Synth Bass for Bass Players

Expand your low-end sonic palette by learning the ropes of synth bass setup and performance.

30-45 Minutes
5 Sections

So you've just realized that you need to add synth bass — a totally new sound palette and instrument — to your electric bass rig for your new gig. How will you set it up? How do you set the parameters of the synth? What are the keys to performing not only with the synth, but on a keyboard instrument?

Brooklyn-based bassist, international touring musician, and musical director Grant Zubritsky (of Chet Faker, MS MR, and Nina Persson of The Cardigans) walks us through the steps to opening up our performance possibilities. This micro-course will get you setup and started on adding a synth bass to your toolkit.

Grant Zubritsky

Touring Musician + Musical Director

A native of Philadelphia, Grant moved to Brooklyn, New York in 2007. Primarily a bassist, Grant has grown to double on guitar, keyboards, saxophone, and backing vocals, and Grant’s technical knowledge combined with his musicianship often steers him to the role of Musical Director. He has toured internationally with artists including Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Chet Faker, and MS MR. As of the fall of 2016, Grant plans to release some remixes under the moniker Celine Dijon.

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Course Outline

  1. Section 1

    Getting Set Up

  2. Section 2

    Understanding the Modules

  3. Section 3

    Making a Bass Line

  4. Section 4

    Performing on Stage

  5. Section 5



Who is this course for?

This course is designed for electric bass players who are looking to introduce synth bass/key bass as another tool to their performance and studio toolkit, and musicians who wish to develop skills and knowledge of bass-specific synths.

Are there any requirements?

There are no requirements for this course, but you can learn a lot more detail about how the different modules of subtractive synthesis work in our Demystifying Synths series. This course will touch on some of the key elements, but that series can allow you to go much deeper. If you're new to playing keys, you might want to check around our free beginner piano courses, Building Blocks of Piano and Music Theory for Beginner Pianists.

How long will it take?

You should be able to get through the content of this course and, if you have the gear all ready, be ready to start playing in under an hour.

What can I expect to get out of it?

By the end of this course, you'll be able to design your own synth bass patches, learn the basics of performing bass parts on a keyboard, and when to use synth bass vs. electric bass when you're doubling up on the gig. We walk through four main sections: 1) getting set up, 2) understanding your synth modules, 3) making a bass line on a keyboard, and 4) bringing the whole thing to the stage.