What is the best beginner bass? While there is no definitive single best bass for beginners there are a few good options depending on your budget and the genre of music you want to play.
As the old adage goes: “you get what you pay for”.
This is definitely true of musical instruments, and with bass guitars, a lower price usually translates into cheaper construction and materials. A common place that manufacturers cut corners is in the electronics, which affects the quality of the sound and can stop working after not too long. While you can always upgrade electronics at a later date, it’s a good idea to spend a little more to get a better quality instrument, especially if you are in it for the long run.
Let’s take a look at a few options at different price points:
If you are looking to play funk, blues, or jazz, the versatile Squier Affinity Jazz Bass (priced around $180) is a good way to go. Squier is the lower end offshoot of Fender Instruments, one of the most well known producers of electric guitars and basses. The Jazz basses tend to have thinner necks then their Precision Bass counterparts (another Squier model) which make them easier to play for beginners.
Here is an example of the Squier Affinity Jazz bass:
A lot of people prefer the comparably priced Yamaha RBX170 to the Squier Affinity Jazz for playability and sound. The RBX170 sports precision and jazz style pick ups for a more versatile range of rock, blues, and funk sounds. Yamaha has a variety of bass models at different price points and levels of quality.
Here is an example of the Yamaha RBX170 bass:
Ibanez produces some pretty solid entry level basses for the money and the GSR200 is no exception. While priced only marginally higher than the RBX170, a lot of people like the thinner neck of the GSR200 while other people prefer the thicker tone of the Yamaha bass.
Here is an example of the Ibanez GSR200 bass:
A step up from the previous examples in both price and quality, the Schecter Stiletto bass is a good choice for a heavier sound and look. Schecter Guitar Research is an American musical instrument company that has gained a reputation and larger market share by offering quality instruments at affordable pricing. Some people claim the stock pick ups on the Stiletto Extreme model leave a little to be desired. Although you can always upgrade these later, the Stiletto Custom is a step up in price and all around quality.
Here is an example of the Schecter Stiletto Extreme bass:
The Fender “P Bass” is arguably the most recorded electric bass in history. Although not quite as versatile in tone as a Fender Jazz bass, it’s distinct low end thump fits in the mix of a band beautifully. Some people like the chunkier neck of the P bass while others don’t, the best thing to do is to hold one yourself to see if it is right for you. The Standard model is the made in Mexico (MIM) version that has slightly lower grade electronics and materials than the American Standard version. Once again, you can always upgrade the electronics at a later date.
Here is an example of the Fender American Standard Precision bass:
One thing you always want to take into consideration when buying a bass is the overall feel of the instrument. Even if you are a total beginner, it is still good to sit down and compare instruments to see if you prefer the weight of the bass and feel of the neck on one versus the others. This is always highly recommended if you have the ability to do so.
Once you have chosen the bass for you, the next step is to find the best bass teacher for lessons. If you are in the Orange County Ca area, Mark Hamrock at Hamrock Music Instruction has been chosen by CBS Los Angeles as one of their “Best Places for Lessons in Orange County ”. If you are outside of the Orange County area, Mark also provides online bass lessons via Webcam.