9 Best Bass Guitars For Beginners: Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a beginner looking to play the bass guitar, you’ve come to the right place. The bass guitar is a versatile and essential instrument in any band or music ensemble, providing the foundation and rhythm for the music. But with so many options, choosing the best bass guitars for beginners can be overwhelming. 

This blog post guides you through the world of bass guitars and highlights some top beginner picks. We’ll discuss important factors to consider when choosing a bass guitar, such as price range, quality, and playability. 

Whether you’re interested in playing rock, jazz, or funk, we’ve got you covered with a selection of perfect bass guitars for beginners. So grab your headphones and get ready to dive into the world of bass!

best-bass-guitars-for-beginners

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Is A Bass Guitar Good For Beginners?

Yes, definitely! A bass guitar is an excellent choice for beginners due to its simplicity and importance in the rhythm section of a band. Playing the bass comes with rewards and challenges, making it a rewarding instrument to learn.

In general, beginners should start with a four-string bass guitar because it is simple and easy to learn. When choosing your first instrument, consider factors such as your budget, musical style, and bass size.

9 Best Bass Guitars For Beginners: Comparison Table

Product Name
Scale Size
Body Shape
Material
Number of Strings
Neck Profile
34 Inches
Curvy double-cutaway
Mango & Mahogany
4
Extra Thin
30 Inches
Standarded
Poplar
4
C”-shaped
28.6 Inches
SR Mikro
Maple & Basswood
4
"A" J Bass style
39 Inches
Single cutaway
Poplar
6
C”-shaped
34 Inches
Offset body
Maple & Poplar
4
C”-shaped
34 Inches
U-Shaped
Maple
5
"U" profile
39 Inches
LP Style
Maple
5
C”-shaped
34 Inches
Double-cutaway
Alder
4
Modern C-shaped
24.75 Inches
SG Standard '61
Ebony & Cherry
6
"C"-profile

9 Best Bass Guitars For Beginners: Details Review

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 34 inches
  • Body Shape: curvy double-cutaway
  • Material: Mango & Mahogany  
  • Number of Strings: 4
  • Neck Profile: Extra Thin

The Yamaha TRBX174EW is a great-looking, entry-level bass guitar with a mango top, mahogany body, and maple neck. The guitar has 24 frets, two single-coil pickups, and volume and tone controls. A great choice for beginning bassists.

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For beginners, the Yamaha TRBX174EW provides the perfect combination of comfort, affordability, and versatility for bassists. The guitar’s contemporary design – from its exotic mango top to its mahogany body and easy-playing maple neck – is undoubtedly its greatest asset.

Furthermore, the instrument has been crafted with extreme attention to detail. Additionally, it boasts a split Precision single-coil and Jazz single-coil, with tone and volume controls, for superb versatility.

Overall, this entry-level bass packs quite a punch in quality and craftsmanship.

Pros

  • Yamaha’s affordable price point
  • A comfortable, ergonomic body design
  • A good balance of warm and bright tones
  • Stable intonation and tuning

Cons

  • Users may find pickups need to be stronger

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 30 inches
  • Body Shape: Standarded
  • Material: Poplar
  • Number of Strings: 4
  • Neck Profile: C”-shaped

There’s nothing fancy about the Squier Bass, but it sounds great and is easy to play. Squier Bass has a shorter scale length (30 inches), making it suitable for players with a smaller reach. You can play the entire fretboard even if you’re a 12-year-old learning to play bass.

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This Bronco bass has a simple, straightforward control layout with a single volume and tone knob. The best part is that this ease of operation doesn’t compromise the sound quality since you still get the punchy sound you’d expect from this well-known brand. 

Besides its size, another factor that sets the Squier Bronco Bass apart is its affordability. This is a budget-friendly option that delivers a lot of value. The pickup has a bright, defined sound, thanks to the single-coil pickup with a solid Agathis body.

Pros

  • “C” shape maple neck gives a comfortable fit
  • Easily understandable controls
  • Good for smaller hands or shorter fingers
  • Build quality is excellent
  • Pickup with a sweet sound

Cons

  • Not suitable for professionals

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 28.6 inches
  • Body Shape: SR Mikro
  • Material: Maple & Basswood
  • Number of Strings: 4
  • Neck Profile: “A” J Bass style

If you are on the shorter side or have smaller hands, the Ibanez GSRM20 Bass is an excellent choice. The shorter scale length (22.2 inches) makes it easier to play. Slim necks also make gripping it easier no matter what angle you’re holding it.

