fbpx
Sign In
Account
0
$0.00 0 items

No products in the cart.

$0.00
0
$0.00 0 items

No products in the cart.

$0.00

Best Starter Bass Guitars: Top 5 Picks For Newbies

audiosorcerer
|
November 19, 2023 
|
Last Updated on January 9, 2024

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:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ Pack

Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ Pack

  • PJ pickup configuration
  • Poplar body, maple neck, and maple/laurel fingerboard
  • 20 medium jumbo frets
4.6
Check Price
Runner-up
Ibanez IJSR190N Jumpstart Bass Guitar Pack

Ibanez IJSR190N Jumpstart Bass Guitar Pack

  • PJ pickup configuration
  • Poplar body, maple GSR4 neck, and jatoba fingerboard
  • 22 medium nickel-silver frets
4.5
Check Price
Top Pick
Davison Guitars Electric Bass Guitar Pack

Davison Guitars Electric Bass Guitar Pack

  • Dual P-style pickups
  • Alder/basswood body, maple neck, and maple fretboard
  • 22 frets
4.5
Check Price
Top Pick
Donner Electric Bass Guitar Pack

Donner Electric Bass Guitar Pack

  • PB, JB, or PJ pickup configuration 
  • Poplar body, Canadian-maple neck, and purpleheart/laurel fingerboard
  • 21 copper-nickel alloy frets
4.6
Check Price
Lowest Price
Glarry Electric Bass Guitar Pack

Glarry Electric Bass Guitar Pack

  • PB pickup configuration
  • Basswood body, basswood neck, and rosewood fretboard
  • 20 frets
4.4
Check Price

Related Article: Best Guitar Picks: Top 5 Choices for Every Guitarist


The Top 5 Best Starter Bass Guitars

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.

Pros
  • Glossy finishes with a sleek black pickguard
  • Fender Play subscription included (3-months only)
  • Workmanship and material defects warranty (2 years)
Cons
  • The gig bag could use some extra padding
  • Doesn’t come with a clip-on tuner or a bass pick
  • Should strap can be a little uncomfortable for tall bassists

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.

Pros
  • Thin neck design is comfortable for beginners or people with smaller hands
  • Eye-catching metallic colors with durable, glossy finishes 
  • Comes with an electronic tuner
Cons
  • Straps could slide off (a strap lock system should fix this issue)
  • Might need an amp and cable upgrade
  • You might struggle to find tutorial videos for this exact model

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.

Pros
  • Comes with three 0.71 mm picks (assorted colors) 
  • Nice weight distribution and balance for easier handling
  • Simple design and control options
Cons
  • Slightly large frets with sharp edges that could nick your hand
  • Accessories feel a bit flimsy (gig bag, straps, and cable)
  • DA15 amp performance is a little disappointing and might buzz

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.

Pros
  • Good for creating growly tones with huge bottom ends
  • Cable is surprisingly high-quality
  • Front 6.35mm jack placement can reduce fuss for beginners
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with an amp, tuner, or picks
  • Frets need to be filled down
  • Finger action could feel slightly high

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.

Pros
  • Affordable price point
  • Comes with a 20-watt amp (rather than the usual 10 or 15 watts)
  • Easy-to-access front jack
Cons
  • The strap could be too small for adults
  • The cable feels a little cheap
  • Some people report rattle/vibrations on the frets

Related Article: 2024 Best Guitar Cleaning Kits: Keep Your Instrument Looking New!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the best bass pickup configuration for a beginner?

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.

What accessories do I need for a bass guitar?

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.

What should the scale length of the bass guitar be?

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.

Should my first bass guitar have four or six strings?

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.

Do I need an active bass guitar?

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.

Product Recap

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.

If you found this guide helpful, please consider subscribing to our blog for more music production tips, product reviews, and buying guides. Also, you can support new content by contributing to our tip jar.

"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

Don't forget to share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support New Content

We love creating and sharing content that supports you in your musical journey. Thanks for being here along the way and making it possible.
We always value and welcome your support. This can be done by sharing an article with a friend, signing up for our newsletter, or contributing to our tip jar.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram