Five Great Basses for Beginners

Bass Bros. Blog | November
Five Great Basses for Beginners
So, you want to play bass? Fantastic! Looking for your first bass? Awesome – let’s go! Every bassist remembers their first guitar, and bass guitar legend states that you shall be no different. However, it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that there are A LOT of bass guitars on the market, so you may be feeling a tad overwhelmed, confused and possibly seeing bass guitars in your sleep. Don’t worry – we’re on it. We’ve done the hard graft and selected five of the best bass guitars which are perfect for beginners, so let’s get stuck in.

The Sire Marcus Miller V7 (4 string) is a stellar choice as a first bass guitar. It’s easy to hold, has a nice weight and features a thinner neck than a standard jazz bass, which is a huge bonus while you’re still getting to grips with a bass guitar (and being a bassist in general). Sire’s classic heavy steel bridge design means that it stays in tune well and its pickups allow the player to achieve a broad range of tones. These pickups, together with the Marcus heritage pre-amp, open up a whole spectrum of sound, which is ideal if you’re still sussing out what type of music you want to play and what type of bassist you want to be. Another great feature is that the truss rod adjustment is at the bottom, rather than on the headstock, so it’s easier to access, which is a big plus in our book. This model is made from swamp ash and has a smart, clean looking finish, making it an understated, but stylish choice.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of a bass legend like Nathan East (and quite frankly, why wouldn’t you?), then look no further than the Yamaha BB234. Part of the Yamaha BB series – described by Yamaha as the “hardest working bass[es] in the business” – the 4 string Yamaha BB234 is a lightweight, clean looking model with a narrow neck (and 10” fretboard), offering many benefits for a bassist who’s just starting out. Ideal for both modern and more traditional players, the custom V3 pickups are made from ceramic, which produces a clear and defined sound. The lightweight tuners provide good balance and are perfectly designed for the lighter weight of this model, plus the vintage style bridge, one tone control and two volume controls, create a broad versatility of sound. Its body is made from alder wood with a rosewood fretboard, which gives it an honest, unpretentious look. A great mid-range choice for any beginner.

If you had your eye on a Fender but thought that such a model was out of your price range, look no further than the Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazz Bass. Designed by Fender under its Squier brand, and inspired by the stylish 1960s Jazz Bass models, this bass has a whole load of features which beginners (and more experienced players alike) will love. The slim C shaped neck profile, narrow fingerboard and narrow tall frets make it extremely comfortable to play, and the vintage style bridge and Fender designed alnico single coil pickups deliver huge versatility and tone, all with period appropriate details. It 100% looks the part, too. A vintage-tint gloss neck finish, a 1960s inspired headstock with vintage style tuning ability and classic nickel-plated hardware work together to give this bass a wonderfully old-school, throwback vibe.

The Cort Action PJ bass is also worthy of consideration as a first bass guitar choice. Part of Cort’s Action Series, the Action PJ model has been designed specifically with beginners in mind. Affordable and versatile, this cleverly designed bass features (as the name suggests) a PJ style pickup, with the P-type pickup being best for playing rock music, while the J-type pickup is more suitable for jazz and pop style music, making it suitable for use within a broad range of music genres. Its ergonomically designed body shape combines the best elements of both classic and modern styles, having been created to be more comfortable to play and reduce fatigue for bassists during lengthy playing sessions. It also features die-cast machine heads which have been manufactured for maximum tuning stability and functionality, meaning beginners can play with confidence; a sizeable benefit whilst you’re still learning the ropes (or strings). An open pore finish allows the natural beauty of the poplar wood to shine through, which gives it a classically simple appearance, whilst also enhancing the acoustic vibration when in use.

Another Squier bass which also ticks all the boxes for a bassist beginner is the Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Mustang Bass. This is a small bass, but it certainly delivers when it comes to tone and sound. The short 30” scale length and slim C shaped neck profile make this an incredibly comfortable bass to play. Like the Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazz Bass, it comes with a 9.6” radius fingerboard and narrow tall frets. The alnico split coil pickup creates an authentic Fender tone, and the bridge features a slotted barrel design to enable solid string stability – a great feature for those still learning – whilst also aesthetically reflecting the style of the 1960s. The vintage-style tuning machines make it easy to tune and the 1960s inspired headstock design, nickel-plated hardware and glossy vintage-tint finish make this a stylish beginner’s choice, albeit with a slightly larger price tag.
So there you have it – five outstanding basses for beginners. Any of these models will get you off to a rocking start. They vary in price and appearance, so it’s important to find one that suits you, the type of music you want to play and your budget. However, all of these have the key features that ultimately will benefit a beginner and set you on the road to bassist greatness. Good luck and see you on the other side.