There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the best cheap bass guitar in 2021, including its build quality, the material used, design/structure, ease of use, appearance, and personal preference, among other factors. While some guitars are built to last with a durable body, others produce impeccable sounds that truly elevate the quality of your performance.
The following bass guitars have been chosen by our team for their brilliant sound quality, ergonomic shape that’s easy to hold, and smooth finishing that gives them an attractive look and a comfortable feel. Some also come with a carrying bag that makes them very portable.
Looking for other great instruments to add to your collection? Check out our other Bass options.
There are three main types of bass guitars: acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric hybrid.
Acoustic bass guitars have large hollow bodies and a sound hole, which is where the vibrating air comes out. The strings are typically made out of metal, which makes them heavier and a little more difficult to play, but they create a solid vibration and a clear, rich sound.
The electric bass guitar is the most common and popular bass guitar used. It has a solid body that is normally a little thinner and slimmer than an acoustic bass guitar. The strings are easier to play and there is more versatility when it comes to the type of sound you can produce. Because it is electric, you’ll need a power source in order to be able to hear it.
An acoustic-electric hybrid bass guitar is a combination of the acoustic and electric bass guitar. It has a hollow body like an acoustic bass guitar, but it comes with built-in pickups, meaning it can be plugged into an amp just like an electric bass guitar.
There are a few different bass guitar necks to consider.
There are three main types of bass guitar necks: bolt-on necks, set necks, and thru-body necks.
Bolt-on:This is the most common type of neck. A bolt-on neck is one where, like the name suggests, the neck is bolted on to the body of the bass guitar. The bolts keep the neck stable and easy for you to control. The amount of overlap there is between the neck and the body of the guitar can also make a difference. Greater overlap will provide better string vibration transfer, enhanced sustain, and greater stability.
Set necks: Rather than being bolted down, some necks can be attached to the body through a dovetail joint. This might make it a little more difficult to adjust, but you’ll receive better sustain and resonance because of h35”ow the neck is connected to the body.
Thru-body: This type of neck is more likely to be found on more expensive bass guitars. What makes it different from the other two types of necks is that the neck is not a separate piece. Instead, the neck is one continuous piece through the body. The response and sustain from thru-body necks are even better than that of set necks because there is no joint at all inhibiting any vibrations.
There are three main types of scale lengths on a bass guitar.
Scale length is the distance between the nut and bridge.
34 inch: This is the most common bass scale length you will encounter. It’s easy and suitable for most adults to play with, making it the standard size.
30 inch: There are bass guitars out there that feature scale lengths that are shorter than 34”, most commonly at 30”. These are ideal for younger or smaller guitarists who might have smaller hands and therefore have trouble playing the standard-sized scale.
35 inch: While one inch might not seem like a big difference, a long-scale neck usually clocks in at 35”. Even with just that one extra inch, you get a few extra frets to play with. This length is most typical with five- or six-string bass guitars, as it decreases the floppiness and increases the string tension on the lower strings.
How many strings are there on a bass guitar?
Four-String: Four-string bass guitars are best for beginners. The fewer number of strings makes it easy to learn how to play on. Plus, four-string bass guitars tend to have smaller necks, which ultimately makes them easier to handle and learn how to play with.
Five-String: The five-string bass guitar adds one more string to the instrument, a lower B string, which gives it a deeper range than the four-string bass guitar. Because of the additional string, the neck is a little wider, which can make it a little more difficult to handle and play.
Six-String: Six-string bass guitars not only come with a low B string but a high C string as well. Six-string bass guitars are ideal for more advanced players, seeing as the added strings provide greater range and more room for creativity. Just like with the five-string guitar, the extra strings make the neck even wider, which can make it difficult to play for less skilled or younger players.
That’s all the main types of bass guitars and bass guitar features that you need to know about.
What is the price range of bass guitars?
Prices can and will vary for bass guitars depending on a number of factors. For a classic, four-string bass guitar, you can expect to spend between 100 and 200 dollars. This won’t give you the fanciest bass guitar out there, but you’ll still receive a good-quality guitar. Acoustic bass guitars, on the other hand, are a little more expensive. A basic model will set you back nearly 300 dollars. These are both not unreasonable prices for beginners, but intermediate and more-advanced players should expect to shell out even more money for bass guitars that are of a higher quality.
For those purchasing an electric bass guitar, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of a bass amplifier. These can range anywhere from 40 to 200 dollars depending on the quality you want. You should also think about other additional items you might want for your bass guitar, such as picks, a strap, or a carrying case.
Before you make any final decisions, the best thing you can do is know and understand your budget.
By Jack Stoneybrook
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.