Is It Bad To Play Bass Through A Guitar Amp?

A common question that pops up, usually amongst guitar players looking to get a bass or have recently purchased one, is whether or not they can play their bass using a guitar amplifier.

This brief article will discuss some of the problems with playing bass with a guitar amp and why you should consider getting an actual bass amp instead to avoid compatibility issues.

Why You Shouldn’t Play A Bass With A Guitar Amp

When it comes to the question, “can I play bass through a guitar amplifier?” technically, the answer is yes. However, it’s a very loose yes.

You can certainly plug in your bass and play it, and you will be able to produce sound, but should you do this?

Probably not, and here’s why:

Guitar amps aren’t designed to handle the frequency ranges that the bass guitar works with, and they can come with these types of problems:

  • You won’t be able to produce an optimal bass tone
  • You might run into unwanted noise, like crackling, from clipping the signal
  • You could blow out the speakers at higher volumes, effectively breaking your amp

Essentially, playing a bass through a guitar amp is bad because the wattage and speakers are smaller and cannot reproduce these frequencies and handle the waveforms produced by the bass guitar. 

Not only can this make you sound unpleasant, but it can also damage the guitar amp if you happen to hit one note just a little too loudly. Don’t underestimate the power of the bass!

Sure, you can avoid damage by playing very carefully and at a low volume, but this can cause you to develop some poor playing habits, too, such as playing too soft at all times. 

Controlling your dynamics is crucial, so you’ll also want to learn how to play harder and sound good while doing so too.

Therefore, it’s ideal to purchase a real bass amplifier so that you can focus on developing good habits while playing bass and avoid breaking your poor guitar amp.

Check out this guide to find affordable practice amps for bass that can help you reach your goals and save you some potential problems down the line!


Using a bass amplifier is your best bet when trying to get the perfect sound while keeping your equipment safe.

Yes, you can save some money by playing a bass through a guitar amp, but there are too many risks for it to be worthwhile in the long run. It might even be a costly endeavor if you accidentally break it.

You don’t have to spend a lot to find a reliable bass amp, so look around and find something that can get the job done. It will give you fewer things to worry about, so you can focus your energy on playing your best!

In addition to getting a bass amp, there are other tools you should have at your disposal that can help you every day. These are essential accessories that bass players need, and luckily, most of them are incredibly affordable, but the value they can provide is priceless.