Tips For Looking For A Bass Practice Amp

Are you a bass player and thinking about getting a practice amp? And is it important to have a separate practice amp? I believe it is and I'll explain why. But first let me explain my definition of "practice" for this article. I am referring to your personal practice time not your band's rehearsal time. Your time alone in your bedroom, living room, or personal studio, when you are working the kinks out of your chops, learning the bands material for the next rehearsal, or you are just plain learning how to play bass. That is what I mean by practice, and the reason I want to make the distinction is, we do not need a lot of power from our practice amp.

Here are 3 reasons what I think are important to have a separate practice amp.


This is important for the simple reason that for many of us time is an issue. Now your reasons may vary slightly from mine, but for me I like the fact that I have an amp designated for my personal practice. So when I have a few minutes I can grab my bass and plug in and work on what I need to. It also, allows me to leave my stack at the bands rehearsal space, so I am not having to haul my gear back and forth saving my back, and set up and tear down time. More time can be spent rehearsing.


I know I just mentioned that it is convenient to be able to leave your practice amp at home. What about that week end get away, a family vacation, or on the road with the band. I always bring a bass with me and the practice amp I use fits in the palm of my hand. I just throw it, my Ipod, and a pair of headphones in my case and I am good to go.

Respect for neighbors

This is important for obvious reasons especially if you live in an apartment. You don't need to make enemies with those living around you, how much practice can you get done with your neighbors pounding on the walls and ceiling or the police knocking on your door and who needs an eviction. If you own a home and have your own personal studio, it may not be a concern but for those of us musicians' just trying to get by, it is something we need to think about.

You need to find out the features that would serve you best, but my recommendations would be:

  1. Keep it small 15 watts max, ideally between 5 and 10 watts. Remember this is your practice amp you aren't looking for your stage or studio sound. Just a nice clean sound and tone, nothing muddy so you can practice and hear the precision in which you play.
  2. Features I would look for is a headphone jack, line in and line out, nothing real fancy.
  3. And if you live some place where it is easy to disturb your neighbors, I highly recommended a portable headphone amp.

With these in mind think about what your practice needs are and take into consideration your living environment, make a list and start searching. There are a lot of amps and manufacturers so you should find something that will meet your needs. Good luck.

by Darren Mutch; Thursday, November 3, 2011 @ 08:31 AM [1638]

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