10 Best Beginner Bass Guitars (2023)

Beginners to bass guitar often need an affordable yet straightforward instrument. This guide presents their best options.

  1. Yamaha BB234
  2. Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazz Bass
  3. Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4
  4. Yamaha TRBX174EW
  5. Squier Mini Precision Bass
  6. Squier Bullet Bronco Bass
  7. Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass
  8. Jackson JS Series Spectra Bass JS3Q
  9. Davison Guitars Full Size Electric Bass Guitar
  10. Fender American Professional II Precision Bass

Bass guitars are essential instruments in any band, providing the low-end sound that fills out the rhythm and groove. But if you’re new to playing bass, you might be overwhelmed by the variety of models, features and prices available on the market. How do you choose the best beginner bass guitar for your needs and budget?

In this article, we’ll help you narrow down your options by reviewing 10 of the best beginner bass guitars in 2023. We’ll cover their pros and cons, their sound quality, their playability and their value for money.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the 10 best beginner bass guitars in 2023!

1. Yamaha BB234


  • High-quality craftsmanship and construction.
  • Solid Alder body provides a balanced and resonant tone.
  • Comfortable and playable neck design.


  • The bass doesn’t come with a gig bag or case, which may require an additional purchase.

The bass guitar is an integral component of any band, setting the foundation and setting the pace for other musicians. That’s why finding an entry-level bass that can grow with you as a musician is paramount, such as Yamaha BB234. This bass features light yet comfortable hold characteristics for playing any playing position while its sleek appearance will turn heads wherever it goes.

The BB234 continues the legacy of the BB series by forgoing trendy technology for proven solutions that deliver reliable excellence to beginning players. As a result, you get an instrument that sounds fantastic while being comfortable to play; one that will remain interesting even as your playing skills evolve.

Solid alder body in the traditional BB double-cutaway style and featuring a gloss finish adds richness to your tone. Bolt-on maple neck features 34″ scale length with 21 frets on a rosewood fingerboard for optimal playback; secured to body by vintage style fixed bridge. Headstock features two lightweight open gear chrome tuners which work in harmony with smaller body size.

Electronics for the BB234 include two passive Custom V3 ceramic pickups – one at the neck and another at the bridge – controlled by master volume and tone controls for each pickup to allow you to fine-tune your sound texture and personalize your tonal choices. This combination is versatile enough to suit most styles from hard rock to jazz with bright, clear tonals that cut through any mix with ease.

2. Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazz Bass


  • Authentic vintage-style design and aesthetics, reminiscent of the iconic 1960s Jazz Bass.
  • Affordable price point compared to higher-end bass guitars.
  • Solid build quality with a comfortable and playable neck.


  • Some players may find the stock pickups lacking in output or tonal versatility.

The Classic Vibe ’60s Jazz Bass pays homage to its decade of origin by offering luxurious playability coupled with versatility and massive tone from dual Fender-Designed alnico single-coil pickups. Player-friendly features of this vintage Squier model include its slim “C”-shaped neck profile for comfortable standing or sitting playback; smooth 9.5″ radius fingerboard featuring narrow tall frets for greater control; vintage tint gloss neck finish that gives this throwback an old school aesthetic; as well as its 1960s headstock markings and nickel plating hardware as well as its threaded saddles which enable stringing at pitch!

The Jazz Bass was originally intended to appeal to jazz bassists; its slim neck is designed for fluid execution of complex bass lines – but has since become an instantaneous success across musical genres from rock to R&B and beyond. This Classic Vibe ’60s Jazz Bass brings its iconic punchy bass sound seen on numerous hit records!

This bass features a 34″ scale length, making it an excellent beginner bass guitar. Crafted from solid poplar for optimal resonance and sustain, its body boasts vintage tuners for authentic look while Squier-designed pickups deliver warm midrange growl with crisp highs for superior tonality.

Unplugged, this bass is lively and responsive when played fingerstyle; but when plugged into a power amp its tone becomes truly remarkable. Both neck and bridge pickups project each note with clarity, authority, warmth – while its volume control response offers virtually infinite tonal variations.

3. Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4


  • Solid construction and durability
  • Authentic StingRay sound and tone
  • Lightweight and well-balanced design


  • Some users may prefer a higher quality finish

The Music Man StingRay bass guitar has long been the gold standard for beginner basses. With its iconic shape, acoustic-like tone, and reasonable price point it remains one of the premier beginner bass guitars on the market. However, its price can often prove prohibitive for beginners on tight budgets; entering Sterling, a sub-brand of Music Man offering affordable instruments with licensed Music Man designs and featuring their Ray4 beginner-friendly StingRay.

