10 Best Bass Guitars in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide and Review

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Explore the world of fat frequencies with our expert guide to the best basses in the world today.
The world of bass has never been more attractive, with instruments that cover all requirements, preferences and price ranges. If you can imagine it, it’s probably already a reality, and possibly on this list of the best 2021 lows.

In this guide, we’ll offer some expert advice on the best bass for you. We have minimums for all styles, genres, and budgets, and to make this list, they need to be a little special in their own way. We even search the internet, on your behalf, to find the best prices for each model we choose. Winner!

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Bass Guitar To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Bass Guitar Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
Best Choice Products Acoustic Electric Bass Guitar - Full Size, 4 String, Fretted Bass Guitar - Black
  • ACOUSTIC-ELECTRIC BASS: Equipped with a 4-band EQ-7545R guitar preamp to produce high-quality sound for beginners and pros alike
  • RICH, RESONANT SOUND: The wood composition creates a beautiful sound, great for unplugged jam sessions or performances
  • 4-BAND PREAMP: Built-in volume control, a 4-band equalizer adjusts bass, middle, treble, and presence
  • FOR BEGINNERS OR PROS: Ready to use right out of the box, it's perfect for beginning guitarists or professionals who want to practice on-the-go
  • BEAUTIFUL FEATURES: Crafted with an attractive inlay, chrome die cast tuners, and a glossy finish
Bestseller No. 2
Fender Squier Electric Precision Bass Beginner Starter Pack, Black, Laurel Fingerboard, Includes Rumble 15 Amplifier, Padded Gig Bag, Cable, Strap, and More
  • Includes a Squier Electric Precision Bass, a padded gig bag, a Rumble 15 amp, a strap, a cable, a stand, clip on tuner, picks, and an extra set of strings
  • This beginner's starter pack was masterfully curated around a Squier Precision Bass and has everything you need to play bass
  • The Precision Bass featured in this pack sports a thin body, which reduces weight and increases comfort when playing
  • Features a comfortable, easy-to-play neck and controls that allow for a variety of tones and volumes
  • Astoundingly compact with impressive sound, the Rumble 15 is perfect for jam sessions and practices alike
SaleBestseller No. 3
Stedman Pro Beginner Series Bass Guitar Bundle with 15-Watt Amp, Gig Bag, Instrument Cable, Strap, Picks, and Polishing Cloth - Sunburst
  • Full Size 46" Electric Bass Guitar
  • Basswood Body and Maple Neck with Adjustable Truss Rod
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Pickups: Split Neck and Bridge Pickup, Regulator: Volume - Tone
  • Accessories Include: 15 Watt Amplifier, Gig Bag, Chromatic Tuner, Strap, Cable, Extra String, Pics
SaleBestseller No. 4
Goplus Full Size 4 String Electric Bass Guitar with Strap Guitar Bag Amp Cord (Brown Bass 4 Straps)
  • 🎸 Stable Quality & Fashionable Design---The electric bass is constructed with a wood body, it features solidity so that you can play it freely. The durable bass will stand up to years of wear and tear. With a polished surface, the bass looks smoother and more shiny. Besides, There are black & white and blue & white two colors for you to choose, it can satisfy your different aesthetics.
  • 🎸 Better Tones & Good feelings---The electric bass delivers a smooth tone for you, it is ideal choice for rock and roll, you can use it to play the blues, and everything else in between. The natural, bright sound of the bass complements the warm sounds of the solid wood.
  • 🎸 Bass Travel Bag Easy for Carrying---The electric bass comes with a travel bag, so you can take your bass to your lesson or anywhere you want. You can lift or carry the bass with straps. The bag designed with zip closures, you can also keep your music score or accessories inside conveniently.
  • 🎸 Great Gift & Quality Customer Service---The electric bass is a great gift for new, aspiring musicians or bass enthusiasts with fashionable design, reasonable price and excellent quality. Our professional teams not only offer qualified products with favorable price to our customers, but also great customer service.
  • 🎸 Complete Accessories---The electric bass is fully equipped with accessories The package is include 1×Electric Bass, 1×Bass bag, 1×Shoulder Strap, 1×Bass pick, 1×Amp Cord. When you receive the bass, you can play it directly.
