GOOD QUALITY BASS GUITARS DON’T HAVE TO COST YOU A FORTUNE – WE TAKE A LOOK AT 11 CHEAP BASS GUITARS THAT ACTUALLY SOUND AND FEEL GREAT AND THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK, MEANING YOU GET THE BEST BASS GUITAR FOR LESS!
These days, thanks to massive improvements in the production process of musical instruments, brands actually really care about the products they create. In combination with our dedication to only sourcing decent equipment that we’d be happy to play ourselves here at PMT, this means you can get a fantastic instrument for a lot less than you’d think. So, in this blog when we say ‘cheap’ we just mean ‘budget-friendly’! That’s why we’re confident that when we say these are the best cheap bass guitars that don’t suck, you’ll enjoy playing them and they’ll actually do the job their supposed to do!
The best budget bass guitar will look different to each and every player - whilst some might prefer a Fender bass, and therefore opt for a Squier bass alternative - you might prefer to opt for some of the other awesome options on this list. Choosing the right cheap bass guitar to get started on can make a huge difference to your journey as a musician, so it pays to pick the best bass guitar for you.
When you’re looking for the best bass guitars while you’re on a budget, it can be a little difficult trying to find the right one if you don’t know what you’re looking for! You might also be interested in 2nd-hand gear or our range of B-Stock bargains - so click below to get started with our Bass Guitar Buying Guides, as well as our Pre-Loved instruments and Clearance axes.
So without further ado, we’re going to highlight our favourite bass guitars that won’t cost you a fortune. These are the 11 best cheap bass guitars that don’t suck..
1. GRETSCH G2220 JUNIOR JET BASS II
For the jazz, country, rock and even the metal fans out there, the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II in Black is a fantastic option that’s completely affordable, sounds great and is from one of the most respected brands in music. This is another high-quality bass guitar designed for players who appreciate a shorter scale bass, as well as high-quality tonewoods, fantastic hardware and comfortable design. The first thing you’ll notice with the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II seen here in a sleek black is its unique shape.
This ensures you have access to the higher frets and allows for a comfortable playing experience when you’re either standing up or sitting down. We also feel this is one of the best cheap bass guitars around thanks to the fantastic sounding two humbucking pickups and three-way pickup selector, which allows you to sculpt your pickup for tonal variety and power. This means whether you’re playing clean or utilising some smooth or bone-crushing distortion, your bass is articulate and punchy whilst remaining full of that low end you require. A great beginner bass and yet another model that proves “cheap” doesn’t mean poor quality – especially when it comes to Gretsch! Shop all Gretsch Bass Guitars HERE.
2. EPIPHONE EB-0 SG ELECTRIC BASS CHERRY RED FINISH
Well, we simply have to include the Epiphone EB-0 SG Electric Bass Cherry Red Finish in our best cheap bass guitars list. This classic guitar shape from the exceptionally high-quality Epiphone brand may be budget-friendly, but is of world-class construction and reliability – it also sounds absolutely fantastic and is capable of providing subtle bass lines to bone crushing riffage if you throw it through some distortion! At way under £200, you're on to a winner, too! You have a lush Sidewinder Humbucker in the neck that is perfect for those punchy riffs and bass runs.
The mahogany body material is resonant and warm and the mahogany set neck adds sustain and comfortable playing experience – you’ll feel like a God of rock if you plug this bad boy in! A budget-friendly bass guitar that would not look out of place on the stages of the world – if you want professional-level sound and a professional level playing experience at a beginner price tag – this is a great choice.
3. SQUIER CLASSIC VIBE 60S PRECISION BASS IL 3-COLOUR SUNBURST
When it comes to choosing a beginner bass guitar, this can be extremely daunting for parents and first-timers, as they can be unaware as to what they should be looking for. Fortunately, the Squier Classic Vibe 60s Precision Bass IL in 3-Colour Sunburst takes all the guesswork out of choosing and provides you with a solid foundation to learn bass guitar and sculpt your sound. Straight out of the box, you have a superb quality beginner to intermediate bass that will easily transfer to the stage and studio when the time comes.
We feel the Squier Classic Vibe 60s Precision Bass is one of the best cheap bass guitars thanks to its low price as well as the high quality and extremely versatile pickups and playability. You have a powerful Fender Designed Alnico Split-Coil pickup to sculpt your perfect tone and the lightweight, comfortable body with “C” shaped neck ensure an enjoyable playing experience at all times. This is a great bass for players of all levels, whether they’re just starting out or need something to hone their skills at home. Available in more colours here. You can also shop the full range of Squier Bass guitars HERE.
