Acoustic Bass?

Hey y’all! I was thinking about getting an acoustic bass but I’m unsure about whether it’ll be worth it to get one. When would I ever use it? For what genre? I heard that pulling out an acoustic bass at a campfire is a pretty big buzzkill so that’s also in mind.

Any comments would be really helpful!


I played one once at an acoustic open mic night. It was weird playing it, plus it was short scale so my muscle memory went zonkers.
I personally can’t think of a reason to own one, unless it’s an upright, and that’s a whole nother ballgame.


I’ve had 3 acoustic basses, and I’ve liked them all. They are cool for playing unplugged and being mobile. I recently sold a fretless gold tone micro bass… that was probably my least favorite because it still had the rubber strings, and I think I need more time with a fretless to really fall in love with it.

In Colorado, I get to camp and travel a lot. Often, I’ll play around a campfire or on a tailgate next to a river. I’ll go to the local bluegrass pickin’ circle with an acoustic tomorrow morning. I will still bring a small amp with me… they are not very loud instruments and playing with one acoustic guitar is usually ok without an amp. But, a fiddle or banjo can drown you right out.

I’d say go for it if you can justify another bass to play/practice with…I have Michael Kelly 5 string that’s relatively inexpensive and plays/sounds decent. I’ve used it on big stages thru my gigging stack when playing acoustic sets. I did need to add a feedback buster in the sound hole when playing at real life stage volumes. This is a pretty big bodied instrument. Think 1 and 1/2 times bigger than an acoustic guitar.

And, I I have a fretted goldtone microbass with labella silverback strings on it. I played it last week in the pickin’ circle. It easily fits in a gig bag in overhead compartments on a plane. It looks small but has nice tone and has good sound when amplified.

Both have electronics to plug in, and the microbass is SO easy to travel with…


It’s interesting because I feel the opposite way here. I have no real desire to play upright but playing with my friend’s acoustic was fun. Very different feel yet familiar, sounded great.

Not really a fit for the genres I like. Oh wait:

hmm :slight_smile:

Interesting that that’s not Paul Barker on bass. He and Al must have had another falling out, I think I read something about that. Dave Navarro on guitar though.


Another thing to check out for acoustics is bass ukuleles. They sound awesome and are fun to play.

They actually sound a little like uprights, believe it or not, but are tiny and cheap. And sound awesome amped :slight_smile:

My friend has one of these too and swears by it. Sounds killer amped.


That song is one of Ministry’s first hits, when they were Pop/Disco like. I had not seen this version before, and as I type this, I still have not listened to your post (I will) but it is quite surprising to see Al pull this glam toon, pre industrial metalcore / punk, and do it acoustic. Lol, can’t wait to see it. Yay, I can go watch it now…


Yeah it’s actually a 12” that came out just before Twitch (and was included on some versions of Twitch). I bought it the month it came out :slight_smile:

I actually think Twitch is Ministry’s most important album; it had huge influence on the electroindustrial scene at the time. Everyone bought that album :slight_smile:

I was a huge Uncle Al fan back then. RevCo started right after that too :slight_smile:


That was amazingly awesome.
Ministry never got on my radar til “The Land of Rape and Honey” with Stigmata being my fav from it.
“TheMind a is a terrible Thing to taste” with Stand Out’s “Burning Inside” and “ So What”, I think followed by “Psalm 69, The way to succeed and the way to suck eggs”, which is no doubt my favorite album.
They then went in many different directions
Dark side of the Spoon
Filth Pig
There is great stuff on most of their albums, and I have to admit, I love the versatility of the band and the way Al can change styles so often, always presenting something new, and that’s not even going of on his side band life, like you mentioned already
Revolting Cocks
Butthole Surfers
And others I can’t even recall right now.
I do and always will love Ministry, and I don’t even need to love every album or song, it is just Al, Paul, Timothy Leary (lol), and the rest of the revolving cast members, great stuff.


Wasn’t it? I was super happy to find that.

