Considering the popularity of the guitar, the bass is a bit of an offshoot. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important though, and especially when looking at the best beginner bass guitars. A new bassist has enough to worry about learning, picking a good instrument shouldn’t be something they need to spend a lot of time on!
Our list today takes the guess work out of buying a bass as a beginner. We tell you what you need to know, right away!
If you want to dig a little deeper into what makes a good bass guitar and how we selected our choices, we have including a bass guitar buying guide later in this article so you can shop on your own!
Best Beginner Bass Guitars
If you are in a hurry you can just click through the links in our table to find the bass guitars we recommend for beginners. If you want a little more detail, we have added details for each guitar below so you can make a more educated selection!
All of the bass guitars we’ve picked out are of the 4-string variety, which is easier for beginners to learn on. That being said, if you are interested in a 5-string bass we have a guide to the benefits of both the 4-string and 5-string bass.
Ibanez GSR 4 String Bass Guitar
- One-piece maple neck
- Rosewood Fret board
- Pearl dot inlay
- Ibanez Quality
- One – Piece Maple Neck
- Real Wood Body of Alder/Oak
- Body Shape makes lower frets easy to play
- Multiple Color Options!
- Active Pickups Require 9v Batteries
- Will need new strings quickly
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ Beginner Pack
- Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
- Split single-coil P Bass neck pickup, single-coil J Bass bridge pickup
- 4-saddle bridge
- Satin finish neck
- Includes free 3-month subscription to Fender Play, Rumble 15 bass amplifier, padded gig bag, 10' instrument cable and instrument strap
- Available in Black or Brown Sunburst
- Bass specific Pickups
- “C” shaped Neck for easy play
- Poplar Body
- Fender Amp Included
- 3 Month Subscription to Fender Play
- Might need Professional Setup out of the Box
Yamaha TRBX174 BL 4-String Bass Guitar
- Incredible Quality and Value
- Mahogany Body
- Vintage Style Bridge
- Mahogany Body
- Vintage Bridge Setup
- Passive Pickup Setup for 100 series
- Amazing Value
- Quality questions for instruments made in Indonesia
Donner P Bass Bass Guitar Beginner Kit
- Donner P-bass(Precision-Bass) pickups, classic bass pick up, delivers classic tone with all the warmth and crisp, clear sound, always the first choice for bass players.
- AAA Perilla fingerboard, AAA Canadian maple neck with the superior finish on the back of the neck provides a smooth fret-hand feel，combines comfort and performance,with a “Modern C”-shaped profile, suitable for various playing styles.
- Donner Bass is equipped with a precision-made through-body fixed bridge-"4-SADDLE BRIDGE", each string can be independently adjusted in height, octave, features slotted saddles for enhanced tuning stability, and punchy attack.
- OPEN-GEAR TUNING MACHINES-Feature smooth operating tuners，and the open-gear tuning machines offer sturdy tuning stability.2 volume knobs, 21 copper-nickel alloy frets with fret position marks on the neck and top of the fingerboard.
- Donner 4 Strings Bass comes with Accessories you need:a gig bag, a guitar strap, and a guitar cable as gifts.You can play Donner bass directly when you get it.
- Maple Neck and Perilla Fingerboard
- Four Saddle Bridge for Individual String adjustments
- Great Value for Beginners
- Smooth Tone for the price
- Basswood Body
- Will need Amp to Play
Bass Guitar Buying Guide
On the chance that you either don’t want to, or can’t, take advantage of one of our top picks for the best beginner bass guitars we wanted to give you an idea the things that we look for when selecting our favorite basses at all levels.
So, what do we look for when buying a bass guitar? Glad you asked!
The material that a guitar is made out of is super important. It will effect the tone, volume, resonance and sound quality of an instrument. The best instruments in the world are made out of solid pieces of a wood known it’s sound quality. Generally speaking, softer woods work better for musical instruments than hardwoods do.
When shopping for the best beginner bass guitar, most of the high-end softwoods are going to be out of our price range. That’s ok. There are still a number of good woods we can look for. For beginners, bass guitars made out of maple, mahogany, and spruce are all good options.
Many of the instruments on our list have a solid maple neck, which is a great piece to look for.
At the price point most beginners are shopping at you aren’t going to find a solid wood body. You can still get a solid mahogany body with a spruce top, or something along those lines that will sound great and save you majorly on your first instrument!
Pickups are a very personal choice. Each type and style of pickups produce their own sound, tone, and tend to be sharper or flatter. A Humbucker is going to sound much different than a telecaster style pickup, for example. As a beginner the differences will seem very slight, and is not something we stress about much.
One thing a new bassist should think about is passive vs active pickups.
A passive pickup is constructed of a magnet and a copper wire. This combination allows the pickup to read the vibrations of the strings as a current and send them to your amplifier.
Active pickups, on the other hand, require a battery as a power source and are a little more structurally complex than passive ones.
Passive pickups tend to be more expressive because they are more sensitive to the vibrations of the strings. They will always have a better range than their active counterparts. Lastly, many beginner bass guitars have passive pickups because they tend to be less expensive.
Active pickups will generally have a cleaner sound because they don’t pick up as much ‘extra’ noise. We actually prefer active pickups on lower quality instruments for this reason and several of our choices here are equipped with active pickups. This will add a little bit of cost to the instrument itself, and make sure to carry extra batteries with you! An active pickup is pretty much useless with a dead battery!
The best beginner bass guitars often will come with fairly cheap strings. This is to be expected as it is an easy way to save a little money for the manufacturer.
Many beginners will not need to understand the differences between strings either. As you improve, if you want to look into he different bass guitar string types that guide covers everything you’ll need to know!
The Final Note
Now that you are done reading our guide, not only do you know our top 4 picks for the best beginner bass guitar, but you have an idea what to shop for as well if you want to do more looking!
Want to know about more about the parts of a bass guitar? Or easy riffs that all bassist should know? We’ve got plenty more information for bass guitar players, so check those articles out before you leave!
Last update on 2021-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API