When it comes to bass guitars, you get what you pay for.
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a great bass guitar without spending thousands of dollars. There are numerous options on the market that make the entire learning experience enjoyable for beginners. They are from the best names in the music industry.
These companies can be trusted to manufacture instruments based on their extensive understanding of the electronics and hardware a bass guitar player requires to produce the sound they desire. Additionally, they understand player experience and have built models to accommodate all levels of expertise. From the beginner to the experienced there is a bass for you.
If this is your first time, and if you want to pick the best bass guitar for learning and practicing, leading up to your first gig, this guide is for you.
Following is a list of the best bass guitars for beginners on the market.
Our Top Beginner Bass Guitar Picks For You
How To Choose The Best Bass Guitar For You
Picking the best guitar is not difficult. All the renowned brands are excellent being loaded with brilliant features which makes your decision relatively painless.
Therefore, the first thing you need to know is ‘What to look For in A Bass Guitar’.
Professional musicians and guitarists don’t choose a guitar only because it’s the best on the market; they opt for it when it meets their requirement.
What Do You Need In A Bass Guitar
You also need to know your ‘REQUIREMENTS’.
Of course, it is not possible for a beginner to comprehend their requirements, but there are a few questions you can ask that will help you. For example:
- What kind of music genre do you like?
- What’s your budget?
- How much should you spend to meet your requirements?
- Are you looking for a specific brand?
- Is it for learning and practicing only or for stage performances too?
- Do you have large hands or small hands? Yes, there are short-scale guitars as well.
- Which guitar is comfortable to play?
- Do you need a single coil pickup or dual coil pickup? Study this!
- Can you use it for both big stages and studio recordings?
- And, lastly, does it have tone versatility?
These questions will assist you in choosing the best bass guitar to serve you well throughout your learning to play phase.
But, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Important Features To Consider In A Bass Guitar
You need some additional information about bass guitars. There are so many things that will have an impact on your decision. The more you know, the better your decision.
For example, firstly, and most importantly, you need to know about the strings.
Most bass guitars are available in 4-string or 5-string models.
Experts recommend a 4-string bass guitar for beginners, since they are in the learning process. In reality, better than 90% of bass players, even professionals, use 4-string guitars over the course of their entire life.
It doesn’t mean you can’t get a 5-string guitar.
A 5-string guitar means you have an extra string which produces a deeper bass range. It is specifically for those guitarists who are into “heavier” styles of music like Heavy Metal.
In case you are thinking: Why don’t experts recommend 5-string bass guitars? it is because the extra string makes the entire instrument more difficult to play. Particularly for beginners who are educating themselves on the basics of playing. There is nothing adverse in opting for a 4-string guitar. They produce high-quality sound and are used by professional guitarists in studios and on stage as well.
Another point to understand is guitar neck lengths.
The standard size of a guitar neck is 34” long. A neck longer than 34”, is recommended for larger hands or fat fingers. The longer length is more difficult to handle causing your arms to tire quicker than with a 34” neck.
There are short scale guitars also, which are easier to handle. They are for persons who have short fingers and don’t want to exhaust themselves while learning and practicing tones development.
These are all points to consider before you purchase your guitar.
Below are the top 10 best bass guitars for beginners. They are modern, innovative, carry A++ ratings, and they have been used by thousands of professionals.
The Best Bass Guitars For Beginners
Picking the best bass guitar for a beginner really depends upon their needs. What style of music do they plan on playing? How important is the look and style of the bass? Will it be used to play in a working band? What sized hands does the player have? How important is the weight of the bass? These are the type of questions you need to think about when buying a new bass guitar. Not all of the electric basses will fit your need.
Here is our list and brief reviews of the best bass guitars for beginners we think you should consider.
This 5-string bass guitar offers deeper bass range for the heavier styles of music. It has outstanding pickups and awesome high tones. If you are into all playing styles, this is perfect for you. We have tested some theatrical tones like ‘Lady Marmalade’ on it. It proved its resonance, high quality and worked brilliantly with high-end frequencies. Apart from this, it has a thinner body style, which makes your entire playing experience easier and more comfortable.
