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Best Bass Guitar to Take the World by Storm in 2021 

 April 19, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Getting yourself the best bass guitar has never been as easy as it is now. Thanks to the numerous high-quality best bass guitars there are out there, you're spoilt for choice. However, knowing which bass guitar suits your needs can be the tricky part, and that's why we've done the job of research for you.

We've searched the internet to give you the best bass guitars out there to take you along your journey of changing the world with your music, whether you are in a band or not. Although this is not the 10 best bass guitars review, we've taken the best of the best to bring you a thorough list. Whether you are a student, beginner, the next YouTube sensation, or a seasoned bass guitarist, you'll benefit from the information we've gathered for you.

We have great bass guitar options; whether you are looking for a more understated bass guitar for old-school jass fingerstyle or a four-string bass, we've got all you need. We've also created an in-depth buying guide to help you on your way as you choose the best guitar for you.

Best Bass Guitars

1. Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Weathered Black (GSR205BWK)
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact, light-weight Body
  • Dynamic P & J pickups
  • Active Phat II EQ adds additional low-end power

Starting off our best bass guitars list is the Ibanez 5 Sring bass guitar, which is an affordable and lightweight 4-string bass guitar. This option is perfect for a beginner, a working musician, and even a traveling musician.

This bass guitar features a lightweight body, a slim maple neck, and an active Phat II EQ. The EQ adds more low-end power. If you haven't heard of Ibanez yet, you will because it is one of the most popular brands that produce bass guitars. The focus of this company is to create high-quality instruments that give you the best performance for years to come.

If you want to change the sound of your bass guitar from time to time, you can do this thanks to the bass boost knob. The one drawback of purchasing this bass guitar is that it doesn't come with any accessories such as bags and other supports. Nonetheless, you can easily get these at affordable prices as you purchase this guitar.

Pros

  • Very affordable priceMore versatile thanks to the five-string setup.
  • Has an excellent sound quality.
  • Has an active Phat II EQ.
  • The EQ adds more low-end power.
  • Bass knob to modify your sound.
  • Has a great maple neck.
  • Works well with many more systems.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with accessories.

2. Squier by Fender Jazz Bass Guitar

Squier by Fender Affinity Jazz Beginner Electric Bass Guitar - Rosewood...
  • Squier's Affinity Series provides the best value in instrument design available...
  • Dual Single-Coil Jazz Bass pickups provide classic Fender electric bass tone...
  • The 20-fret rosewood fingerboard provides warm tone and organic feel
  • The modern "C" shaped neck provides universal comfort for any style of playing
  • All Squier instruments are designed by Fender and contain the crucial "DNA" that...

This fender bass guitar gives you the best value you can get in an instrument design. If you are an aspiring musician and want to get started with jazz bass, we suggest that you get this fender bass guitar. The dual single-coil J pickups give this classic Fender bass a tone with a clear and punchy low end.

You'll also enjoy the 20-fret rosewood fingerboard that will give you a warm and organic feel as you play the c string and b string. The modern "C" shaped neck of this fender bass also gives you universal comfort no matter the style you're playing in. Although this is not a 10 best bass guitars review, our six options are the best of the best.

With many bass guitarists playing this fender guitar, you'll join them in enjoying the crisp and punchy sound that it produces. Fender designs instruments that are iconic and world-renowned. You are sure to get the best value for your money and have an enjoyable experience playing this Fender bass. The Fender standard is known by musicians worldwide thanks to Leo Fender, the creative genius behind this body shape and amazing design.

Pros

  • Very high-quality build.
  • The tone has a clear and punchy low end.
  • Modern "C" shaped neck provides universal comfort.
  • Has an excellent sound quality.
  • Comfortable fretboard.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • None

3. Yamaha TRBX174EW 4-String Electric Bass Guitar

Yamaha TRBX174EW RTB 4-String Electric Bass Guitar with Exotic Wood...
  • TRBX170EW features exotic mango top with high playability and trusted quality by...
  • Exotic Mango Top
  • Vintage Style Bridge

You will love the strings on this Yamaha bass, especially at this price point whether you are in a band or not. It's no surprise that a Yamaha product is high on our best bass guitar list. This TRBX174EW is part of Yamaha's larger TRBX line with a set focussed on bass guitars, great for players at all levels, even if you are a beginner.

The other thing that makes this Yamaha guitar set stand out from the crowd is that it comes in various colors that add a personalized touch. This piece is very affordable and boasts an exotic wood top and matching headstock. This guitar body gives it a distinctive appearance that you'll love.

However, if you want to get active support and pickups with this guitar, you'll have to switch to the 300 or 500 as the 100 and 200 lines on this piece use passive pickups. Nonetheless, other than the pickups, you'll enjoy playing this bass guitar as its high quality will give you great performance.

Pros

  • Highly affordable price.
  • High-quality type.
  • A great entry-level alternative to other basses on this list.
  • Gives outstanding sound and more playability.
  • You'll enjoy access to Yamaha's quality customer support.

Cons

  • Packaging is not strong enough.

4. Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5

Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5 Bass Guitar in Vintage Sunburst Satin,...
  • Iconic Stingray5 bass in Vintage Sunburst Satin finish with black Pickguard
  • Basswood Body with Maple neck and Fretboard
  • Equipped with a Sterling by music Man designed Ceramic pickup and 2-band Active...
  • All Sterling by Music Man instruments receive final set-up and inspection in the...

At its price range, this is a pocket-friendly Sterling by Music Man piece with special notes. This Ray5 is impressive from its top to its bottom, with a quality build that speaks for the brand it's associated with. You will love its level of finishing and the booty-rattling tonal performance it will gift you.

