Guide for Giving Gifts to a Bass Player


First off happy holidays! What a wonderful time of year to be thankful for the many blessings in our lives.

And of course it’s the time of year where we get the most presents besides our birthdays.

Sometimes finding the right presents for the musician in your life can be difficult.  I know my mom asks me every year what I want in terms of bass and music related things for Christmas and I usually just send her a list. But upon further review I decided I wanted to give some tips for buying gifts for musicians if you are not an avid musician yourself.

When looking through this list I am basing it mostly off of what a bass player would need rather than a variety of instruments. However, a lot of these items can be used for other instruments which I will explain below.


Let’s start with books! In terms of books, music theory and blank tablature writing books are a good way to go if the musician writes their own music and wants to keep up on their theory.

  • Tablature Paper: When purchasing a blank writing notebook, it is important to make sure that you are buying a book that has writing for the bass clef. There are a variety of options to choose from on Amazon.
  • Billy Sheehan’s Basic and Advanced Bass Books: Billy Sheehan: Basic Bass (Alfred’s Artist Series) and Billy Sheehan: Advanced Bass (Alfred’s Artist Series)
  • Bass Fretboard Basics: Essential Scales, Theory, Bass Lines & Fingerings (Essential Concepts)

Of course Bass Musician Magazine is a great resource for new products with reviews. There are many contributors on there that are writing artist tablature books and instructional guides.


What bass musician wouldn’t want strings? None that I know of! Strings are an easy stocking stuffer if your not sure what to get.

Brands such as Ernie Ball, D’Addario, and GHS are a couple of good brands to check out. You’re looking to spend at least $15 to $20 on a pair. I’ve broken down the type of strings that you can buy based on a few factors.

Long-scale and short-scale refer to the length of the bass guitar neck. Most basses are long scale.

The number of strings needed is a good factor to keep in mind. I play primarily with a 5-string Ibanez bass so 5-strings would be ideal.

There are other things such as gauges, that i can get into more detail in a later post. Here are some strings to keep in mind when shopping around:

  • D’Addario EPS160-5 5-String ProSteels Bass Guitar Strings, Medium, 50-135, Long Scale
  • D’Addario EPS160 ProSteels Bass Guitar Strings, Medium, 50-105, Long Scale
  • D’Addario EXL170BT Nickel Wound Bass Guitar Strings, Balanced Tension Light, 45-107
  • D’Addario ECB81 Chromes Bass Guitar Strings, Light, 45-100, Long Scale

  • Ernie Ball 5-String Super-Long Scale Slinky Bass Set, .045 – .130
  • GHS Strings Electric Bass Boomer Set (Medium Light Nickel Steel, 4-String, Long Scale)

Music Lessons

If there is an aspiring musician in your household, buying a set of lessons is a great option. You can look at your local guitar shop or go online ( to find a teacher.

Starter Kits

This is the perfect time of year to buy a high quality cost-effective starter kit. Now a starter kit usually includes a 4-string bass, small amplifier, strap, tuner, carrying bag, cable, and beginner bass book. You can really go into any music store and ask about any starter kits that they have. A good price point would be $99 with some kits even starting lower. Depending on if you want to be brand specific or just want to buy any starter kit, look at reviews. If you are going into a store to purchase, ask the associate what they would recommend.

My first starter kit was from Silvertone, but there are many brand including, Fender and Ibanez, that have inexpensive starter kits on the market.

Effects & Electronics

Now when it comes to finding the perfect effects and electronics, it is good to ask if they want any of those items. You don’t want to buy a $200 effect just to find out that they already have it or it is not something that they would use.

I hope this helps you on your journey to finding the perfect gifts for the bass player in your life.

Happy Holidays!

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