In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best bass guitars and the brands that produce them. Fender, Ibanez, Music Man, and Rickenbacker are some of the brands you’ll find on this extensive list, and we’ll go through several models that made those companies so popular with bassists all around the world.

I’m a professional musician with several years of experience playing bass guitar with numerous bands and artists. I really enjoy the groovy nature of this instrument, as it makes every song smoother and provides the necessary punch for the rhythmic sections.

Choosing the right bass guitar might be a little tricky, as this instrument is often quite demanding physically. You need to apply considerable strength to the strings to be able to make them sound, as the strings are much thicker compared to an electric or acoustic guitar.

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#1 Best Bass Guitar Overall: Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 Bass

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But fear not, as there are several types of basses that will certainly fit into your playing style or personal preference. We’ll go through many different models and brands, each one with its own unique set of features.

What Is a Bass Guitar?

The modern bass guitar was created in the 1950s as an evolution of the classical double bass, which was commonly used in mainstream music until this point. Inspired by the classic Telecaster guitar shape, this new instrument was able to get a higher volume and more definition on the tones thanks to the use of single-coil pickups.

best bass guitar

The modern bass guitar has the same function as the old vintage double bass. The main purpose of bass guitars is to cover the low frequencies and add some power to the rhythmic parts of any song. The bass guitar will also make any heavy or rock song smoother, as the warm low bass tones will smooth down the high-frequency distorted guitar parts.

Types of Bass Guitars

Several types of bass guitar have appeared since the classic P-Bass and J-Bass shapes. The P-Bass or Precision Bass is the first basic model of electric bass made by the Fender brand. This model has a simple single-coil pickup and a relatively simple design, which made it quite easy to learn and use.

The J-Bass or Jazz Bass shape is a little more complex. It has two pickups and a bigger body, which makes it more versatile and gives it more control over the dynamic range and tonality.

Now let’s explore some of modern variations on those two classic shapes.

Electric Bass Guitar

The electric bass guitar is the most common type of bass guitar. This type of bass has a greater definition and clarity from the tones, as the signal is passed through the jack directly to the amplifier. With the electric bass guitar, you’ll get a powerful tool that will help bring any song to life with your band.

electric bass guitar

The electric bass is an essential part of any rock, pop, or metal band, as it will help blend all the instruments together and smooth out any raw frequencies and harmonics. There are several variations on the electric bass, which include 4-string, 5-string, and 6-string bass guitars.

Acoustic Bass Guitar

The acoustic bass guitar is a full acoustic version of the electric bass. This type of bass guitar has a lower volume, but it’s great for practice, as you won’t need any amplification to make it sound.

Although you won’t be able to use it in a band because of its low volume, this type is very useful for any beginner who wants to learn to play this instrument.

Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar

The acoustic-electric bass guitar is an amplified version of an acoustic bass. This type is normally used in acoustic and folk bands, as it will provide the necessary volume and natural sound for this type of music. Think of this type as a middle point between the fully acoustic and electric types of bass guitars.

With this type, you’ll have enough projection to be able to hear your instrument even if playing with electric instruments. This type of bass guitar is very popular in folk and bluegrass music.

Fretless Bass Guitar

The fretless bass guitar is a quite demanding type of bass, which is only recommended for the most experienced bass players. This type has no fret separations, which makes it more difficult to play and tune. The fretless bass guitar gives you more control over the tonality, as you’ll be able to play any micro notes, which are impossible to play with a fretted instrument.

fretless bass guitar

This versatility requires much more experience and almost perfect pitch hearing, as you’ll need to know what note you’re playing using only your own ears. This type of bass guitars is very popular for jazz and classical music, as it gives a unique range of tonalities and harmonics.

Double Bass

The double bass could be considered the original type of bass. This type was frequently used in classical and popular music until the 1950s when the first electric bass was created. The double bass, often called contrabass, is a huge instrument that’s normally played vertically and with a bow. This type of bass was the main instrument in this category, and you can hear some orchestras using this instrument to this day.

This type of bass is fretless and requires some experience to play, which makes it recommendable for the most experienced bass players. The double bass is often used in jazz and classical music.

Best Bass Guitar Brands

Several brands are able to produce some of the best bass guitars on the market. Most of them are guitar brands that expanded into producing basses with great success. This includes brands like Fender, Music Man, Ibanez, Rickenbacker, and Washburn.

fender best guitars

Each company brings its own methods and ideas to each model they produce, and they create a great variety of instruments to choose from.

