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Top 10 Cheap Bass Guitars of 2023: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Top 10 Cheap Bass Guitars of 2023 A Complete Buyers Guide img
27 Nov, 2023

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Calling all our aspiring bassists and budget-conscious musicians! Your search is over here.

In our quest to find the perfect groove without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled the “Top 10 Cheap Bass Guitars of 2023.” We will also cover the features, tones, and bang-for-the-buck factors that make these budget-friendly bass guitars stand out in the ever-evolving world of musical instruments.

Join us as we review your options, tips, and tricks for maintaining the bass guitar.

Let’s dive into the rhythm and find the bass that fits your style and budget.

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Connect with artists, fans and producers around the world.

Best cheap bass guitar

The history of bass guitars traces back to the 1930s when musicians strived for a deeper, more resonant sound than traditional double basses could offer. The first commercially successful electric bass, the Precision Bass (P-Bass), was introduced by Leo Fender in 1951. Its solid body design and fretted neck revolutionized the instrument, providing portability and ease of play. In the 1960s, the Jazz Bass (J-Bass) emerged, offering a different tonal palette.

As music genres diversified, so did bass designs, from the iconic Rickenbacker to the Thunderbird. Today, bass guitars come in various shapes, sizes, and styles, reflecting the rich evolution of this crucial instrument in the modern music landscape.

For all beginners, I understand investing in an expensive bass guitar is not the solution of the hour. They need an instrument that is both inexpensive and easy to play for newcomers.

Isn’t it exciting for any bassist to purchase a new bass guitar? Buying a high-quality bass guitar at an affordable price makes the moment more exciting.

Today, I will answer all your wishes!

Factors to consider when choosing the best beginner bass guitar

Sound quality

As a musician, I consider the guitar’s sound quality to be the most crucial factor because it determines the tone of your bass. It would help if you also looked at the different woods and pickups contributing to the overall sound. Another thing I kept in mind was the genre. Be it rock, jazz, or funk, you should choose a bass that complements that style.

Comfort and playability

One thing I never compromised on while looking for a guitar is comfort. A comfortable bass encourages longer practice sessions. Check the weight, body shape, and neck profile. Ensure the frets are smooth and well-finished to avoid discomfort during play.

Tonewood

The wood used in the construction affects the tone. For beginners, basses with lightweight woods like basswood or alder are often preferred for easy play. However, tonewood preferences can vary, so you should try different options.

Scale length

Scale length is how long the strings vibrate. Shorter scales can be more comfortable for beginners, providing less tension and easier fretting. Standard scale lengths are usually around 34 inches, but you can find shorter options.

Body style

Different body styles can impact the balance and feel of the bass. Common styles include Precision (P) and Jazz (J) bass shapes. You should try different shapes to see which feels most natural to you.

Neck width

The width of the neck at the nut affects how easy it is to fret notes. A slimmer neck might be more comfortable for beginners, but personal preference plays a big role here.

Brand reputation

We believe established brands have a reputation for quality. That is no lie. A best bass guitar brand effortlessly combines superior craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology with resonant tones, so even seasoned players and aspiring virtuosos can enjoy an unparalleled musical experience. Research the history and customer satisfaction of different brands. Well-known brands tend to have better customer support and easier access to replacement parts.

Customer reviews

If you have your mind set on some options, check reviews to see what other players think about your interest in the bass. Reviews provide insights into everyday issues or positive aspects that might not be evident when trying out the instrument briefly.

Accessories and extras

Who doesn’t like extras? Consider what comes with the bass. Some packages include essential accessories like a gig bag, tuner, strap, and cable. Having these extras can save you money in the long run.

Price

Always set a budget and stick to it. I understand there are excellent beginner bass guitars at various price points. But remember that you might also need to budget for accessories like an amplifier.

Top 10 Cheap Bass Guitars

Sterling By Music Man SUB Ray5

Sterling By Music Man SUB Ray5
An image credit example from a Sterling by Music Man

The SUB Ray5 is a budget-friendly bass that packs a punch, designed by the renowned Music Man. It’s known for its versatile sound, solid construction, and comfortable playability, making it an excellent choice for beginners and seasoned players on a budget.

