If you grab one of the best beginner bass guitars, you can quickly do your low-note efforts. If you are in a band, you know how important it is to have those bass notes at a point – it can make or break a song. Even if you are a solo artist, it is great that you are looking for a new hobby (or will we say passion) – we have even heard that many musicians say that starting a bass guitar can be a gateway to other strings instruments on the way if you are interested in becoming a multi-instrumentalist in the future (or are already!).
When it comes to the best beginners bass guitars, there are quite a few different models that we discovered is great to start strumming or plucking on. Let’s have a look at them.
List of the best beginner bass guitars
The BB234 does for basses what the Pacifica 112 does for the beginner electric guitar: it’s living proof that Yamaha knows exactly how to make a formidable instrument of real substance for younger players and those on a budget. The BB234 is a very inviting bass with a vintage-modern body shape and design, and has an exceptional build, with a warm and rich low-end that has a surprising amount of tone, given its trouble-free control setup.
This is suitable for most styles; ideal for when you’re still figuring out what kind of player you are. There’s no mixing control or pickup selector, but by playing with the individual pickup volumes you can set the mix the way you want it, with the tone knob on hand for fine tuning. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Squier Bronco Bass
Squier is one of the first names people look to when learning to play guitar or bass, and for good reason. As a licensed sister brand of Fender, each of the models in the Squier range delivers a classic Fender playing experience, but at a price that makes it accessible to the masses. The Squier Bronco is the best beginner bass guitar you’ll find, as it comes with a slightly shorter scale length, which is ideal for younger students.
The sound and overall build quality are also as good as we’ve come to expect from the brand, so for the low price, there’s not much to complain about. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro
If you’re looking for a bass for kids to start with, this is definitely a contender. First, it has exceptional value, so in the worst case that they lose interest in the instrument, that’s not the biggest loss. Second, thanks to the short scale – which is generously shorter than 30″ – and the slim neck profile, the chances of that worst-case scenario are minimal. That said, we’re pretty sure bassists of all levels and all ages will enjoy the Mikro.
Its pokey scale lends itself to a nice round thump, but play around with the pickups and work with the EQ on your amp and you can handle most styles. There are masses of cool finishes available. Setup is excellent, and the B-10 bridge is a simple, solid design that allows for easy intonation adjustments. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Yamaha makes some of the world’s best electric guitars for beginners, so it stands to reason that it also has a great selection of top bass guitars for beginners, but here we’ve chosen the Yamaha TRBX174EW. While the name in itself may be instantly forgettable, the bass itself is anything but, thanks to the choice of timbres on offer. These are thanks to the two pickup options and the overall high level of build quality and reliability you get from Yamaha.
Available in three understated finishes, the Yamaha TRBX174EW strikes the right balance between a bass you can learn to play and one you won’t soon outgrow. A solid investment in your short to medium range quest. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Jackson Spectra Bass JS3Q
The Spectra Bass series shows the other side of Jackson, taking the edge off with a lushly shaped, offset double-cutaway body and elongated top horn. Now you might say this isn’t the most original design – it’s reminiscent of basses like Ibanez’s SR300E – but the contours are very different and it makes for a perfectly balanced and excellently playable bass. There’s a full two-octave fingerboard and a neck that makes it easy to play busy bass lines.
You’ll find a wide range of tones here, with a thick and warm low and that elastic bounce in the high mids and baritone twang when the treble is set. The string-through-body HiMass bridge makes for a super-stable bass, and we love that there’s push/pull for active or passive performance, meaning a dead battery at showtime isn’t as much of a disaster as it could be. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Sterling by Music Man SUB StingRay Ray4
The SUB, or “Sports Utility Bass,” Ray4 is the kind of instrument that makes you take a pass when you see the price tag. It looks like a StingRay, it feels like a Music Man StingRay, and yet it costs no more than $300. You can still get all kinds of inspiring sounds out of it, from the electric bounce of funk to more effervescent low-end thunder for rock’n’roll, or just dial back the treble a bit for lumbering jazz.
The StingRay neck profile gives you a taste of the feel of its top-notch colleague, and the fully adjustable bridge also gives you a similar amount of control over string height and intonation. All in all, it feels like a pretty mature bass. Perhaps most notable with the electronics is that there has been some downsizing.
Where the flagship Music Man StingRay 4 models have an active 18V pickup and preamp with 3-band EQ, the Ray4 has the 9V active pickup and preamp combo with simplified 2-band hi and low cut/boost controls. But really, that’s a minuscule price to pay if it means this bass is coming to you for a tenth of the price of a full USA model. There is no denying that the Ray4 is one of the best budget bass guitars on the market today. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass
As perhaps the second most famous bass style in the world, the Squier Affinity Jazz offers a nice alternative for anyone who wants a Fender style, but isn’t drawn to the P-bass. The Jazz models are more ergonomic, which makes for a more comfortable playing experience when seated, yet these ideal beginner bass guitars are still able to get an impressive weight out of those two single-coil pickups.
