Best Beginner’s Bass Guitar for 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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If you are looking for an instrument that raises the bar of your gigs and practice sessions, then an entry level bass guitar is what you should be looking for. Bass guitars are really cool instruments and are quite exciting to start with; however, it can be tricky sometimes.
It has a very different approach of playing when compared to an electric acoustic guitar. So, choosing the right bass guitar will leave plenty of room for beginners to learn and perform. With distinct features and models available in the market, choosing the apt one is difficult.
We have listed down the five best beginner’s bass guitar, which we believe will help you learn and practice better.
|1. Sterling StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar|
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|2. Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BK|
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|3. Yamaha TRBX174|
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|4. quier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass|
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|5. Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar|
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Our Best Beginner’s Bass Guitar for 2020 Reviews and Comparisons
1.Sterling StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar
- Iconic StingRay bass in Black finish with Black Pickguard
- Basswood Body with Maple neck and Fretboard
- Equipped with a Sterling by music Man designed Ceramic pickup and 2-band Active preamp: volume, Treble, bass
- All Sterling by Music Man instruments receive final set-up and inspection in the USA
Music Man, a well-known brand for classic bass guitars, introduced Sterling Stingray Ray4. As one of the most comfortable bass guitars, with a decent double cutaway and stunning body shape that compliment any bassist playing it.
Sterling Ray4 bass guitar has a signature teardrop pickguard, classic control layout and great finish. Also, its tonewood is generally used for entry-level to mid-range instruments. This helps the guitar to bring out even the fat tones with a definite level of softness and breathiness. Moreover, it is best sounding bass guitar suitable for producing classic rock tone.
What We Like About Sterling StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar
The best trait of Sterling Ray4 is its 6 bolt neck design. For more than 40 years, this is the signature design of the StingRay series, which makes it quite stable. This 4 string bass guitar is built with Humbucker Pickup which gives a rich complexity to the tone it produces.
Sterling Ray4 can produce full-bodied sound if used on a bridge with a 9V powered Active Preamp. Moreover, its amplification is controlled by a master volume and hi-low boost cut.
Further, it comes with a 3+1 Tuning key arrangement and ensures a ‘straight string pull’ across the nut, creating less friction and providing more reliable tuning stability. This model also has a 2-band EQ that enables the beginner bassists to tweak the tone, making the sound sweeter.
What We Don’t Like About Sterling StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar
Apart from the pricing, this bass guitar is made to produce stability and comfort while playing. For a beginner’s guitar, the price is quite high.
- Teardrop Pickguard
- Humbucker Pickup
- 6 bolt neck design
- 3+1 tuning key arrangement
- 2-band EQ
- Quite pricey
2.Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BK
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Known to be the backbone of several rock songs, Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar is one of best beginner’s bass guitars. A solid body, smooth neck and a Phat II bass boost gives an extra punch to the instrument when playing.
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BK is built of tonewood Agathis, which is quite decent for the price that it comes at. Besides, the guitar is made of one-piece maple neck and has a Jatoba fretboard on top. This one-piece maple neck is thinner than the traditional brass neck and has pearl dot inlays which help the bassists to locate their tones during jamming.
What We Like About Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BK
The features that make this guitar suitable for beginners are its two pickups. Ibanez 4 String is built with a single coil neck pickup and spilt bridge pickup. Moreover, the best thing about this feature is that each pickup has its independent volume but both share one tone knob. The Phat II EQ knob which is also one of the key features, gives an extra bass boost.
Another standout feature of Ibanez GSR200BK is the standard fixed bridge with fully adjustable roller saddles, a set of die cast tuning machine and a standard synthetic nut.
What We Don’t Like About Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BK
This guitar has weak tuners. If used lightly it works pretty well, but with rough and aggressive usage, the tuners just give up. Besides, it is not as powerful as the high end basses and the tone also lacks warmth and depth. It gives a regular tone, which is not as clear as the humbucker.
- Thin Neck with pearl dot inlays
- Two pickups- single coil and split bridge
- Phat II EQ knob
- Standard fixed bridge with adjustable roller saddles
- Weak tuners
- Lacks powerful bass
- Common tone, not clear
Yamaha TRBX174 bass guitar comes with everything that a beginner would need and carries the lowest price tag amongst others. Simple design with excellent functionality, playability and performance makes Yamaha TRBX174 more appealing and attractive.
Manufactured by Yamaha, TRBX174 bass is built with diverse features to bring comfort while playing. Yamaha TRBX174 is a full sized bass made of alder with 34 inches scale length. The double cutaway allows easy and hindrance free access to the 24 upper frets.
Besides, a sturdy bolt neck makes it comfortable to hold. With 40 mm nut width, a rosewood fretboard with dot inlays and 250mm radius, Yamaha TRBX174 is also regarded as the best beginner’s bass guitar.
