Bass guitar is, for many bands, an afterthought. But those aren’t the bands that define the music of a generation or earn legions of fans. Truly knowledgeable musicians know the importance of adding great low-end. In the context of modern music, few instruments are better at producing it than the bass guitar.
Still, learning to integrate your bass playing into a great piece of music can be challenging. Of course, acquiring the basic knowledge to play it properly is necessary.
Choosing the right instrument is essential. A bass guitar that suits your style and encourages constant practice is vital. With the vast array of options, finding the best guitar for beginners under 2000 or the best classical guitar for beginners can seem daunting. This article aims to simplify this by highlighting the best bass guitar for beginners and recommending essential resources like the best bass guitar book for beginners and bass guitar scales for beginners.
Let’s explore the 10 best electric bass guitars for beginners, considering factors like ease of playability and affordability. Each instrument listed here serves as an excellent foundation, whether you’re practising with bass guitar for beginners PDF guides or jamming to easy bass songs to learn for beginners.
10 best electric bass guitars for a beginner
Let’s dive straight into the nitty gritty of it. The modern market for instruments affords musicians almost countless options.
Since each bass guitar has its own characteristics and features, it can get pretty confusing.
We’re also avoiding acoustic bass guitar for this list since fewer beginner students will prefer these models.
Sure, as long as the guitar is built well, you can use it to practice or play live. Still, some bass guitar models might be better suited for beginners.
In my opinion, one formed throughout years of playing music, these are the ten best bass guitar models for beginners:
Epiphone Thunderbird IV
This bass is ideal for beginners eager to learn quickly and build versatility. Its slim neck and active pickups make it a top contender, not to mention its unique reverse body design. It’s a stylish and functional choice, perfect for exploring various musical genres, from blues bass tabs for beginners to rock.
But what really sets this bass apart is its vintage aesthetic. The unique reverse body design is eye-catching and unmistakable, while the iconic headstock shape adds even more style points. Not to mention, this bass’s punchy, defined sound produced with its single-coil and humbucker pickups make it incredibly versatile in terms of playing styles.
For an instrument that’s both stylish and functional, the Epiphone Thunderbird IV Bass is your ideal pick. Featuring a straightforward control layout consisting of volume, tone, and pickup selector switch, this bass is easy to master and offers numerous tonal possibilities. This one is perfect for anyone from beginners to experienced pros alike. No matter their skill level or experience level, this bass has something special to offer everyone.
ESP LTD B204SM
Known for its solid ash body and spalted maple top, this model is excellent for those looking for quality under $500. It’s a great bass guitar for beginners, offering a rich tone and comfortable playability, ideal for practicing bass guitar scales for beginners or diving into bass guitar lessons for beginners
ESP began as a guitar and bass manufacturer in Tokyo, Japan back in the mid-1970s. By the 1980s, they had expanded to New York and began creating custom instruments for local artists. In 1995 ESP stopped making replacement parts and introduced their more affordable LTD series guitars and basses into production. Six and seven-string electric guitar models are also very popular with heavy metal musicians.
The LTD series bass guitar B-204SM features solid ash, a spalted maple top, a thin U-shaped neck, and a roasted Jatoba fretboard with 24 jumbo frets. Additionally, this model boasts two LTD-designed humbucker pickups, 3-band EQ, and either top-loading or string-through-body options at the bridge.
The model tends to sell for just under $500, making it a relatively affordable model and one of the best bass guitar for beginners.
Squier Affinity Precision
A tribute to the iconic Precision bass, this model offers impressive quality at an affordable price, making it one of the best options for those exploring acoustic guitar notes for beginners or seeking the best bass guitar books for beginners.
The Precision or ‘P’ bass is just about as important to popular music as the Fender Stratocaster of Gibson Les Paul guitar models. This is one of the best attempts at recreating its signature look and design of it.
Despite being an entry level bass guitar model, Squier Affinity Precision boasts impressive quality and an array of tones that make it a serious contender among beginner bass guitar models.
No matter your preferred genre, the Squier Affinity Precision makes for an excellent starting point for any aspiring bassist, providing you with everything necessary for success in your musical journey. It’s a good bass guitar for beginners.
It’s also an affordable model, costing only a little over $200. Could this be the best bass under $300? It’s worth including it in our discussion.
With its balanced tones and comfortable feel, the TRBX174 is perfect for beginners. Its pickup combination allows for a versatile sound, making it suitable for everything from jazz to blues bass tabs for beginners.
This bass guitar’s maple neck is bolted on and provides a comfortable feel for both beginner and experienced players. Besides, its white position markers make navigating the fretboard easy, no matter your skill level.
Soundwise, the TRBX174 features a humbucking pickup in the bridge and a single-coil pickup in the neck. It features a black pickguard. This combination of pickups allows players to achieve a smooth sound quality and access an expansive range of tonal possibilities. Players have three controls for these pickups: volume knob, blend knob, and tone knob, which let them customize their sound.
