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 the 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.
In this article, you will find a price comparison list of basses, followed by our tips on choosing a good bass, and then finally the features and specifications on each model we are recommending.
But first, take a moment to watch this informative video on buying a bass from Yamaha Corporation.
Our Top Beginner Bass Guitar Picks For You
How To Choose The Best Bass 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.’
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 for a bass?
- How much should you spend to meet your requirements?
- Are you looking for a specific brand of bass?
- Is the Bass for learning and practicing only or for stage performances too?
- Do you have large hands or small hands? Yes, there are short-scale bass guitars as well.
- Which bass 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 a bass 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 basses. There are so many things that will have an impact on your decision. The more you know, the better your choice.
For example, firstly, and most importantly, you need to know about the strings.
Most basses 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 precisely 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 challenging 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 the 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 basses 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 bass.
Below are the top bass guitars for beginners. They are modern, innovative, carry A++ ratings, and thousands of professionals have used them.
Bass Guitars For Beginners
Picking a Bass for a beginner depends upon their needs. What style of music do they plan on playing? How critical is the look and style of the bass guitar? Will it be used to play in a working band? What sized hands does the player have? How significant is the weight of the bass?
These are the type of questions you need to think about when buying a new bass. Not all of the electric basses will fit your need.
Here are our list and brief reviews of the best bass guitars for new players we think you should consider.
Best Overall Electric Bass For Beginners
There are two types of electric basses that we recommend; 5 string and four string basses. Although we feel it is harder to learn on a five string bass, we know that some of your budding rockers will want to start with a five string bass guitar, so we recommended one.
Here are three electric bass guitars for beginners that we feel are the best of the best overall.
You know what's so cool about Ibanez basses? They're all awesome - even the less expensive models like the Ibanez SR305. You're probably not used to getting more than you expect, so take a second and really check this bass out. First off, it's...Usually ships in 24 hours
- Neck Shape: Not specified Wood: Maple Rosewood Neck joint: Bolt-on Scale length: 34" Truss rod: Standard Finish: Gloss Pickups Active or passive pickups: Passive Pickup configuration: HH Neck: PowerSpan Dual Coil Middle: Not applicable Bridge: PowerSpan Dual Coil Brand: Ibanez Series or parallel: Series Active preamp: Yes Special electronics: Active 3-band EQ with 3-way Power Tap switch Fretboard
- For 25 years the SR has given bass players a modern alternative
- Embraced by bassists over the decades, the iconic series continues to excite with its smooth, fast neck, lightweight body and perfectly matched electronics
- The SR305E is a handsome 5-string bass designed for the experienced player
- The bass starts with an immaculately finished mahogany body
If you are looking for a specific, DARK, low, booming, mean sound, the Epiphone Thunderbird-IV Electric Bass Guitar is for you.Usually ships in 24 hours
- Gibson TB Plus humbuckers
- Historic 60's era Thunderbird profile
- Mahogany body wings
- 7-ply Mahogany/walnut neck
- Through-neck neck joint
It doesn’t matter whether you are planning to learn basic skills or wish to play it in front of thousands of screaming fans. Yamaha TRBX304 will hand you the freedom to innovate, create, and push the boundaries of your music and your skill level.Usually ships in 1 to 3 months & Free shipping
- Perfectly balanced, ultra-comfortable solid mahogany body provides the optimum tonal foundation
- Solid Mahogany Body
- Five-Piece Maple/Mahogany Neck
- Active Electronics
- Performance EQ switch for Slap, Pick, Flat, Finger, or Solo play
Other Top Basses For Beginners
There were a lot of good choices in the beginner bass guitar category. We did not want to fail to give credit where credit was due. So here are 2 more top bass guitars that we feel would be a good choice for the money as well. We just didn’t find them quite the best of the best.
Epiphone reintroduces the classsic Tobias bass guitar, with the new Toby Deluxe IV now with active electronics.Usually ships in 1-2 business days
- Tonexpressor active electronics to shape your tone!
- Ergonomic body shape
- Fast, comfortable Asymetrical neck
- 34 Inch Scale Length
- Ultra powerful Tobias SCR neck pickup, plus Tobias SCT bridge pickups
It doesn’t matter whether you are wanting to impress your loved ones or planning to be the star of the century, the Yamaha TRBX204 will meet your all needs.Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
- Basswood Body & Maple Neck
- Split Single Coil Pickup Configuration
- The 4-control circuit includes controls for Master Volume, Balance, and a 2-band equalizer for creating a more aggressive tone.
- Vintage Style Bridge
- Diecast Tuners
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.
- Wide, Chunky maple neck
- Classic Ibanez Body style
- Dynamix P & J pickups
- Ibanez custom 2-band EQ offers a variety of tonal options
- Wide, Chunky maple neck
- Classic Ibanez Body style
- Dynamix P & J pickups
- Ibanez custom 2-band EQ offers a variety of tonal options
The best value available in today's bass guitar designs, the Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ rocks classic tone and comfortable feel, along with updated features. The addition of a punchy Jazz Bass bridge pickup to the traditional split...Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
- Maple neck with "C"-shaped profile and 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
- Standard single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup and standard split-single-coil Precision Bass pickup
- Separate volume controls for each pickup
- Black pickguard
- 1 Year Warranty Included
The Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar is an excellent instrument. If you are a beginner or an intermediate level player, this guitar will impress you and allow you to electrify your friends.Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
- One piece maple neck
- Rosewood fret board
- Pearl dot inlay
The all-new Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special SS (short scale) puts classic Fender looks into a distinctively harp-looking, great-sounding and super-versatile Squier bass model. Features include a sleek offset-waist body and an ultra-slim...Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
- Agathis Body
- Maple C shape neck with a 9.5 in radius and 20 medium jumbo frets
- 1 Single-Coil Jazz Bass Pickup, 1 Split Single-Coil Precision Bass pickup
- Standard 4-Saddle.Black pickguard
- Master Tone and 2 volume controls
Buying a new bass guitar is a daunting task for beginners. They don’t have any idea about anything bass guitar related. If you find that you are uninformed about bass guitars, and if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, keep reading. We are going to share with you the information you need so you can answer the question of “What bass guitar should I buy for a beginner.”
