Bass Lick Series: Rock Bass with Overdrive

If you’re looking to rock it out on bass, using an overdrive pedal can really help achieve that edge you need.

In this lick lesson, I’m pretty much playing the same bass line repeatedly, but with different note lengths in the different sections: short note duration for verses, and long not duration for the chorus. This lick is in the key of A.

I’m also playing with a pick for that extra punch, but that’s completely optional.

Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF download).

For the gear heads: I’m playing my 1977 Fender Precision bass strung with Dunlop Nickel strings. I’m using a MXR Bass Overdrive pedal and a TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb pedal for a bit of ambience (you can see the settings for each pedal at the beginning of the video). That’s run through a TC Electronic RH450 amp via the direct output, and into Logic Pro.

For more great bass lessons from Thomas "MarloweDK" Risell, visit

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts

  1. I find for overdrive/fuzz you get the best results with the longer note lengths. It makes the bass less percussive i guess, but when those buzzy notes ring out it sounds so nice

  2. Mike Matthews

    When he holds out those long notes, it reminds me of James Lomenzo’s killer tone off Zakk’s Pride and Glory album. AWESOME TONE!