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The Ibanez GSRM20 was designed for young bass guitarists. A short scale length, narrow frets, slim neck, and generous bottom cutaway make this guitar ideal for smaller hands.

Ibanez GSRM20 features Dynamix P and Dynamix J pickups for a range of thumping rock tones to smooth R&B sounds. The versatility of this bass is remarkable despite its passive nature.

Ibanez die-cast tuners and the B10 bridge deliver solid tuning stability and excellent intonation. GSRM20 is intended for younger musicians, but adults can also enjoy experimenting with this portable powerhouse.

Pros

  • A circuit with active EQ gives you more control over the tone
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Travel-friendly for smaller players
  • Affordable price
  • A variety of finishes

Cons

  • Tone options are fewer than on full-size models

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 39 inches
  • Body Shape: single cutaway
  • Material: Poplar
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Neck Profile: C”-shaped

The Donner DST-100B 39 Inch Electric bass Guitar is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced musicians. This guitar will impress with its sleek design, comfortable playability, and high-quality sound.

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The bass guitar features a solid wood body with a rich and warm tone, while the maple neck offers smooth and effortless playing. The guitar also has two single-coil pickups for various sounds and tones.

Pros

  • Comfortable C shape neck profile
  • H-S-S pickup configuration
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Five-way switch for selecting the pickup

Cons

  • Not for professional

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 34 inches
  • Body Shape: Offset body
  • Material: Maple & Poplar
  • Number of Strings: 4
  • Neck Profile: C”-shaped

With more than 30 years of instrument-building experience, Jackson has demonstrated their expertise with the Spectra JS3Q. If you’re looking for a great all-rounder bass guitar, the Jackson Spectra Bass JS3Q packs a lot of punch in a very attractive package.

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The Jackson Guitars Spectra Series JS3Q bass is a great choice for entry-level bass players looking for performance on a budget. The lightweight materials make this four-string a great value, but don’t let that fool you – its tone is also potent.

P/J pickups offer guitarists the versatility they’re used to while allowing them to explore new sonic territories with the bass boost. Furthermore, the stylish finish will make this instrument stand out in the studio or onstage.

Pros

  • Fun and stable bass
  • Budget-friendly
  • Three-band EQ and active/passive push/pull
  • Excellent hardware build
  • Quilt maple looks nice

Cons

  • The neck profile is quite slim

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 34 inches
  • Body Shape: U – Shaped
  • Material: Maple
  • Number of Strings: 5
  • Neck Profile: “U” profile

This ESP LTD B-205SM bass guitar delivers a great sound and is comfortable to play. The guitar has a Swamp Ash body, maple/jatoba neck, and two ESP SB-5 pickups. It offers a thin and fast profile and a bridge that allows you to adjust the intonation and action. Even when playing intensely, strings stay in tune.

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This Bass Guitar is a versatile and high-quality instrument that offers a range of benefits for both beginners and experienced musicians. Besides adding visual appeal, the spalted maple top enhances the bass guitar’s tone. 

Its five-string design makes it suitable for various musical genres due to its extended range and versatility. With its comfortable neck and smooth playability, this bass guitar is a joy to use during long practice sessions or live performances.

Pros

  • The warm and rich tone is provided by its solid body
  • A very high level of visual appeal
  • Improved tuning stability with chrome hardware
  • High-Quality sound

Cons

  • Finishes and colors are limited

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 39 inches
  • Body Shape: LP Style
  • Material: Maple
  • Number of Strings: 5
  • Neck Profile: C”-shaped

The Donner LP-124s is an excellent beginner’s guitar. For someone just starting, it is a perfect gift or a great purchase for themselves. It’s a full-sized electric guitar, unlike some box sets you might otherwise consider as a beginner, so you can get a feel for electric guitars and learn the fundamentals.

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At first glance, this guitar’s surface, fit, and finish were excellent, with a perfect Sunburst finish, cream binding on the top of the body, and a well-fitted headstock. The body is made from solid African basswood. Basswood keeps the guitar light.

