The best bass guitars for beginners are the ones that make learning and playing enjoyable for everyone. When starting to lear to play bass guitar, it is best to make sure of your budget and limit it.
But you have to think of the quality as well. It might be tempting to buy a super-cheap one, but remember, you get what you pay for!
For a newbie to stay in love with any instrument, even kids, you have to make sure that the instrument sounds great, looks good, and enjoyable to play with. And choosing a bass guitar is no exception.
Let’s start by looking at the different types of bass guitars.
Types of Bass Guitars
There are 2 major types of basses – string bass and bass guitar.
- String Bass – It is the big bass that you often see in orchestras and jazz groups. Also called double bass or upright bass.
- Bass Guitar – It is built in the style of an electric guitar but produces sound with lower frequencies.
In this guide, we will focus on bass guitars. Here are the common types of bass guitars.
Electric Bass Guitars
This is the most common type of bass guitar. An electric bass has a solid body that needs to plug into a bass amplifier.
Acoustic Bass Guitars
These types of bass guitars have a large hollow body with a soundhole where the vibrating sound comes out. These holes are sometimes called “f-holes” when they are in the shape of F.
Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitars
These are acoustic bass guitars that can be plugged into a bass amp to be heard in larger venues.
Semi-Acoustic Bass Guitars
Semi-acoustic bass guitars are partially hollow like the Hofner’s Beatle bass.
Famous Bass Guitar Brands
There are a lot of great and famous bass guitar manufacturers in the market. And figuring out which should be on our list is not easy. Here are our top 5 most famous bass guitar brands. But feel free to comment yours!
Fender is one of the most legendary makers in the world when it comes to guitars. They are known for passive and 4-string instruments. But they have 5-strings and active instruments, as well.
The Jazz and Precision basses are their most iconic bass guitars. Both are US-made instruments, high-quality, and became the industry’s standard for the past 50years. But they are more on the expensive side and not everyone can afford them.
If you are looking for a more affordable Fender Jazz and Precision bass guitars, they also offer budget-friendly Player Series made at their facilities in Mexico. These guitars are good enough for gigging and recording but are only half the price of their US-made counterparts.
American Original Series of guitars and basses have innovative design tweaks and great components. If you are thinking of getting your own high-quality bass and can spare a few bucks, the Fender American Original Series is worth a look.
Gibson is one of the major guitar manufacturers in the world. Everybody knows Les Paul but Gibson also make amazing basses. Like SG bass, Thunderbird Bass, and EB.
Again, Gibson basses are not cheap but if you have deep pockets and wants a great bass, Gibson might be the one for you.
It is also worth mentioning about Epiphone. You might be wondering why we are talking about this in the Gibson part. Well, Epiphone is the lower-priced brand of Gibson. You will find the same aesthetic but with much affordable pricing with Epiphone.
Yamaha is another giant name in the bass world.
The best thing about their basses is their prices. They have a wide variety of models from a few hundred dollars up, to cater to a wide range of bassist. Even beginners can afford them.
They make basses that can cover a wide range of genres and styles. This brand is surely worth considering when you are looking for a bass guitar.
Rickenbacker is a company that helped shape rock music for decades. They are not as famous as the other brands but they are worth checking out. Even famous musicians like Paul McCartney, Glenn Fry, Geddy Lee, and more like Rickenbacker basses.
Their basses have an iconic look that no other basses have. But their bass guitars are expensive and they do not offer lower-priced ones.
Rickenbacker bass guitars might not be for beginners unless you have the money to get them. They are more on the expensive side and you might need to save some money to get a classic bass from Rickenbacker.
Metal guys love Ibanez guitars. Ibanez bass guitars are worshipped in the metal crowd. Though, their basses are also famous in other genres like jazz.
Ibanez is a Japanese company which started as making quality copies of American Instruments. Then evolved into a famous instrument manufacturer all over the world with their own products.
For beginners, their GSR200 is worth checking out! It is Ibanez best starter bass guitar perfect for metal or hard rock players. If you are new to the bass guitar world, GSR200 might be the one you are looking for.
