Best Beginner Bass Guitar Review – Top Rated Models in 2020 with Buying Guide
If you have little time to search for the best beginner bass guitar for sale, here you will find all the info you need. After doing proper research and analyzing the most popular beginner bass guitars reviews, we have concluded that the model you should consider is the Fender Standard Jazz. This unit stands out due to how it is suitable for both amateur and professional players. It comes equipped with two modern style single-coil jazz pickups for an articulate and clear tone. What’s more, the Tinted “C” shape neck will provide you with the comfort you need to keep playing for hours on end. If this model is not available, we recommend the Ibanez GSR200.
Our Top Choice
If you're a beginner looking for a new bass guitar, then this product will appeal to you. It's a desirable upgrade that packs many features like the “C” shape neck. Moreover, it produces clean and articulated sound, without missing any note so you’ll get to enjoy every playing session.
As some buyers pointed out, the machine has a narrower fretboard that might be hard to use for those with thicker fingers.
The piece is ergonomic and inviting. Thus, you will improve your bass skills in record times. And because the brand knows what musicians want and it is not afraid to deliver it, you also get some single-coil jazz bass pickups with your purchase.
Check out the Ibanez GSR200 if you enjoy comfort and playability. It can be the perfect tool for a newbie since it is highly intuitive and light, so you can practice for many hours without tiring. Plus, its one-piece maple neck makes it a pleasure to handle for extended periods.
Keep in mind that this unit is described as having a "thinner" sound when compared to the brand's premium models.
Other features include the pearl dot inlay and its ergonomic body created by experts for all music lovers. We should also mention that the unit can make for a surprising gift and you can even make it part of your treasure chest if you are a collector.
Yamaha is an instrument-making brand that needs no introduction. And The TRBX174 BL benefits from all the experience the brand has accumulated over the years. Aside from its friendly price, this model is made from incredible materials like mahogany.
One buyer said that one of the screws broke and he had a hard time finding a compatible one to replace it with.
The tone it generates is balanced, and it can help you train your music sense. Its vintage style bridge makes the piece a standout, and its cool color scheme will make sure that it will transform any room you use the piece in. This is what quality looks like.
12 Best Beginner Bass Guitars (Reviews) in 2020
To make the purchasing process easier for you, we have rounded up some of the best bass guitar for beginners models that garnered the best reviews from both customers and critics. If you’re looking for a cheap beginner bass guitar that can offer you quality and ease of use, then feel free to check the product descriptions below.
- 1. Fender 4 String Standard Jazz Electric Bass Guitar
- 2. Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar Black Finish
- 3. Yamaha 4-String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black, 4-String
- 4. Rogue LX200B Series III Electric Bass Guitar Metallic Blue
- 5. Squier by Fender Affinity P/J Beginner Electric Bass Guitar
- 6. Squier by Fender 306702505 Vintage Modified Jazz Bass ’70s
- 7. Rogue LX205B 5-String Series III Electric Bass Guitar Candy Apple Red
- 8. Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar
- 9. Yamaha BB235 BB-Series 5-String Bass Guitar
- 10. Full Size Electric Bass Guitar Starter Beginner Pack with Amp Case Strap
- Yearly Guide & Report
1. Fender 4 String Standard Jazz Electric Bass Guitar
When you are sure that an instrument is made for you, it’s best you get an item you will not regret purchasing, and that can offer great value for your money. In our case, the Fender option is constructed to cater to both beginners and professional artists. This means that once you get more proficient, you will not have to upgrade to a better unit as this one already offers everything you need.
This jazz bass comes equipped with two modern style single-coil pickups that will offer a clear and articulate tone. You get everything you need to start playing your easy beginner bass guitar songs and start to go up in difficulty once you begin to master this high-quality product.
If you worry about the level of comfort that this vintage Fender instrument can produce, you will be glad to learn that the “C” shape neck provides universal comfort, no matter your body type or height.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
2. Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar Black Finish
The Ibanez GSR200 offers the famous Soundgear sleekness, comfort, playability, and tone. All it takes to convince yourself of the outstanding quality that this product offers is a quick look at the overwhelmingly positive reviews that it has garnered. It is an affordable alternative that is perfect for beginners that don’t want to overspend for their first instrument.