However, before we talk about all the red-hot features you should look for when buying a bass guitar for a beginner, we think it would be pertinent to explain how a beginner can tell the real value of a bass guitar.
Knowing where to start is difficult, as there are numerous brands, and each brand has multiple models to choose from. Some of the brands we recommend are…..
These manufacturers all attempt to gain attention through their own unique set of features and specifications. However, there is only one rule you need to remember.
“Choose The Guitar, Based On Your Needs And Goals!”
Keeping this in mind, you will find it easier to choose your first guitar to begin your long musical journey with. People who pick a guitar without thinking about this principle will see they have opened the floodgates to troubles. It becomes tough for them to get the sound they want to complement their taste in music and their performances on the big stage.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Deciding What Bass Guitar Should I Buy A Beginner
We have put together a few questions for you that will help you in this process.
- Should you start with an electric bass guitar or acoustic bass guitar?
- How much do you want to spend on your first bass guitar?
- What kinds of music are you interested in playing?
- What are the features & specifications I need to look at?
- Moreover, lastly, is it OK to buy a beginner bass guitar online?
Answering these questions will assist you in choosing the right guitar, according to your needs and goals.
Now, allow us to start answering these questions and reveal why we have chosen these bass guitars to be in our top 10 list of beginner bass guitars.
Should You Start With An Electric Bass Guitar Or Acoustic Bass Guitar?
Let us explain the difference between an acoustic bass guitar and an electric bass guitar.
In the acoustic bass guitar and the acoustic bass violin like was used in the 40’s and 50’s, the vibration of the string passes into the body of guitar or violin, and space produces the sound. On the other hand, in the electric bass guitar, the vibration of strings converts into electrical impulses and is sent to the amplifier.
Having over 40 years experience in playing bass guitars, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that an electric bass is more comfortable to learn to play on. Its strings are thinner than an acoustic bass guitar and an acoustic bass violin, making the electric bass more comfortable to play with less precision and stress on your fingers. Apart from this, you can also control the volume of the amplifier or can use a headphone setup to practice playing and not disturb others around you.
Also, the electric bass has a much higher range of sounds and tones it can reproduce than the acoustic bass.
How Much To Spend On Your First Guitar?
Now, this is an essential question. Bass guitar forums are packed with answers concerning this question because people want to obtain a quality bass at an economical price for them.
Most professional bass guitars are in the range of $1,200 – $2,500. However, these guitars are really for professional bassists who perform on big stages that require performance that enables them to produce top-notch quality songs.
You don’t need to spend this amount of money.
A reasonable amount to pay for your first guitar would be around $500. Fortunately, We found some bass guitars in the list above that come in way under that price which are excellent beginner basses.
What Kinds of Music Are You Interested In Playing?
This question is immensely valuable, and it requires a certain amount of research on your part. Especially if you are unsure of your music taste.
There are lots of music genres; from Rock to Metal, Country to Blues. You must decide which is your preference.
Some guitars are for specific genres of music. If you try to learn your type of music on a guitar made for another style you will not get the sound needed for that type of music. However, it doesn’t mean all guitars are like that. Some guitars play well for almost all genres.
Again we have chosen bass guitars that will do well with almost any music style. Yes, some will be a little better than others for specific genres, but when looking for beginning bass guitars, one of our criteria was to make sure that it will adapt as a new musician grows and matures in tastes and styles.
Because of their outstanding versatility, these bass guitars are easily recognized in every town. It doesn’t matter whether you are interested in Heavy Metal or Jazz; these bass guitars will give you incredible results in all genres. A significant benefit for the artist who wants to explore the music styles of their craft.
How to Assess the Features & Specifications?
To understand the features and specifications, you need to know about five things; body, neck size, electronics, hardware, and sound quality.
Research on these things will help you to determine which guitar is best for you.
You can read our bass guitar buying guide to find out more information on each of these components, or we recommend that you read these articles at Musician’s Friend and Sweetwater.
Is It OK to Buy a Guitar Online?
If this is your first guitar, we recommend you buy it online, for several reasons. Online, you have more models and options to choose from.
Also, buyers often share some constructive comments in their reviews; they highlight all the pros and cons of the product, which a local dealer will seldom tell you. They aim to sell the product and highlight only those points which grab your attention.
All of the bass guitars we recommend have a plethora of online reviews. They are all highly rated by real buyers. According to people, they are some of the best basses for new players on the market today. Their reviews are flooded with compliments and favorable ratings.
Moreover, they are all from highly rated manufactures that are highly respected in the guitar industry.
Finally, let’s face it. These are beginner basses. They are not handcrafted one of a kind. You will get the same quality online that you will with a dealer yet you will have the convenience and savings that happens when you buy online.
What Bass Guitar Should You Buy For A Beginner?
As the managing editor of Taber’s Best Reviews and a bassist with over 40 years experience myself, I have given you all that you need to make a wise choice.
Now let’s help another budding musical star get their wings.
By the way. The picture on the right is me playing my first bass guitar in 1979. I had been playing bass for three years then.