  • Pickups: Humbucker
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Fixed bridge
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 21
  • Price: ‎$399.99

Yamaha TRBX 305

Yamaha TRBX 305
An image credit example from a Yamaha Music Store

So, you’re after a budget bass that doesn’t compromise on professional features? Look no further than the Yamaha TRBX 305. I’ve got to say Yamaha nailed it with this one. It has a sleek design, powerful electronics, and a neck that feels custom-made for your hands. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro on a budget, this bass is like your musical sidekick, always ready to rock.

  • Pickups: Humbucker
  • Controls: Volume, Balance, Bass, Middle, Treble
  • Bridge: Adjustable
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple/Mahogany
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 24
  • Price: $429.99

Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass

Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass
An image credit example from a fender

Hey, vintage lovers! The Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass is a trip down memory lane without the hefty price tag. Trust me, strumming on this feels like taking a time machine back to the golden bass era. The classic aesthetics and warm tone make it more than just an instrument; it’s a nod to the timeless vibes of the ’60s. And yeah, it won’t break the pot.

  • Pickups: Single-coil
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Vintage-style
  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 20
  • Price: $449.99

Epiphone EB-3

Epiphone EB-3
An image credit example from a reverb

Alright, rockers, gather around! The Epiphone EB-3 is like the rebel cousin of the classic Gibson SG bass. Imagine that distinctive double-cutaway design and a range of tones that can go from smooth to downright gritty. If you’re into that rock and roll attitude but want to keep your budget in check, this one’s got your back. It’s rebellion on a budget.

  • Pickups: Humbucker
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Adjustable
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 22
  • Price: ‎$299.99

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Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II

 Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II
An image credit example from a gretsch

The Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II is a head-turner for those who crave something different. The short scale and those powerful pickups make it feel like a compact powerhouse. It’s like the cool kid in the room—stylish, unique, and always ready to make a statement. Trust me, it’s a different vibe that won’t empty your pockets.

  • Pickups: Humbucker
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Fixed bridge
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale length: 30.3″
  • Frets: 20
  • Price: $299.99

Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro

Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro
An image credit example from a reverb

The Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro is your ticket to that iconic thunderous tone without draining your bank account. The unique body shape and the growl from those pickups make it a go-to for rock and metal lovers. It’s like having the spirit of the classics at your fingertips, and the best part? It won’t cost you a fortune.

  • Pickups: Humbucker
  • Controls: Volume, Balance, Treble, Bass
  • Bridge: Adjustable
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: 7-piece mahogany/walnut
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 20
  • Price: ‎$749.00 to $860.00

Ibanez Talman TMB100

Ibanez Talman TMB100
An image credit example from a ibanez

Fellow sound explorers, the Ibanez Talman TMB100 is like a treasure chest of tones waiting to be unlocked. With its retro design and tonal palette that’ll make your musical journey exciting, it’s the kind of bass that grows with you. Budget-friendly and versatile, it’s like having a reliable companion for every sonic adventure. Trust me, you’re in for a ride.

  • Pickups: Split-coil P-style
  • Controls: Volume, Balance, Treble, Bass
  • Bridge: Standard
  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 20
  • Price: $ 249 .99

Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ

Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ
An image credit example from a fender

The Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ is like the Swiss Army knife of bass guitars. Why settle for one sound when you can have the best of both worlds? Precision and Jazz bass tones at your fingertips, all without burning a hole in your wallet. It’s like having a versatile buddy who adapts to your every mood.

  • Pickups: Single-coil Jazz and P-style
  • Controls: Volume, Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Standard
  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale length: 34″
  • Frets: 20
  • Price: ‎$279.99

Danelectro Longhorn Bass

Danelectro Longhorn Bass
An image credit example from a Danelectro

The Danelectro Longhorn Bass is not just an instrument; it’s a time capsule to the days of twangy goodness. With its retro look and those lipstick tube pickups, it’s like playing a piece of history. It’s unique, twangy, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Trust me; it’s a blast from the past without the hefty price tag.

  • Pickups: Lipstick single-coil
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Adjustable
  • Body: Masonite
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale length: 29.75″
  • Frets: 24
  • Price: $569

Höfner Ignition Violin Bass

Höfner Ignition Violin Bass

The Höfner Ignition Violin Bass is like a ticket to the early days of iconic bass lines. With its distinctive violin-shaped body and that classic sound, it’s a nod to the legends without the legendary price tag. Playing this is like stepping into the shoes of the greats, and it won’t break the bank.

