So, you're on the hunt for the ultimate gift for your bass-playing pal, parent or partner? Well, whether you're looking to kit out their gig bag with must-have accessories, get their creative juices flowing with a new pedal or even add to their ever-growing collection of basses, you'll find the perfect item in this guide to the best gifts for bass players.
For us, the bass player is the backbone of any good band, holding down the low end and bridging the gap between the rhythm section and the melody makers. Unfortunately, these vital members are often under-appreciated and overlooked, something we think is criminal.
We've taken the time to show the bassists of the world some love by curating a list of what we believe are the best bass-themed presents for the bass player in your life – ideal for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's and beyond.
Best gifts for bass players: Where to shop
Below is a selection of our favourite places to grab a bass-related bargain. These are the retailers we trust most and that we believe offer the best deals around.
You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
- Guitar Center: Shop new, used and vintage guitar gear
- Sweetwater: Free 2-year warranty and fast shipping
- Musician’s Friend: Regular deals and a great selection of guitas gear
- Etsy: Handmade and unique, for the drummer who has everything
- Thomann: Huge stock and three-year warranty on all purchases
- Andertons: Gift-buying covered, with a massive range of guitar gear
- Gear4Music: Shop all the big guitar brands in one place
- Etsy: The place for personalized, handmade gifts
Best gifts for bass players: Under $100
In order to keep their bass guitar at its best, it's crucial they routinely clean and care for it. This involves polishing the body as well as cleaning and conditioning the fingerboard. It may not be the most glamorous job, but we all have to do it.
The Dunlop 6500 System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit includes everything they need to keep their bass gleaming, including No. 65 Polish and Cleaner, Bodygloss Cream of Carnauba, Ultraglide String Conditioner, Fingerboard Cleaner and Prep, Deep Conditioner Oil, and two 100% cotton cloths.
Okay, so you may love your bass playing family member, but that doesn't mean you love hearing them hone their pop and slap technique with yet another rendition of Can't Stop for the 100th time this week. Well, the Vox amPlug 2 Bass may be the ideal gift for them and you.
This handy little headphone amp will allow them to plug their favorite set of headphones directly into their bass for silent practice, and will also give them the opportunity to play along with a range of rhythms.
This isn't the most exciting gift in the world, but it is one they will most definitely appreciate. A good quality guitar stand is a must-have item to allow them to display their awesome bass guitar without fear of it taking a tumble.
The Hercules GS412B Plus guitar stand features an Auto Grip System, which locks your guitar in place, meaning it's extra secure while also being height-adjustable to ensure it fits the elongated neck of any bass guitar.
Taking your beloved bass out and about to gigs, rehearsals, or even a mate's house can be a little daunting - there is always a risk it takes a knock or fall. A high-quality gigbag can help keep their bass safe and put their mind at ease.
With 20mm padding and gentle microfiber lining, this is the most comfortable place their bass guitar has ever been, and with multiple storage pockets, they have plenty of room to store all their essential accessories such as a guitar tuner, cables and music books.
The beauty of the bass - or any instrument for that matter - is you are always learning. Whether that's a new technique, a new song or just a mega lick, you can always learn something new - and Fender Play is our favorite online guitar lesson platform.
Fender Play gives you access to a wealth of video lessons from a number of different teachers, all bundled inside a very well-designed app - beginner or pro, you'll be sure to get something out of this app.
Best gifts for bass players: $101 - $199
The Boss TU-3 is an omnipresent feature on pedalboards around the world. This robust pedal tuner has been keeping the biggest names in music in tune for years, and with its solid construction, easy-to-read display, and affordable price, there really is no excuse not to own one.
With its designated bass mode and ultra-bright display, this is easily one of the most accurate tuners on the market and will run off a 9v battery or power supply.
When it comes to classic bass sounds, the iconic sound of an envelope filter has to be at the top of the list. Used by bass pioneers such as Bootsy Collins, Flea, and many more, this dynamic effect is sure to bring the funk.
The MXR M82 is the perfect pedal for those wanting to dip their toes into the world of envelope filters. With a range of user-friendly controls, it is intuitive, well built and sounds fantastic.
Best gifts for bass players: $200 +
When it comes to effect pedals, it can be difficult to know where to start, and with many single pedals costing around the $100 mark, it gets pretty expensive pretty quickly to try out a bunch of different stomp-boxes. That's where the multi-effects pedal comes in.
This high-tech box will give them access to almost every bass effect under the sun and at an affordable price - and has it's made by Boss, it is practically bomb-proof.
This Squier Affinity Bass looks just as good as it sounds, with its stylishly wonky offset body and high output humbucking pickup. The 32" medium-scale length is a little shorter than a standard bass, giving the Jag a slinkier feel - making it one of the best bass guitars for beginners.
Coming in three fabulous finishes - Charcoal Frost Metallic, Lake Placid Blue, and black - you'll be sure to find one that suits the demands of the bass player in your life.
Also, don't forget you'll need a killer bass amp. These are the best bass amps for all budgets.
As guitar players and bassists, we are always seeking new sounds and tones - that's how we can justify having so many instruments - but what do you buy the bass devotee who has one of everything? An acoustic bass is a good place to start, and an affordable option is the Ibanez AEB5E.
This sleek and highly playable bass sounds incredible and, with the addition of a pickup, can be used to record and play live.
Best gifts for bass players: Last minute ideas and subscriptions
1. Music software: Various
Recording music at home is now easier than ever, thanks to powerful laptops and intuitive recording software. It's no wonder then that most musicians have a recording set up in their bedrooms - making plugins an ideal gift!
Plugins and software are great last-minute ideas as they are instant downloads, meaning there's no need to wait on delivery! Why not tell your giftee what budget you have for them and set them free on sites like Plugin Boutique or Waves?
These sites have everything from guitar amp simulators to reverbs, delays and compressors, so they won't be short of options.
2. Concert tickets: Ticketmaster
If you’re shopping last minute for someone who loves live music, then e-tickets for a concert or a voucher to put towards their next gig is a no-brainer.
There are many sites out there, but Ticketmaster is our vendor of choice. This is due to the vastness of events on offer, plus you can spread the cost of tickets!
3. Music magazines: subscribe and save!
Sometimes nothing beats sitting down with a good book or magazine and ditching the tech for a while. You can subscribe and save on music-making magazines right now from Guitarist and Total Guitar, to Guitar World and Guitar Techniques. Head to our subscriptions site or call 0330 333 1113.
3. Gift cards: Any amount
Ok so gift vouchers aren’t the most inspiring gift idea, but with guitarists being a fussy bunch, sometimes they are the best option.
Buying vouchers for their favourite shop gives them the option to choose what they really want, plus, you can usually get them delivered straight to an email address; ideal if you’re shopping very close to the big day!