Fender

The Fender company was founded in 1938 in California. This brand started repairing radio and electronics equipment, but rapidly expanded into newly created electric instruments. This brand was actually the first one to introduce the first mass-produced electric guitar, the famous Telecaster model.

Soon after that, they introduced the first-ever electric bass model, the Precision Bass, or P-Bass. The Precision Bass became the standard for any electric bass models that followed. The bass guitars created by Fender are considered some of the best instruments in this category.

Music Man

Music Man is a high-tier brand that’s currently a division of the Ernie Ball company. Music Man bass guitars are some of the most innovative and unique-looking bass guitars on the market. The high-quality sound and materials used in these bass guitars make them a favorite for any professional musician.

Ibanez

Founded in 1957 in Nagoya, Japan, Ibanez rapidly became a world-class company that produces musical instruments. Their unique attention to detail and superb electronics are very well-valued all around the world. This company doesn’t only produce some of the best electric guitars, but also a big selection of other stringed instruments, like ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, and bass guitars.

Rickenbacker

Rickenbacker is a unique brand that creates electric guitars and basses with a classic inspiration and design. Their models are quite distinctive compared to other instruments, as they produce their own unique body shapes and designs. This brand is one of the most innovative companies when it comes to musical instruments, and they were able to bring something new to each model they’ve produced since 1932.

This company is very popular to this day, and the list of famous artists who used Rickenbacker instruments is huge. This includes The Beatles, The Byrds, The Who, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steppenwolf, R.E.M., Motorhead, Metallica, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Yes, Rush, Tool, and many others.

Washburn

Washburn is an old veteran in this industry. This company was launched in 1880 but didn’t start to produce fretted and plucked instruments until 1888. Washburn has a full century of experience, which it brings to every model they produce.

Handmade and with great attention to acoustic qualities, each instrument made by Washburn guarantees the highest levels of quality. The Washburn brand is certainly a high-tier company that’s a well-trusted ally to any professional musician.

Top 10 Best Bass Guitars Overall

In this section, we’ll dive deeper into each model of bass guitar. Here you’ll find some of the best bass guitars with a detailed description of each feature they have.

Yamaha BB434 BB-Series Bass Guitar, Black

  • Size: 50.2 x 18.5 x 4.1 inches
  • Weight: 8.93 pounds
  • Material & finish: Alder/maple/alder laminated, black finish
  • Sound: Balanced tone
  • Best for: Beginners and intermediate

Yamaha BB434 BB-Series Bass Guitar is a high-quality instrument with great tonality made by Yamaha. This bass guitar is very well balanced and easy to play, which makes it a perfect match for any beginner or intermediate player.

Pros:
✅ Simple but elegant design
✅ High-quality construction
✅ Great projection
✅ Adjustable bridge
Cons:
❌ Low-quality tuner

Why We Recommend It

The Yamaha brand is famous for numerous innovations in their models. This bass guitar has a unique adjustable bridge that has several positions that will change the overall tone of the instrument. This unique feature provides a more versatile sound and the possibility to adjust to any musical style.

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Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Transparent Red (GSRM20TR)

  • Size: 39 x 11.5 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight: 6.9 pounds
  • Material & finish: Rosewood fretboard, maple neck, transparent red finish
  • Sound: Deep and smooth
  • Best for: Beginners

Ibanez 4 Strings Bass Guitar (GSRM20TR) is a short-scale bass with a high-quality build and great overall tonality. If you need a great lightweight bass to start learning, this model will fit right in.

Pros:
✅ Lightweight
✅ Easy to play
✅ Great for learning
Cons:
❌ Low-quality strings

Why We Recommend It

I personally played this bass guitar several times and I must say that’s one of the most comfortable bass guitars I’ve ever played. Well-balanced and with a slim and comfortable neck, this model is a high-tier product with a low price tag.

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Washburn 4 String Bass Guitar, Natural Matte (T24NMK-D)

  • Size: 51.75 x 18.75 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Material & finish: Mahogany body, maple/mahogany laminated neck, natural matte finish
  • Sound: Rich and bright
  • Best for: Intermediate

Washburn 4 String Bass Guitar, Natural Matte (T24NMK-D) is a solid-body bass guitar with great versatile sound qualities and an elegant finish. Because of the neck-thru construction of its solid body, this model will give better sustain and overall tonality.

