This Article is About
external amplifier
first time buyers
happiness
flexibility
Facts About Bass Guitar Pickups
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Facts About Bass Guitar Pickups

Considering what types of pickups are in a bass guitar and how to use them is often overlooked when buying a bass. Especially for first time buyers. The neck, body, and overall look of the bass guitar is what most of us focus on and rightfully so. Understanding the pickup selection and control system of the bass guitar will determine your overall happiness with how you go about shaping your sound. This article will discuss the type and function of each.

There are two types of bass guitar pickups, active and passive. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Each type of pickup should be approached differently when adjusting for tone.

Active pickups use a pre-amplifer and is powered by one 9 volt battery. Some pre-amps are powered by two 9 volt batteries or 18 volt system. Depending on the quality of electronics, the pre-amp allows for extensive tone shaping much like the external amplifier you use to play your bass through. Most active pickups will have a bass and treble tone control that will allow you to cut and boost frequencies. Other more elaborate systems will have a mid-range control for even more tone shaping flexibility. The amount of hours you play will determine a batteries life. A battery can last up to 6 weeks or more. Check your battery often and keep extra's with you.

Passive pickups do not use a battery. The passive pickup was used on the first basses ever made and to this day are known for that classic fat punchy sound. Passive pickups only allow for you to turn down or cut the frequency of the bass or treble control. You can still get a great sound but you won't have as many options for tone shaping as the active pickups do. Because of their larger magnet design passive pickups will tend to pick up more noise than the active pickups.

There seems to be a debate on which pickups are better but I don't think it's a question of better or worse. Each type of pickup is good in it's own way and can be used for certain purposes.

The active pickup has a hi-fi sound that is articulate and defined with extended high and low frequencies. Because of the smaller magnet design the active pickup can be very quiet making it ideal for recording directly into mixing consoles. I like to use active basses for popping and slapping techniques.

Passive pickups are not as (hot) or loud as active pickups, and don't have as bright of sound. The passive pickup is mostly known for that warm, full, round sound. Led Zeppelin and The Beatles are two bands that come to mind. I use passive pickups on my Fender Precision Bass for muted picking styles and aggressive dig down deep finger styles.

If your buying a bass for the first time chances are the electronics are not real high quality but if you like the feel of the bass you can always change pickups later. On active pickup basses you will be able to dial in much of your sound right at the bass. On passive pickup basses you may need to use more of your external amp for tone shaping. Have fun with it and experiment with your tone controls.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Dont Buy the M-audio Studiophile Av40 Portable Desktop Speakers Till You Read This
M-Audio is a name you can trust when it comes to selecting monitors for your studio. They are built with high end components and this provides high end mix quality. As these monitors are powered (active) speakers, you do not need to go out and buy an external amplifier. These…
By: Steampunk Sound in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   May 31, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Enhance Your Communication Skills With Voice Therapy London
Your voice is what makes the first impression, right after your appearance, when you speak to someone. It is a significant part of your personality and it is desirable to have a good voice. Unfortunately, not everyone is gifted with a great voice quality. However, this should not be any…
By: aby in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   May 15, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Reasons to Take Singing Lessons London
There are many advantages of taking singing lessons London which are not only good for your emotional wellbeing but also for everyday life. You can get professional voice coaching London to improve your voice quality and also to learn a new genre of music. When you opt for such lessons,…
By: aby in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   May 15, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Can I Learn Guitar?
It is a common fantasy of many; you are at a party in a friends' house or maybe all sitting around a fire on a warm summer evening. Everyone is chilling out and having a good time when you reach for the guitar and casually strum a few, well-known, mellow…
By: Rob Houghton in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Mar 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Best Way To Learn Guitar - The Secret Method
Learning an instrument is all about repetition. We need to practice and repeat the lessons or piece of music to enable our hands to get used to new movements and positions, and our minds to develop familiarity with a the mental process. It is like learning to tie your shoelaces,…
By: Rob Houghton in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Feb 14, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Get the Best Out Of The Dubturbo Sound Production Software Download
You are thinking about buying Dubturbo, the sound production software directed at the beginner, but there is not too much written about how to get the best out of it. There is only promotional stuff and you have to buy the program to get into the members area to see…
By: Steampunk Sound in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Jul 29, 2011  
2
  Likes: 0

Standard Guitar Tuning
Standard tuning is used by all guitarists, whether they are beginner or advanced. The strings are tuned, from the low 6th string up E- A-D-G-B-E.  A good way to remember this is by using the mnemonic ‘Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie’. If your guitar is in standard tuning you…
By: Luke2 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Oct 06, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Video Guitar Lessons – What To Expect From Them
There are normally 2 methods to learn guitar, Online and Offline. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago this was not like this. Back then it was necessary to look for a tutor willing to teach guitar or, we could have joined a music school, which is still a great alternative…
By: George Balibrera in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Mar 18, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Learn To Play Piano Online - 3 Tips To Learning
An article where you can learn to play piano online. There are many ways to learn and here are some tips that will help you get there.
By: Derek Drapp in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Feb 05, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Guitar Tips
Congratulations! You have decided that, no matter your age, race, religion, or personal reasons, you are going to learn the guitar. Take it from millions of players, all around the world, this is a GOOD thing. Well done! "But", you ask yourself, "How long will it take me to play…
By: Tookie in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Apr 23, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Five Tips To Help You Learn To Play Guitar Online
Learning to play guitar could be a very long process, I can tell you that, however there are ways to begin learning to play guitar easier and faster. There are several musicians who don’t like taking it slow and they try to learn guitar too fast, commonly what happens with…
By: George Balibrera in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Jul 21, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Learn To Tune Your Guitar Or Bass Guitar
Learning to tune your Guitar of Bass Guitar is a matter of hearing a tone or pitch and matching it. At first, if you are not used to hearing for the purpose of matching a tone it can be a little difficult, but becomes easier the more you do it.…
By: Wayne Douglas in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Jan 20, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Replacing Guitar Inlays is Easier Than You Think
If you are a typical guitarist, you may be able to shred on your instrument, and you probably know how to perform basic maintenance, but you might not know how to deal with some of the more complicated aspects of guitar building and customization. Sometimes you need to know how…
By: Luke2 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Nov 06, 2011  
0
  Likes: 3

Drum Care - Some Dos And Donts
Do you look at your drum kit and think doesn’t look or sound as good as it should? Are you one of those drummers who consistently puts off caring for their drum kit. Do you constantly treat your drum kit like garbage and find that its quality is deteriorating a…
By: Ryan Kuchel in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Apr 20, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

cheap acoustic guitars for beginners
If you are looking at cheap acoustic guitars for beginners then it is important to know that there are basically two types of acoustic guitars, one is a classical nylon string guitar and the other is a steel string guitar. Now many guitar players that don't play classical guitar really…
By: Jennifer Crabb in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Instruction   Mar 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1618    Report this Article