Rock bass tone is often a mixture of playing with a pick and using a small amount of distortion on the signal. To accomplish a raw tone, make sure you are playing hard on the bass throughout the song.
I would suggest having a compression pedal and a distortion pedal. This will first tame the bass, then put it through the distortion to give it the iconic bass grit.
Most rock bass is usually an alteration of the chord structure or guitar riff (this isn’t always the case obviously). As far as punk bass is concerned, playing eighth notes of the root note of each chord is the driving force of the song. Punk bass lines are simple but extremely important.
There is no correct way to play rock bass. For the same song, you may alternate between using a pick and using your fingers. Don’t limit yourself to one style.
The easiest way to learn how to play rock bass is to join or start a rock band. Go out and play some gigs. Maybe you’ll get signed and live the life or a rock star.
Make sure you are always going out and playing with other musicians. Work on your tone and playing style; it’s a never-ending cycle.
Got any questions about playing rock bass? Leave a comment below.