Pros:
✅ Solid-body construction
✅ Easy to play
✅ Beautiful finish
Cons:
❌ Requires setup to play

Why We Recommend It

This bass guitar is a great choice for any intermediate player, as its versatile sound can be adapted to almost any musical style or technique. I personally love the unique and beautiful design and finish of this instrument, as it really stands out compared to other bass guitars.

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Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Jazz Bass Guitar – Maple – 3-Color Sunburst

  • Size: 52 x 15.5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Material & finish: Poplar body, maple top and back, 3-color sunburst finish
  • Sound: Clean and bright
  • Best for: Beginners

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Jazz Bass Guitar – Maple – 3-Color Sunburst is a great bass guitar to start learning on, as it has a durable construction and great comfort when played. This model is quite popular among students and beginner musicians.

Pros:
✅ Easy to play
✅ Affordable
✅ Durable construction
Cons:
❌ Require setup to play

Why We Recommend It

This bass guitar was probably played by every bass player around the world, as it’s considered a default starter model with great quality and durable construction. I played this model numerous times, and it’s a really great instrument for this price tag.

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Schecter Stiletto Custom-4 Electric Bass Guitar (4 String, Vampyre Red Satin)

  • Size: 46 x 6 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 9.41 pounds
  • Material & finish: Maple top, mahogany back, Vampyre red satin finish
  • Sound: Crisp and clean
  • Best for: Beginners and intermediate

Schecter Stiletto Custom-4 Electric Bass Guitar (4 String, Vampyre Red Satin) is a unique bass guitar made by the Schecter company. This instrument can be used for any musical style, and its balanced tone will give you enough room to adapt it to any playing style you like.

Pros:
✅ Versatile
✅ Beautiful finish
✅ Comfortable to play
Cons:
❌ Low-quality strings

Why We Recommend It

This model has a very comfortable neck and is quite easy to play on. It’s a great choice for any beginner or intermediate player.

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Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Translucent Black, 4-String (TRBX174EW TBL)

  • Size: 47.83 x 17.91 x 3.74 inches
  • Weight: 8.82 pounds
  • Material & finish: Mahogany body, maple neck, translucent black finish
  • Sound: Mellow and clean
  • Best for: Beginners

Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Translucent Black, 4-String (TBX174EW TBL) is a high-quality and durable instrument made by the Yamaha brand. This bass guitar is a solid powerhouse of an instrument that will deliver the highest standards of design and tonality to any user.

Pros:
✅ Beautiful finish
✅ Versatile
✅ Easy to play
Cons:
❌ Low-quality strings

Why We Recommend It

This model is one of the best bass guitars at this price range, as it’s a durable and comfortable instrument for any beginner or even intermediate player.

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Sterling By MusicMan 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Pearl White (RAY34HH-PWH-M2)

  • Size: 45 x 13.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Material & finish: Mahogany body, maple neck, pearl white finish
  • Sound: Bold and loud
  • Best for: Intermediate and professionals

Sterling By MusicMan 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Pearl White (RAY34HH-PWH-M2) is a high-tier professional instrument with a great projection and an amazing overall sound quality. This model is one of the best bass guitars money can buy, and the Music Man brand is considered a world-class leader in bass production.

Pros:
✅ High-quality build
✅ Great tonality
✅ Versatile sound
Cons:
❌ Low-quality strings

Why We Recommend It

With Music Man, you’ll never go wrong, as their unique attention to detail and highly professional quality is very valued by almost any musician, whether intermediate or professional.

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Fender American Ultra Precision Bass RW Ultraburst w/Hardshell Case

  • Size: 44.5 x 18.7 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Material & finish: Alder body and back, Ultraburst finish
  • Sound: Bright and clean
  • Best for: Professionals

Fender American Ultra Precision Bass RW Ultraburst is a classic Fender P-Bass model that brings us professional quality and design all around. This famous model is a modernized version of the first-ever electric bass model, which is considered a standard of quality that defines how every bass guitar must sound and perform.

Pros:
✅ Comfortable to play
✅ Great tone and projection
✅ High-quality construction
✅ Includes the hardshell case
Cons:
❌ Requires setup to play

Why We Recommend It

With this professional bass guitar, you’ll never go wrong, as this model is admired and respected by many professional musicians all around the world.

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Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar in Black

  • Size: 45 x 1.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Material & finish: Basswood top and back, black finish
  • Sound: Deep and punchy
  • Best for: Intermediate and beginners

Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar is a very popular and affordable bass guitar model made by Music Man. This bass comes with a humbucker pickup and active electronics, which gives it extra punch all around the spectrum.

