There are a wide range of options when it comes to finding the best starter bass guitar. This can be overwhelming for a beginner, who may not know how to choose or what to look for in a bass guitar. 

When considering a beginner bass guitar, it is important that the instrument plays well, sounds good, and doesn’t cost a fortune. You won’t need any additional features at this point. The main thing is to buy a bass that keeps you motivated to play. 

The internet can be a great resource for researching the different types of bass guitars available for beginners. You can compare models, read user reviews, and even compare prices of different models. However, it’s always a good idea to try them out in person as they come in various shapes and sizes. 

If you are new to the world of bass guitars, read on to find out which instruments are the best bass guitars for beginners. You’ll be jamming in no time! 

What to consider when buying a beginner bass guitar?

Things to consider when choosing a beginner bass guitar:

  1. Size- The size of the bass is decided by the string length. There are two options: long and short. On a bass, your hand should reach the first fret, and your elbow should be bent and relaxed. Pick a guitar that suits your size needs. 
  • Long scale- At 34”, it is the most popular-sized scale length
  • Short scale- A short-scale bass is 30” and has less distance between frets

The ideal beginner bass guitar is a short-scale bass. 

  1. Tuning: Basses are easier to tune compared to guitars, so tuning issues are rare. However, it’s still important to check the tuning to determine its stability. Larger strings tend to be more stable. 
  2. Tonewood: Different types of woods affect the tone, sound, and weight of the guitar. It’s important to pick the type of wood that works well with your preferred style of music. 
  3. Pickups: Pickup affects a bass’s sound even more than wood. Additionally, pickups have different compatibility with different kinds of tonewoods. 
  4. Frets: It is important to check whether the frets are level or not, as uneven frets cause faulty notes. The frets should feel smooth when you run your hand up and down the neck. 
  5. Neck width: Different bass guitars have different widths. It is easier to navigate around a narrow neck compared to a thicker one, making it a more suitable pick for a beginner bass guitar.  
  6. Bolt-on or thru-neck: While bolt-on necks have a punchier sound, thru-neck basses are stronger, with better note resolution.  
  7. Action: The action is the distance between the strings and the fretboard. While low action makes an annoying buzzing sound, high action makes it difficult to play. A lower action may be better for beginners.
  8. Your style of music: The genre you are interested in should be a deciding factor in what kind of bass you buy. A solid body bass guitar is ideal for rock or heavy metal playing, while a hollow body style works for pop or folk music.  

Different Types of Bass Guitars

Even though there are various kinds of bass guitars, the two most popular kinds are acoustic and electric. 

Electric Bass Guitar

The first version of the electric bass guitar was released in the 1950s. It offered several advantages over the previous fretless bass, such as range and convenience of transport. It is no surprise that they quickly caught on. 

Electric basses are considered to be the best beginner bass guitars, especially for players interested in rock and heavy metal. 

Advantages:

  • Used for most popular styles of music such as rock and pop.
  • Smaller size and short-scale availability, making them perfect for beginners. 
  • A wide range of tones.
  • Amplification, which helps convey sound easily. 

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for folk or classical music.
  • Additional accessories are needed. 

Acoustic Bass Guitar

Acoustic bass guitars produce a lighter and mellower sound compared to the electric bass. They are hollow and have a soundhole, just like an acoustic guitar. More common in classical and folk music, acoustic basses are rarely used in rock or pop. Acoustic basses are not generally considered the best bass guitars for beginners.

Advantages:

  • Goes well along with other acoustic instruments. 
  • Portable.
  • No amplifiers are necessary.  

Disadvantages:

  • Restricted sound and tone range. 
  • Additional accessories are needed if the bass is to be played in a band. 
  • More effort is needed to press the strings down, making it difficult for beginners. 

A 4, 5, or 6 String Bass Guitar?

For beginners, the four-string bass is ideal. Heavy metal enthusiasts can opt for a five-string bass, as the lower range provided by the fifth string is used more in that genre. Experts and jazz musicians prefer a six-string bass as it allows them to improvise. 

When buying a beginner bass guitar, the standard four-string bass is the obvious choice. As your experience level increases, you can move to five and six-string basses. 

These guitars were chosen by the BYJU’S FutureSchool editorial team and the list is intended for general guidance only.

Bass Guitars

Recommended Bass Guitar for Beginners

There are many top-rated brands that are suitable for beginners, such as Yamaha, Squier, Ibanez, and Epiphone.  

Brands such as Squire, Epiphone, and Yamaha make affordable basses that will suit the needs of a new bassist. More expensive options include Fender, Precision, and Warwick, all of which have a reputation for being high-quality instruments. 

  1. Yamaha BB234

Yamaha is one of the most trusted and preferred brands when it comes to beginner bass guitars. They have a wide range of suitable options for every kind of bass player. The BB234 is one of the best bass guitars for beginners available. With its versatile tones and a decent setup, it is ideal for beginners who are yet to decide what kind of genre they prefer. 

Specifications:

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple, bolt-on
  • Scale: 34”
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 21
  • Finish: Black, Natural Satin, etc.
  1. Squier Affinity Precision

The famous Precision or ‘P’ bass is the bass equivalent of the Stratocaster. With a broad tonal palette, the Precision gives a player the liberty to play any kind of music and is an ideal candidate for a beginner bass guitar.  

Specifications:

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 34”
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel 
  • Finish: Black, Olympic White, Race Red. 
  1. Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro

The Mikro is a perfect choice for children who are getting started with bass. It is economical, has a short scale of 30″, and a slim neck, making it perfect for young players. Despite its small size, it is one of the best beginner bass guitars. The excellent setup, simple bridge, and solid design make it a suitable choice. 

Specifications:

  • Body: Agathis
  • Neck: Maple, bolt-on
  • Scale: 30”
  • Fingerboard: Jatoba
  • Pickups: 2 x volume, tone
  • Finish: Starlight Blue, Black, Pearl White, Orange Metallic, Brown Sunburst, etc. 
  1. Sterling by Music Man SUB Stingray Ray4  

The Sterling Stingray Ray4 is a reliable instrument for committed learners. It exerts a commanding tone and has a lot of options with respect to tones and amplification. It’s an excellent instrument to help build your foundation. 

Specifications:

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Maple or rosewood
  • Pickups: 1 x humbucker
  • Finish: Satin transparent blue and Ruby red
  1. Epiphone EB-0 beginner bass guitar

This particular model was the first-ever electric bass produced by Epiphone. The EB-0 is slightly shorter in scale than the standard basses, making it easy for young players and beginners to adapt. 

Specifications:

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany 
  • Scale: 30.5” 
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: 1 x humbucker
  • Finish: Cherry

Choose the Best Beginner Bass Guitar

It’s important when buying a beginner bass guitar to explore your options and find one that matches your style and taste. Consider the various factors and make a decision that best suits your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Everyone needs a little help making essential decisions sometimes. So, use this article by BYJU’S FutureSchool as your guide to buying the best affordable guitar for you, and If you want more guitar resources you can sign up for a FREE trial class where you can learn live in a 1:1 setting with knowledgeable instructors—or check out some more helpful articles.

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