The customers that have tried it have reported that the frame this unit features is exceptionally lightweight and that makes playing it for more extended periods of time a lot easier. Indeed, this feature also makes it easier to transport it, and if you were looking for a quality travel guitar, this could be a worthy option.
Another thing that’s meriting talking about is the fact that despite the lower price, the GSR200 plays better than almost everything else in its price range. You get this quality because Ibanez puts its lowered price models under the same rigorous inspection and set-up as its more expensive ones.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
3. Yamaha 4-String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black, 4-String
Going for a Yamaha alternative is a sound decision because while this brand is mostly known for the premium Yamaha violins that it creates, its guitars selection is equally impressive. The TRBX174 BL variant features a unique mix of advanced design, engineering, precision and time-honored craftsmanship. This might be a budget instrument, but it does not look or sound like one.
The combination of quality and affordability makes it an ideal first purchase for a student or music enthusiast that wants his or her first taste of playing the bass guitar to be memorable. This nifty unit will give you the inspiration to innovate and understand what such an instrument is capable of.
The tone and sound that it creates have pleased the customers that have tried it, and the quality of the construction has allowed them to play it for long sessions without feeling tired. The flexibility offered here will let you create and define your own tone and style.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
4. Rogue LX200B Series III Electric Bass Guitar Metallic Blue
If you’re looking for an inexpensive gift for a friend or you merely want to let your kid finally start playing the instrument he or she loves, the Rogue Series III offers everything you need for a price that is attractive and fair. The customers were impressed with the excellent sound that this unit boasts as well as its playability and ease of use.
The Rogue variant features a basswood dual cutaway body that apart from looking great, also helps maintain the power and tone of the sound. The bolt-on maple neck and the rosewood fingerboard will make playing this bass guitar a pleasure. Your fingers will quickly find their position on the guitar strings.
In fact, if you’ve tried playing a quality electric ukulele, this model offers a similar experience, in the sense that it focuses on playability. For beginners, this is a must-have feature which is why customers love this unit.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($171.28)
5. Squier by Fender Affinity P/J Beginner Electric Bass Guitar
This model features a standard Fender style body shape with an alder construction. The finishes for this option are Black, White, Metallic Red, and Race Red. The neck is a standard “C” shape maple design, something that you can’t go wrong with as it offers excellent comfort and performance and for a beginner instrument, that is precisely what you need.
The build quality is quite good as the use of durable materials will ensure that this is a model that can handle heavy use. In terms of tuning, you might have to tune this bass up at a shop, but once the adjustment is done, you are unlikely to need to keep your quality guitar tuner around all the time as this unit will keep itself well-tuned.
The sound is also good, and you get a lot of range to work with. The output is outstanding as well and, for a unit that is designed for beginners, it offers excellent performance.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
6. Squier by Fender 306702505 Vintage Modified Jazz Bass ’70s
This vintage model is a bit more expensive than the other beginner-oriented units, but that does not mean that it is not an instrument that is worthy of your time and attention. This variant focuses a lot on quality, and that shows once you take a quick look at the construction and the materials that are being used.
The Squier by Fender Vintage is designed to help transition a beginner player to an intermediate level and beyond. This means that you won’t have to worry that once you’ve started mastering playing the bass guitar your purchase will become obsolete. This model will allow you to play and practice for years to come.
The unit ships with a setup that is very playable, making it perfect for amateur musicians that can’t yet make their own adjustments. Apart from the awesome performance and quality it offers, as if to make things even better, this is also an excellent looking instrument.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
7. Rogue LX205B 5-String Series III Electric Bass Guitar Candy Apple Red
Finding a good beginner bass guitar that can offer you the quality you require at a low price can seem like a hard thing to do, yet the Rogue model manages to do all that and more. The LX205B incorporates an extended maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard that is fast and easy to play.
The J-style pickup delivers a classic tone and can be tweaked easily via the two volume and two tone controls. When you start to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skills, you will be able to adjust this instrument to sound and play just the way you like it.
If you are on a tight budget but you still want to surprise your kid with a quality instrument, this is an option that we and the countless customers that have tried it recommend. What’s more, the look of this unit is nothing to joke about; it looks so awesome that it is hard to imagine this is a budget option.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
8. Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar
This Epiphone variant is an awesome beginner electric guitar that will give bass players the incredible sustain that the Les Paul customers have been enjoying ever since the early 1950s. Indeed, if you’re looking for a quality alternative, you can stop searching since this product offers everything that beginner and intermediate players require.
The Mahogany body is the first sign that lets you know that you are dealing with a premium model, even if the price is in no way as high. By using Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker pickups, you are guaranteed to get a great sound, as the pickup device will capture even the slightest vibration.
The fretboard is made of Rosewood, and the instrument has a scale of 24.75. We also feel the need to talk about the looks of this instrument. Pictures don’t do it justice; it indeed is a beauty that you need to see first-hand to understand.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
9. Yamaha BB235 BB-Series 5-String Bass Guitar
If you’re looking for quality and craftsmanship, Yamaha products can deliver that. With decades of research and hard-work, Yamaha has worked closely with artists to forge a clear vision of what the customer needs. The BB series has incorporated these essential real-world experience to give the consumers the instrument they need.
The BB sound is well known in the industry, and the latest series features a miter neck joint that has won praise from both experts and customers. The efficiency of vibration transmission to the body has been improved for a more resonant and organic feel and tone. The bridge is equipped with a convertible saddle for a more precise feel and tonal shaping.
It is not just the technical specifications that have changed; this model offers a new take on a classic design. The contour has been changed slightly, and the body underwent a reduction in weight.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
10. Full Size Electric Bass Guitar Starter Beginner Pack with Amp Case Strap
A beginner bass guitar package is something we recommend, especially if you don’t yet own any accessories for your bass guitar. The Davison Guitars Beginner Pack includes everything you need to start playing your new instrument.
If you don’t want to get bothered about making additional purchases and having to worry about compatibility between your instrument and its accessories, this is a worthy choice. What’s more, this is a teacher-approved model which means that it is designed to offer beginners an amazing experience.
The full-scale solid wood bass guitar features a high-gloss finish, and it comes together with a practice amplifier, a gig bag case, as well as all the accessories you might need to get the most out of your new instrument.
The Davison guitar comes with a dual pickup and a set chrome bridge. Even if this is a full-size option, the contoured body makes it easy to be played by people of any size or age.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.95)
11. Sterling by Music Man
If you’re looking for a premium alternative to help you transition from a beginner player to an intermediate one and beyond, the Sterling instruments are an awesome choice. They bring the iconic and timeless designs of Ernie Ball Music Man in a high-quality build for musicians of all levels.
The classic body lines and the customizable finishes will allow you to choose just how you want to stand out on the stage. You also get the signature teardrop pickguard and the classic control layout so that you don’t have any difficulty in using this excellent option. The Humbucker pickup with active electronics will help provide a clean and powerful sound.
The ingenious design that uses the “3+1” tuning key arrangement will make tuning easier than ever, providing you with accurately tuned playing experiences. Get your new music stand out and be ready to sound better than ever.Click to see the price on Amazon!
12. Schecter OMEN-4
The OMEN-4 boasts the standard body shape many of the Schecter guitars use, and in this case, this is a marvelous thing as this design offers a memorable and pleasant experience. It’s comfortable enough to allow you to reach the higher notes without straining yourself. In terms of materials, this option uses high-quality mahogany with a quilted maple top.
The profile of the neck is a thin “C,” and that makes it pretty fast and comfortable to use. All of the hardware comes with a black chrome finish that is extremely stylish. When it comes to performance, the bridge offers good sustain and keeps the intonation true.
Another thing that makes this option worth considering is the sound that it can produce. This is the type of instrument you will feel comfortable using no matter the genre of music you want to tackle. The hot active pickups make it a perfect match for aggressive genres such as metal.Buy from Amazon.com for ($469)
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding the best beginner electric bass guitar is a task that is anything but easy, as it can take a lot of time and energy, especially considering the sheer number of options that might make it even more confusing. That is even truer if you’ve never owned an instrument before. The best way to go about things is to do your research, but ironically, that too takes a lot of time.