One of the greatest strengths of the TRBX174 is its dependability. Thanks to its superior Yamaha tuning machines, this guitar stays in tune even during extended performances. Perfect for players seeking a reliable, versatile instrument with great sound quality. And it only costs around $250, less than the Music Man Stingray 4, a popular alternative.
Squier Classic Vibe 70s Precision Bass
This model captures the essence of the 1970s Precision Bass with modern enhancements, offering a vintage look and feel at around $400. It’s an excellent option for those studying acoustic guitar books for beginners or easy bass guitar tabs for beginners.
The body is constructed from Nato, altering the tone from its ash-bodied predecessor but providing a more midrange presence. The neck is maple with black binding and block inlays reminiscent of the ’70s; plus, there’s also a vintage bridge with adjustable steel saddles. Finally, a single split-coil pickup provides passive sound with treble-cut tone control circuitry.
The 1970s model was one of the first bass guitars to receive worldwide attention. Purely in terms of specs, the modern Squier model surpasses it. Plus, you can pick it up for around $400.
Harley Benton JB-75MN Vintage Series
Priced just under $200, this bass offers a vintage look and sound on a budget, perfect for beginners looking for the best guitar picks for beginners or easy bass songs to learn for beginners.
Harley Benton JB-75MN Vintage Series costs just under $200. It’s made to look and (for the most part) sound like a vintage electric bass. In fact, in this price class, it is one of the best bass under $300.
The bass is designed to be able to produce a wide range of tones. And even though it has to budget the parts being used in the manufacturing of this instrument, it’s durable and reliable.
Overall, Harley-Benton guitars are usually great instruments to start playing without breaking the bank.
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass
For those preferring a jazzier tone, this bass offers rich sounds and is considered one of the best star bass guitars for beginners, ideal for practicing notes for bass guitar for beginners or exploring double bass for beginners.
The Squier Affinity Jazz Bass model provides an enjoyable playing experience, particularly when seated. Though ideal for beginner bass guitarists, its two single-coil pickups can produce powerful and rich tones. You can find one of these models for less than $200.
The only disadvantage to the Squier Affinity Jazz bass’s unique body shape may be that it requires a sturdy stand for storage. However, this minor inconvenience is far outweighed by all of its other advantages. Take a chance and discover why so many musicians are drawn to this versatile and impressive instrument – give it a try, and you’ll soon understand why! It’s one of the best star bass guitar.
Fewer models seem to recommend themselves better as bass guitars for beginners. It’s because this Ibanez model costs around $200, it’s comfortable to play and it is pretty well built.
Yes, Ibanez’s GSR series of beginner bass guitars offer great tone and build quality at an affordable price point. The GSR200B, in particular, offers great value for its price. It features a Nyatoh body, a 34″ bolt-on neck made of maple with Jatoba fretboard, and 22 medium-sized frets with black hardware and headstock. Furthermore, this bass has a passive P-J pickup layout with Dynamix P style pickup in the neck position and Dynamix J style pickup at the bridge position. Also, four controls to experiment with, including the Phat II bass boost.
Overall, the GSR200B is an ideal beginner bass that offers a fast and comfortable neck and a bright tone. Additionally, the model comes in left-handed and 5 and 6-string versions at slightly different prices.
A notable alternative to this model is the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro, and I’d be remiss not to mention it.
Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Bass Guitar
The Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Bass is an attractive and versatile electric bass guitar that offers, once again, great value at its price point. Featuring a double-cutaway basswood body in gloss finish, its retro styling looks just as great as Gretsch has made you expect.
Plus, its maple neck with bolt-on construction and laurel fingerboard with block inlays give it that vintage vibe, while its 30″ scale length and C-shaped neck make playing comfortable on all 20 frets.
The Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Bass offers a warm, full-bodied tone from its single mini humbucking pickup in the bridge position. Although its control layout is basic, this makes dialing in your desired sound easy. Furthermore, this bass guitar is well-built with top-notch hardware, such as a tune-o-matic bridge and die-cast tuners to keep it tuned consistently. Whether you’re new to guitar playing or an experienced player on a budget, this Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet II Bass offers plenty of value.
Squier Bronco Bass
With its shorter scale and smaller size, the Bronco is an excellent choice for beginners, providing a comfortable playing experience and a solid foundation for exploring everything from acoustic guitar notes for beginners to double bass for beginners.
For those just starting out, the Squier Bronco is an ideal option due to its slightly short scale length and smaller size.
The quality of sound and build are in line with Squier’s reputation for affordability, making this bass player-friendly choice a great place to start.
Why you should learn to play bass guitar in the first place
First of all, learning to play a musical instrument isn’t just something that will benefit listeners in the long run. It will have a profound impact on your development.