If you’re looking for that iconic Music Man sound but can’t afford to pay several thousands of dollars, this bass guitar will deliver all of that and more for a really reasonable price.

Pros:
✅ Great tonality
✅ High-quality construction
✅ Affordable
✅ Professional finish
Cons:
❌ Requires setup

Why We Recommend It

This model can easily compete with any high-tier bass guitars like Fender P-Bass or any other, which will cost you several thousands of dollars. I played this model several times and it’s really surprising how professional this bass guitar sounds. This is an amazingly good bass guitar for this price.

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Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass MN Texas Tea w/Hardshell Case

  • Size: 42 x 16 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Material & finish: Alder back and body
  • Sound: Deep and bright
  • Best for: Professional

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass MN Texas Tea is a professional bass guitar from the famous Jazz Bass series made by Fender. With this bass guitar, you’ll get a top-notch instrument from the elite Fender family. This model will satisfy any player, even the most demanding.

Pros:
✅ Comfortable to play
✅ Versatile
✅ High-quality build
✅ Includes hardshell case
Cons:
❌ Expensive

Why We Recommend It

This bass is very easy on the fingers and has a sweet and versatile tonality. This is a unique instrument with its own soul and personality for anyone to enjoy.

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Best Beginner Bass Guitars

If you’re looking for a good beginner bass guitar, the best option for you is a comfortable and affordable instrument.

best beginner bass guitars

Many short-scale bass guitars are also quite recommended for learning this instrument, as they’re much easier to play.

Ibanez 4 Strings Bass Guitar, Right, Transparent Red (GSRM20TR): This model is a high-quality short-scale bass guitar made by Ibanez. This bass will be a great stepping stone to learn to play bigger and more expensive bass models.

Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Translucent Black, 4-String (TRBX174EW TBL): This bass guitar offers a high-quality build and great tonality for an amazingly low price. This model is highly recommended for any student or beginner, as it provides great comfort and durability.

Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar: What’s better than a famous StingRay model to start learning to play the bass? This bass made by Music Man is the best instrument you’ll find at this price range, hands down.

Best Intermediate Bass Guitars

The best intermediate bass guitar will cost a little more, but will have better electronics and wood quality.

best intermediate bass guitars

At this price range, some models might require setup to play, but as soon as you’re done with the adjustments you’ll get an exceptional instrument for years to enjoy.

Schecter Stiletto Custom-4 Electric Bass Guitar (4 String, Vampyre Red Satin): This unique-looking model has a comfortable neck with a beautiful design and finish. This bass guitar became quite popular in recent years, as it offers a high-grade quality for a reasonable price.

Washburn 4 String Bass guitar, Natural Matte (T24NMK-D): This model is a very versatile instrument made of the best wood Washburn could find. This bass guitar is a truly unique tool for any respected musician.

Yamaha BB434 BB-Series Bass Guitar, Black: As a part of the famous and popular BB series by Yamaha, this bass guitar is a real classic that can be enjoyed by anyone for a modest price.

Best Bass Guitars for Professionals

Here you’ll find some of the well-proven classics that were used by many famous musicians around the world.

best bass guitars for professionals

You can certainly guess at least a couple of them, as they’re widely considered some of the best bass models of all time.

Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass MN Texas Tea: This popular model started as an upgraded version of the classic Fender Precision Bass. This bass guitar was introduced in the 1960s by Leo Fender, who wanted to create a new bass guitar with a more versatile sound and higher treble and mid-range tones.

He certainly succeeded, as the Fender Jazz Bass is considered iconic to this day.

Fender American Ultra Precision Bass RW Ultraburst: The Fender Precision Bass is father to every modern electric bass guitar. Introduced in 1951, this old classic is very popular to this day, as it offers an outstanding tonality and material quality.

Sterling By MusicMan 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Pearl White (RAY34HH-PWH-M2): Music Man bass guitars are some of the most elite and good sounding instruments in this category. This brand was created by Leo Fender after he sold his original Fender musical instrument company to CBS. This model brings decade-long traditions and innovations to any musician who is willing to pay the price.

Best Bass Guitars Under $2,000

At this price range, you’ll find some of the most professional bass guitars in the world. Most of them are made by high-tier companies like Fender, Yamaha, and Music Man.

