Many basses can be heavy, and, for many people, playing can take a toll on your back and shoulders, especially during long practice sessions or performances.
If you’re experiencing back problems or simply want a more comfortable and portable instrument, finding a lighter bass guitar is the way to go. Here, I will show you some of the top lightweight basses that are on the market and their features and help you find the perfect instrument within your budget.
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Why Choose a Lightweight Bass?
Before we dive into the best lightweight basses, let’s understand why they are a smart choice.
I consider a bass guitar to be light if it weighs 10 pounds and under.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in a lightweight bass guitar:
Lightweight bass guitars are designed to be ergonomic and easy to play, reducing the strain on your back, shoulders, and arms. They are ideal for musicians with back problems or those who frequently perform live shows and need to carry their instruments around.
If you’re a traveling musician or frequently gig in different locations, a bass guitar that is on the lighter side is a game-changer. It’s easier to transport, whether you’re taking public transportation or traveling by car or plane.
Don’t let the lightweight fool you – these bass guitars still pack a punch when it comes to sound. Many lightweight bass guitars offer a wide range of tones and are suitable for various genres, from rock and jazz to funk and blues.
Lightweight bass guitars are available at different prices, making them accessible for beginners, intermediate players, and professionals alike. You don’t have to break the bank to find a decent instrument.
Now that you understand the benefits of a lightweight bass guitar, let’s look at some of the best ones out there.
The Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Precision Bass is a lightweight 4-string vintage-style P-bass that perfectly balances affordability and Fender quality. Here are some of its features:
- Nato body
- 34” scale length maple neck
- 20-fret maple fingerboard
- Fender alnico split-single coil pickups
With a comfortable C-shaped neck that Fender is known for, alnico split-single coil pickups, and a vintage look, this bass is versatile and suitable for various playing styles that can benefit from that signature P-bass “thump.” It delivers a warm tone with punchy low ends, making it suitable for blues, rock, R&B, and more.
The Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Precision Bass weighs around 10 lbs, which is lighter than your average bass. With its vintage aesthetics and three different finish options, this bass guitar is a very solid choice for players seeking a lightweight instrument while playing a timeless bass design.
If you’re on a budget and looking for a lightweight bass guitar, the Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is an excellent choice for those wanting a bass for under $300. This entry-level short-scale bass guitar is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for younger musicians or those who prefer a more portable instrument. Check out its specs:
- Poplar body
- 28.6” scale length maple neck
- 22-fret purpleheart fretboard
- Dynamix P and J single-coil pickups
Weighing only 6.5 lbs, the Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is ideal for musicians prioritizing portability. It has a short-scale length and thin neck to provide a comfortable playing experience, while the P and J pickup configuration can offer a decent tone that can support a wide range of sounds for different genres.
While it may not provide professional-level sound, it serves as an excellent first bass or a reliable backup instrument. Definitely give this one a look if you’re looking for one of the lightest basses around and you have a tighter budget.
Now if you’re looking for a lightweight bass guitar that’s a step up from the previous Ibanez and one that’s more suited for intermediate and advanced players, the Ibanez SR500E is the bass for you. Let’s take a look at some of its features:
- Okoume body
- 34” scale length jatoba/walnut neck
- 24-fret rosewood fretboard
- Bartolini BH2 humbucking pickups
Like most Ibanezes, this bass guitar is light – it’s around 8 pounds and has a slim neck, making it comfortable and ideal for extended playing sessions without strain and discomfort. Retaining the same versatility and the ability to shape your tone but with higher-quality construction and powerful Bartolini pickups, the SR500E is suitable for just about anything, including rock, metal, jazz, funk, and more.
Overall, the SR500E is a reliable instrument that can last you for years and one that I highly recommend to anyone who has the budget for it. Nonetheless, it is still quite affordable – you can get this one for under $1000.
Just like Ibanez, Yamaha is a Japanese brand that is known for making excellent and affordable musical instruments, and the TRBX304 is no exception. This popular four-string bass guitar is known for its excellent design and build quality, and it’s roughly 9 pounds! At under $500, it’s made from:
- Mahogany body
- 34” scale length maple/mahogany neck
- 24-fret rosewood fretboard
- YGD M3 active humbuckers
In addition to its lightweight construction, the Yamaha TRBX304 boasts a sleek and modern aesthetic. The instrument is available in various colors, allowing musicians to choose the one that suits their style, both aesthetically.
Musically, due to its active pickups and built-in EQ, it also delivers impressive sound and performance that’s great for classic bass tones or more modern sounds. It’s also worth mentioning that the bass’s contouring and smooth frets also provide easy playing, ensuring that musicians can focus on their performance without discomfort.
Weighing under 10 pounds, the Spector Performer 4 is an intelligently designed bass guitar that offers smooth playability and a broad tonal palette due to its:
- Nato body
- 34” scale length maple neck
- 24-fret amara ebony fretboard
- Spector PJ single-coil pickups
In terms of sound, the Spector Performer 4 is equipped with Spector-designed J- and P-style passive pickups that deliver a range of classic and modern bass tones. The combination of these pickups provides a punchy and versatile tone with a solid low-end tone and a full midrange. Whether you’re looking for a warm, rounded tone or a bright, cutting sound, the Performer 4 has you covered.
While it may not have the same output and clarity as the higher-end Legend series, it still delivers a variety of tonal options and is a fantastic choice for gigging musicians. With its comfortable playability and classic Spector style, the Performer 4 is sure to satisfy the needs of any bassist looking for a lightweight bass for under 500 bucks.
Finding a great lightweight bass guitar like the ones shown here can significantly enhance your playing experience, especially if you’re dealing with back problems or frequently traveling.
Consider your budget, playing style, and preferences to find the perfect instrument to accompany you on your musical journey. Remember, a lightweight bass guitar offers comfort and portability and allows you to focus on what matters most – creating music!