Why doesn’t Royal Blood Play The Guitar Instead Of A Bass With All The Tech?: Beyond the Norm

Royal Blood has always been known for their electrifying sound and innovative approach to music, but have you ever wondered why they chose a bass guitar over the more traditional six-string? This might seem counterintuitive with all the technology available today, but their decision comes down to creating a unique sonic blend that sets them apart.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how Royal Blood’s use of the bass guitar combined with advanced tech leads to an unparalleled listening experience you won’t want to miss.

The Unique Sound Of Royal Blood’s Choice Of Bass Over Guitar

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Royal Blood’s decision to use a bass guitar instead of a lead guitar has resulted in a unique sound, utilizing techniques like finger tapping and slapping, as well as splitting the signal through multiple amps and effects pedals.

The Bass And Lead Guitar Techniques Similarities

While bass and lead guitar may seem vastly different at first glance, there are many striking similarities in the techniques employed by musicians playing these instruments.

Both bassists and lead guitarists make use of techniques such as arpeggio runs, fingerpicking, and big bends to create a wide range of sounds and textures in their music.

Additionally, both types of musicians rely on intricate coordination between their fretting hand and picking hand to execute smooth transitions between notes or chords. This shared focus on technical precision is evident in countless recordings across various genres.

Take Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea for example; his notable slap-and-pop technique on the bass adds rhythmic complexity to the band’s sound – an approach one can find mirrored in some lead guitar work as well.

Splitting The Signal Via A Series Of Amps

Royal Blood’s unique sound can be partly attributed to their use of a bass guitar instead of a traditional lead guitar. However, it is not just the instrument choice that sets them apart.

One key element in achieving their signature sound is splitting the signal via a series of amps. By using an ABY switch, they are able to send the bass and guitar signals down different paths, each with its own set of pedals and amplifiers.

This technique has become a staple for Royal Blood’s live shows and recording sessions alike. It adds depth and complexity to their music while still retaining the raw energy of a stripped-down rock duo.

Unique Use Of Effects Pedals

Royal Blood’s unique sound is not just attributed to the choice of the bass guitar but also to their innovative use of effects pedals. By using a combination of distortion, octave and pitch-shifting pedals, Royal Blood creates their signature heavy and fuzzy sound that has become a trademark of their music.

In addition, they also experiment with various other effects such as loopers, delays and reverbs which allow them to create complex layers within their songs. For example, in “Lights Out”, Mike Kerr uses an octave pedal combined with fuzz distortion to create both the bassline and lead guitar parts simultaneously.

This technique gives their music a fullness that is hard to achieve with just one instrument playing traditional roles.

Finger Tapping And Slapping Techniques

Royal Blood’s use of finger tapping and slapping techniques on the bass guitar sets them apart from other rock bands. These techniques involve quickly tapping, hammering, or slapping the strings with the fingers of both hands to create a percussive sound similar to drumming.

This technique enables Mike Kerr to produce complex arpeggio runs and lead-guitar-like melodies while still retaining the powerful low notes that define their signature sound.

This is achieved by splitting his signal via a series of amps that amplify different frequencies in his playing; one amp deals with high-end harmonics produced by his finger-tapping technique, while another handles lower frequency tones produced by more traditional bass-playing methods such as plucking and slapping.

Advantages Of Using A Bass Instead Of A Guitar

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Using a bass instead of a guitar allows for a fuller and more dynamic sound, with a greater range of tonal options that can’t be achieved with just a guitar – read on to discover how Royal Blood creates their unique sound.

Ability To Create A Fuller Sound

One of the advantages of using a bass instead of a guitar is the ability to create a fuller sound. Due to its lower frequency range, the bass can fill up more sonic space in a mix and add a rich depth that a guitar may not be able to achieve.

This allows Royal Blood to create their signature sound, which features an incredibly powerful and dynamic low end.

Furthermore, by utilizing effects pedals such as distortion and octave pedals, Royal Blood has been able to enhance their bass sound even further. Instead of simply playing root notes, Mike Kerr uses arpeggio runs, finger tapping techniques along with pedal loops in his performances which also help him create complex harmonies on stage without additional musicians.

Greater Range Of Tonal Options

Using a bass instead of a guitar gives Royal Blood access to a much wider range of tonal options. Bass guitars are capable of producing sounds in lower register frequencies that cannot be replicated by standard electric guitars, giving the duo more sonic depth and complexity.

By playing around with different pickups, effects pedals, amp settings, and finger techniques such as slapping or tapping, they can create an array of unique sounds that would not be possible with just a regular six-string.

This is especially evident in their live performances where they utilize looping and layering techniques on various tracks to enhance the fullness of their sound.

Affordability Of Bass Equipment

In addition to its unique sound and tonal options, the bass guitar also has a financial advantage over traditional lead guitars. The cost of entry-level bass equipment is generally lower than that of a guitar rig, making it more accessible for aspiring musicians on a budget.

This affordability factor extends beyond just the instrument itself; bass amps and pedals tend to be less expensive as well.

It’s worth noting that while some higher-end bass gear can be pricey, there are still plenty of affordable options on the market for players looking to experiment with the instrument.