Bestseller No. 5
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat (GSRM20BWNF)
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact, light-weight Body
  • Dynamic P pickup
  • Short Scale 28. 6"
Bestseller No. 6
Sawtooth EP Series Electric Bass Guitar, Surf Green w/Pearl Pickguard
  • Basswood Body, Maple Neck, Maple Fretboard
  • 34" Scale Length, 42mm Nut Width. 20 Frets
  • Dot Inlays, 1 Volume & 1 Tone Control
  • P Style Ceramic Split Pickups, Top Loaded Adjustable Bridge
  • Classic Open Gear Tuners, Chrome Hardware
Bestseller No. 7
Metallica: 1983-1988: Bass Play-Along Volume 21 (Bk/Online Audio) (Hal Leonard Bass Play-Along)
  • Book/Online Audio
  • Pages: 72
  • Instrumentation: Bass
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 72 Pages - 02/01/2018 (Publication Date) - Hal Leonard (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
Glarry Electric Bass Guitar Full Size 4 String Rosewood Basswood Fire Style Exquisite Burning Bass(Burly Wood)
  • ♫【STABLE QUALITY & GREAT FEELINGS】 The 4 string bass guitar is made of high-quality basswood on body and stable rosewood on bridge and fingerboard. The ergonomic cut surface of the full size bass guitar and 20-fert provides a fantastic fret-hand feel when you play.
  • ♫【EXCELLENT TONE DISPLAY】 You can play all the warm and rock music styles you want with the Split Single-Coil pickup and 2 volume knobs.Your tune can be stability and smooth with the surface coating designed strings and larger string tension delivered.
  • ♫【BEST GIFT FOR BEGINNER】The electric bass guitar is a ideal gift for beginners and suits aspiring musicians too. Each 4 strings and string height can be adjusted and you can fine tuning the neck on the top of the fingerboard.
  • ♫【BASS BAG FOR CARRYING】- You can either lift or carry the bass, equipped with this portable bass bag. It also offers a protection to you electric bass guitar. Ideal for taking your beloved bass guitar to class, perform, and play music with your band friends.
  • ♫【PERFECT ACCESSORIES】- Come with 1x electric bass guitar, 1x portable guitar bag, 1×Shoulder Strap, 1×Bass pick, 1×Amp Cord. You can play Glarry bass immediately after opening a package.
Bestseller No. 9
Ktaxon Electric Bass Guitar 4 String Bass Guitar with 20 Watt Amplifier, PJ Type Pickup, Naturally air-dried Maple Neck, Rosewood Fretboard, Basswood Body(Black)
  • 【OUTSTANDING SOUND】 This electric bass guitar features 1 split single coil pickup and 1 single pickup, combined with 2 volume and 2 tone control knobs to create richer tones. The headstock adopts a dual adjustment lever and a stabilization system, which can better ensure that the intonation and tone are stable at all times.
  • 【EXQUISITE CRAFTSMANSHIP】The whole body of the electric bass uses the method of three-dimensional cutting to achieve the overall lightweight without affecting the resonance tone. The method of four-bolt fixed connection increases the comfort of high-position playing.
  • 【SUPERIOR MATERIAL】This right hand bass guitar consists of a naturally air-dried fretboard, basswood body and maple neck for better durability and better music performance. Made of nickel-plated carbon steel, our string features thicker strings and larger string tension.
  • 【20-WATT AMPLIFIER】This 20-watt amplifier can produce a more clear sound due to a special mesh design that makes dust difficult to enter the speaker. The amplifier has eight safety corners, which not only be placed more stable but also wear-resistant and non-slip.
  • 【SUITABLE FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS】This 4-string bass guitar is no assembly required and is ready to use right out of the box. It comes with a complete set of accessories for added convenience. This electric bass is a great choice for beginners and experienced musicians of all levels.
Bestseller No. 10
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Gray (GSR200SMNGT)
  • Spalted Maple top/Mahogany body
  • Rosewood Frets
  • 22 Frets

Last update on 2022-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look for in a Bass Guitar?

Choosing a decent bass guitar can be a tough task, especially if you are inexperienced so let’s break down what to look for…

Sound

Sound is obviously key, which can be problematic when shopping online. Fortunately, with the wonders of modern technology, you can usually find a video or two of the model you are contemplating in action.

It is important, however, to remember that this will be subject to their recording capabilities and the compression of the video sharing platform as well.

