What Bass Guitar Is Played By Big And Rich Group: Sneak Peek at Their Go-To Bass Guitar

Big and Rich, the iconic country music duo known for their unique fusion of genres and electrifying stage presence, have made a lasting impact on the music industry. Part of what sets this powerhouse pair apart is John Rich’s exceptional skills as a bass guitarist.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what kind of bass guitar is responsible for that distinct sound in Big and Rich’s music, look no further! In this blog post, we’re diving into the world of bass guitars used by this talented duo throughout their career.

The Role Of Bass Guitar In Big And Rich

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John Rich’s background as a bass guitarist and his passion for the instrument has played a significant role in shaping Big and Rich’s country-rock sound, making it an indispensable component of their music.

John Rich’s Background As A Bass Guitarist

John Rich’s journey as a bass guitarist began long before the formation of Big and Rich. In the early 1990s, he gained prominence playing with the country band Lonestar, where he not only played bass but also contributed vocals and songwriting.

Rich’s departure from Lonestar in 1998 eventually led him to team up with fellow musician Kenny Alphin. Together, they formed Big and Rich, a powerhouse country music duo that seamlessly blends rock influence into their sound.

His Role In Big And Rich’s Music

John Rich’s role in Big and Rich’s music is crucial as he serves as the band’s bass guitarist. Before forming Big and Rich, John was part of Lonestar band where he primarily played bass guitar.

In Big and Rich, his role extends beyond just playing the instrument but also contributing to the songwriting process alongside lead vocalist, Big Kenny. His background as a guitarist has certainly influenced their sound which combines elements of country and rock genres.

John’s style of bass playing is notable for its versatility with him often switching between finger-style or using a pick based on what suits each song best.

The Bass Guitars And Equipment Used By Big And Rich

Big and Rich use a variety of bass guitars, including the Dean Razorback V Bass, Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass, and Gibson Thunderbird Bass.

Dean Razorback V Bass

One of the bass guitars used by Big and Rich is the Dean Razorback V Bass. This bass guitar features a sharp, metallic design with a sleek black finish. It boasts an impressive sound that is ideal for playing rock music, but can also work well in country tunes.

One notable aspect of this guitar is its active EMG pickups which produce high-output sound, perfect for driving through any mix on stage or in the studio. Additionally, it has the classic V style body shape that provides excellent balance when playing standing up or seated.

Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass

The Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass is another bass guitar that has been used by the Big and Rich duo. With its solid construction, this bass guitar produces a warm, rich sound that resonates with country music’s unique characteristics.

The Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass has a sleek design that makes it easy to play during live performances or in the studio.

John Rich’s skill on this bass guitar has certainly influenced the band’s signature sound heard in their hit songs such as “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” and “Holy Water.” He has fully utilized the potential of this instrument by using various playing techniques such as fingerpicking and slapping.

Gibson Thunderbird Bass

One of the bass guitars used by Big and Rich is the Gibson Thunderbird Bass. This solid-bodied electric bass guitar was first produced in 1963, with a unique reverse body shape that quickly became an iconic design.

The Thunderbird has been used by famous bands like KISS, Cheap Trick and Nirvana over the years. It features dual humbucking pickups which gives it a distinctive heavy sound favored especially by hard rockers.

The Gibson Thunderbird Bass is renowned for its bright sound and high sustain, making it particularly suitable to be played with a pick or fingers depending on your playing style preference.

The Type Of Strings And Amplifiers Used In Their Music

Big and Rich use a variety of strings and amplifiers in their music to achieve their signature sound. John Rich prefers to use Ernie Ball strings on his bass guitars, which offer a bright tone with plenty of clarity, while also providing him with the versatility he needs to play both country and rock styles.

In terms of amplifiers, Big Kenny Alphin has been known to use both an Ampeg SVT-4PRO Bass Head and an Ashdown ABM-900 EVO IV Bass Amp Head for live performances, depending on the venue’s acoustics.

Meanwhile, John Rich swears by his trusty Gallien-Krueger 1001RB amp head paired with a matching RBH410 cabinet – this combination offers plenty of power and projection for playing huge arenas or outdoor festivals.