Ibanez SR305 also has an ‘Agathis’ body and a maple/rosewood neck. It has a high gloss finish which is certainly an attention-grabbing factor for professional players. Its only drawback is it has no bling. Therefore, if you require something with a personal touch, this is probably not for you. However, the overall sound quality is exceptional. Its versatility is beyond your imagination. From Gospel music to Rock, it plays everything brilliantly.
Pros And Cons
- It’s a 5-string bass guitar.
- The custom ceramic Humbuckers provide great output.
- It’s built for professional guitarists.
- It’s comfy to play and well-balanced.
- Ibanez Company doesn’t provide case with this guitar.
This guitar is a “one-of-a-kind” model different from everything else on the market. The Epiphone Thunderbird Electric Bass Guitar is packed with all kinds of innovative features. It is more than a guitar that sounds great on all notes and stays in tune. Manufacturers of Epiphone specifically designed this product for those musicians who wish to produce dark, low, booming, mean sound. This distinctive quality makes it the best-selling guitar of Epiphone.
Most guitars will rattle when playing in drop tuning, but this is the specialty of the Epiphone Thunderbird-IV. It performs excellently in drop tuning. That’s why many guitarists of ‘Death Metal’ or ‘Gothic Metal’ genre opt for it. According to them it provides appropriate growl and more definition in tone than any other guitar. Other than that, Epiphone worked on many of the minute details of this electric bass guitar. It has Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker pickups, responsive maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard, which make it feel like a $1000 guitar.
Pros And Cons
- It sounds great on all notes and stays in tune when playing in drop tuning.
- It is quite efficient in producing dark, low, booming sound.
- There is 34 inch neck and 20 medium jumbo frets.
- Its master knob uses full-scale 500K O potentiometers.
- There is no buzzing of any kind, in almost all kinds of music genres.
Yamaha has significantly improved the sound quality of this guitar. It is a 4-string model with active electronics. For this reason, you have freedom to be innovate, creative, and to push the boundaries. If you need to define your tone with a tad more detail, Yamaha TRBX304 offers 2-band master equalization. Not only does this feature define your tone, but also adds shape to it. You relish high sound quality with an immense level of detail.
The die-cast bridge support available with this model, provides road-tested durability. Yamaha has carefully adjusted the strings with excellent support enabling you to achieve the of richest tones from this guitar. The stability of the strings feature worry free adjustments. You will relish the full brilliance of sound tones from this instrument.
Besides, its headstock also eliminates lateral tension; this makes the entire experience more exhilarating. We highly recommend this guitar, particularly to beginners, as it comes with a manual of factory recommendations; initial setup will not be problematic.
Pros And Cons
- It’s a 4-string electric bass guitar.
- It has an ultra-comfortable solid mahogany body.
- You can perform all slap, pick, flat, or solo play.
- Sound, feel, and look – it is first in its class.
- It is utterly awesome, especially for the price.
The Epiphone Toby bass guitar is an amazing instrument with outstanding value. Some people think that it was developed for learning and practicing tones only. This is not correct. It is probably because it is so economical and does not break the bank. In reality, Epiphone manufacturers took extra pains to develop an instrument that had excellent looks, sound, and plays well. Therefore, this guitar is good enough to use professionally, even after using it to learn to play on.
If you are hungry for modern, innovative tones, its 34-inch neck gives enhanced clarity and stability to your tone. In addition, it also has a single coil pickup feature with die-cast 17:1 ratio machine head. Not only can you adjust the distance of your strings according to your sound requirement, but you also have greater note definition. In other words, the combination of these things makes it a versatile guitar. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Rock player or Jazz player; it has something for everyone… A truly great product; deserves A++ ratings.
Pros And Cons
- It is a 4-string bass electric guitar.
