best bass guitar on a budget


Greetings, fellow music enthusiasts! Are you looking to unleash your inner bassist without breaking the bank? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll explore the world of bass guitars on a budget. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned musician, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to rock the stage without emptying your wallet!

1. Yamaha TRBX174EW

🎸 The Yamaha TRBX174EW is a fantastic option for those craving a high-quality bass on a budget. With its stunning exotic wood finish and versatile sound, it’s an instrument that will make heads turn. However, it may lack some advanced features that professionals seek. Nevertheless, for its price, it’s an outstanding choice for beginners and intermediate players.

2. Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass

🎸 If you’re a fan of vintage vibes, the Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass is a dream come true. Boasting the iconic Precision Bass design and delivering warm, punchy tones, it’s a great instrument to capture that classic sound. Keep in mind that some users have reported occasional tuning stability issues, but overall, it offers excellent value for the price.

3. Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass

🎸 Need a bass that’s easy to handle? Look no further than the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass. This compact yet powerful instrument is perfect for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a shorter scale length. However, the smaller size may affect the overall tone, making it less suitable for genres requiring deep, booming bass.

4. Sterling by Music Man SUB Ray4

🎸 The Sterling by Music Man SUB Ray4 is a budget-friendly alternative to its higher-end counterpart, the Music Man StingRay. With its solid construction and versatile tone options, it’s a reliable choice for both beginners and intermediate players. Keep in mind that some users have noted occasional issues with the amp output, but overall, it’s an excellent value for the price.

5. Fender Player Jazz Bass

🎸 For those seeking the iconic Fender sound, the Fender Player Jazz Bass is a top contender. Its high-quality craftsmanship and versatile tone make it a popular choice among bassists of all levels. However, the price may be slightly higher compared to other options on this list. If you’re willing to invest a bit more, this bass guitar will undoubtedly satisfy your musical cravings.

6. Epiphone Thunderbird IV

🎸 The Epiphone Thunderbird IV embodies pure rock ‘n’ roll attitude at an affordable price. Its unique body shape and powerful, growling tone make it an instrument for those who want to stand out. Keep in mind that the Thunderbird’s large body size may be uncomfortable for some players, particularly those with smaller frames.

7. Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ

🎸 Last but certainly not least, the Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ offers incredible value for money. With its versatile pickup combination and comfortable playability, it’s an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate players alike. However, some users have reported occasional issues with the fretwork, but these can often be easily fixed or resolved.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Budget Bass Guitars


1. Affordability: Budget bass guitars provide an opportunity for aspiring musicians to enter the world of bass playing without breaking the bank.

2. Quality Construction: Despite their lower price range, many budget bass guitars are crafted with high-quality materials and offer solid build construction.

3. Beginner-Friendly Features: These instruments often include features that cater specifically to beginners, such as narrower neck profiles and lighter weights.

4. Variety of Options: Budget bass guitars come in a wide range of styles, colors, and configurations, allowing players to find one that suits their personal preferences.

5. Learning Experience: Starting with a budget instrument can actually be beneficial for novice players as it encourages them to focus on learning the basics before investing in more advanced gear.

6. Entry into Different Genres: With a budget bass guitar, you can explore various genres without a significant financial commitment, helping you discover your musical style.

7. Upgradability: As your skills grow, you can easily upgrade specific components of your budget bass guitar, such as pickups or hardware, to enhance its sound and performance.


1. Limitations in Sound Quality: While budget bass guitars can produce decent tones, they might not match the richness and depth of higher-end instruments.

2. Potential Quality Control Issues: Some budget models may suffer from inconsistencies in craftsmanship or materials, leading to occasional defects or lower durability.

3. Limited Features: Advanced features and customization options found in more expensive bass guitars may be scarce or absent in budget versions.

4. Resale Value: Budget instruments typically have lower resale value compared to their higher-end counterparts, making it harder to recoup your investment if you decide to sell in the future.

5. Performance Limitations: If you’re an experienced player or planning to pursue professional gigs, a budget bass guitar may not meet your requirements in terms of tonal versatility and playability.

