How to Find a Good Beginner Bass Guitar

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Looking for a good beginner bass guitar? Whether you’ve never strummed a note or have already taken a few lessons, having the right guitar is important for aspiring musicians who want to master the instrument.

With so many options available, how do you know which bass guitar is best for you? You read through this guide! We’ve compiled comprehensive insights into the essential features of beginner bass guitars, detailed reviews of top entry-level models, and practical buying tips.

This article covers everything you need to start your bass-playing journey with confidence. By the end, you might be ready to give Paul McCartney a run for his money.

How to Find a Good Beginner Bass Guitar
How to Find a Good Beginner Bass Guitar

What Makes a Good Beginner Bass Guitar

Choosing your first bass guitar is a big deal! Don’t let anybody rush your decision, especially if you’re interested in one of the top entry-level basses with a higher price tag.

Our top tip? Knowing what features to look for can make all the difference. Let’s break down some key aspects that define a good beginner bass guitar so you can make an informed choice and start rocking out in no time.

Comfortable Neck Profile

The neck profile is one of the most important aspects of any bass guitar. As a beginner, you want a neck that feels comfortable in your hands and is easy to navigate.

Different neck profiles (like C-shaped, J-shaped, or U-shaped) cater to different hand sizes and playing styles. Trying out a few in a music store can help you find the perfect fit, ensuring that long practice sessions are enjoyable rather than a strain.

Lightweight Body

A heavy bass can be a burden, especially for beginners who are still building their stamina. Opting for a bass with a lightweight body helps keep you comfortable during extended practice sessions and performances.

Materials like alder, poplar, and basswood are commonly used in beginner bass guitars, offering a great balance between weight and tone quality.

Versatile Sound

As a beginner, you’ll want an instrument that can handle various musical genres, allowing you to explore and find your own style. A versatile bass guitar typically comes equipped with a range of pickups and electronics that provide a broad spectrum of tones.

Tonal flexibility will keep your practice sessions exciting and dynamic, whether you’re aiming for deep, thumping lows or bright, punchy highs.

Quality Construction

Even for beginners, investing in a well-constructed bass guitar can pay off in the long run. Quality construction, in this context at least, means better durability and improved playability.

Check for solid build quality, straight necks, and stable bridges. Paying attention to these details ensures that your bass guitar will last, providing a reliable foundation as you progress in your playing journey.

Beginner Bass Guitar Reviews

Best beginner bass guitar

Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a beginner bass guitar, it’s time to dive into some specific models. Here, we’ve reviewed some top entry-level basses and best budget bass guitars, giving you a clearer picture of what’s available.

Fender Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass

The Fender Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass is a favorite among beginners for good reason. This bass offers a classic P Bass tone at an accessible price point.

It features a comfortable C-shaped neck that’s great for new players, and its lightweight alder body ensures ease of handling. The split-coil pickup provides a versatile sound that fits various genres, making it an excellent all-rounder for those just starting.

Pros:

  • Legendary P Bass sound
  • Comfortable neck profile
  • Great value for money

Fortunately, there aren’t many cons with this one, as it’s a pretty good beginner bass guitar. However, you may need to upgrade the basic electronics as your skills progress.

Yamaha TRBX174EW

Yamaha’s TRBX174EW is another solid choice for beginners. Known for its sleek design and impressive build quality, this bass combines an exotic-looking mango veneer top with a solid mahogany body.

How to Find a Good Beginner Bass Guitar
How to Find a Good Beginner Bass Guitar – Yamaha TRBX174EW

The result is a lightweight, visually appealing instrument with a rich, dynamic sound. The dual-action truss rod and comfortable neck make it easy to play, while the versatile pickups offer a wide range of tones.

Pros:

  • Stylish design with quality materials
  • Versatile sound for different genres
  • Excellent build quality

The only drawback? It’s slightly more expensive than other entry-level models.

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro

The Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro is a fantastic option for younger players or those with smaller hands. This short-scale bass is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for beginners who might find full-sized basses cumbersome.