The sound you desire is very much down to individual preference and somewhat subjective with opinion varying from one person to another. The sound you desire will also be biased towards the styles of music you enjoy playing or intend to play with it.

When shopping online it is important to think about the language used to describe the sound of the instrument so pay attention as a gritty, bluesy bass and a bright popping bass are two very different timbres.

How well the model is made and the components used within the electronic elements of your bass can dramatically affect the sound quality. If you shop at a price level above a minimum of $250-$300 you should find there is a relative level of quality in terms of the sound.

There are some notably cheap options out there but unless you have an extremely limited budget you should be a little wary as shortcuts may have been taken.

You can opt for a combination pick-up to give you more scope over the tone of the instrument itself as well as shaping the sound through an amplifier itself once the signal has been sent from your instrument.

It is also fair to say you can modify the pick-ups at a later date, you can, in fact, give the bass a complete overhaul in terms of its hardware.

Comfort

One of the most vital points to think about is the playability, the number one reason which people quit playing the bass for is how uncomfortable they can be to play for starters they are typically much heavier than a guitar and the extra weight o the shoulder can be problematic. They have larger fret distances as well as thicker strings which all adds up to a tougher time on the fingers, requires a lot of strength, and the will to keep at it.

Having low action can help with this from the get-go, though it is important to remember it takes a lot of commitment to building the calluses over time.

Being able to adjust the action via a truss rod and adjustable bridge can, therefore, be a beneficial thing to opt for.

The neck must be straight and well machined from good dense wood. Some people prefer a slimmer neck to give them better coverage.

The decision to go for frets or forgo them and choose a fret-less bass is really down to preference. We would suggest a beginner gets a fretted bass as it gives a clear indication of where each semitone is along each string and is vital if you only have a little playing experience.

Size and scale

Of course, you will have to settle on a size before you even think about anything else. If you are a younger player or a petite person you might want to think about shorter scale bass, a full-size bass has a very long neck and can be a bit of a stretch at the low end of the neck and let’s face it bass is for playing the bass notes.

Having a neck too long for your stature can cause it to sit uncomfortably on your shoulder or neck dive. As you adjust your natural stance to compensate for its size you could suffer from neck, shoulder, and backache as a result.

Looks

The style does quite often weigh in when making an instrument purchase but the aesthetics should never be given top priority.

How to Choose a Bass Guitar?

Bass guitars are unique from a normal guitar because they work with a microphone, amp, and fewer strings. The design is similar in terms of look, but the operation is a replica of an electric guitar. You have four thick wires that give you higher bass, and when playing lead portion, you are getting a better mix with the song. Selecting the best bass guitar is impossible if you don’t know about the basics of the guitar. So, here is a list of key factors that you should be looking after –

  • Type of use

The primary factor is to learn about the type of use because bass guitars are available for a wide number of price points. For a learner of bass guitar, going with a basic model is good to start. But if you are an intermediate and master the lead playing part, you need a genuine bass guitar.

As the need varies, the right bass guitar varies. For someone who likes to perform, there is a need for attractive looking bass guitar, which has a reliable pickup to provide the best mix. On the other hand, the budget varies based on the type and need. Due to this, finalize that why you want a bass guitar.

Beginners are unsure about their talent, and it would be a better choice with a base model or an intermediate option to avoid facing any problem. It would be better for a bass guitar enthusiast to invest more for richer tonewoods, better electronics, and quality hardware.

  • Consider Construction

To ensure that you are getting a reliable bass guitar, taking a close look at its construction is important. There are a few important sections or parts that you shouldn’t be missing at all.

  • Neck – Take a close look at the neck, check for the fretboard, width of the neck, and how much frets are there. These things usually stay the same, but it varies with few brands. A nice quality neck of the bass guitar provides a better grip.
  • Tuning Machine – To tune your bass guitar, you need a tuning machine. It is already equipped at the head part of the guitar. That’s why it is called Headstock. It is used to adjust the tension on the string, and a well-made tuning machine provides the best use. You can find different types of tuning pegs, but the work is the same.
  • Fretboard – Checking out the material used in the fretboard manufacturing can help you get a quality option. Rosewood, Maple, and ebony are three widely preferred material which can ensure a better use. A quality fretboard has qualities like smooth, dense, and hard in terms of feel. These are round with a large radius, but you can find almost flat guitar fretboards.
  • Truss Rod – In every guitar, a truss rod plays an important role in keeping fretboard in the right position. Bass guitar has thick wires, which can create lots of tension on the fretboard and break it, but the truss rod keeps everything into the place. A normal guitar truss rod is thin, but it can’t be of similar thickness with the bass guitar, so consider a good quality thickness in the fretboard to ensure better quality.

