If I was on a budget and needed a new bass for recording and playing various styles of music, I would pick up one of the FSR Standard J Basses from Fender. They are always a top seller across multiple online stores, with stellar and glowing reviews to match. You can't go wrong with our pick, but if you have some special needs, like metal, electronic music, or some other style we have a few other options you should check out.
If you play various styles of music, and want something flexible enough to accommodate that variety, the .
We want a reliable bass that stays in tune, has good action, and the ability to work with a variety of music styles. If you primarily play metal, or jazz, you might prefer something a little more specialized. We’ll review some of those options below.
Since this is the budget category, we will limit our choices to the best electric basses under $500, with $300 being the sweet spot.
Ultimately, we want to choose a bass that, should you grow as a player, you can keep as a reliable backup, or pass on to another beginner as you move on to other more advanced or expensive models. The bass should be able to stand the test of time, the wear and tear of years of playing.
I would love to prattle on about the amazing, exciting features you get when you buy the Fender Bass, but honestly there’s not much to tell.
If you remember, our primary driver of great music gear recommendations is that we want great, reasonably-priced gear that doesn’t break down so you can do what you love – make music.
It’s quite simply a great bass, with a great track record of quality and reliability, with thousands and thousands of happy bassists.
We like the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass. Several in my circle have used it for demo and full production recordings. It’s also not super exciting, but it is pretty! It does it’s job really well, and at $299.99 you’ll save a couple hundred bucks over our main pick.
If price is an option, definitely grab the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass.
Schecter, in my opinion, is one of the best gear deals for the money. If I needed a great metal bass guitar on a budget I’d get the Schecter Guitar Research Stiletto Extreme-4.
For a metal pick, we want something with an active preamp. This simply means you can shape your bass guitar tone using a two or three-band EQ located right on the instrument itself. An onboard preamp will give you the extra flexibility you need to dial in a much more aggressive metal sound.
These basses will give you years of playing and great sound – whether you’re recording or playing out live.
Remember, the best value is the one you play often. So find something you like, learn it, use it, and make stuff!
If you want an equally reliable guitar cable, our favorite instrument cable picks are here.
|Pickups||Two, Single Coil|
If I was on a budget and needed a new bass for recording and playing various styles of music, I would pick up one of the FSR Standard J Basses from Fender. They are always a top seller across multiple online stores, with stellar, glowing reviews to match. You can't go wrong with our pick, but if you have some special needs, like metal, electronic music, or some other style we have a few other options you should check out.
“Aim to strike a balance between quality and economy. Price is important, but an instrument with poor sound quality and playability can frustrate you to the point of feeling discouraged.”