pedals provide the rock).
If you're interested in putting a pedalboard together, watch this video:
Certainly, being able to sound authentic in whatever style of bass you are playing is a worthy goal. Get yourself an overdrive pedal or two and you'll be ready to rock!