At 5:07 into this video, Flea's bass tech Tracy Robar talks about the 4x10 an... more
Keyboards and Synthesizers0
In this video Tracy Flea's tech says he uses this for long cable runs more
Updated October 2020
Updated July 2019
Updated September 2019
Updated July 2019
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, born Michael Peter Balzary, may change his hair color constantly, but he is pretty consistent when it comes to his bass guitar selections. Though he loves the sound of a wood bass for its warm sound, he enjoys touring with a graphite because it handles the constant fluctuations in temperature and humidity that his equipment undergoes during a tour.
Up until working on the album Californication, Flea stuck pretty steady to his Music Man Stingray. This is the bass guitar he used recording Freaky Styley. For The Uplift Mofo Party Plan and Mother’s Milk, Flea depended on a Spector. He played a Stingray five-string on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, as well as Wal Mach II. For One Hot Minute, Flea took to a Alembic Epic, and then switched to his current favorite, a signature model Modulus Guitar, which is designed similar to the Stingray.
For Stadium Arcaduim, Flea went with a vintage 1961 Fender Jazz bass guitar. He took this same guitar on the tour but, during the tour, decided to go back to his old, reliable Modulus signature. Flea praises it for its ability to endure the change from indoor to outdoor venues in all types of climates. However, Flea feels that once you reach a certain quality level, most of the bass guitars on the market are relatively similar.
At times, Flea has also been known to use a Circle Jerk Punk-Rock Modulus bass, a Blue Sparkle Modulus, a Silver Sparkle Modulus, a Shell Pink ’61 Fender Jazz and some Modulus basses painted with unique aboriginal designs. He uses Gallien-Krueger amps and amp heads and a few pieces of gear from Acoustic USA.
For effects and accessories, Flea turns to the Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive, a MXR Micro Amp, Electro Harmonix Q-Tron (which he uses for filler sounds, most notably on Sir Psycho Sexy), a Dunlop 105Q bass Wah, the Whirlwind DI pedal, a Malekko Barker Bassmaster pedal and a Moog Moogerfooger 12-stage phaser. Occasionally, Flea turns to an Electro-Harmonix USA Big Muff Pi pedal, a DOD Envelope filter, and a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+.
In Flea’s home studio, he uses an ADAT for recording, along with a Mackie 16 channel board and a few effects pieces, most of which he can’t remember the names of. His home studio also boasts an Akai MPC3000 sampler, a Nord Lead synthesizer, and a Roland synthesizer module, a Gallien-Krueger amp head, and GK heads. Flea maintains that he has always used Mesa Boogie cabinets. For strings, Flea bought GHS Boomers until sponsors came on board; he hasn’t bought his own strings in years.