Yamaha BBP35 BB-Series 5-String Bass Guitar, Midnight Blue: This outstanding bass guitar comes from the popular BB series by Yamaha. This professional instrument will deliver high levels of quality and simply amazing tonality.

Sterling By MusicMan 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Pearl White (RAY34HH-PWH-M2): This is a top-notch bass guitar made by the famous Music Man brand. This instrument not only has a unique look and design, but also incredible sound and wood quality.

Fender American Ultra Precision Bass RW Ultraburst: The Fender Precision Bass is probably the most famous and iconic model of bass guitars. If you’re looking for that unique and powerful sound and look, this bass is for you.

Best Bass Guitars Under $1,000

In this section, I’ll go through some of the best bass guitars at the medium-high price range. Most of the instruments at this price range have high-grade wood and electronics with a decent tone.

Schecter Stiletto Custom-4 Electric Bass Guitar (4 String, Vampyre Red Satin): This bass guitar has a beautiful and unique design with high-quality construction and professional sound. If you’re looking for something different, this model is a perfect match for you.

Yamaha BB434 BB-Series Bass Guitar, Black: This affordable instrument is a high-tier bass guitar that comes from the renowned BB series. With this model, you’ll never go wrong.

Washburn 4 String Bass guitar, Natural Matte (T24NMK-D): As always with Washburn, every instrument they produce has that signature high-quality construction and professional sound. This model is no different, and it delivers a beautiful finish with great tonality and projection.

Best Bass Guitars Under $500

Here are mid-low range bass guitars that offer great comfort to any beginner or intermediate player.

Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray4 Bass Guitar: If you need a really decent instrument for a low price, this Music Man bass guitar is a perfect match for you, as it brings some of the most professional features for a reasonable price.

Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Translucent Black, 4-String (TRBX174EW TBL): Yamaha brand is famous for creating some of the best mid-range bass guitars. This model is no different, as it brings a unique design and high-quality sound for any player to enjoy.

Ibanez Talman TMB100 IV 2015 Ivory Electric Bass Guitar: The Ibanez Talman has a unique look and sound qualities. If you’re looking for something different but with high-quality sound and construction, this bass guitar is perfect for you.

Best Cheap Bass Guitars

In this section, we’ll explore some of the most accessible and cheapest bass guitar models and the brands behind them.

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Jazz Bass Guitar – Maple – 3-Color Sunburst: Squier brand became quite popular in recent years, as it delivers some of the best instruments for beginners and students. This bass guitar has a vintage design and inspiration, and it brings that classic sound and looks for a reasonable price.

Ibanez 4 Strings Bass Guitar, Right, Transparent Red (GSRM20TR): This model has numerous positive reviews, and it’s considered one of the best budget-friendly bass guitars. With Ibanez, you’ll never go wrong, as their quality control and great sound will satisfy any player.

Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Translucent Black, 4-String (TRBX174EW TBL): This bass guitar has a beautiful finish and a slim neck, which will give you the necessary comfort to play any type of music. It’s simply perfect for beginners and students.

Best Bass Guitars for Kids

The best bass guitar for kids is a short-scale and comfortable bass with a simple design and limited set of features. Overall, look for a mini or micro bass type, as they will adapt better to the small hands and fingers of your child.

Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple Fingerboard: This short-scale bass guitar has a unique, high-quality design and sound qualities for this price range. It’s a perfect match for any beginner or young music student.

Gretsch G2220 Electromatic Junior Jet Bass II Electric Bass Guitar (Walnut): This model is specially designed with junior players in mind, as it offers a slim neck and small dimensions, which will provide great comfort for any beginner.

Ibanez PNB14E Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar: This compact bass guitar is one of the smallest models you can find out there. Made by the famous Ibanez brand, this acoustic bass offers sturdy construction and a decent tone for anyone to enjoy.

Best Acoustic Bass Guitars

An acoustic bass guitar is a unique instrument with some volume limitations and natural tonality. If you’re looking for a bass guitar that can be played in a folk band or in jam sessions, these three models are a perfect match for you.

Fender FA-450CE Acoustic Bass Guitar – 3-Color Sunburst – Laurel Fingerboard: This bass guitar has a natural finish and a balanced tone. Overall, this is a high-quality instrument made by Fender with great attention to detail and professional quality.

Ibanez PCBE12MHOPN 4-String Acoustic Bass Guitar: This acoustic bass has a great quality-price ratio, and as always with Ibanez, this model has a high-quality build and decent tonality for a reasonable price.

