Here’s a roundup of the best budget beginner electric basses for 2020. If you are tight on cash or don’t want to commit to a higher quality/price instrument than this is the list for you (all of these basses are around $200 at the time of this post)! If you feel like you will be a dedicated student and will commit to the long haul, then I recommend spending more money initially on a bass that will last you longer.

The Best all around Budget Bass

Squier Affinity Series PJ Bass Limited-Edition Electric Bass

Best all around Budget Bass

The Squier Affinity Series PJ Bass Limited-Edition Bass

The Fender Precision Bass has been around for almost 70 years and is easily the most recorded electric bass of all time. It’s distinct scooped mid tone works great for most genres, including pop, rock, reggae, blues, country, and funk. While the P Bass is rivaled only by its sibling Fender Jazz bass, the Squier Affinity Series PJ Bass features all of the best traits of the P bass AND J Bass, including a modern C profile neck and a single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup in addition to the traditional split single-coil Precision Bass pickup. The Squier brand is Fender’s entry level line of guitars and Basses that are made primarily in China and Indonesia.

Shop here for the Squier Affinity Series PJ Bass Limited-Edition Bass

Best short scale budget Bass

Ibanez GSRM20B Mikro 4-String Electric Bass

Best short scale budget Bass

The Ibanez GSRM20B Mikro 4-String Electric Bass

The GSRM20B is a great starter budget bass for youngsters or adults that have smaller hands. This bass features a shorter 28.6” scale neck and small scale SR body, but cranks out big tone with its Dynamix P and J style pickups. Besides the smaller size; the materials, construction, and setup remain the same as its full-size counterpart.

Shop here for the Ibanez GSRM20B Mikro 4-String Bass

Best Budget Bass for Jazz and Rock

Squier Affinity Jazz Electric Bass

Best Budget Bass for Jazz and Rock

The Squier Affinity Jazz Electric Bass

Fender Jazz basses have a distinct mid-range punchy tone that cuts through just about any mix. My personal go-to bass is my 5 string Fender American Jazz bass, it seems like less of a “character bass” and more of a work horse that always sounds great and is awesome for slapping. The Indonesian made Squier Affinity Jazz, while not the same quality and caliber of its American counterpart, is a great buy with its maple C shape neck, 20 fret Indian laurel fingerboard, and dual single-coil jazz pickups.

Shop here for the Squier Affinity Jazz Bass

Best Budget Bass for slapping

Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Ray4 Electric Bass

Best Budget Bass for slapping

The Sterling S.U.B. Ray4 Bass

With their distinctively growly mid-range tone, Musicman basses have become the bass of choice for some of the top bassists including Flea, John Deacon (Queen), Tony Levin, Louis Johnson, and many others. SUB is Music Man’s lower price entry level line that don’t quite match up to their flagship line, but are regardless pretty nice for the price. The Sterlings feature solid basswood bodies, maple necks with rosewood or maple fingerboards, and a passive humbucker pickup with 2-band eq. Note that these basses sell for closer to $300 at the time of this post.

Shop here for the Sterling S.U.B. Ray4 Bass

Best Modern Style Budget Bass

Yamaha TRBX174EW Mango Wood Electric Bass

Best Modern Style Budget Bass

The Yamaha TRBX174EW Mango Wood Bass

Yamaha is known for offering quality musical instruments at all price points and with heavyweight bassists such as Nathan East, Jimmy Haslip, Will Lee, John Patitucci, Lee Sklar, Billy Sheehan, and Michael Anthony on their artist list, they are a force to reckon with. The TRBX174EW represents a price breakthrough for the TRBX range with a maple neck, sonokeling fingerboard, exotic mango wood body, and one single coil/one split coil pickup configuration. If you were to choose a bass on looks alone, this would be a top contender.

Shop here for the Yamaha TRBX174EW Mango Wood Bass

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