We want to improve your purchasing experience and help you make a good decision, which is why we have taken the time and compiled a buyer’s guide just for you. We have looked at specialized articles as well as consumer reviews to pinpoint the features and technical aspects that need to be considered before you spend your hard earned money on a product.
The feel of the instrument
Learning how to play an instrument for the first time is going to feel a bit uncomfortable no matter what you do, but you can always make your experience much more enjoyable by getting an instrument that you can hold comfortably.
A bass guitar is not as easy to learn as an excellent acoustic guitar, for example, so anything that you can do to improve your first contact with the instrument can make a huge difference. Just as with anything in life, the first contact with a new thing is crucial, and if you choose an instrument that is not suited for your body type, it can make you less likely to pursue learning to play it.
The shape of the body matters as well, as some bass guitars are larger than others, and the balance that they offer can also be a problem. This is especially present with more affordable models. Finding a bass guitar that you feel comfortable using can take more time, but it is certainly something worth doing.
Once you’ve found the model that conforms to the shape of your body correctly, you will realize that learning to play is a much more pleasant experience and you’ll pay more attention to your basic bass guitar lessons. If the instrument feels too heavy for you, you can consider getting a guitar strap to help you support the extra weight.
How many strings are enough?
If you’ve browsed through some of the models available, you’ve probably noticed that while most units come with 4 strings, there are also plenty of 5 and 6 string alternatives. If you’re thinking about picking a unit that does not feature 4 strings and you are a beginner, we advise against it.
Unless you are an intermediate or professional musician that has been playing for years, you shouldn’t have any reason to switch from 4 strings to something else. The 4 strings variant is the standard for this instrument, and it’s what more than 90% of bass players use throughout their careers.
The 5 string basses have an extra B string on the low end that allows for a deeper bass range when playing a heavier style of music. The 6 string basses use the same B string with an extra high C string, allowing for a wider range with soloing and progressive styles of play.
All these extra strings make the instrument more difficult to handle, and this is why you won’t find a lot of players utilizing these extra strings. You will definitely not see a beginner using them, not when playing the bass guitar is hard enough even on the 4 string model.
Choose the right size
There are three common scale length categories with bass guitars. The short scale is 30 inches or less, the long scale is 34 inches, while the extra-long scale is 35 inches or more. Nowadays, the long scale is the standard size you will find in most models on the market.
For an average person, there shouldn’t be much reason to choose any of the other sizes as the default option should satisfy his or her needs. If you want to get an instrument for your kid or if you are a small player, the size and weight of the short scale make it easier to handle, and more comfortable to use.
The main downside of the short scale basses is that since the strings are shorter, and they have a darker sound to them. Extra long scale basses are used mainly on 5 or 6 string models as they need the extra length for the lower B string.
Should you get a fretless bass?
If you are a beginner, the short answer is no. The reasoning for this is very similar to the 5 and 6 string basses. With the standard instrument, metal frets are used to mark the spots where the strings must be fretted to play a particular note that will be in-tune with the rest of the song.
With the fretless models, it is up to the player to find and hear the notes on his or her own. If this sounds hard, you are not wrong. This is an option that should only be reserved for seasoned musicians because even attempting to learn to play on such an instrument is a recipe for disaster.
Just as is the case with electric guitars, bass guitars come with two different types of electronics. You have the active and passive models, and they both offer unique benefits and disadvantages. If you’re looking for a cheap instrument, passive pickups are more affordable, and they don’t require an external power source to function.
Passive pickups are also generally more expressive. Active pickups are much hotter, and that means they have better output, making them ideal for more aggressive genres. Unfortunately, they are also much more expensive.
As a beginner, you shouldn’t worry too much about choosing passive or active pickups. Passive pickups should be more than adequate until you grow more as an artist and acquire your taste for tone. If you do find an instrument with active pickups and you can afford it, you can safely go for it, especially as you always have the option of switching to a passive setup.