6. Durability Concerns: While the build quality of budget bass guitars has significantly improved in recent years, they may still be more prone to wear and tear compared to premium instruments.

7. Upgrade Limitations: While some components can be upgraded, certain aspects like the body construction or neck shape are fixed and cannot be easily altered on budget bass guitars.

Comparison Table: Best Bass Guitars on a Budget

Model Price Range Body Material Neck Material Pickups
Yamaha TRBX174EW $300 – $350 Exotic Wood Maple 2 x Single-Coil + 1 x Split-Coil
Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass $400 – $450 Alder Maple 1 x Split Single-Coil
Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass $200 – $250 Agathis Maple 1 x Single-Coil + 1 x Split-Coil
Sterling by Music Man SUB Ray4 $300 – $350 Basswood Maple 1 x Humbucker
Fender Player Jazz Bass $650 – $700 Alder Maple 2 x Single-Coil
Epiphone Thunderbird IV $400 – $450 Mahogany Maple 2 x Humbucker
Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ $250 – $300 Alder Maple 1 x Split Single-Coil + 1 x Single-Coil

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Are budget bass guitars suitable for professional musicians?

While budget bass guitars can be great for beginners and intermediate players, professional musicians might find their tonal and playability limitations restrictive.

2. Can I upgrade the pickups on a budget bass guitar?

Yes, the majority of budget bass guitars allow for pickup upgrades, providing an opportunity to enhance the overall sound and versatility of the instrument.

3. Is it necessary to invest in an expensive bass guitar as a beginner?

No, starting with a budget bass guitar is a wise choice for beginners as it allows them to learn the fundamentals without a significant financial commitment.

4. Do budget bass guitars come with a warranty?

Yes, most budget bass guitars offer warranties ranging from 1 to 2 years, ensuring that you’re covered in case of any manufacturing defects.

5. What accessories should I consider purchasing alongside a budget bass guitar?

Essential accessories include a suitable amplifier, a sturdy gig bag or case, a tuner, extra strings, and a strap. These will set you up for a great bass playing experience.

6. Can I use a budget bass guitar for recording purposes?

Absolutely! While their sound might not match that of higher-end instruments, budget bass guitars can still deliver excellent results when recording with proper EQ and processing.

7. Which genre of music is best suited for budget bass guitars?

Budget bass guitars can handle a wide range of genres, but they excel in styles such as rock, blues, pop, and reggae.

8. Are budget bass guitars suitable for players with small hands?

Some budget models, particularly short-scale options, are designed with smaller hands in mind, making them more comfortable for players with petite frames.

9. Can I rely on budget bass guitars for live performances?

While they might not offer the same level of tone and reliability as higher-end instruments, budget bass guitars can certainly handle live performances if properly set up and maintained.

10. Are there any notable differences between budget and expensive bass guitars?

Expensive bass guitars often feature higher-quality materials, superior craftsmanship, and more advanced features, resulting in enhanced playability, tone, and overall performance.

11. Can I find affordable bass guitars with active electronics?

Yes, some budget bass guitars come equipped with active electronics, allowing you to shape your tone through onboard equalization and other controls.

12. Are there any recommended brands for budget bass guitars?

Brands such as Yamaha, Squier, Ibanez, Sterling by Music Man, and Epiphone offer great options within the budget range, providing reliable instruments for aspiring bassists.

13. How long can I expect a budget bass guitar to last?

With proper care and maintenance, a budget bass guitar can last for many years. However, it’s important to remember that their durability may not match that of higher-end instruments.


In conclusion, finding the best bass guitar on a budget is not an impossible task. With options like the Yamaha TRBX174EW, Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Precision Bass, and Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass, you can embark on your musical journey without emptying your wallet. While budget bass guitars may have their limitations, they offer outstanding value for money and serve as a stepping stone towards mastering the art of bass playing. So go ahead, choose your favorite, and start grooving to the rhythm of your own music!

Closing Statement

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on the 7 best bass guitars on a budget. We hope it has provided valuable insights and guidance for your bass guitar purchasing decisions. Remember, the instrument you choose should resonate with your musical style and inspire you to create great music. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, finding the right bass guitar is just a step away. Rock on!

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