Great Bass Guitars To Get You Started Playing

Great Basses To Get You Started Playing

I probably spend too much time looking at higher priced guitars and basses and realized that I’m overlooking an important part of the bass guitar industry: good starter basses. Today I’m offering some ideas on bass guitars that sell new for under $300, play great and give a lot for the money. I personally satay away from guitars that are eye catching shapes, like a bat or a fish and prefer basses that focus on being well made, easy playing and good sounding instruments. You pay for style: I recommend substance.

Here are my top choices for basses that sell new for under $300:

  1. Yamaha RBX374 for about $299: In this price range, this is my overall favorite but with the note that there’s a lot of competition and by no means does this leave the others in the dust. For fit, feel, finish, sound and playability, the Yamaha does measures up and is a great choice.
  2. Fender Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar for about $298: The Jaguar bass is sooooo cool and this one ranks well in all of my criteria too. Squier makes its guitars and basses very, very close to Fender specs and it feels and sounds like it.
  3. Schechter Raider Custom 4 for about $298: Great sound and playability. The overall quality is good too and when you’re out shopping, don’t overlook this brand.
  4. Ibanez GATK20 for about $249: Ibanez makes an incredibly popular line of basses, dealers seem to love Ibanez and so do players. This is a solid performer for about $50 less than other basses on the list except for the Peavey.
  5. Peavey Millennium BXP 4 for about $239: This bass has wonderfully crisp electronics and very playable too. I prefer the Millennium to other Peavey models and it measures up well with the competition.
  6. Danelectro Wild Thing for about $299: Danelectro??? What kind of a name is that? Actually, a pretty highly regarded name and manufacturer of some well built, high value instruments. I liked the balance, the feel and sound of this bass. They make good stuff.
  7. ESP LTD TD EC 104 for about $279: I particularly liked the neck on this bass and the sound was very strong, solid and impressive.
  8. Dean Edge 1 Quilt Top for about $219: I don’t usually put Dean guitars in my top lists although I really don’t dislike them, they’re usually not in m top, that’s all. This bass was very comfortable and well contoured, sounded good, played nicely, looked exceptional and for $219, a good, solid, affordable option.
  9. Epiphone EB-3 SG Bass for about $299: How can you go wrong with the classic SG shape. The pickups had a wonderful snap and punch and the SG body is very comfortable and very cool looking.
  10. Flea Bass FB-ST Street Bass for about $299: What can I say? I like Flea Basses. This has a very nice alder body, nicely sculpted neck, and was a lot of fun to play.

The prices above are for 4 string basses. Most offer a 5 string option for about $50 – $75 more. As I mentioned at the top, none of these blew the others away, there were all good, quality pieces and if you’re shopping for a new low priced bass, these are all worth checking out.

When you go to a music store, give yourself some time to tes a lot of basses, don’t’ fall in love with a look, most of what you’re going to judging a bass by in the future is how it sounds, feels and plays. Be patient and have fun.

Do you have any recommendations for a new bass under $300? I’d like to hear from you. YHou can write to or leave a reply on this blog. Thanks, Prof. Dave

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