What Gear Does A Pro Session Player Use To Record Bass?

I thought it'd be fun to show you some of the gear a session bass player uses to record. Session musicians need to be musical chameleons; able to record convincingly in almost any style of music. It's important to sound authentic at the same time and that's where the gear comes in.

I recommend you learn as many different styles as you can, just like a session player would. You learn so much from so many excellent musicians that way.

Scroll down for some examples of the basses in action! 

Fender Precision

Lots of players have a Fender Precision and/or Jazz, often vintage era instruments. They have a familiar tone to them and cover a lot of styles whilst sitting favourably within a full mix.

I have a '68 P with flats that I use for old school vibes, Hip Hop, soul, Motown, anything like that. My '78 P sounds good on almost anything. Here's the '78:

Fender Mustang

This is a dark horse but a popular choice amongst session players. Mine is the Justin Meldal Johnsen signature model. I played it strung with flatwounds and with a plectrum on The Serpent.

MusicMan StingRay

I have two of these. One is a vintage 1978 instrument, perfect for funk, rock, and when you want to sound like Bernard Edwards. The other is a StingRay 5 which I use live a lot and increasingly to record.

My Hofner Club is new and I haven't used it yet but here's someone you may have heard of playing his violin bass (which the Club is based on).

Fretless Bass

A fretless bass has a unique sound from the fact the the string vibrates directly against the fretboard itself. It's a beautiful tone perfect for ballads and jazz (there's no greater example than Jaco).

Being a session bass player is a great excuse to buy lots of different types of basses!

If you enjoy bass gear videos you might want to watch some of these:

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