- The company has introduced low-profile adjustable bridges.
- Its neck has a noticeable length – 34 inches.
- The neck also assists in providing enhanced clarity to the sounds.
- Asymmetrical back shape makes it feel less bulky.
Want to purchase brilliant quality, look, and versatility? Choose Yamaha TRBX204 4-String Electric Guitar! It is a bright red metallic, which is attention-grabbing and gives it a lavish, expensive look. You will feel like a superstar, who is enjoying an adrenaline-packed, thrilling musical journey all the time. If we say, it is one of the most prominent guitars of Yamaha; we would be 100% correct. Since, its features are designed and built to be the core of your music.
This guitar has 4-knob control circuit that allows you to play with immense diversity. For example, the master volume and 2-band equalizer and four adjustable saddles assist in setting the accuracy of the pitch. When you understand how to utilize them, you will comfortably produce the sound of your choice. Want more buzzing? Make the strings sit low. Want clear, high definition in the tone? Make them sit high. Everything is adjustable. As you grow in your playing ability you will appreciate these advance features.
Pros And Cons
- It has a basswood body and maple neck.
- It has a Vintage Style Bridge with 4-knob control circuit.
- You can create and define your own unique tone.
- Comes ready to play for a beginner but can be adjusted for professional use.
- The single coil bridge position can produce and handle aggressive tone.
The Best Inexpensive Bass Guitars For Beginners
For some of you, you might be considering buying a bass guitar as a gift for your child. However you do not know whether or not they will follow through with the work it takes to become an accomplished bassist so you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg just yet. These five beginner bass guitars just might meet your need. They are all priced around the $200.00 price point which is basically the lowest you can go and still get a quality bass guitar that can grow with your child.
Ibanez Talman TMB100 Electric Bass Guitar challenges many well-known, expensive guitars on the market. Its tone is hard hitting and rich in power. If you are just starting out your bass journey, but don’t know much about electric bass guitars, Ibanez Talman TMB100 is an ideal choice for you. Even if you are a professional musician and have lots of guitars, this guitar is a positive addition to your collection, particularly because of its unique features and overall look.
The most prominent feature of Ibanez Talman TMB100 is its mint green color. This rich color is unique, beautiful, and gives it a retro-style look. Next, it has a maple neck with a mahogany body. It supports its tone construction and makes it powerful even for Rock and Death Metal genres. In case you are looking for tonal versatility, DXP and DXJ pickup setup provides you that. Therefore, people who are in soft music genres love it too. According to them, if you’re expecting more for less, Ibanez Talman is the best choice.
Pros And Cons
- It has retro-style mint green color.
- DXP and DXJ pickup offers tonal versatility.
- It has a maple neck and a mahogany body.
- It also offers a clearer and crispy sound quality.
- This 4-string bass guitar has adjustable bridges.
After assessing the features of the Squier by Fender Affinity Precision Electric Bass Guitar, we believe the smartest minds of Fender developed it. It offers some of the best features in the industry, and it doesn’t break your wallet either. Once you hold it in your hands, and play it, you feel like magic has been produced; the sound quality touches your soul and allows you to reveal your true feelings. This quality guitar is an excellent value.
Squier by Fender offers million-dollar features with this product. It has 2-volume and 1 master control feature that opens the floodgates of possibilities for creating the tones you desire. Furthermore, the single coil precision pickup assists in producing a balanced tone, which is crisp and exceedingly bright. We have tested some songs of ‘Deep Purple’ and ‘Metallica’ on it and found it to be slightly disappointing on their high-end frequencies. Therefore, we don’t recommend it for heavy metal music. However, it’s exceptional for soft music genre.
Pros And Cons
- It has one standard split sing-coil pickup.
- It complements soft genres and classical tones.
- It also has separate volume controls for each pickup.
- The PJ setup of this electric bass guitar provides clear sound.
- If you are into heavy metal music, avoid it.