These are some important parts of the construction that you should be looking at. You have to check out the construction of the guitar body and the manufacturing material to get a quality deal. Once you are done considering all these factors, figuring out a reliable bass guitar is easy.

  • Bass Scale Length

You can choose between different bass scale length, but there are limited options. Most people go with the ideal length because of the versatility and convenience they avail. The popular guitar brands are offering around 30″ of the bass scale length, and it varies with the other factors also.

Guitarists who have used standard sizes instruments might find issues holding the bass guitar with lower or higher length. However, once you start using different sizes, then you won’t be going back to a standard bass scale length. The overall experience enhances, and you can feel the difference.

  • Bass Guitar Neck Types

As there are bass guitar has several types and different styles, so you can find a significant difference with the neck type. Choosing a bass guitar based on the look is impossible, and you have to be selective here. Checking out the guitar neck type can help you get a reliable product. The type of bass guitar necks is –

  • Bolt-on neck
  • Set neck
  • Thru-body neck

Each type has a unique quality, but the widely preferred bass guitar neck is Bolt-on, and it is popular for simplicity. There is a bolt connected to the truss rod, which keeps the neck in position. A solid connection is important to ensure a genuine build and to get the best use.

The neck type affects the guitar’s stability, and it is the major reason you should be looking after all the popular types and their qualities. No doubt that the neck type affects the bass guitar’s cost also, so you have to be selective here.

  • PickUp Position

One of the most important parts that you should be considering is pick up. It is going to amply the dull sound into the real music that you are going to enjoy. Pickups are mainly electromagnetic devices that pick up the vibrations from the guitar’s wire and amplify when connected to a speaker. These electromagnetic signals can reach higher pitches effectively. There are two different positions of pickup that you can find so have a look at the differences –

  • At the Fretboard – If you are choosing a bass guitar with pickup closer to the fretboard, then you can expect smooth and low-end sound. It is best when it comes to mixing the bass part into a live session.
  • At the Bridge – If you choose a bass guitar with pickup closer to the bridge, you can expect edgy sound. There will be better mid to high tones that can provide clear and crisp sound. These are mainly used for crispy bass notes.

Most manufacturers mainly prefer these two positions, and there will be a slight difference. Few manufacturers go with the unique positions which are not standard. If you are new, then looking at such a unique option is not a good choice for the beginners.

  • Pickup Types

Pickups are of two types, just as the two different positions. When choosing a bass guitar, you should be looking at the type of pickup. Both types are reliable, but they have a generation difference.

  • Single Coil – One of the simplest kinds of a bass guitar pickup is a single-coil, and it is loved for design. Well, there is one coil with one magnet that creates focused sound with bright tones. The tones are high, crisp, and easy to mix up. However, this type of pickup gets noisy when playing with extra force.
  • Humbucking Pickup – As a single coil makes intense noise on mid and high pitches, it is important to have a solution. So, Humbucking pickup was created to get rid of extra hum sound. It provides a fatter sound which mixes with ease and provides higher clarity in music.

After learning about both types, you can say that bass guitar has many important factors to look after. Well, these are the most important ones that you should be checking. The type of pick up is a very important factor, and you shouldn’t be avoiding it for sure.

  • Number of Strings

Most beginners should start their bass guitar journey with a four-wired guitar because these are easy to learn and reliable. There is a significant difference between one wire to another wire. On the other hand, four strings are easy to understand than having five strings. Instead of getting confused, you should go with the basic option.

However, if you are playing as an expert or an intermediate, it would be better to try new stuff. Five wires are allowing you better highs and lows. On the other hand, you can play a wide scale in one position with five-wire bass guitars. This factor can ensure that why five and six wire bass guitars exist and why you should get them.