  • Pickups: Staple Humbucker
  • Controls: Volume, Tone
  • Bridge: Adjustable
  • Body: Spruce top, Maple back and sides
  • Neck: Maple/Beech/Maple
  • Scale length: 30″
  • Frets: 22
  • Price: $449.99

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Tips and tricks to maintain the bass guitar

I own a couple of bass guitars, and keeping them in perfect condition is essential so that they have a long life. Therefore, it is also vital that you know how to maintain your bass guitar after purchasing one. Here are a few tips and tricks:

Cleaning

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your bass in top condition. After playing, use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the body, neck, and strings. This step removes oils and debris that can affect playability and sound. Be cautious around electronic components; use a slightly damp cloth for stubborn grime.

Polish the body

Polishing the body not only enhances its appearance but also protects the finish. Use a guitar polish or a clean, soft cloth to apply a small amount evenly. Keep away abrasive materials that could damage the finish. Polishing keeps your bass looking sharp and contributes to its longevity.

Restring it

Regularly changing your bass strings is crucial for maintaining tone and playability. Over time, strings may collect dirt and lose their brightness. Change them when you notice a decline in tone quality or feel. Make sure to stretch new strings properly to minimize tuning issues.

Sight down your neck

Checking the neck’s straightness, or “truss rod adjustment,” is vital for proper intonation and playability. Sight down the neck from the headstock, and if you notice any bowing or back-bowing, adjust the truss rod accordingly. Be cautious and refer to your bass’s manual or seek professional help if you need help.

Change strings

While restringing is routine maintenance, changing strings entirely can be necessary. If you notice rust, significant wear, or tonal changes that cleaning won’t fix, it’s time for a fresh set. Experiment with different string brands and materials to find the sound and feel that suits you.

Storage

Proper storage is crucial for preventing damage. Keep your bass in a protective case or on a sturdy stand, away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humidity. Thus, it prevents warping, finish damage, and other issues from inadequate storage. A stable environment ensures your bass remains in top playing condition for years.

FAQs

What kind of bass guitar should a beginner get?

For beginners, I’d recommend starting with a versatile and user-friendly bass guitar that won’t overwhelm them with complexities. A four-string bass is a good option, as they’re easier to handle than five or six-string models. The Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass or the Yamaha TRBX 174 are excellent for beginners, providing a comfortable playing experience and a solid foundation for learning.

What are the top 10 cheap bass guitars?

  1. Sterling By Music Man SUB Ray5
  2. Yamaha TRBX 305
  3. Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass
  4. Epiphone EB-3
  5. Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II
  6. Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro
  7. Ibanez Talman TMB100
  8. Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ
  9. Danelectro Longhorn Bass
  10. Höfner Ignition Violin Bass

What is the most common bass guitar?

The Fender Precision Bass, often called the “P-Bass,” is one of the world’s most common and iconic bass guitars.

What are the tips and tricks for maintaining the bass guitar?

The tips and tricks for maintaining the bass guitar:

  • Clean them properly after every use.
  • Polish the body regularly.
  • Adjust the neck’s straightness.
  • Change strings regularly.
  • Replace the strings if necessary.
  • Store away from dust and moisture.

How much should you spend on your first bass?

To find the sweet spot between quality and budget, I’d recommend aiming for the mid-range price of $300 to $500 for your first bass. You’ll find fantastic options from reputable brands like Squier, Yamaha, and Ibanez, which offer excellent playability and sound and help you learn and grow without emptying your pockets.

Is a bass guitar beginner-friendly?

The bass guitar is a fantastic instrument for beginners. Many legendary musicians started their musical journey on a bass guitar, like Paul McCartney of The Beatles, who began as a bassist, or Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

How often should a bass player change strings?

If you’re a regular gig-goer or a studio session pro, you might change strings more often—every 1-2 months, perhaps. On the flip side, if you’re more of a bedroom jammer and your bass sees less action, you could stretch that timeframe to 6 months or even longer.

Which is the cheapest bass guitar?

Considering the brand and quality, Ibanez Talman TMB100 can be your primary choice, costing approximately $249.99 + taxes.

What are the factors to consider when choosing the best beginner bass guitar?

  1. Sound quality
  2. Comfort and playability
  3. Tonewood
  4. Scale length
  5. Body style
  6. Neck width
  7. Brand reputation
  8. Customer reviews
  9. Accessories and extras
  10. Price

How much does a decent bass guitar cost?

A decent bass guitar would cost within a price range of $400 – $800.