Best Bass Guitar for Beginners 2017

In a hurry? The Ibanez GSR200 is our choice for the best bass guitar for newbies!

Basics of the Bass Guitar

Regardless of your favorite genre of music, you’ll find that the bass guitar has a dominating presence setting the rhythm and pace of a song.  To a novice, the bass guitar may look like a wider guitar that offers fewer strings.  That’s about where the similarities end.

bass guitar played

The bass guitar and traditional guitar differ due to the range of the pitch that they create.  Bass guitars play notes at a lower octave than traditional guitars.  Bass guitar is also used in tandem with the drums to create the heartbeat to the music’s pulse.

Traditionally played by picking the strings rather than using a guitar pick, a solid bass line contains the act of “Walking the Bass.”  This is when the bassist will move up and down a scale in small steps while following the beat of the bar.


Picking out your First Bass Guitar

Learning a new instrument can be extremely frustrating.  When you’re looking to buy your first bass guitar, it’s important to get a beginner-friendly model that won’t hinder your learning process.

Keep in mind, spending a huge wad on your first bass probably isn’t the wisest idea. There are too many instruments that find their way to the pawn shops after its owner decides that playing music doesn’t suit them.

bass guitar body

A properly setup bass guitar will last you years and give you room to grow as your skills increase.  Let’s cover a few different areas that you should pay attention to when it comes to purchasing your first bass guitar.

  • Research Reviews – The world that we live in leaves nothing to the imagination. Take advantage of a world where nearly everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame by reviewing products on YouTube.  Here, you can get a good idea on different brands, tuning your bass and adjusting the levels on your bass and amp.  A great sounding instrument is the first key to continuously trying to master it.
  • Neck Necessity – The first thing to examine on your potential purchase is the neck. It’s important to run your fretting hand up and down the frets to see how well your hand fits.  You will know if the neck is a good fit for your hands even if you have never played before.  You want to make sure that the neck is not so wide that you have trouble reaching across the fretboard.
  • Have an Amp in Mind – An amp is just as important as the bass itself. If you are planning to purchase an amp that you will only be using as a practice amp at first, then don’t plug that bad boy into the most expensive amp on the showroom floor.  Chances are, your bass will sound like Angels themselves when plugged into a high quality amp.  You run the risk of being devastated when your tone completely changes when you plug it into a practice amp.

bass guitar amp


Best Bass Guitar Under $200

Now you have a good idea on how to begin looking for your first bass guitar.  We’ve done a bit of shopping around to find you the best values online for a really nice bass at an even better price.  We’ll keep the budget under $200 to maximize the value of the guitar.


Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar

Ibanez GSR200 Electric Bass Guitar, Black Finish

Ibanez has been a trusted name in musical instruments since their induction in the 1930’s. This beautiful bass guitar offers a one-piece maple neck and a rosewood fretboard.  Built in with a PHAT-II Bass Boost and chrome hardwood, this instrument is a steal that comes in at just under $200.

The Ibanez GSR200 focuses on giving you the most instrument for your money, so it doesn’t come with extras like a gig bag. The GSR200 is very durable and plays well with any amp. It’s lightweight enough to let you play through hours of jam sessions and the neck of this guitar feels great in the hand.



Best Bass Guitar for Kids

Has your kid been begging for their first bass guitar?  This may sound like a risky investment, but you don’t know if there is an inner Les Claypool waiting to explode.  The solution – there are plenty of bass guitars for children that are reasonably priced and can make a great beginner instrument.  These guitars offer a shorter neck and lighter instrument in general.   Let’s take a look at some of the best bass guitars for kids available.

kid playing bass guitar

Crescent Electric Bass Guitar Starter Kit

Crescent Electric Bass Guitar Starter Kit - Sunburst Color (Includes CrescentTM Digital E-Tuner)

While we wouldn’t recommend a cheap bass guitar for adults, these kits make excellent first instruments for children. Often time for kids it’s more about finding out if they have a passion for music and will continue to work on progressing their skills to get better before you commit more money to an instrument.

While the sound may not be of the highest quality, your child can learn the basics and hone their skills just fine.  Included with this bass are strings, a tuner, picks, a strap and a hookup cable for an amp.  At such a low price, the Crescent Bass Guitar Kit is a low-risk investment into your child’s development.


By reading this, you should feel confident to start your musical career and buy your first bass guitar. If this is your first attempt at learning any instrument, welcome to the club! We have some articles about learning a musical instrument for adults that might be interesting to you!