Features And Sound Of Each Bass Guitar

Big and Rich, known for their unique blend of country and rock music, have used a variety of bass guitars throughout their musical career. One of the most notable bass guitars John Rich has played is the Dean Razorback V Bass.

This five-string electric bass guitar features a solid mahogany body with a rosewood fingerboard and 24 frets on a bolt-on neck.

Another favorite bass guitar used by Big and Rich is the Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass. This classic four-string electric bass delivers a rich warm sound thanks to its three-band EQ system that allows plenty of tonal versatility.

Finally, we have the Gibson Thunderbird Bass loved by many famous rock musicians such as Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue but was also utilized by John Rich in some specific recordings made by Big And Rich group.

Overall, each of these bass guitars has unique features that contribute to Big and Rich’s distinct sound while performing live or recording in studio sessions.

The Sound And Style Of Big And Rich’s Bass Guitar

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Discover the unique sound and style of John Rich’s bass playing, as we explore how his country and rock influences have contributed to Big and Rich’s signature sound.

The Influence Of Country And Rock Genres On Their Music

Big and Rich’s music is a fusion of country and rock genres, which gives their sound its unique flavor. The duo has never been afraid to experiment with different musical styles or incorporate various instruments into their songs.

One example of this influence can be heard in their hit single “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” which features both steel guitar licks and heavy electric guitar riffs. This blend shows how they have taken elements from both genres and fused them together into something completely new.

The Unique Sound And Style Of John Rich’s Bass Playing

John Rich, the bassist of Big and Rich, has a distinctive style that infuses elements from rock and country genres. He often employs fingerpicking techniques on his bass guitar to create a sound that stands out in their music.

Additionally, John Rich’s precise timing and use of dynamics help drive the rhythm section in their songs.

Playing Style And Techniques

John Rich’s playing style and techniques on the bass guitar have been essential in shaping the unique sound of Big and Rich. Known for his dynamic range, he employs a variety of techniques including slapping, fingerpicking, and tapping to create a driving groove that underpins each track.

In addition to his technical skills, John Rich has a deep understanding of how to lock into a rhythm section and elevate it with his playing. He knows when to hold back and let other instruments take center stage but can also step forward when needed.

Contributions To The Band’s Sound

John Rich’s bass guitar playing style and technique have been essential to Big and Rich’s sound. His unique approach blends the traditional country style with rock influences, creating a distinctive and memorable sound that sets them apart from other country duos.

In addition to his technical abilities, John Rich also contributes creatively to the band’s songwriting process, coming up with bass lines that perfectly complement the melody and lyrics of each song.

His contributions elevate every track on their albums, adding depth and richness that would be missing without him.


In conclusion, the bass guitar plays a crucial role in Big and Rich’s music, with John Rich bringing his impressive background as a bass guitarist to the duo. They use several top-of-the-line instruments for their performances, including the Dean Razorback V Bass, Fender American Deluxe Precision Bass, and Gibson Thunderbird Bass.

With influences from both country and rock genres, Big and Rich’s bass playing reflects the heart of their music. John Rich brings his own unique touch to each song through his playing style and techniques.

Overall, it is clear that a lot goes into finding just the right instrument to complement an artist’s style – especially when it comes to something as important as bass guitar in a band like Big & Rich!


1. What bass guitar does John Rich of Big and Rich play?

John Rich plays a Fender Precision Bass, also known as a P-Bass.

2. What bass guitar does Big Kenny Alphin of Big and Rich play?

Big Kenny Alphin typically plays a five-string Warwick Thumb Bass.

3. Why do some bass players prefer certain types or brands of guitars over others?

Bass players may prefer certain types or brands of guitars due to factors such as sound quality, comfort while playing, reliability, durability and personal preference.

4. Can you achieve the same sound as Big and Rich on their recordings by using the same bass guitar they use?

While the type of instrument used can contribute to an artist’s unique sound, there are many other factors involved in achieving a specific sound including amplifier settings, studio effects and individual playing style that are difficult to replicate exactly.

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