12 Best Beginner Bass Guitars in 2017

Taking up the bass guitar can be exciting whether it is the first instrument you are learning to play or if you’re adding to the list of instruments you’re already familiar with playing. Naturally, as a newbie, you need to start with a beginner model.

Understanding which is the best beginner bass guitar can be difficult, so our handy guide is here to simplify the process for you.

It is possible to get a good bass guitar that is easier to play on without breaking the bank or compromising on quality either. To help you get started in the right direction, we have developed this guide with the most important information.

Top 12 Beginner Bass Guitars Ultimate Chart

DesignNameAvailable Colors and StylesStringsRating (1-5)
  1. Squier by Fender Affinity Jazz Beginner Electric Bass Guitar 5 4 or 5 4.6
  2. Yamaha TRBX174EW TBS 4-String Electric Bass Guitar 16 4 or 5 4.6
  3. Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar Starlight Blue 7 4 4.6
  4. Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 50’s 4-String P-Bass Guitar 7 4 4.4
  5. Epiphone “Toby” Standard-IV 4 String Electric Bass Guitar 7 4 or 5 4.3
6. Full Size Electric Bass Guitar Starter Beginner Pack 1 4 4.2
7. Dean Edge 09 Bass 3 4 4.1
8. Crescent Electric Bass Guitar Starter Kit 9 4 4.1
  9. Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series Ray5 StingRay Bass 9 4 or 5 4.0
  10. Schecter Stiletto Custom-5 Electric Bass 2 5 4.0
  11. Silvertone LB11 Bass Guitar and Amp Package 3 4 3.8
  12. Full Size 4 String Black 6 4 3.8

The Starting Line

The bass guitar helps create the rhythms that keep songs in all genres of music alive. Who wouldn’t want to get involved in the heartbeat of many songs?

The seemingly overwhelming amount of information that needs to be considered for beginners is something that can easily be overcome by considering the number of strings, the style, the scale style and overall playability.

String Things

In terms of the number of strings you could choose from for bass guitars, you have three basic category options: four string, five or six-string.

  • Four-String – This is what most bass guitars come equipped with from the start. This number of strings is suitable for the majority of music styles. This is the better choice for beginners as the guitar has a smaller neck and is thus, easier to handle.
  • Five-String – These bass guitars add a lower B string so that the instrument will have a deeper range than that of a four-string bass. The neck of the five-string is wider and therefore slightly harder to get the hang of for beginners. This number is best suited for hard rock and metal music.
  • Six-String – In addition to the low B, the six-string bass also has a high C string to extend the range even further. This instrument has a wider neck as well so poses the same handling difficulties. Though this is not recommended for beginners, it needs to be considered for anyone that is dedicated enough to progress in skill quickly.

Learn Your Scales

The scale length is the measurement from the nut to the bridge. The most common size is a scale length of 34”. There are other options, however:

  • Short-Scale – These basses measure in at about 30”. These are not as common, but they are a great choice for beginners as well as young players that have smaller hands. This size of instrument is easier to handle than the standard size.
  • Long-Scale – The neck of this instrument is a 35” scale; this longer neck means that there are more frets. This is something that is more common with five and six-string guitars.

TIP – Beginners should first consider short-scale and traditional-scale bass guitars before graduating to the long-scale as skills develop further.

The Breakdown for Beginners

  • Beginners should start with a fretted guitar with metal frets to divide the fingerboard. This makes it easier to see where to place your fingers.
  • Bass guitars for beginners come in at a lower cost because the hardware and electronics are not as technically made but this does not affect the playability.
  • If you are a beginner that is interested in the different kinds of wood that go into making the guitar, Agathis is less expensive and provides a rich sound.
  • Consider the additional materials you need to get started like tuning devices, instructional DVDs, and picks. These should all be perfectly matched to the guitar you choose.
  • Four-string Bass guitars are easiest to learn on in the beginning.

Top 5 Best Beginner Bass Guitar Reviews

1. Squier by Fender Affinity Jazz Beginner

The Squier by Fender Affinity Jazz Beginner is the bass guitar that any beginner can feel comfortable with. The first thing of note is that the guitar is very affordable without feeling like it is out of date or like it has been beaten up.

The tone and the sound quality, in general, are better than expected for the price. This is due to the combination of materials used. There is Maple wood in the neck, Rosewood for the Fretboard and Alder for the body. These are all very nice materials that also keep the bass guitar durable so you can bring it to and from lessons without worrying about bumps along the way.

The tuners are solidly made and have been installed well so you can get the guitar tuned easily and be playing in no time. The stock strings are good to start with too, though you might require better ones as you learn more.

2. Yamaha TRBX174EW

Musically, the Yamaha TRBX174EW plays well right out of the box. You will be shocked by how nice this guitar is to use considering the low price; this is something that makes this guitar usable for professionals that want to have more guitars to practice on and it is absolutely perfect for beginners.

The variety of color options offers a more personalized feel to this bass guitar. All of the options also draw compliments from others, which is always a good thing. You get a more unique style without having to give up any of the playability with this instrument.

Yamaha is a great guitar brand so the name alone means that you really can’t go wrong. The instrument is made with high-quality woods and materials and comes with the standard 4-strings. All of this gives you good tone and balance when you play.

3. Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro

The Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro is a short-scaled bass that makes it easy for beginners to learn the basics and advance to intermediate without needing to upgrade quickly. This is the best beginner bass guitar that money can buy when you consider the sound quality as well as the style and design.

This is a flashier bass guitar option as it comes in a range of bright, shiny colors rather than the standard woody appearance of others on the market. The colors are rich and vibrant, but that isn’t even the best aspect of this instrument.

Right out of the box, it is easy to tell that this instrument is well made. The combination of woods and the quality of the additional features is impeccable. The only thing that might need to be adjusted as your skills grow are the strings, but that is to be expected with learning on any guitar.

4. Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 50’s

Classic style and good sound quality can both be found working in perfect harmony with the Squier Fender Classic Vibe 50’s. This is a bass guitar that has a vintage look but a clear and updated sound. The superior sound is a promise made by Fender with their guitars, and this one does not disappoint.

Plugging this bass guitar into an amp is a good way to appreciate the quality and the richness of the sound. In terms of the quality of the materials and thus the overall quality of the instrument, everything from the inlays to the tuners and the neck are solid.

The tuners are easy to operate, the intonation is spot on, and the finishes make the guitar looks like a great vintage find. We don’t have any bad things to say about this guitar. It is even incredibly durable so you can use it to practice and travel around without worrying about breaks.

5. Epiphone Toby

The Epiphone Toby is the electric bass guitar that is perfectly suited for both beginners and professionals alike; this is a 34-inch scale length instrument that produces high-quality sound without the high cost of many other bass guitars on the market today.

The company has been making high-quality guitars for years, so it is no surprise that they have made great affordable options too. Everything about this bass guitar is ready for you to play with minimal setup. All you have to do it set up the neck, the string height, intonation, tuners and fret ends, and you are ready to go.

The style of this guitar makes it easy to play and hold to your body. The body and the neck are also very attractive and efficient shapes so you look good while you play too. This comfortable design makes the bass guitar a great pick for beginners in particular. You can learn on this bass guitar and advance through different levels easily.

The Right Balance

Not only do you want an instrument that plays well and will be suitable for learning, but you should also find one that suits the budget of a beginner musician as well.

You should be inspired by your instrument to delve deeper into the world of music, not feel like you are playing with a toy.

You should consider the size of the guitar and the number of strings as the most important features of the guitar. Once you have narrowed these options down, however, you should balance cost and sound quality to make the best purchase.