As with other StingRay models, the Ray4 features a basswood body, hard maple neck with jatoba fingerboard and 34″ scale length – some of the finest materials available at its price point – so you can expect this guitar to perform admirably and last a long time.

It comes equipped with a single ceramic humbucker equipped with a two-band active preamp that allows you to customize your sound. Adjusting lows provides tight and groovy sounds while raising mids can lead to pop rock arrangements. Furthermore, its wide frequency range makes this bass suitable for any genre of music.

The controls on the Ray4 are straightforward and user-friendly; its volume knob controls humbucking power while its EQ knobs tailor treble and bass levels respectively. Although simple controls, these offer plenty of versatility and control for newcomers. Furthermore, its hardware is sturdy and reliable; its fixed bridge features four fully adjustable saddles along with standard die-cast tuning machines; with these adjustments you can create any bass tone imaginable – from intense slaps and quarter-note thumps all the way to walking bass lines!

4. Yamaha TRBX174EW


  • Eye-catching exotic wood finish
  • Versatile sound options with the combination of P/J pickups
  • Comfortable and playable neck design


  • Basic hardware and tuning stability may require occasional adjustments

Designed as an affordable beginner bass guitar that will grow with you as you learn, the TRBX174EW bass guitar is a superb option. Comfortable to play and featuring multiple finishes options, its performance far surpasses that of more expensive models when strung with strings of your choosing and set up properly.

This bass features a body made of mahogany for its warm tone with strong sustain and good balance, featuring flamed mango veneer for added aesthetic. The neck features a fast action bolt-on design for maximum comfort when playing for beginners; rosewood fingerboard offers excellent sensitivity while offering solid feel; pickup configuration offers versatility; classic P/J pickup configuration provides multiple tones to choose from

There may not be a pickup selector switch on this instrument, but with two volume knobs and one master tone control you have plenty of versatility at your disposal to experiment with different tones and discover which kinds of bass works best with songs you enjoy playing. This step is especially essential for new bassists as it will help determine their preferred genres moving forward.

This bass comes with a lifetime limited warranty to give you peace of mind that it will support your musical journey. Perfect for novice bassists or anyone wanting to practice at home or other locations where carrying more expensive instruments would not be safe or practical, this instrument makes an excellent addition.

5. Squier Mini Precision Bass


  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Ideal for beginners and players with smaller hands
  • Affordable price compared to full-size bass guitars


  • Some players may find the smaller body size less comfortable

The Fender Mini Precision Bass is an excellent entry-level bass option, featuring all of its classic features in an easier, reduced size package. As with its larger sibling, this diminutive version boasts the same stellar look and sound qualities that have made it such an indispensable classic instrument.

The body is both slim and lightweight, while its shorter-than-short scale neck features an ergonomic C-shape profile and easy-to-play radius for comfortable playing. Just like its larger sibling, the Mini Precision Bass also comes equipped with a split single-coil pickup to provide musical variety as well as a hardtail bridge to maintain tuning stability.

This tiny bass features two chrome knobs for aesthetic purposes, adding to its visual appeal. Even though its scale length is nearly five inches shorter than standard basses, its neck is quite forgiving for players with smaller hands – even beginners! At 1.5″, its nut should provide ample support as they gain experience and learn finger placement more accurately.

While some bassists may not like its droopy appearance, many find the Mini Precision Bass an attractive option. Aside from its unusual headstock shape, this instrument boasts exceptional low-end response and clear highs for its size. Though not quite on par with Jackson’s Concert series basses in terms of smoothness and playability, its neck is far superior at this price point – an absolute joy to play – making the Mini Precision Bass an investment you will treasure over many years to come – while its lively laurel fingerboard capped by pearloid dot inlays makes this piece just as great-sounding.

6. Squier Bullet Bronco Bass


  • Affordable price point
  • Ideal for punk, alternative, or garage rock genres
  • Comfortable to play for beginners or those with smaller hands


  • Limited tonal variety compared to more expensive basses

Squier has designed an easily manageable and affordable bass guitar in their Bronco Bass model. It boasts a lightweight body, slim 30 short scale neck with 19 frets, single coil pickup, C-shaped maple neck profile with comfortable C-shape profile for increased tone durability, master volume and tone controls that let you customize sound according to music genre.