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass Guitar (V2) – Black – with Bag – Walnut Fingerboard: This solid-body acoustic bass guitar is a high-tier instrument made by Fender from the best wood out there. This professional instrument is probably one of the best acoustic bass guitar models currently on the market.

Best Bass Guitar Starter Kits

If you’re looking to start learning to play the bass guitar, a basic starter kit is the best option for you, as it will provide all the necessary accessories for you to start playing the 4-string beauty.

Donner DPB-510B Full Size 4 Strings Electric Bass Guitar Beginner Kit Black with Bag, Guitar Strap, and Guitar Cable for Starter: This starter kit has a decent brand behind it. The Donner company is quite famous for creating budget-friendly instruments for beginner musicians. This kit includes the bass guitar, gig bag, bass strap, and cable for you to use.

Glen Burton GB150BCO-BK Electric Bass Guitar, SG-Style, Black: This kit might be a little expensive compared to other starter kits, but it comes with a compact bass amplifier, which is certainly a good thing. With this kit, you’ll have everything you need to start playing the bass guitar.

Goplus Electric Bass Guitar Full Size 4 String with Strap Guitar Bag Amp Cord (Blue Bass 4 Straps: The Goplus Electric Bass Guitar kit is the cheapest option for any beginner. This kit has a few basic accessories for you to enjoy for a very low price.

Bass Guitar Parts & Accessories

Here we’ll take a look into the different bass guitar parts and accessories you might consider changing.

Some parts like the bridge and machine head tuners are likely to break with extensive use, which is why you might need to buy some new parts for your precious bass guitar.

Machine Head Tuners

This part of the bass is always under great tension, as this particular part has to maintain the enormous pressure made by the thick bass guitar strings. Buying a new machine head tuner will solve most of the problems with the tuning and tonality of your bass.

See more: Best Bass Guitar Tuners Buyer’s Guide

Bass Guitar Bridge

A defective bass guitar bridge might lose tuning at certain octaves and frets. You might need to consider buying a new one if you’re having problems with this particular problem.

Bass Pickups

Bass guitar pickups are responsible for taking the low vibrations of your bass guitar and transforming them into sound output. If you’re having problems with noise and undesired pops, you might need to consider buying a new set of pickups.

Bass Guitar Knobs

Bass guitar knobs get a lot of use, which is why they often break at the most unfortunate moment. Don’t worry, as there is a great selection of knobs with different textures and colors for you to choose from.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Bass Guitar

The most important things you might need to consider when buying a bass guitar are the quality of wood and electronics. You should stick to famous brands that have many years of experience creating the best possible bass guitars.

Level of Experience

Let’s take a look at some of the different levels of experience you might need to have if you want to play certain models of bass guitars.

Beginner Bass Guitars

A perfect bass guitar for beginners is a short-scale instrument that is very comfortable to play. Nowadays you can find numerous micro and mini types of bass guitars, which have a small neck and are very easy to play.

Intermediate Bass Guitars

Most intermediate bass guitars cost considerably more, but will bring some extra features for you to enjoy. Many intermediate-range bass guitars have a better wood quality and overall decent electronics and tonality.

Pro Bass Guitars

Most professional bass guitars will require setup and some extra care to make them sound like they should. But if you’re able to maintain them well, you’ll get a highly professional and good-sounding instrument for years to enjoy.

Size

Most bass guitar models are quite similar in size and shape. But you can certainly find several models and brands that experiment with their designs.

Wood

The most common types of wood used in the production of the bass guitar are alder, mahogany, and basswood. These types give a better sustain and higher definition on low and middle tones.

Finish

There are several types of finish to choose from for your bass guitar. The most common ones are shellac, oil, nitrocellulose, acrylic, and polyurethane.

Color

The color types for the bass guitar are quite similar to the guitar, and you can find thousands of different colors and color schemes for you to choose from.

The Overall Tone & Sound

The tone and the sound depend on the pickup and wood quality. The most common types are deep/smooth tone, typical of the famous Precision Bass, and a more balanced tone found in some Jazz Bass guitars.

bass guitarist on stage

But there are some other types of tones in between those two, as each brand experiments with its tonality and sound.

Price

The overall price can oscillate from a hundred to several thousands of dollars, depending on each model and brand.

Budget Bass Guitars

The most common price tag for a budget-friendly bass guitar is around $100, and they come with an extra set of accessories.