Besides being lightweight, it’s also well-balanced. Maintaining proper posture and technique is especially important for beginners. Overall, playing and holding this guitar is very comfortable.

Pros

  • It comes with a gig bag, strap, and cable.
  • A good beginner’s guitar with an LP style.
  • Balanced and lightweight instrument
  • Comfortable C-shaped neck
  • Affordable Price

Cons

  • The lower string is noisy

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 34 inches
  • Body Shape: double-cutaway
  • Material: Alder
  • Number of Strings: 4
  • Neck Profile: modern C-shaped

With an alder body and lightweight open-gear chrome tuners, the Yamaha BB234 bass guitar offers a classic double-cutaway design and several attractive finishes. The Custom V3 Pickups deliver a solid low end and plenty of clarity across all frequencies, making it an ideal choice for various genres.

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An extremely versatile and playable neck-through-body P-bass with a single split-coil P-style pickup, it was a high-end P-bass clone. The BB234 builds on a 40+ year legacy of superb sound and build quality in a smaller body with improved playability geared toward new bass players. Its ergonomically contoured solid alder body features double cutaways and a classic design.

Pros

  • Comfortable and ergonomic design
  • Bright and warm tones balance well
  • Tuning stability and intonation
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable modern C-shaped profile

Cons

  • It comes in limited colors

Specifications:

  • Scale Size: 24.75 inches
  • Body Shape: SG Standard ’61
  • Material: Ebony & cherry
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Neck Profile:  “C”-profile

The Epiphone SG Standard 61 Electric Guitar is a classic instrument beloved by musicians of all genres. With its iconic double-cutaway design and powerful sound, this guitar delivers the perfect combination of style and performance.

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The Epiphone SG Standard 61 Electric Guitar is a classic instrument with exceptional sound and playability. Featuring a solid cherry body and set neck construction, this guitar produces a rich and resonant tone perfect for rock and blues music. H pickups offer powerful and versatile tones, allowing players to create a variety of tones.

Pros

  • Elegant looks and design
  • Excellent Playability
  • Good finish 
  • It comes with a hard-shell case

Cons

  • Offset neck positions are challenging

What is the Difference Between Electronic Bass Guitar and Acoustic Guitar?

In terms of string type and output type, electric and acoustic basses differ considerably. Below is a side-by-side comparison of electric and acoustic bass guitars for beginners.

FEATURES
ACOUSTIC BASS GUITAR
ELECTRIC BASS GUITAR
Cost:
Generally less expensive, around $150 and up
A bit more expensive; about $250 and up
Power:
No power needed
Requires power
Sounds:
Can be made louder or softer only
Can be amplified, modified & enhanced
Size of neck & body:
A wider body and thicker neck
Thinner body and slimmer neck
Playability:
It's harder to press strings
Strings are easier to press, and frets are closer to them
Sound production:
Soundboard vibrations
Pickups and magnetic interactions
Versatility:
Less versatile
More versatile

What to think about when buying a bass guitar?

When you are a beginner, learning about bass guitars can be a thrilling and overwhelming experience. Many factors must be considered, including models, brands, woods, strings, etc. As you look for the best beginner bass guitar, this buying guide will break down these elements in a detailed manner, helping you make an informed decision.

Body Type

The body of a bass guitar can be made from a variety of woods, each with its own tone:

Mahogany

Mahogany bass guitars produce rich, warm, and full tones ideal for rock and metal genres.

Alder

A bass guitar body made of alder has a balanced tone with decent resonance in the low, mid, and high ranges.

Ash

Ash’s bright tone and excellent sustain make it a great choice for players looking for a more pronounced midrange.

Bass guitar body shape also influences the instrument’s balance and comfort. The most comfortable way to stand or sit depends on your body type. Experiment with different kinds of bodies to find out what works best for you.

Neck Construction

Another important aspect of the bass guitar is its neck, affecting its sound and stability. In terms of neck construction, there are three primary types:

Bolt-On Necks

This type of neck construction involves bolting the neck onto the body. A bolt-on neck has a punchy sound, a good sustain, and is relatively easy to adjust or replace.

