The 5 best FREE guitar and bass VST plugins 2020

Not all of us have a sweet guitar we can plug in to record with or a premium amp to play through, thankfully these plugins solve your instrument and amp qualms – and they’re free!

Thanks to digital music software and the internet there is a wealth of possibility at your fingertips. Even adding a guitar or a real bass track into your mix is possible without spending an extra penny.

We’ve rounded up some our favourite and most authentic guitar and bass plugins so that regardless of your setup you can write and record your very own instrument tracks – for FREE!

Some of these are sampled instrument plugins so you can create guitar and bass sounds from scratch, others are amps/effects that can enhance your guitar recording – whether from a real guitar, free plugin, or sample – to go from plain to stadium sound!

We’ve provided a sample of each of the plugins below so you can hear them in action.

Ample Guitar M Lite II

This incredible plugin from Ample Sound uses a massive library of real guitar samples for an unbeatably authentic sound. This is a ‘lite’ version of their fully fleshed out and paid instrument sampling plugins but the sound you get from this free version is incredible.

It is the ideal solution for creating an amazing sounded guitar piece with your track. There is the option to use it as a MIDI instrument, you can program in chords with it, and you can even use tablature to give it an entire piece of music to play full with sliding notes and hammer-ons to play.

Ample Bass P Lite II

Ample Sound again? You’re damn right! For a free guitar and bass plugin it really won’t get much more authentic and wicked sounding than this.

It’s the same deal as Ample’s guitar plugin: genuine samples with impressive control over your sound. You can even twist a knob to effect how much of a slap there is to your tone. It’s tasty.

AmpliTube Custom Shop

Better open a window, because this plugin is smokey. It’s a fully premium amp and effect modelling plugin that sounds better than half the real amps I’ve heard people chugging through!

Perfect for if you’re a guitarist recording clean straight into your software of if a recording needs some spicing up. Put it onto any VST instruments or recordings to give them some warmth, boost, delay and much more.

As a free user you’ll have access to an impressive number of effects, rigs, presets and control over the amps, stompboxes and controls of these elements. There is a whole lot more if you pay but I assure you that you will be shocked at the quality and quantity of what you get using AmpliTube for free.

You need to register for a free account to use it first but considering the power you get here it’s more than worth it. I’ve used the sample from Ample Guitar above to show off a few off the sounds in Amplitube – there’s a whole lot more possibility than shown off in the audio clip including distortion pedals and funky sounds.

BJAM

Blue Jeans & Moonbeams… This isn’t a sampled instrument like the others so it doesn’t sound quite as authentic. But don’t let that deter you if you’re looking for a cool electric guitar plugin to play with because this little baby is full of surprises.

Whilst the sound isn’t sampled there is a massive range of what you can do with the sounds you get. You can play in harmonics, you can play with a pop, you can even imitate the sounds of string scratches and pops. You choose between an electric guitar imitation or an acoustic.

Once you get used to it and maybe add some amp modelling or effects on top you won’t be disappointed with what this sweet and, most importantly, free plugin can do.

Guitar Rig Player

This hefty package comes free with Native Instrument’s KOMPLETE START package. Something truly worth adding to any producer or music makers library when it’s FREE!

It’s a free processor giving you a free amp to play through and 3 effects with 50 presets included for a huge range of sounds whether you’re recording guitars, drums, vocals, or anything else.

Of course you can upgrade and get so much more but you’re already provided with enough to make your real life pedal-board blush from the off.

To show you how good it sounds I’ve used the BJAM VST so you can see how even with a completely artificial sound it beefs it up and enhances it.


Got your own favourite which we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments below and share the love.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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