This bass is perfect for beginners, young people or anyone seeking an affordable yet easy-to-use instrument. The shorter scale makes it more manageable and portable when traveling; perfect if your gear costs too much to bring with you on trips!

The Bronco Bass features a single-coil pickup which can be calibrated using its easy control knobs. This makes it a good option for beginners as you can control how much brightness or warmth to add to your tone, plus this guitar is compatible with various aftermarket pickups so you can make it exactly what suits you!

Squier Bullet basses have long been revered as outstanding starter electric basses for beginners and have helped numerous newcomers begin playing music. While their Sonic series predecessors may now be replacing them, Squier Bullet Bronco Bass remains an outstanding bass option that provides great value.

7. Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass


  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate players
  • Classic Jazz Bass design and sound
  • Comfortable and playable neck


  • Some players may outgrow its capabilities as their skills advance

As an ideal way for novice players to begin exploring the timeless Fender family, this bass guitar provides great versatility. Equipped with several player-friendly details such as its slim yet comfortable “C” neck profile and 4-saddle bridge for solid string stability as well as vintage-style open-gear tuning machines for smooth tuning action, as well as two Squier single-coil J Bass pickups offering various tones, this instrument provides everything beginners need to build their musical careers.

Although this bass may not have the same high quality as some of our more costly models, it still makes an excellent choice for any beginning bass guitarists on a tight budget. At only $50.00 it offers incredible value.

One factor that distinguishes this bass from others on our list is its construction material: basswood is more affordable yet still offers plenty of tone and durability compared to maple.

One unique characteristic of this bass is its narrow nut width, making it easier for experienced musicians to play than traditional basses with wider nut widths that may prove harder for newcomers to use.

Finally, this bass is fitted with two Squier Jazz Bass single-coil pickups which offer a range of tones and provide a full, warm sound – ideal for beginners trying out various musical genres or finding their niche.

8. Jackson JS Series Spectra Bass JS3Q


  • Eye-catching quilted maple top adds visual appeal
  • Versatile tone options with two high-output humbucking pickups
  • Active electronics provide a wide range of tones


  • Some players may find the neck profile too thick or thin for their preferences

If you’re ready to elevate your bass game, the JS Series Spectra Bass JS3Q could be just what’s needed. At an affordable four-string price point, this four-string bass offers upgraded features to take your sound even further: upgraded electronics, Hi-Mass bridge construction and Jackson active humbucking pickups provide plenty of tonal possibilities, while blend control, push/pull selector for coil splitting and 3-band EQ make dialing in that perfect tone effortless.

Premier Guitar recently reviewed the JS Series Spectra Bass and found it to be an impressive instrument, packed with impressive features. Writer Steve Cook found its two Jackson humbuckers an ideal complement for pedals or amps; its active/passive switch, blend knob, and three band equalization provided him with flexibility when customizing sound without preamps or amplifiers.

The JS3Q is handcrafted from poplar and features multiple finishes: Gloss Black, Metallic Red or Silverburst; as well as matching hardware. Its bolt-on maple neck boasts a comfortable scarf joint, 12″ compound radius laurel fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets for fast and precise playability. Jackson Hi-Mass bridge enhances note attack without changing tone while sealed die-cast tuning machines keep strings in tune.

These updated JS Series bass guitars were created with artists in mind. Both the JS3 and JS3V feature an all-new offset poplar body, along with bolt-on maple necks featuring graphite reinforcement rods, scarf joints and 12-16″ compound radius laurel fingerboards. Furthermore, each basse comes equipped with Jackson J-style and P-style active humbucking pickups, three band EQ circuit, HiMass bridges and sealed die-cast tuners to bring your vision for music to life!

9. Davison Guitars Full Size Electric Bass Guitar


  • Affordable price point
  • Full-size design suitable for adult players
  • Solid construction and durable materials


  • May require a setup or adjustment out of the box

This black full-size electric bass guitar offers many features beginners would appreciate in their first instrument, including its sturdy wood body that can withstand everyday bumps and bruises, and high-quality pickup which provides a variety of sounds.

This bass guitar was designed with comfort in mind. With its soothing tones and deep sound, this instrument makes a great choice for beginners looking for value and performance. Plus, this model comes complete with accessories to help newcomers get started such as case, strap, amp cord and pick – making this bass a great value.