Additionally, many secondhand pieces can often be found at bargain prices through online marketplaces or local music shops.

The Role Of Technology In Achieving Royal Blood’s Sound

Royal Blood’s unique sound is achieved through the use of technology, including pedalboards and looping techniques, allowing for a fuller and more complex sound that wouldn’t be possible with traditional guitar setups.

Pedalboards And Effects To Enhance Their Sound

One of the key elements that make Royal Blood’s sound unique is their use of pedalboards and effects. By using pedals, they’re able to enhance their sound by adding distortion, delay, and other effects in real-time during a performance.

For example, Mike Kerr uses the Whammy pedal to create octave effects while still playing single notes on his bass guitar. He also employs looping pedals to layer multiple lines together for a more intricate composition.

Meanwhile, Ben Thatcher can utilize drum machine sounds within his setup through samplers triggered by footswitches.

Looping And Layering Techniques For A Fuller Sound

In addition to their unique choice of instrument, Royal Blood also utilizes looping and layering techniques to create a fuller sound. By using loop pedals, the band is able to record and play back certain parts of their performance, allowing them to add layers of instrumentation on top of each other.

This technique gives the illusion that more musicians are playing than just two people.

This type of technology allows for endless experimentation and creativity in music production. It has become an important tool for many modern musicians who want to explore different sonic possibilities beyond traditional instrumental approaches.

The Power Of Technology In Achieving A Unique Sound

One of the most interesting aspects of Royal Blood’s setup is the power of technology in achieving their unique sound. Their use of pedalboards, looping and layering techniques allow them to create a fuller sound that defies expectations for a two-piece band.

By splitting their signal via a series of amps, they’re able to achieve both bass and lead guitar sounds from one instrument.

This use of technology represents an evolution in rock music and shows how artists can leverage new tools to push creative boundaries. Many other musicians, such as Jaco Pastorius or Les Claypool, have also embraced the bass as their main instrument for unique sounds but never achieved the same level of success as Royal Blood has managed too so far.

Other Musicians Embracing The Bass As Their Main Instrument For Unique Sounds

Other legendary bassists like Jaco Pastorius, Les Claypool, and John Entwistle have also embraced the bass as their main instrument to create unique sounds.

Jaco Pastorius, Les Claypool, John Entwistle

Jaco Pastorius, Les Claypool, and John Entwistle are just a few examples of musicians who have embraced the bass as their main instrument for unique sounds. Jaco Pastorius is known for his intricate fingerstyle playing and use of harmonics on the fretless bass, while Les Claypool uses techniques such as slapping, popping, and tapping to create a wild array of sounds on his bass guitar.

These musicians demonstrate that there is so much room for experimentation within rock music beyond traditional guitar-based setups. The versatility of the bass allows for endless possibilities in creating unique sounds that add depth and complexity to any musical arrangement.

The Versatility Of The Bass In Creating Unique Sounds

The bass guitar is often thought of as a support instrument, but it has proven to be quite versatile in creating unique sounds. Royal Blood has certainly made the most of this versatility with their choice of using a bass guitar over a traditional lead guitar.

The use of slapping and finger-tapping techniques on the bass creates percussive effects that can’t be replicated on other instruments. Additionally, by splitting the signal through different amps and pedals, they’re able to achieve an even wider range of tonal options.

Conclusion: The Artistic Choice Of Royal Blood’s Setup And The Power Of Technology In Music

In conclusion, Royal Blood’s choice of playing the bass guitar over a traditional lead guitar is an artistic decision that has helped them to create a unique sound.

The advantages of using a bass instead of a guitar are clear – it allows for a fuller sound and greater tonal options.

While some may wonder why Royal Blood doesn’t play the guitar instead, their setup has allowed them to explore new musical avenues and push boundaries in their genre.

Ultimately, music is about experimentation and innovation – whether it’s through technology or exploring alternative instruments.


1. Why does Royal Blood use a bass guitar instead of a regular guitar?

Royal Blood uses a bass guitar as the main instrument in their music because it creates an unique and heavy sound that complements the drums and vocals. It also allows for more versatility in creating different styles of music.

2. What kind of technology does Royal Blood use with their bass guitar?

Royal Blood utilizes several effects pedals such as distortion, octave, and fuzz pedals to create their distinctively heavy tone. They also incorporate live looping using a pedal called the Boss RC-30 Loop Station to layer sounds and create complex compositions during live performances.

3. Can you achieve the same sound using just a regular guitar?

It would be difficult to replicate Royal Blood’s signature sound using only a regular guitar since traditional guitars have fewer strings, different tuning mechanisms, and are generally not designed for the range of frequencies required to produce deep bass tones. The specific design elements on modern electric basses make them better suited for producing low notes.

4. Does playing with all this technology affect Royal Blood’s musical ability or authenticity?

Their proficiency in playing instruments is not affected by utilizing various technological tools which are commonly used across many genres today – they simply choose to incorporate these elements into their own unique style & vision for what qualities comprise great sounding rock music rather than relying solely upon “traditional” techniques or instruments which may limit potential creative expressions when composing new songs or experimenting during live concerts.

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