Set Necks (Glued-In Necks)

It is glued into the body that set necks are attached to. Compared to bolt-on necks, they typically provide more sustain and warmer tones.

Neck-Through Designs

Neck-through guitars have necks that extend the length of the body. The complex manufacturing process of these pickups makes them excellent at providing sustainability and stability. Still, they are usually found on higher-end bass guitars.

It is also important to consider the neck’s profile, which is the shape and thickness of the neck. Players with smaller hands might find it more comfortable to have a thinner neck.

Pickups

String vibrations are converted into electrical signals by pickups, which are used to amplify electric bass guitar sounds. Active and Passive bass pickups are the two main types:

Passive Pickups

Passive pickups are ideal for blues, jazz, and classic rock due to their warm, dynamic, and vintage tones. As they do not require external power, they require little maintenance.

Active Pickups

With a battery-powered preamp, these pickups produce a clear, punchy sound with a higher output. Tonal flexibility and noise reduction are two advantages of active pickups for players seeking a modern sound.

Number of Strings

Many bass guitars have four, five, or six strings, but there are also variants, including the following:

Four-String Bass

This is the most common and standard type of bass guitar. These models are ideal for beginners because they have fewer strings.

Five-String Bass

The instrument’s lower range is expanded by adding a lower B string. Certain types of music, such as metal, jazz, and progressive rock, can benefit from the extra string.

Six-String Bass

A six-string bass has a higher C string than a five-string bass, giving it a broader range of sounds. In genres such as jazz and fusion, advanced players typically use these basses.

Scale Length And Size

A bass guitar’s scale length is measured from the bridge to the nut. Typically, a ‘full-size’ or ‘long-scale’ bass measures 34 inches in length. Short-scale basses measure around 30 inches, while medium-scale basses measure around 32 inches. 

You can choose between these depending on your level of comfort and the type of tone you want. Players with smaller hands or younger players may find it easier to handle shorter scales. The tone they produce is also warm and vintage. Alternatively, long-scale basses have a bright, punchy sound.

Music genre

The genre of music you prefer can also influence your choice of bass guitar. P-Basses are popular among rock and punk musicians because of their punchy and aggressive tone. It will be a great choice if you like jazz or soul, as the Jazz Bass (J-Bass) has a bright and rich tone. The lower range of a five-string bass may appeal to metal enthusiasts.

How To Learn A Bass Guitar?

It is incredibly fun to play bass, and many songs have simple bass parts that anyone can learn.

Learn About The Different Parts Of A Bass Guitar

Becoming proficient at playing an instrument becomes almost like an extension of your body – you don’t even consider it separate. It is no different from the bass guitar. Playing bass guitar (or any instrument, for that matter) can feel awkward when you’re just getting started. So it’s important to know what each part of the bass guitar does and how it works.

Buying your first bass guitar requires knowing the instrument’s parts. Learn at least the following bass parts:

Body

It is the largest part of the bass guitar. Bass bodies are the parts you hold against your own body. An acoustic bass guitar has a hollow body, while an electric bass guitar has a solid body.

Neck

Bass guitar necks are long and protrude from the body. Left-handed players hold the neck with their left hand. It is also known as their fretting hand. Bassists with left hands can play the same way, flip a regular bass the other way, or find a left-handed bass.

Headstock and tuning pegs

The headstock is located at the end of the bass’s neck. A tuning peg attaches to this part of the instrument. It is with tuning pegs that the bass is tuned (more on that later).

Fretboard and frets

It has small frets that make it easier to navigate when playing the fretboard. The neck of the bass guitar is covered by the fretboard. Bass guitar strings are pressed against the fretboard when playing. F fretless bass guitars are also available but are only recommended for some beginners.

Learn How To Hold The Instrument

It is obvious to know how to hold a bass. It’s important to maintain good ergonomic posture. Also, make sure you have the bass correctly right away. Unlearning bad posture later on, will be much more difficult than learning it in the first place. When sitting down, here’s how to hold a bass guitar:

  1. In the first place, you should always use a bass strap whenever you play, regardless of whether you are seated or standing. You won’t have to carry as much weight with your hands.
  2. Place the instrument on your lap. You should rest the bass body on top of your leg. You can place the instrument on your left or right leg, depending on your size and comfort level.
  3. Ensure that the neck of the bass is pointing upwards at a slight angle. Playing the strings closer to the headstock will require a lot of reach if you hold the bass guitar’s neck horizontally.
  4. Good posture ensures you do not develop back problems when sitting at your computer or standing still. Not slouching will also make you look cooler!
  5. Make sure you also practice standing up if you normally play sitting down.