Despite its smaller size, the GSRM20 Mikro doesn’t compromise on sound. It features a fast, slim neck and powerful pickups that deliver a punchy tone suitable for various music styles.

Pros:

  • Perfect for smaller hands
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Punchy, versatile sound

Like the other beginner bass guitars on this list, it’s not perfect. The shorter scale may not be suitable for all players as they advance.

Starter Bass Guitar Guide

When you’re just starting, finding a bass that won’t break the bank but still offers good quality and playability is important. There are plenty of budget-friendly bass guitars that don’t skimp on performance. Brands like Squier, Ibanez, and Yamaha offer affordable and reliable models, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.

Choosing a budget bass guitar often involves balancing cost and quality. While budget models may lack some of the advanced features of higher-end instruments, they can still provide a solid foundation for learning. Consider what aspects are most important to you-durability, sound versatility, or ease of play-and find a model that meets those needs without exceeding your budget.

If you’re ready actually to start your search, here are some more beginner bass guitar buying tips.

Set a Budget

Before you start browsing, it’s important to set a realistic budget. A good beginner bass doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s wise to avoid the cheapest options as they often compromise on playability and durability.

Generally, you can find solid beginner bass guitars in the $150 to $300 range. Remember, investing a bit more upfront can save you from frustrations and additional costs down the road.

Test Playability

If possible, visit a music store and try out a few models. Pay attention to how the neck feels in your hand, the weight of the instrument, and the comfort of playing different notes and chords.

If in-store testing isn’t an option, consider ordering from retailers with good return policies so you can try the bass at home without risk. Once you can test it out at home, think about whether or not you can comfortably hold and play it for extended periods and if the strings are too high or too low from the fretboard.

Read Bass Guitar Reviews

Reading reviews and testimonials from other beginners can also provide valuable insights. Look for feedback on playability, sound quality, and overall satisfaction. Many online retailers feature detailed customer reviews that can help you make an informed decision!

Maintenance Tips for Your Beginner Bass Guitar

Part of buying a bass for the first time includes learning how to care for it! After all, taking good care of your bass guitar is essential to keep it sounding great and lasting a long time. 

So, here are a few bass guitar maintenance tips to help you get started. Understanding how you’ll need to care for your bass can ultimately sway your decision about which one to get, as different models might be more prone to damage or more difficult to tweak and tune.

String Care and Replacement

Strings are the lifeblood of your bass guitar’s sound. Over time, they can accumulate dirt and oils from your fingers, which affects their tone and playability.

Regularly wiping down your strings with a clean cloth after playing can prolong their life. However, even with the best care, strings will eventually need replacing:

  • Casual players: Every 3-6 months
  • Frequent players: Every 1-2 months

When changing them, ensure you’re using the right strings. Different types of strings can impact the sound of your bass:

  • Roundwound: Bright, versatile sound (great for rock and funk)
  • Flatwound: Smooth, mellow tone (ideal for jazz and old-school Motown)
  • Half-round: Balanced tone between roundwound and flatwound

We also suggest you follow our guide on precision bass string replacement.

Proper Storage

Proper storage of your bass guitar helps prevent damage and ensures it remains in good condition. Extreme temperatures and humidity levels can negatively affect your instrument, so finding a suitable storage environment is essential. Here are some tips:

  • When not in use, store it in a case or gig bag to protect it from dust and physical damage
  • Store it in a room with stable temperature and humidity levels
  • Avoid placing it near heat sources, air conditioners, or direct sunlight

Before you store it, clean it! Dust and grime can build up over time, affecting your instrument’s appearance and performance.

Learn More About Bass Guitars

Finding a good beginner bass guitar and maintaining it properly sets the foundation for your musical journey. With the tips and reviews provided, you’re well-equipped to make an informed choice.

Ready to start playing? Read our guides on playing a precision bass to master your new bass guitar, whichever one you choose. Happy playing!