You are promised a whole heap of bass with this instrument. Its playability is top-notch, and if you are venturing into the world of five-string basses for the first time, you have nothing to worry about. This instrument comes in various colors for you to choose from.

This Ray5 is the cousin to the Music Man StingRay 5, a classic and iconic guitar that defined a generation of bassists since the late 1970s. You will get to enjoy rock-solid hardware, a simple and uncluttered look, and low noise humbucking pickups.

Pros

  • Great build quality.
  • Easily playable.
  • Familiar StingRay tones.
  • Comes at a good price.

Cons

  • Doesn't have the finest of the other top range models.

5. Washburn 4 String Bass Guitar

Washburn 4 String Bass Guitar, Natural Matte (T24NMK-D)
  • Taurus Series 4-String Bass
  • Mahogany Body, Maple/Mahogany multi-lam neck-thru, ebony Fingerboard
  • Dual Washburn J style Pickups
  • Graph Tech Nub one nut; Chrome Die cast tuners; Hardtail Bridge
  • Case included

The Washburn Taurus series 4-string Guitar features a maple-mahogany construction neck and neck joint. These basses scream professionalism and will surely help you make a great impression in the bass community. If you are a fan of wood bass guitars, you'll fall in love with this bass guitar made of fine wood and finishes.

Few basses are made of high-quality components like these instruments, and you'll be stunned by how much you can do on this bass guitar. The construction alone made this bass guitar win an award. With this bass guitar, you'll be well on your way to becoming the best bass player this world has seen.

Weighing approximately nine pounds, you won't have to worry about weight when playing this piece. It also comes with a cool gig bag. Some of the other features you'll enjoy include the maple and mahogany multi-lam neck-thru, the mahogany body, dual Washburn J pickups, and an ebony fingerboard that will blow you away.

The pickups on this best bass guitar are passive. Therefore, you won't need to worry about consuming too much electricity and power as you play. This is something that other bass players who use bass guitars that are the best bass guitars can't say. With this high-quality product, you can switch your sound from punchy and distorted to mellow and quiet whenever you like.

Pros

  • Made of very high-quality build.
  • Great for experienced musicians.
  • Single neck/body construction is reliable and steady.
  • High-quality pickups give you an incredible sound and tone.
  • Includes a gig bag for convenience.

Cons

  • Slightly high price.
  • Not ideal for beginners.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Bass Guitars

Whether you choose an acoustic bass guitar or an electric bass guitar, there are some factors to consider to make an informed decision on the best item for you.

1. Material of the Body

The material of the body of your piece significantly affects the sound it produces. Therefore, knowing the tonewood that your guitar is made of will help you out a lot in the long run. Let's look at some materials.

a) Hard Woods

Hardwoods have brighter and snappier sounds. Therefore bass guitars with hardwoods are popular for their percussive tones. They are also great for bass guitar players who want their piece sound to cut through the room they are playing.

Jazz bass players and funk and pop genre players will want to get harder woods.

b) Soft Woods

Softwoods give a warmer and mellower sound. This means that they are great for bass players who are in the rock and metal genres. These guitars are popular for being highly resonant.

2. Price and Budget

We've seen some great options above that are budget-friendly and some that will force you to dig a bit deeper into your pockets. As a beginner, you shouldn't spend all your money on an expensive option. A budget price will also be great for you.

As long as the pickups, the body, tone, the bass sound, and the strings are of good quality, you can go ahead and choose one of our affordable options above. If you are in a good band and want to go for the options whose prices are affordable, you can go for any of our options in the list above.

However, if you are a dedicated player and want something that is more advanced and will give you a great tone and has a great body, you might want to invest in a high-quality piece like our Yamaha option above.

3. Parts and Their Functions

Having a good understanding of your guitar parts will help you choose one that is perfect for you. Let's look at some of these despite what model you choose to help you get a great tone and sound for your band.

a) Neck

The neck of your instrument includes the fretboard, headstock, and internal truss rod. This rod at the neck connects the body of your instrument to the body of your bass. Any model you choose has a neck with no question. Ensure that you also have a good neck joint.

b) Headstock

The headstock contains so much more than meets the eye. It is there in any instrument and plays a big role by being the wide portion at the top of the neck where the instrument strings terminate near the tuning pegs.

c) Fretboard

It is also known as the fingerboard and it is a thin piece of wood, usually made of rosewood, ebony, or maple. You've likely heard of rosewood frets or a rosewood fingerboard. The reason that most fretboards are hard, smooth, and dense to ensure that they wear slowly no matter the type of precision bass or model you have.

Even jazz basses have great fretboards. You'll find that this part is normally arched from side to side. Some electric pieces are fretless to allow for a smoother glissando effect. However, a precision bass model like this one requires greater skill to play to achieve a great tone.

d) Truss Rod

The metal truss rod is inside the neck and helps prevent it from twisting or bending. Because of their precision, you'll find that jazz bass strings are thicker than normal guitars, creating more tension on the neck. Therefore, a truss rod allows the neck to straighten if it becomes twisted or bowed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Best Bass Guitars

1. Is Bass Easier than Guitar?

Yes. The bass is easier to play compared to the guitar. One of the reasons is that bass only has four strings while an electric guitar has six. Therefore, learning to play bass will be easier than a guitar. m

2. Can you Play Bass Without an Amp?

Yes, you can play an electric bass even if you don't have an amp. You can do this by connecting it to your smartphone, computer, or multi-effects pedal. There are plenty of portable devices that you can use to allow you to play your bass with speakers or headphones and still get a great tone. 

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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