  • Reviews

After looking at all the aspects mentioned above, it would be better to look after a couple of reviews to learn more about the product. Most buyers mention their experience, good and bad about the bass guitar, built quality, after-sale services, and many other factors. Looking at all those factors and comparing two similarly priced bass guitar will help you figure out which one is better and why.

What makes a good bass guitar?

There are a whole bunch of different things that go into making a great bass guitar, but the things that make a great bass guitar for you may be things that make a bass guitar mediocre for other musicians.

But, one of the main components that go into creating a great bass guitar is the choice of woods that are used to make the body and the neck of the guitar. On cheaper bass guitars, you’re going to find bodies comprised of basswood or alder; the more expensive the guitars are, you’ll begin to find other woods incorporated, such as maple, swamp ash, and mahogany.

While the woods used on your guitar shouldn’t be the defining point of the choice you make in your guitar, they should be one of the reasons that you do look into specific guitars.

How to find a good bass guitar?

Make sure that when you’re shopping around for a guitar, that you do your research for all of the benefits that a specific type of wood has to offer to you. As an example, guitars that are comprised of swamp ash produce a bright sound, whereas guitars that are comprised of mahogany will provide musicians with a warm sound.

You should also take time to research the type of wood your guitar is comprised of for your physical benefit; if you plan on traveling with your bass guitar and spending a lot of time standing on stage, you should look into a guitar that’s made from a lighter wood so it not too heavy for you to play.

At the end of the day, no matter what the woods, the electronics, the pickups, or how many strings your bass guitar has, you shouldn’t face any instrument with any prejudice. Pick your bass guitar based off of what you think sounds best, regarding instruments in your budget. You can’t go wrong with a bass guitar that you enjoy the sound of! Check out our guide on the best guitar strings and how to pick the right one for your guitar.

What’s the difference between active pickups and passive pickups?

The type of pickup that your bass guitar has will also define what type of sound your instrument produces. If you are a musician who is looking for the classic warm, vigorous sound with a dynamic range of tonal production, you’re going to want to look for a guitar that has passive pickups.

However, if you get your hands on a bass guitar that have a set of active pickups installed, you’re going to get yourself bright, clear, bell-like tones.

These tones will be especially prevalent if your guitar comes with built-in preamps, as the overall volume output is larger when being compared the overall volume output of a passive pickup. Active pickups are typically a favorite in the guitar community, typically because they also don’t have to interact with a lot of interferences or background noise.

When coming time to choose your bass guitar, the choice of an active or passive pickup will be a choice you’re going to have to make based on your personal preferences. As said earlier, make sure that you play around with a few different guitars before making a final decision on any one instrument.

Should I buy new or used?

Again, it’s really all up to you on whether or not you’d like to purchase a new or used bass guitar. When you purchase a new bass guitar, you’re more than likely going to have the security of a warranty from the company. On top of purchasing a new bass guitar, you’re also going to be purchasing the full set-up, so you’ll be ready to start playing as soon as you’ve completed your purchase.

Purchasing a used bass guitar, no matter what the price tag is, is going to be a bit riskier. However, this risk can be a great payoff if you end up purchasing a gem of a bass guitar and didn’t have to spend a whole lot of money on it. If you do happen to be purchasing a used bass guitar, make sure that the purchase is going through an online or physical guitar store that has a good reputation.

Getting an instrument from a flea market, yard sale, eBay, or thrift store can be a lot larger of a risk, especially if you aren’t able to test out your instrument when it’s hooked up to an amp and you won’t have the ability to make returns.

The best piece of advice that I give to all musicians who are looking to purchase a new guitar is to take some time and try out a whole variety of different guitars to find an instrument that you truly love.

While a new guitar may be a little more expensive in the beginning, if you end up purchasing a used guitar from a seller that isn’t reputable, you can be out hundreds or thousands of dollars by trying to make repairs on a mediocre guitar.

Conclusion

Some of us are never going to own the real deal when it comes to a custom vintage model or modern boutique bass.

There are however as you will hopefully have seen from today’s reviews, plenty of options out there that don’t suck. We have tried to select a few choices within different affordable ranges that highlight the general capabilities of a decent bass guitar in that region.

Take our buyers to guide advice with you whilst you work out what it is you want, especially if you are embarking on a new hobby, and remember it doesn’t have to cost the earth to get a pretty decent sound of your own whilst you bloom.

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