Before we start our list of the best bass guitars for beginners, here is a short video by guitarbank from Youtube comparing various famous basses of all time! It is very fun to watch. Enjoy!
Best Bass Guitars for Beginners
When you are looking for the best bass guitars for beginners, you have to consider how it feels like when playing. The player should be able to enjoy how it feels like when playing the bass. Also, you have to check the brand, quality, and price tags as well. Check out our top picks for bass guitars for beginners!
Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass Guitar by Fender
The Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass is Fender’s first student model design with vintage tone and feel at a very affordable and budget-friendly price. It has a compact C shaped neck profile which is comfortable to play and ideal for all playing styles.
It has a 30″ scale length maple neck. Which is perfect for kids and beginners with smaller hands. Finished off with single-coil pickup and chrome two saddle bridge for tuning stability.
Ibanez GSRM20BS miKro
The Ibanez GSRM20BS miKro short-scale bass guitar gives you minimal size and weight but with superb sound. This bass offers a compact body with a smaller neck.
It has a 28.6″ scale length, large enough to be comfortable. Perfect for kids or musicians with smaller arms and for faster playing styles.
This bass guitar features a B10 fixed bridge to better transmit vibrations from the strings to the body. It also helps to better sustain the sound. Since it is fixed, B10 limits longitudinal string movement, for improved tuning stability.
2522 STILETTO STEALTH-4 by Schecter
The 2522 STILETTO STEALTH-4 by Schecter has smooth curves with a super light basswood body and maple neck. This instrument is light enough to play for hours and practice yet resonant for metals. Perfect for fast playing and beginners.
With its Schecter Diamond Bass pickups and active electronics, this bass guitar will let you enjoy any bass tone you want. It has a Schecter S-Tek bridge which gives the stability with a massive range of intonation. Plus, the sealed and permanently lubricated 17:1 ratio tuning machine on this bass guitar lets you keep this instrument in tune like a pro.
Also, it has an elegant satin black finish.
PRS KR4TO SE Kingfisher Bass Guitar
PRS guitars or Paul Reed Smith guitars are climbing the top spot for producing great guitars – electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. Their guitars are worth checking.
The PRS KR4TO SE Kingfisher has the sleek modern look and signature sound with its PRS-designed humbuckers. The dual humbucking pickups give a great top end with high midrange growl. Each humbucking has its own independent volume controls which allow you to find the perfect blend of the treble and bass.
Because of its swamp ash body, you will get notes with lots of sustain for days, pleasant, and a well-balanced overall sound – firm lows, rounded highs, and scooped midrange. Swamp ash is a famous wood for rock, blues, country, and metal players though it works well with almost any genre or style of music.
A 5-ply maple neck with 24 frets and smooth rosewood fingerboard makes this guitar comfortable in your hand and fingers. And has walnut strips which are known to give nice highs and mids and less emphasis on the low end.
Yamaha TRBX174 Bass Guitar
The Yamaha TRBX174 Bass Guitar boasts its vintage design with a modern touch. Its deep cutaway gives you clean highs for soloing that provides balance.
It has a split-coil in the middle and a single-coil at the bridge. The split-coil gives you solid and deep fundamentals. While single-coil gives growl with strong mids and highs. Combining pickups is all up to your taste. You’ve got a ton of tonal options!
This bass comes with 3 knobs – 1 volume for the neck pickup, 1 for the bridge pickup, and knob for the tone. This 3 are really easy-to-use, perfect for beginners. Also, this bass offers a nice balance with some great features to enhance your learning and playing experience.
Honestly, there is no perfect bass guitar for beginners, it all depends on your preference – the brand, genre, aesthetic, etc.
In the long run, for players who want more traditional bass, go for Fender Jazz bass, Precision bass, or Squier Affinity basses. If you are more into modern bass, Ibanez bass guitars are a great choice for you. But do not forget about Yamaha which is known for their all-around basses. Gibson and Rickenbacker are also worth checking out as well.
We listed some of the best bass guitars for beginners but if you have other kinds of basses in mind, feel free to let us know.