7 Best Bass Guitars For Every Skill Level And Budget

Traditional rock bands typically feature four members – lead singer, drummer, guitarist, and bass guitarist. Of course, some groups expand on this configuration while others minimize the group, such as when the guitarist is the lead singer, but these four members are considered the basis for a solid modern-day rock band. Bass players must be in sync with the drummer as the two work together to provide a solid rhythm section for a band. Whether you’re interested in learning or you’ve been in a band for years, having one of the best bass guitars is essential to mastering the art of the “low end.”

So, which bass instruments on the market are considered top notch? StudyFinds did the research, consulting nine music and instrument review websites to bring you a consensus list of the best bass guitars available on the market today. Our list comprises the seven most frequently listed bass guitars from across these sites. Did we fail to mention your favorite bass? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Someone playing the bass guitar
Someone playing the bass guitar (Photo by Krisztián Reischl on Unsplash

Get Your Hands on the Best Bass Guitars Musicians Rave About!


1. Fender American Performer Precision

The top spot on the list of the best bass guitars belongs to the Fender American Performer Precision. Fender is one of the leading names in the music industry, and for good reason. This is the quintessential bass guitar for its construction, quality, and sound, explains Pitchfork. Among bass players, the American Performer Precision is known simply as the P-Bass.

Fender American Performer Precision
Fender American Performer Precision

Go into any music shop and the guitar section is stocked with Fenders. Fender has nearly had a monopoly on the bass guitar market and much of that success is due to the Precision Bass. These guitars are designed with a Greasebucket circuit to add tonal variety while the satin finish makes it a complete joy to play (Music Radar).

These Fender bass guitars are the gold standard for bass guitars according to American Songwriter. The Fender American Performer Precision bass guitars are sleek, fresh, and sound absolutely amazing. Aside from the Greasebucket circuits, these bass guitars feature Yosemite P/J pickups that allow players to shift seamlessly between round J-bass and fat tones of P-bass.

2. Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazz Bass

Ready to get funky? As Guitar World notes, the Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazz Bass offers players of any level excellent value in a bass guitar. These are Fender bass guitars inspired by the classic designs of the first electric bass guitars of the 1960s. The body is made from poplar while the bolt-on necks are made from maple.

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazz Bass
Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazz Bass

The Squier Classic Vibes are a great choice for beginners on a budget, but don’t get it twisted, these are quality bass guitars. These Squiers are four-string bass guitars with a 34-inch scale length and a great sound, adds American Songwriter. This is one great bass guitar for both live and studio performances.

The slim width of this Squier’s neck is part of what makes this jazz bass so incredibly playable, writes Guitar Player. The jazz bass is the bass guitar of choice for a range of famous bassists including John Paul Jones and Geddy Lee. This classically designed bass guitar gives you a trebly tone with plenty of mid-range thump.

3. Epiphone Thunderbird ’60s Bass

These beautiful bass guitars are a modern reissue of the classic Gibson Thunderbird, one of the most influential bass guitars in the history of rock and roll music, explains Mojo Magazine. Epiphone designed its Thunderbird bass with a mahogany body and neck that helps deliver an amazing sound.

Epiphone Thunderbird ’60s Bass
Epiphone Thunderbird ’60s Bass

If you’re looking for an extremely cool-looking bass guitar that will stand out from the crowd, Pitchfork says to look no further than a Thunderbird. The Thunderbird’s enormous thumping tones make it a magnet for rockers. You might notice that the Thunderbird is the bass guitar of choice for legendary rockers such as Gene Simmons of KISS and Tod Hamilton of Aerosmith.

The body of these guitars is made from rich mahogany while the necks are a combination of mahogany and walnut, notes Guitar Player. From there, these bass guitars come with dual humbuckers that help players deliver a deep growling bassline, making these perfect for rock and metal bands.

4. G&L Tribute L-2000

This is the stuff of legends! These bass guitars are direct descendants of Leo Fender’s 1980s bass guitars, notes Sweetwater. They are built with a poplar body, a maple neck, and a maple fingerboard. G&L incorporates Fender’s classic designs including onboard active pickups and Tri-Tone preamp for plenty of sound.

G&L Tribute L-2000 Bass Guitar
G&L Tribute L-2000 Bass Guitar

The G&L Tribute L-2000 bass guitars are loaded with features that allow players to sculpt the perfect tunes, raves Music Radar. The active two-band EQ, series/parallel pickup switching, and selective preamp operation all help players establish the perfect rhythm and sound with one of these bass guitars.

These bass guitars are solidly constructed and feature a paradise of tone options for skilled players, notes Guitar World. The two humbuckers are built with ceramic cores and they are powerful. The individually adjustable pole pieces add even more options for players to achieve that perfect sound.

5. Yamaha TRBX304

Yamaha is one of the biggest names in electric and bass guitars and this four-string bass is one of its top models. The TRBX304 is designed with a mahogany body and a five-piece mahogany body and neck, according to American Songwriter.

Yamaha TRBX304
Yamaha TRBX304

Whether you’re just starting out with the bass guitar or you’ve been playing for years, you are sure to love the sleek design of the TRBX304, notes Ted’s List. Yamaha designed this bass to be comfortable to play and look really cool while it’s in your hands. The rosewood fingerboard contributes to the comfort of this Yamaha while the dual humbuckers reduce humming and vibrations in the instrument.

Although these are considered entry-level bass instruments, these bass guitars come loaded with electronics to help you deliver the sound you’re looking for, explains BassBuzz. You definitely get what you pay for. It’s modern enough to play a variety of genres and it feels great in your hands.

6. Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special

This beauty is the modern-day version of the classic ‘70s StingRay bass, explains Sweetwater. This classic bass is responsible for some of the most memorable basslines in rock history including those from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine.

Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special
Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special

As American Songwriter describes, these bass guitars are beloved by some of the biggest names in the industry including legendary musician Pino Palladino. This bass features active electronics as opposed to passive electronics, offering more control over shaping your bass tones.

The StingRay has undergone many changes over the years and in the best ways possible. They are more lightweight and feature a roasted maple neck for additional comfort and control, says Music Radar. Although the StingRay has gone through some modifications and has been modernized, the classic sound that’s synonymous with the model still exists.

7. Yamaha BB434/435

Two very similar models round out our list. The biggest difference between the model 434 and 435 is the number of strings. The 434 is a four-string bass while the 435 is a five-string bass. Still, Yamaha’s BB line of bass guitars are exceptionally well-designed instruments capable of handling any genre you can imagine, Guitar World writes in their review.

Yamaha BB434 bass guitar
Yamaha BB434

The BB434 offers a thin build that makes it the perfect bass instrument for playing gigs and performances, notes Sweetwater. Yamaha designed these bass guitars with a familiar fret system, an alder body, and a rosewood fingerboard that all help you deliver a dynamic bass tone. They also feature a double-cut offset body with a thin neck that makes it easy to play and hold for long shows. Factor in the versatile P/J pickups and these bass guitars are a wicked bass instrument, at an especially friendly price point.

Yamaha BB435 bass guitar
Yamaha BB435

The BB435 is one of the top picks for players venturing into the realm of the five-string bass guitar, raves Pitchfork. In the mid-’70s, bassists wanted to go lower than the traditional four-string basses on the market could handle, and the five-string bass guitars were born. The low end of the five-string bass guitars make them excellent choices for metal bassists looking for that deep, thundering growl, and for jazz bassists looking to expand their solo jam capabilities. If you desire a five-string bass guitar, the Yamaha BB435 is a wonderful place to start.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.


  1. Love my Washburn T24 Taurus. Little heavy, but what incredible tone and sustain.

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