Yeah Al is one of my musical heroes, which is weird to say about a guy with his lifestyle choices and over the top behavior (putting both really mildly, lol) - but he is. Can really respect the guy for what he’s done there.

I like most of Ministry’s stuff. Even their first album has a couple bright points for the style of music it was. Twitch was incredible and helped jumpstart a genre. All the RevCo stuff is kind of mind blowing in various ways. “Psalm 69…” and “A Mind…” are both great too, yeah.

I think if I had to pick a favorite it would be RevCo but his work with Skinny Puppy (i.e. Tin Omen) was great too.

The stories about Leary, Al, and Gibby Haines are incredible :slight_smile:


The Butthole Surfers album
Independent Worm Saloon
is one of my all time favorite albums. i say it would make in in my top 25 albums if I had to list them out. And 25 is a rough estimate, if I started thinking about all the bands and stuff I love, that may actually be in my top 100, but it is there somewhere, it was fantastic.

1 Like

If you haven’t read the stories about Al and Gibby Living with Leary, you need to read those stories :slight_smile:

Basically, in lieu of rent, he let them stay and be his guinea pigs. Until it got so bad he had to kick Gibby out.

Trigger warning for extreme drug use though. I mean, given the three people involved, pretty obvious - but I thought I would mention it.


Yeah, I have not read those stories, but I can imagine, as I have lived much like that for many years in years past. I am sure I could see both the humor and horror in it. I may look them up and check them out.


Yeah that’s why I edited the warning in there - it’s pretty extreme.


@PamPurrs I have still got a picture of you on your bike with Sara having the UB strapped to her back like a rear gunner. No one would mess with that look. :rofl: :rose: :guitar:


I did the course on my acoustic bass. I don’t think I would have ever thought to get one if I hadn’t been going for a cheap solution to get started with. Now, I’m really glad I have it.

It has it’s own unique sound and it’s great for being able to just grab and play.

If/when I get another one, i wouldn’t get one of the big bodied ones. The idea for the big body was so it could keep up with an acoustic guitar. When I’ve tried that, it gets drowned out pretty quickly. The guitarist said he could still hear it fine but i couldn’t.

Next, I would be a lot more careful paying attention to what the electronics had to offer. The electronics on my big bodied Dean are awful. To the point it’s not worth plugging it in. I have heard they’ve upgraded the electronics but we’re still talking about a pretty inexpensive instrument. I did put some research into upgrading the electronics but, from what I could find, it didn’t seem worth it.

Since then, I’ve tried out some higher end models that were very good. My Dean was $151.00. So, pretty much everything is higher end than that.

One of the things you’ll notice playing an acoustic bass is that you can hear the overtone harmonics much more clearly. If anyone can suggest how to get this same affect on electric bass, I would love to know.


I still would like an acoustic bass … I know that the physics makes it a not-so-well working instrument, because of the relatively small body regarding to the frequencies. but it’s still pretty cool. a very small acoustic bass (think about a Parlor-like thing) with a piezzo and a little amp could be very cool.

if you don’t know, a Parlor is a very small guitar, some kind of very early folk guitar design :

I’m considering buying this model by the way.


I picked one up at the pawn shop the other day, because I had interest in getting one eventually.

The sensation playing it was hard to describe, I imagine going from this to a stand up, would be like “dams, the stand up is sure hard to pluck and fret…

Well, fro my ultra low action easy plucking bass strings, this felt somewhat like going to a stand up but in a different interval, a half step, not a whole step. (See what I did there)

I can imagine it doing wonders for your electric bass playing. I am sure I will build strength and dexterity playing an acoustic couldn’t hurt.

I did like it, but sure would need to edge up to being able to play it well


I love how light they are.


Yes, the one time I played one I was amazed at how light it was… like holding a bag of feathers compared to electric bass.


Eric is there a sound hole pickup available? Instead of making the solid sound like an acoustic. Make the Acoustic sound like a solid? P bass pups could fit in the sound hole. @eric.kiser

1 Like