The only downside to the body shape is that you’ll need a good stand to store it on – trust us – but there’s a lot to love about the Jazz bass. Play one and you’ll see why so many players are attracted to this bass. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazz Bass
This is the best vintage-inspired bass guitar for beginners, just ahead of the Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass. You’ll definitely be fine with the P-Bass, but the Jazz Bass’ dual pickup configuration gives it that extra bit of range. Of course, sound is a matter of taste, but there’s no arguing with the credentials of the Classic Vibe. The Fender-designed Alnico pickups reproduce those early Jazz tones. Think of that mid-range chewiness and bright pop from the bridge pickup and warm, round thump from the neck and many more tones in between.
All in all, the Classic Vibe Jazz Bass is an excellent value. Aside from the odd little problem with the finish, this is an excellently built bass, right down to the period-inspired logo on the headstock and the tinted neck lacquer that makes it look like it just came off a hundred-show run in a smoky dive bar. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Ibanez Mezzo SRMD200
The Mezzo is somewhere between the 34″ long scale basses and the short scale basses of 30″ and smaller. Is it a golden mean? It’s hard to argue otherwise. The body shape is nicely shaped and fits the body well, and the 32″ scale makes it a bit more mature than the Mikro. As a smaller addition to Ibanez’s superlative Soundgear lineup, you can take playability as a given. The Mezzo’s neck is shorter than that of its Soundgear siblings, but has the same width and profile, and it will flatter those of us who are headed for busy, show-stopping bass lines.
The tone is geared toward a classic active P-Bass voice, with the single-coil/split-coil configuration put to good use by the active 2-Band EQ and balance control. Whether you’re a slap-happy funkster, a budding jazz-fusion futurist, or just a rocker who keeps it in the pocket, the Mezzo has you covered. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Squier Mini Precision Bass
For some, a full-size bass guitar is more frightening than inspiring. Reducing the size of one of the world’s favorite bass guitars means that people with small hands, or kids who want to get into the world of bass, have a manageable and fun entry-level model. That’s exactly what we have here with the mini Precision bass. A contoured body and 28.6″ scale neck, combined with a split single-coil Precision pickup gives you comfort and playability, as well as a decent amount of tonal power.
This depth of tone, while not as impressive as a full-size Precision, offers an instantly recognizable low-end growl that will keep you playing. There are inevitably some minor issues when you make a bass guitar this affordable. The hardware feels a bit clunky, and the tuning knobs are quite light – which could cause them to wear out more quickly over time. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Spector Performer 4
Spector’s entry-level Performer series may not have the active electronics, grained maple top, or pickups of its high-end models, but it does have the body shape, that sense of balance and proportion, and a playability that makes it a serious option at this price. There’s a passive P+J pickup configuration, with each pickup’s independent volume and tone controls, so you can choose your own mix of both.
There are a lot of musical sounds you can get, and a lot of styles you can cover with this. Slap players will definitely find the funk. Rockers will find the thunder. And everyone will find the nato body to be beautiful in shape. But the big selling point is the three-piece neck, which is stable, nippy and comfortable enough to get you through some epic jams. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Jackson Concert JS3
Jackson is another name well known in rock and metal circles, and has carved itself a nice niche in this world thanks to a range of instruments designed to encourage speed and precision. The Jackson Concert JS3 is almost the perfect guitar for fans of thrash metal, with its razor-thin neck and active onboard electronics providing the perfect platform to support all types of riffs.
While there are additional controls on the body to help shape your ideal tone, we suggest you might look elsewhere for folk or pop styles. For metalheads, however, there aren’t many better options at this price. Overall, this is one of the best beginner bass guitars.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Bass Guitars For Beginners
- Budget: For The Best bass guitars for beginners, our opinion about price and money is finding a balance between something that is worth keeping as an investment for the long term, as well as a bass that will not cost an arm and a leg when we first start – the will just be so unnecessary for now. However, when it comes to musical instruments in general, the price starts to get muddled because we know a lot of professional musicians who use guitars that are not the most expensive in the world – it all comes down to the feeling you want to achieve, and frankly determines money that is not always.
- Type: Then we have one of the most important questions here: what type of bass guitar are you looking for? We have a very common acoustic vs. electric bass debate. The main difference is not only how it feels to play, but especially how it sounds. The overall tone of each is very different, with their titles that are relatively self-evident – for acoustic, think similar to acoustic guitars (some also say an advantage with acoustic-electric bass guitars is their ability to play without having to use a loudspeaker and amplifier ), which is electrically powered by an external source and which has classical, ‘electric’ sound that many are familiar with.
- String count: We will always recommend staying with the traditional 4-string bass guitar, especially if you are just starting out. These not only have much narrower necks than other strings but are traditionally tuned in the standard E-A-D-G format to help you learn optimally. If you want to go higher with the number of strings, be our guest – there may be a number of advantages, such as which style you want to learn (about which we will speak later). Certain styles, such as country or worship music, usually contain songs arranged in B which can be beneficial with 5-string bass (their tuning changes to B-E-A-D-G).
Learning to play bass guitar is both exciting and difficult. Compared to an electric guitar, bass works in a completely different environment. If you are interested in which bass guitars belong to that group, read our recommendations for the best beginners bass guitars that you can buy right now. By the time you finish reading here, you should have enough info to pick out the best bass guitar that suits your needs and budget.