Learn How To Tune A Bass Guitar

The tuning of any stringed instrument is crucial to the enjoyment of playing it. When you pick up your bass guitar to play, ensure it is tuned correctly. In most songs, the tuning is E-A-D-G (from lowest to highest string). You can only worry about alternate tunings once you’re comfortable with them.

A skilled bass player knows how to tune their instrument by ear. A bass guitar tuner can be a great tool even if you don’t play bass. Tuning a bass guitar with a physical tuner device can be reliable. Unfortunately, they are also quite expensive, especially if you want an accurate bass tuner.

Play With A Pick Or Your Fingers

Both playing styles are good for different things, so the decision is yours. Using a pick, you can play faster, alternating between upstrokes and downstrokes (also known as tremolo picking). A pick produces a sharper and punchier sound, ideal for rock, punk, and metal. Playing with a pick may not suit all musical genres and styles.

The most common way to play is with your fingers, which fits many musical styles and genres. Fingerstyle refers to playing with your right hand’s fingers. Some players use more than just their right hand’s index and middle finger to pluck strings. You can easily change strings with fingerstyle, and the sound is rounder. Bass guitarists with advanced skills can pluck multiple strings simultaneously or slap the strings with their thumbs.

As a beginner, you can use your fingers to get acquainted with the instrument and gain control over the strings. You can also learn to play with a pick once you get better and more comfortable playing. The ability to use both playing techniques is a good decision in the long run. You can switch between playing with a pick and your fingers when necessary.

Get Familiar With Bass Tablature

It takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to read sheet music, a useful skill. Bass guitar tablature is a simpler and more accessible form of musical notation. 

Bass guitar strings are horizontal lines, notes are numbers. A bass tab shows which frets you should be playing. Strings with zeros are open strings.

In bass tablature, the lowest horizontal line represents the low E string. In contrast, the highest horizontal line represents the thinnest string (the G string).

Make Your First Bass Line

The song’s bass lines accompany drums, guitars, vocals, and perhaps other instruments. In contrast to a guitar riff, bass lines refer to the lower register of the song played by the bass guitar. There are several musical genres in which bass lines are essential building blocks.

Bass lines that walk between different chords connect their roots. Bass players make chord progressions from one chord to another by walking bass lines.

Practice Playing The Bass

You can learn an entire song on the bass guitar with practice and hard work. Create a routine that suits your schedule and style of playing. It’s easy to reach your bass-playing goals if you practice for just ten minutes daily.

Final Recommendation On Best Bass Guitars For Beginners

Choosing the right bass guitar as a beginner is an important decision that can greatly impact your musical journey. Considering factors such as price range, quality, and playability, you can find a bass guitar that suits your needs and helps you develop your skills effectively. 

As a beginner Yamaha TRBX174EW is a great choice. These high-quality bass guitars offer excellent sound quality, durability, and playability, making them perfect for beginners looking to start their musical journey.

If you want a budget-friendly bass guitar to learn, you can pick the Squier Bullet Bronco Bass guitar. Bronco is a high-quality bass guitar at an affordable price.

Bass guitars are available in various price ranges to suit any budget. Choosing the best bass guitar for beginners means you can confidently start your musical journey.

FAQs

How much time is needed to learn the bass guitar?

In general, for a beginner level, 6 months to learn to play the bass decently without prior experience with another instrument and 2-3 hours of solid practice each day.

What Kind Of Bass Guitar Should I Start With?

Beginners can learn the basics of playing on a standard four-string bass. It is probably a good idea to start with a four-string bass guitar since most bass guitars have four strings. They are compatible with most musical styles, and their smaller necks make them easier to learn and handle than five- and six-string basses.

Is It Ok To Start With Bass?

Beginners can start with entry-level basses, and as their skills develop, they can move up to higher-end basses. It’s only a point in buying a bass guitar once you’re sure you’ll stick with it.

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