Ibanez is one of the most trusted brands in guitars. This guitar demonstrates perfectly what we mean by that statement. We have tested this guitar numerous times on different occasions, and it always stands out as an impressive finisher. Its tone is versatile with great definition. In addition, the overall build quality allows it to serve well for a long time. This single thing makes the Ibanez GSR200 the perfect prospect for beginners who want a credible option to purchase.
This decent instrument in the super affordable range had a rosewood fret board and one- piece maple neck. Moreover, the black gloss finish makes it stunning; it looks like an elite bass, which was developed for professional musicians. Also, when it comes to the electronics and hardware, they have used fixed bridges with adjustable roller that support it in producing a top-notch sound. This is a rare quality, but when we tested it on high frequencies and some aggressive styles of music, we found its tones lost definition which was a disappointment.
Pros And Cons
- It has split coil and single coil pickup combination.
- Manufacturers used one piece maple neck with rosewood fret board.
- This Ibanez GSR200 model also has fully adjustable bridge.
- The overall tone is versatile with good definition.
- We believe it is not ‘that’ great for aggressive styles of music.
Squier by Fender Vintage SS Jaguar Bass Guitar matches your budget and complements all skill levels. Its brilliant features are ideal, eliminating those difficult and painful learning experiences beginners sometimes incur. Its low price can be deceptive causing people to think of it is an entry-level guitar. The truth is it is a super versatile Squier bass model, which offers superior tone and smooth playability. Overall, it provides a fantastic value for any player.
The thing which we loved the most about this guitar: it has the best strength-to-weight ratio. It is strong and easy to hold, yet it still sounds like an expensive guitar. This feature allows the player to play for longer periods of time without any fatigue. Apart from this, Fender introduced it with a vintage touch which is quite rare in today’s market, as most brands are focusing on modern, innovative looks. But, it is great for all those who are into the classical style of music. We can say there are modern applications with new twists in this classical model.
Pros And Cons
- It has an agathis body and maple C shape neck.
- It also has a master tone and 2 volume controls.
- It’s a shorter scale model, that’s why it is easier to play.
- The sound is bright, full, and balanced.
- We believe it has the best strength-to-weight ratio.
It is something you can trust and count on when you are performing on the big stage. The quality hardware and overall construction make this bass an excellent bass guitar. Besides, it is accommodating to very tight budgets. It isn’t expensive, but it is built for players of all skills. It has a fixed bridge that keeps it in tune; you don’t have to adjust or play with it repeatedly. Without adjustment from its players, this bridge keeps this masterpiece in tune.
Therefore, if you are a beginner, and don’t know much about a guitar’s hardware, opt for this one. You will be free from many of the issues and maintenance concerns that come with a guitar. Apart from this, the first thing about this guitar which appeals to people the most, is its build quality. It is made of Alder, which is one of the finest quality woods in the guitar industry. Alder is durable, easy on the hand, and lightweight as well. Furthermore, brown sunburst (with gloss finish) makes it a show stealer. In the beautiful guitars’ list, this one receives a number 1 ranking.
Pros And Cons
- Its two single coil pickups offer great versatility in tones.
- Quality hardware makes this guitar a great buy.
- Manufacturers have used Alder, which is one of the best woods.
- It has brown sunburst with gloss finish color.
- It is economical; if you need something beautiful for a good price, buy it.
Getting Started On Your Bass Playing Journey
So, there you are folks…
We agree, your first instrument is the toughest to buy, but all these guitars are great starter instruments for beginners. All of them are affordable, beginner-friendly models. In addition, every one of these are manufactured by world-renowned, respected brands. Even professional musicians opt for these brands when they require something for studio recording, or when they need to perform on the big stage… So, what are you waiting for?
By the way. The kid on the right. That was me in 1979 with my first bass guitar. A Hoffner Beatle Bass. I have been playing bass now over 40 years. It has been quite the musical journey. I think I have done a good job steering you towards the best bass guitar for beginners to start your musical journey.
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