Midrange Bass Guitars

Midrange bass guitars can cost from $100 to $600, and they offer a better wood quality and overall better tonality.

Top-End Bass Guitars

Top-end bass guitars offer a professional level of quality and can cost from $600 to several thousands of dollars. Some brands offer expensive signature models that can cost a lot.

Extras

Some of the extras you might need to consider buying are new machine head tuners and a new set of strings. These parts break quite often, and sometimes new bass guitars come with defective or low-quality parts you need to change after a while.

New vs Used

With a newly bought instrument, you’ll get a warranty and some extra accessories to use. But if you’re able to find a used bass guitar in a decent state, you might get a professional instrument for a very low price.

What’s in a Bass Guitar Box?

There are several extra accessories and bass guitar parts that come with some models and packages. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Set of Strings

Most bass guitars and packages come with an extra set of strings for you to use. Here you’ll find a basic set of decent-sounding strings. They’re quite useful, as bass guitar strings are expensive and prone to breaking.

Jack Cable

Many bass guitar packages come with a jack cable. There’s nothing fancy here, just a decent cable, which you might need if you want to play your electric bass guitar with an amplifier.

Bass Guitar Strap

If you want to play your bass guitar while standing or in a band, you might need this useful accessory, as it will help you have the necessary comfort while playing your heavy bass guitar.

Bass Guitar Brands to Avoid

I recommend avoiding rare and unfamiliar brands like Ritter and Fodera, as their quality is quite poor compared to famous brands like Fender or Ibanez. The most famous and renowned brands are popular for a reason, as they offer the best quality control and prices.

How Much Do Bass Guitars Cost?

Beginner bass guitars can cost from $100 to $400, and they offer several extra accessories for you to use. Midrange bass guitars can cost from $400 to $800, and they have better wood quality and better tonality.

Top-notch basses can cost from $800 to several thousands of dollars, as they offer some of the best wood and electronics you can find on the market.

What Are the Best Bass Guitars?

Let’s review some of the best bass guitars I presented here in this guide.

Yamaha 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Translucent Black, 4-String (TBX174EW TBL): Best for Beginners

The Yamaha brand is quite famous for creating really good and high-quality instruments for a very low price. The Yamaha 4 String bass guitar offers a high-quality build and a great tonality for any beginner to enjoy.

Schecter Stiletto Custom-4 Electric Bass Guitar (4 String, Vampyre Red Satin): Best for Intermediate

Schecter Stiletto Custom-4 is a unique bass that has professional construction and a great tone. If you’re looking for something unique and different, this bass model is a perfect match for you.

Fender American Ultra Precision Bass RW Ultra Burst: Best for professionals

If you’re looking for a real iconic classic, this bass guitar will certainly make you happy. The Fender American Ultra Precision Bass RW Ultra Burst is a professional model that delivers the highest levels of sound quality with a brilliantly simple but effective design and finish.

Where Are the Best Bass Guitars Made?

The best bass guitars are made in countries with the longest tradition of creating acoustic instruments. This includes the United States, Japan, and some European countries.

What Is the Best Sounding Bass Guitar?

The best-sounding bass guitar for me personally is the Sterling By MusicMan 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Pearl White (RAY34HH-PWH-M2), as it blends the best qualities of the P-bass and the J-bass, creating a unique sounding bass for any well-respected musician.

Where to Buy Bass Guitars

There are plenty of online retailers and local music stores that offer a decent selection of instruments with great offers and prices. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.

Amazon

Amazon is an indispensable tool for any modern consumer. This titan of online retail offers the best prices you can find with a huge selection of products. The best feature is the reviews from customers that already bought the instrument, as they will give you a good idea of how the instrument feels and sounds.

Online Music Retailers

Nowadays you can find numerous online music retailers, each one with its own prices and selection of instruments. Here at Into Strings we highly recommend Sweetwater.com, Fiddlershop.com, and Guitarcenter.com, as they offer the best selection of instruments and prices.

Your Local Music Store

In your local music store you can try out any instrument they have in the store. Most local stores have a limited selection of instruments for you to choose from, but with the useful advice from the salesperson, you’ll certainly find the best bass guitar for you.

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In Conclusion

I really hope you enjoyed this guide about the best bass guitars, as we explored some of the most interesting and unique bass guitar models and brands behind them.

After reading this extensive article, I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about the bass guitar. If you really liked it, feel free to share or leave a comment.

Stay safe and as always, good luck with your sonic adventures!