If you’re just starting on the bass guitar or an experienced guitarist who wants to give the bass a fair shot, you’ll need to find a quality bass that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to obtain. In this article, we’ll showcase some of the best electric bass guitars under $300 so you can be budget-conscious and, at the same time, have a reliable instrument that serves you well.
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The Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro is a great bass guitar for young beginners. It’s small, lightweight, and easy to play, making it perfect for those just starting. I particularly like Ibanez instruments and recommend them often because their necks tend to be very slim and comfortable. These basses are built with a maple neck and jatoba fretboard, which is now used as a rosewood substitute.
Additionally, its affordability makes it an excellent option for those on a budget. Despite its small size, the GSRM20 Mikro produces a full sound thanks to its PJ pickup configuration and poplar body. For around 200 bucks, the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro is a fantastic budget bass! However, if the smaller size isn’t for you and you’re looking for a more standard instrument, read further!
At 34″ scale length, a full-sized alternative to the Ibanez Mikro is the GSR200 model. Aside from this, they essentially have the same specs, and I recommend this bass guitar for the same reasons, but this is the one you should go with if you don’t have particularly small hands and want a regular-sized bass guitar. Therefore, this instrument is more suitable for teenagers and adults who are looking to grab a cheap bass to get started with.
As mentioned before, I really like the fast-playing necks that Ibanez provides, and they’re definitely some of the best in this price range. Ibanez is also well-known for its great-sounding instruments, and the GSR200 is no exception – it has a nice growl thanks to its P/J pickup combo. There is also a 5-string version that isn’t significantly more expensive and still within this price range. With a lot of music becoming even heavier, the use of 5-string basses and more is becoming a lot more common, even amongst beginners.
The Yamaha TRBX174 is a fine choice for those who are looking for a bass for under 300 dollars. It’s built with a mahogany body, maple neck, and an Indian rosewood fingerboard, which gives it a warm, full sound and a comfortable playing experience. The Yamaha TRB 100-series also comes in a variety of colors to suit your preferences, and I think these are fantastic-looking 4-string basses!
Also, its passive electronics, which also happen to be a split-coil and single-coil PJ pickup design, allow you to shape your sound however you wish. If you’re looking for a quality bass that will last you as you grow as a musician, the Yamaha TRBX174 is a great choice and one of the best value basses you can get your hands on. In fact, this is a reputation that can extend to all of Yamaha’s instruments – I believe they also make some of the best entry-level guitars. Their higher-end models are nothing to scoff at either!
Fender basses are timeless and set the standard for all electric basses, with their Precision and Jazz bass designs being used across all genres. I personally like the versatility of Jazz or J-basses more, and my main bass right now is a 5-string Fender Jazz bass, so I admit I have a little bit of a bias, but aside from that, the Fender Affinity Jazz basses are objectively great instruments for their price.
The Affinity Series Jazz Bass is a very solid option for those who are looking for their first bass. It’s constructed with an alder body and maple neck, which gives it a classic Fender tone alongside the two single-coil J-bass pickups. That tone, alongside the ageless design, makes Fender basses really hard to beat. Honestly, I think they’ll be around forever – they’re just that good!
For those looking for an affordable and good-quality bass, the ESP LTD B-10 is one you can’t go wrong with picking up. With its basswood body and active pickups, this bass packs a punch. The LTD B-10 also features active 2-band EQ controls for its PJ pickup configuration, so you can shape your sound to your liking.
If you are trying to find a budget 4-string bass that looks modern and sleek that won’t break the bank, the ESP LTD B-10 is for you. Fans of hard rock and metal will definitely appreciate it, but it’s still versatile – you can play anything with it.
Speaking of metal basses, Jackson is a world-famous brand that creates some of the sharpest-looking instruments around, and their Concert Basses are one of them. These basses are based on their Dinky and Soloist guitar designs, which are famous superstrat guitar models. That being said, this Minion model, as you can probably tell, is a short-scale bass, like the Ibanez Mikro mentioned earlier, but it sounds bigger than it appears.
The Jackson JS Series Concert Bass Minion JS1X is a great beginner bass for around $200 and is designed for those looking for something with a metal aesthetic. It’s made with a poplar body, maple neck, and amaranth fingerboard, giving it a bright and articulate sound and built for speed. The two single-coil pickups also provide you with plenty of options to play around with. However, like with Ibanez, if you’re not a fan of the 28.6″ scale length, you can find a standard-sized instrument in the Jackson JS2 Concert Bass, which has a 34″ one. You can typically find those for around $300, but usually not less than that. So if your budget permits a little more, it’s worth looking into getting.
To summarize, the best basses under $300 I’ve selected are the following:
- Ibanez GSRM20
- Ibanez GSR200
- Yamaha TRBX174
- Squier by Fender Affinity Jazz Bass
- ESP LTD B-10
- Jackson JS Series Concert Bass Minion JS1X
These basses are fantastic for those who are on a tight budget and want to start learning how the play the bass, and they also make awesome gifts! For example, if you have a young one who’s been expressing interest in the bass guitar, you can give them the gift of music and change their lives by providing them their first bass to begin their journey with.
I hope you enjoyed this article, and it’s led you to find the perfect bass for you or a loved one. Please feel free to share it with others who may be interested. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out some of my other resources that can help assist with the learning process. For instance, I’ve compiled a list of essential bass accessories you should have. Most of them are very affordable, so don’t miss out!