Poor Man’s Acoustic Bass Pickup


I am only a few weeks away from our big concert of the year, Celebrate Christmas. This will be our eighth year presenting this concert to our community in Kingston. Our team gets together this weekend for our first of three rehearsals.

We will be doing a jazz set as part of the program this year. Out of the roughly 20 songs, 4 will be in this genre. I have a jazz box that I will be using for the event. I rented an upright acoustic bass for my son to use. However, the instrument was not equipped with a pickup.

What to do?

I came across several suggestions that are a variation of the picture above: suspend a microphone underneath the back of the bridge and point the capsule towards the neck. Some people even use rubber bands to hold the microphone in place.

Several gigging bassists told me to use a very basic stage mic, the Shure SM-57. The proximity effect of these mics adds a great colour to how the sound of the instrument is captured.

I will be trying this technique out later this week.

Hopefully it will do the job.

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