One of the advantages of this bass guitar is that it is made of Alder wood, making it lightweight and easy to play. Furthermore, its maple neck can be bolted on or unbolted for convenience; additionally, Jatoba or Maple fretboard allows beginners to quickly learn. Finally, 21 medium frets help newcomers gain knowledge quickly.

Another outstanding feature of this bass is its humbucking bridge pickup, ideal for rock music. Additionally, this guitar comes in multiple colors so beginners can find one they enjoy playing.

Many budget basses on the market tend to be made cheaply, resulting in subpar sound quality or performance. But this Davison Guitars Full Size Electric Bass Guitar stands out as an exception: its superior craftsmanship ensures it sounds fantastic while being suitable for various musical genres (even teacher approved!). Furthermore, this instrument comes equipped with its own small amplifier – perfect for home use!

10. Fender American Professional II Precision Bass


  • High-quality craftsmanship and construction
  • Versatile tone with the split-coil V-Mod II Precision Bass pickup
  • Classic aesthetics and timeless design


  • Relatively higher price compared to entry-level bass guitars

Fender’s Precision Bass guitar has long been an icon among bassists. Their latest iteration, the American Professional II Precision Bass, upholds this reputation while modernizing some aspects for modern bassists. Perhaps most notably are its pickups which incorporate two magnets per pole to cover more frequencies than most basses – creating a punchy sound capable of fitting most styles of music.

This bass features a deep “C” neck with rolled fingerboards for maximum comfort, narrower and taller frets that make reaching higher register easier, as well as new polyurethane finish that makes the neck more durable and easy to maintain; strings pass through Hi-Mass bridge that adds tone and sustain to this instrument.

It comes equipped with a molded hardshell case for safe transport, and features a standard tremolo bridge which allows full use of its whammy bar. In addition, its split-coil pickup covers any style of music; making this ideal for jazz, reggae, rock and punk music genres as it produces clear definition and lots of punch.

The Fender American Professional II Precision Bass is the ideal bass for beginners as it’s both easy to play and sounds incredible. Made of solid material, this durable instrument will last generations of musicians. Additionally, its affordable price makes this bass an excellent value; additionally it comes equipped with both a hardshell case and gig bag to help protect it.

Things You Should Know Before Buying A Beginners Bass

Should I go short or long scale?

There is no definitive answer to whether you should go for a short scale or a long scale bass guitar, as it depends on your personal preference, playing style, musical genre, and physical comfort. The best way to decide is to try out both types of basses and see which one feels and sounds better to you. Some factors to consider are:

  • If you want a warmer, fuller, and more mellow tone, go for a short scale bass.
  • If you want a brighter, tighter, and more focused tone, go for a long scale bass.
  • If you have smaller hands or shorter arms, or if you want to play with less finger fatigue and pressure, go for a short scale bass.
  • If you have larger hands or longer arms, or if you want to play with more finger strength and accuracy, go for a long scale bass.
  • If you want a more forgiving and easier to intonate instrument, go for a short scale bass.
  • If you want a more responsive and versatile instrument, go for a long scale bass.

What pickups are best?

Pickups are parts that make the sound of your bass louder. They are the things that turn the movement of the strings into sound that you can hear. The kind of pickup you have on your bass can change how your sound is. There are different kinds of pickups for bass guitars, but they can be divided into two main groups- single-coil and humbucker.

Single-coil pickups have one coil of wire wrapped around a magnet. They produce a bright and clear tone with a lot of high-end detail, but they also tend to pick up hum and noise from electrical sources.
Humbucker pickups have two coils of wire placed side by side or stacked on top of each other. They produce a hum-canceling effect by reversing the polarity and winding direction of one coil, which cancels out the noise picked up by the other coil. They also produce a rich and balanced tone with a lot of versatility and tonal options.

The best pickup for you depends on what you like, how you play, what music you play, and how you want to sound. You should try different pickups and see what you like best.

Bass guitars are fun and versatile instruments that can add a lot of depth and groove to your music. However, they can also be intimidating for beginners who don’t know where to start. That’s why we have reviewed some of the best bass guitars for beginners in this article, and given you some tips on how to choose the right one for you. We hope that this article has helped you narrow down your options and find the bass guitar that matches your skill level, taste and budget. Remember, the best bass guitar for you is the one that makes you want to play more and enjoy the learning process. Happy bass playing!


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