Are you dreaming of thumping basslines and groovy rhythms but not sure where to start? Picking the right bass guitar as a beginner can be a daunting task, given the myriad of options available. Fear not! We've carefully curated a list of the top 5 starter bass guitars that promise quality, affordability, and comfort for those just starting their musical journey.
Whether you're into funk, rock, jazz, or just exploring your musical tastes, these bass guitars are designed to ease your learning curve and keep you inspired. So, strap in and let's dive into the world of bass guitars, where we help you find the perfect companion for your musical voyage!
Included in this guide:
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This entry-level Squier Affinity model features a standard P-style, split-coil neck pickup. But for extra tonal versatility, Fender used a J-style single coil bridge pickup. Each one of the two ceramic pickups has its own volume knob. Next to them, you have a third master tone control.
What makes the bass particularly player-friendly is the c-shaped neck and lightweight body. Aside from the bass itself, the pack includes straps, a gig bag, an amp, and a cable. With an 8” speaker and three-band EQ, the Fender Rumble 15-watt amp does well for home jamming sessions.
At the heart of the Jumpstart kit is the GSR190 bass, which is part of the GIO series. The GSR190 is a PJ bass with a split coil for fat tones and a single-coil bridge pickup. Slightly further away from the spotlight is the 10-watt IBZ2B amp.
This solid-state amp (with 6.5” Power Jam speakers) is ideal for low-level practice sessions at home but not so much for live gigs. Ibanez ships this bass-and-amp combo with basic accessories, like straps and a bag. But the company also added a tuner and a hex wrench into the mix.
Despite the simple no-pickguard design, this full-size electric bass guitar from Davison can be a reliable pick for beginners. It features a dual P-style pickup, and you’ll control the output with one tone knob and one volume knob. This stripped-down design could be handy if you don’t want to bother with more settings than necessary.
Donner offers its beginner bass guitar kit in three variations based on the pickup configuration. The simplest of them all is the PB (DPB-510D) one, with class split single-coil pickups and two-knob controls next to the output jack. The PJ (DPJ-100) model, on the other hand, comes with an active EQ preamp circuit and has four controls: volume, blend, bass, and treble.
For this guide’s purposes, we reviewed the passive PB model. Overall, the neck design (c-shaped) and smooth finish make the bass beginner-friendly. But you’ll have to buy some accessories separately because Donner only includes a strap, a bag, a cable, and an Allen wrench in the pack.
Glarry’s starter bass features a split single-coil pickup that’s well-suited for warm styles. While there’s nothing fancy about the design, Glarry tried to cater to different tastes by offering the bass in a range of colors, from burly wood to sunset. Aside from the basic accessories, the package includes a 20-watt amp ( around 6.6 lb), a spanner tool, and just one pick.
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PJ tends to offer more sonic exploration, compared to PB and JB pickup configurations. That’s because the PJ bass features both P-style “Precision” and J-style “Jazz” pickups. However, if you’re comparing Precision and Jazz basses, it would be worth noting the JBs sound more complex but are also neck-heavy. So, as a beginner, you might want to consider PJ or PB.
Strap, tuner, amp, stand, cable, gig bag, picks, and cleaning gear come to mind. If you don’t want to bother buying several bass guitar accessories separately, consider getting a starter pack. Even if it’s missing some accessories (or they’re low quality), you’ll be able to upgrade and fill in the gaps as you go.
When people say “scale length,” they’re referring to the measurement from the bridge to the nut. Most bass guitars have a standard scale length of 34”. While there are short-scale versions, they’re mostly used for younger players.
For the most part, a traditional four-string bass guitar will do. You might find models with five or six strings. However, they can be harder to master.
No. Since you’re just starting, a simple passive bass is enough. It’s often cheaper, too. Plus, you won’t have to worry about batteries running out.
If you’re looking for a starter kit that balances versatility and playability, the Squier Affinity Precision Bass would be hard to resist. In second place, with a slightly less powerful amp, comes the Ibanez Jumpstart kit. While they’re both reasonably priced, some beginners would rather grab something even cheaper. If that’s the case, the Glarry Electric Bass Guitar would be a good fit.
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