Turns out that learning to play bass guitar, or any other instrument for that matter, is good for your health. It can have a particularly profound impact on your brain.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that playing an instrument can enhance cognitive function, memory retention, and overall brain health.
That means that, technically, every time you pick up the bass guitar to learn something new, you’ll do something for your general well-being.
Playing an instrument requires precise control of fingers, hands, and arms, which can improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This is particularly beneficial for children as it aids in developing motor abilities and coordination.
Furthermore, musicians must constantly come up with innovative solutions to musical difficulties. Studies have demonstrated that musicians tend to have greater levels of creativity, leading them to be better at solving problems that require “thinking outside the box.”
Finally, playing an instrument can relieve stress and reduce cortisol levels – the hormone associated with stress – by up to 40%.
Bass players can change bands for the better
Bass players tend to get a bad reputation. In some bands, the role is taken up by the least capable of the would-be guitarists of the group. Truly great bands, on the other hand, know how to harness the power of a great bass player.
Great bass players help create great bands!
Paul McCartney of The Beatles became an accomplished bassist and a master of melody and harmony. His bass lines added another layer to their already legendary songs. His playing helped shape the sound of rock music as we know it today. This is all the more amazing, considering that McCartney started out as the band’s guitarist.
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is another bass player who revolutionized the sound of modern rock music with his energetic, funk-inspired playing. His signature slap bass technique became a feature of the RHCP’s sound. Flea is one of the most recognizable figures in modern rock music.
And, let’s not forget about Jaco Pastorius, the Jimi Hendrix of bass guitar. Pastorious is remembered as the bassist who revolutionized jazz during the 1970s and ’80s. His impressive technical ability and innovative fretless playing inspired generations of bassists and jazz musicians. His contributions to Weather Report and other bands cemented his place in music history.
Whether through melody, rhythm, or technical mastery, bass players possess the unique ability to shape a band’s sound and create something exceptional. Yes, a bass player can grab the limelight too!
What accessories will beginner bass players require?
Now that you have your bass guitar and your enthusiasm to learn to play it, you may find several accessories helpful:
Amplifier: An amplifier is essential to boost the sound of your electric bass guitar. Consider investing in a small practice amp with a headphone jack so you can practice without disturbing others. Some starter packs will come equipped with an amp.
Tuner: Tuners are vital for keeping your bass tuned. You can either use a clip-on tuner or a pedal tuner.
Cables: You’ll need cables of various lengths to connect your bass guitar to an amplifier. Choose one that works best for the playing situation you’ll be in.
Strap: A strap will help you hold your bass while playing. Opt for one that is adjustable and comfortable to wear.
Picks: While bass players (like Black Sabbath‘s Geezer Butler) typically use their fingers to play, some prefer picks. Experiment with different types and thicknesses to find what works best for you.
Case or gig bag: Investing in guitar cases or a gig bag for your electric bass guitar during transport will protect it and keep it looking its best.
Cleaning Supplies: Keep your bass guitar in optimal condition by regularly cleaning it with a soft cloth and some guitar polish or cleaner!
Metronome: Utilizing a metronome is an invaluable tool to practice playing in time and develop your rhythm skills.
Music Stand: A music stand is ideal for holding sheet music or tabs while you practice.
As you progress in your bass-playing journey, you may require additional accessories to enhance both sound and technique. But these fundamentals should be enough to get you started.
Why should beginner bass guitarists prioritize practice?
Looking cool while wearing a bass guitar is all fine and all. Stil, practice is essential to becoming an accomplished bass guitarist with any musical instrument.
Practicing will help build muscle memory. Furthermore, exercising allows you to hone specific techniques like fingerstyle or slap bass.
This regimen will also help you develop stamina, gain confidence, and, of course, learn new songs that you can add to your repertoire.
Practicing regularly is essential to becoming an accomplished bass guitarist. Even short practice sessions can be beneficial, provided they’re done consistently over time. So make time each day to practice and focus on improving your abilities. Soon enough, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an excellent bassist!
Best joke about bass guitarists?
Oh, there are so many from which to choose. Let’s go with a road-tested classic. “Q: Why couldn’t the bassist get through the front door?
A: He couldn’t find the key and didn’t know when to come in!“
You have all the resources to start learning bass guitar today
How did Jaco Pastorius and the great bass players of old manage to learn their instrument? Besides their talent, of course, they were forced to be very resourceful. The tools to acquire knowledge easily and quickly simply were not there.
Things have changed! Instruments, including bass guitars, are more affordable nowadays. Furthermore, there are more options from which to choose. Distribution is rarely an issue anymore, regardless of where you may live.
How about tools for learning? The internet has made it to that there are countless ways to develop your bass playing from a beginner level all the way up to advanced.
This is the perfect time to acquire a bass guitar and learn to play it, whether your ambition is to become as good as Flea or just to play music with your friends.