Best Beginner Bass Guitar – Reviews & Guide 2022

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The sss is the unsung hero of much of the greatest music to come out of the modern world. Guitarists and vocalists get all of the glory, all of the accolades, all of the attention. But very few bands sound any good without a bassist.

It takes a certain kind of person to be a good bassist – someone who is solid, someone who can hold the music to the ground, but also someone who doesn’t need to always be in the spotlight. Those people are hard to find in music. If you are that special kind of person, and you’ve decided to take up playing the bass, then this guide is for you. Here are the top 5 best beginner bass guitars.

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4 Dean Edge 09 Ibanez GSR200BK Peavey Millennium
Body: Alder Body: Mahogany Body: Basswood Body: Agatha's Body: Basswood
Neck: Maple Neck: Maple Neck: Maple Neck: One-piece maple Neck: Hard rock maple
Jumbo frets: 20 medium Jumbo frets: 24 Jumbo frets: 22 Jumbo frets: 22 Jumbo frets: 22
Fretboard: rosewood Fretboard: rosewood Fretboard: rosewood Fretboard: rosewood Fretboard: rosewood

Squier Jaguar

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar
Image credit: fender.com

Squier is a subsidiary company of Fender, known for making budget-conscious versions of Fender’s most popular instruments. This bass is designed with the Fender Jaguar Bass in mind – one of Fender’s most popular basses, and maybe one of the best, most versatile electric basses ever produced.

The Squier Jaguar, like its Fender cousin, has a P/J pickup configuration. That means that it has one split-coil precision pickup (in the front position, located roughly where the precision pickup is located on a Fender Precision bass) and one single-coil jazz pickup (in the back position, located by the bridge, where the Fender Jazz bass has its back pickup). In general, P/J basses are more versatile than either Precision-style or Jazz-style basses.

This bass is made of alder (with a maple neck), and has a rosewood fretboard. The alder-maple combination makes it sound snappy and defined in a way that, for instance, mahogany basses do not.

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Schecter Stiletto Extreme

Schecter Stiletto Extreme
Image credit: schecterguitars.com

The Schecter Stiletto Extreme is in many ways the opposite of the Jaguar. It is big and heavy, both in that it is heavier physically (due to its mahogany construction) and in that its sound is heavier, more robust, and rounder (albeit less-defined) than the Jaguar. On the Fender-Gibson continuum, with Fender basses being defined and poppy-sounding and Gibson basses being big and round sounding, this bass definitely sits nearer to Gibson than Fender.

The Stiletto Extreme features a mahogany body, a maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard. All by itself, its mahogany body is enough to round off the sound of this bass, adding warmth (although maybe sacrificing a little clarity). But the biggest difference between, this bass and, for instance, the Jaguar, is that this bass has two humbuckers (and no single-coil or split-coil pickups). Humbuckers tend to have more output, distort more easily, and have a smoother, rounder, EQ-profile. This is a great bass for loud, heavy music – rock, metal, fusion, etc.

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Dean Edge 09

Dean Edge 09
Image credit: deanguitars.com

The Dean Edge 09 is more like the Stiletto than the Jaguar, but it lies somewhere between the two. Like the Jaguar, it is made of lightweight material – basswood – but like the Stiletto, it features a humbucking pickup. Its sound is more round that clear, but it is capable of a little more snap than the Stiletto.

This bass features a single humbucking pickup, a tone knob, and a volume knob. The pickup is passive, unlike the Stiletto’s active pickups, so it doesn’t require a battery. That also means that it sounds a little cooler (as in less hot) and slightly more natural (there is a woodiness about the sound of this bass).

Overall, this is more of a rock bass than a pop or jazz bass, but it could, with the right tweaking, play just about anything. It is a great bass at an even better price, and a beginner couldn’t go wrong choosing it.

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Ibanez GSR200

Ibanez GSR200
Image credit: ibanez.com

The Ibanez GSR200 is a workhorse: solid, versatile, great-sounding, smooth-playing. It is, like the Squier Jaguar, a Fender-style P/J bass. But unlike that Fender mime, this guitar is sleek and modern – it looks sleek, feels sleek, and sounds sleeker. Right from the smooth chrome hardware on its gloss finish, it is clear that this guitar is going for modernity, that it wants to be more than just a Fender clone.

As a P/J bass, the GSR200 is similar to the Jaguar; but there are some important differences. First of all, it is made of agathis, rather than alder, which may not amount to a huge difference in sound, certainly colors this bass’s tone a little differently. More importantly, however, this bass has an active EQ, which means that it requires batteries. It also means that the range of sounds you can get out of its pickups (using the tone knobs) is larger. In general, active EQ’s make the instrument a little hotter and a little more versatile, but they sacrifice some of that natural, woody sound that Fender-style basses are known for.

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Peavey Millennium 4

Peavey Millennium 4
Image credit: peavey.com

The Peavey Millennium 4 is a beautiful instrument. It features a quilted maple top that recalls the image of a tiger’s eye. In that way, it seems like a bass that’s made for rockers. At its heart, however, this is a jazz bass.

The pickups on this bass – there are two of them – are single-coil. Like a Fender Jazz bass, they have the ability to be used separately or together (to cancel hum). These pickups give the guitar impressive clarity, which is great for pop, jazz, reggae, fusion and funk. When the pickups are used together, it creates a great “scooped” sound that is ideal for slap bass.

Overall, if you’re looking for a Jazz-style bass at an affordable price, this one is tough to beat.

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