What We Like About Yamaha TRBX174
What we liked about this guitar is its chrome hardware which makes it durable and solid. It is fully equipped with a vintage styled bridge with four fully adjustable saddles. The electronics of the guitar is also commendable, as it is fitted with two passive ceramics pickups of P (Precision-bass pickup)/J (Jazz-bass pickup) configuration.
Both these pickups deliver decent tones; P style bass produces deep bass sound while J style bass pickup brings out the brighter tones at higher ranges. Apt for a beginner!
The split single-coil pickup is present in the neck position like in Fender’s Precision bass and the single coil pickup is on the bridge like in Fender’s Jazz bass. This configuration developed for amateurs allows them to explore varied tones that can be produced on a bass guitar.
What We Don’t Like About Yamaha TRBX174
Although Yamaha TRBX174 is quite impressive with its features, there are some limitations. It is not ideal for professional recording or live performance because the tone is not precise and controllable. Further, it’s not an active pickup bass and lacks proper volume.
- P/J- styled pickup configuration
- 34 inches scale length
- 24 frets
- FBudget -friendly
- Lacks clarity in tone- not precise or controllable
- Not active pickup bass
4.Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass
- Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
- Loaded with two Squier single-coil J Bass pickups for a wide variety of tones
- 4-saddle bridge for solid string stability
- Vintage-style open-gear tuning machines for smooth, accurate tuning
- Satin neck finish
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass gives a powerful rock feel. With impressive finishing and flexible features, Squier Jazz Bass is quite a suitable beginner’s bass guitar which is available at an affordable value.
Manufactured by Fender, this Affinity Series Jazz Bass is assembled using decent parts, which delivers quality sounds suited for its value. Its J-bass body is crafted in alder, which delivers clear full-bodied sound that has good sustain, fatty mid tones, and excellent low tones.
Squier J-bass guitar has a slim C-profile neck constructed in maple wood and is overlaid with 20 medium jumbo frets made of rosewood with dot inlays.
What We Like About Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass
The most likeable feature in the Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass is its standard and single coil pickup basses. These two pickups are present at the neck and bridge. Moreover, these two pickups are controlled by two separate volume knobs and a master tone. Also, this dual pickup feature brings out versatility in its tone.
Another likeable feature of this jazz bass guitar is its standard adjustable 4 Saddle Bridge and an Open Gear Tuning Machine in chrome. These hold the strings in place for proper intonation and helps in getting the right pitch.
What We Don’t Like About Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazz Bass
The Squier lacks a good tonal quality and gear ratio. However, the tonal quality of the guitar can be improved if replaced by Alnico V pickup, but the not-so-apt gear ratio makes the tuning keys inefficient.
- 20 medium jumbo frets
- Standard single coil pickup
- Standard adjustable 4-saddle bridge
- Open gear tuning machine
- Lacks the finest gear ratio
- Lacks good tonal quality
5.Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar
- The Epiphone EB-3 bass has mahogany body with a mahogany set neck along with a slimtaper "D" profile neck. The fingerboard is rosewood and has the classic trapezoid inlays.
- This bass is loaded with a Sidewinder Humbucker pickup in the neck and an NYT bass mini humbucker pickup in the bridge and chrome hardware.
- The EB-3 comes with Epiphone's Limited Lifetime Warranty and Gibson 24/7/365 customer service.
- Mahogany body
- NYT Bass Mini-Humbucker pickups
The Epiphone EB-3 electric bass guitar has became one of most attractive and distinctive basses. The present model of EB-3 is a recreation of the vintage model with the same feel and tone but at an affordable price.
Built with 34 inch scale length and 1.65 inch nut width, this guitar has captivating cutaways, a set neck, chrome hardware and a pair of humbucker pickups. Plus, it is built of mahogany which brings out that familiar vintage feel.
What We Like About Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar
The Epiphone Eb-3 has a versatile tonal quality, which allows you to play anything from rock n roll to blues. Further, it is built with two pickups- a standard humbucker on the neck and a mini humbucker on the bridge. Moreover, this bass guitar is known best for its versatility in playing different genres because of its complex electronics.
What We Don’t Like About Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar
Although the guitar is a classic bass model yet it has its downsides. The cutaway of this guitar needs improvement as playing higher notes is not very comfortable for bassists. The sound breaks if notes are too high.
- Versatility in tone with multiple picks
- Standard humbucker and mini humbucker
- Classic bass sound
- Lacks fine cutaways
We believe the Yamaha TRBX174 is the best beginner’s bass guitar among others. The durable body with exceptional electronics configuration of P/J pickups makes it perfect for new guitarists. Although clarity of tone and active pickup bass is not up to the mark yet, its commendable features make it easy and comfortable to play.
However, you are open to choosing from the other beginner’s bass guitar on our list according to your requirements and budget.