4. SQUIER BRONCO SHORT SCALE BASS
You would think that one of the coolest bass guitars ever created would be one of the most unaffordable – but no, the Squier Bronco Short Scale Bass in Torino Red sits comfortably in our best cheap bass guitars list thanks to the fact it's way under £200, making it completely affordable for players of all levels. This iconic bass guitar is ideal for beginners and those who may have a smaller frame as the shorter scale is very comfortable to play, and allows for easier access to all frets.
The specially designed single-coil pickup configuration offers the punch and articulation you need whilst remaining easy to operate and find your tone. A great cheap bass that you won't ever need to upgrade.
5. EASTCOAST GB200-N BASS GUITAR NATURAL
When you’re on a budget, you can rely on the likes of Eastcoast guitars to come through with a solution that not only sounds and plays great, but that won’t cost you a fortune. The Eastcoast GB200-N Bass Guitar Natural is one of the best cheap bass guitars money can buy. At just over £200, you get a workhorse of a bass guitar ready to help you bust out all the low-end riffage you could ever want and provide you with a high level of articulation usually found in bass guitars 2 and 3 x the price.
The familiar jazz style shape is comfortable to play and the Single Coil (J-Style) Alnico Pickups provide a lush, full-bodied tone. A great choice for beginner bass players as well as musicians in need of an extra bass for around the home or studio. An Ash body with hard maple, bolt-on neck ensures your bass is resonant and hard-wearing. A great guitar you’ll be happy to take to your first gigs. Also available in a range of different colours here. In fact, we actually recommend checking out the entire Eastcoast Bass range as they offer exceptional playability and sound quality for the fraction of the cost of some brands.
6. EPIPHONE THUNDERBIRD VINTAGE PRO W 760 HUMBUCKERS EBONY
Don’t be fooled by the smaller price of the Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro as it's a pro-level bass guitar capable of some amazing tones and playability. This is one of the best cheap bass guitars available and an ideal choice for younger beginner players as well as aspiring bass players who want a bass guitar perfect for all genres.
The Epiphone Thunderbird has been designed for a comfortable playing experience and features a SlimTaper profile neck which makes playing those longer gigs a breeze and ensures the beginners out there have a far more comfortable experience when learning. The two specially designed Epiphone Pro W7 Bass Humbuckers ensure a rich and full sounding tone and will easily fit into any style of playing and all genres of music. An adjustable bridge provides tuning stability and the high-quality hardware coupled with superb quality tone woods ensure your guitar will last a lifetime. A great choice for beginners and musicians in need of a cheap bass guitar for learning, rehearsal and recording.
7. IBANEZ SR300EB BASS IN CANDY APPLE
The Ibanez SR300EB Bass in Candy Apple is a fantastic bass guitar relied upon by guitarists of all levels and in all musical genres. You have a PJ style pickups installed into a superb quality Nyatoh Body – a partnership which ensures a massive resonant sound as well as all the punchy mid-range you need for your notes to ring out loud and clear.
In addition, you have a new PHAT II EQ system to sculpt your tone. This active bass boost system adds additional low-end power so you have full control over your tone and the ability to blend or isolate the pickups for tonal variety. Shop all Ibanez Bass guitars HERE.
8. G&L TRIBUTE SERIES JB-2 BASS GUITAR
The G&L Tribute Series JB-2 Bass Guitar pictured here in Natural Gloss makes our cheap bass guitars (budget-friendly, remember!) blog with ease. These were actually designed by the legendary Leo Fender and provide a lot of tone and expert playability for way under £400! The double-cutaway design allows bass players to get to those higher notes whilst the hardrock Maple, bolt-on neck with sleek Medium "C" profile shape is super comfortable to play.
Installed within the solid Swamp Ash is a set of single-coil Alnico pickups which are capable of providing huge sounds that really cut through the mix. In addition, you also have total control over your sound via tone and volume knobs which allows you to isolate each pickup or utilise both at the same time. A high quality, yet an extremely budget-friendly option for those who love all musical styles, from the Beatles to Foo Fighters! One of the best cheap bass guitars you could hope to play. Available in more colours here.
9. SQUIER CLASSIC VIBE 60S JAZZ BASS
The Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazz Bass in Laurel FB Black is by far one of the best cheap bass guitars ever created. In fact, this guitar is so good, you’re likely to find this bass guitar in the home studio and live set up of a vast array of professional musicians. The 2 x Fender-Designed Single-Coil Jazz Bass pickups offer up superb full-bodied tone, low-end punch and all the articulation you could ever want from a bass guitar. Whether you prefer to play slapback, fingerstyle or with a plectrum and plenty of gritty distortion, this bass can handle it all.
The natural finish and black, block inlays really make this bass guitar stand out on stage too! A comfortable “C” shape neck makes this bass guitar very enjoyable to play, even after many hours of rehearsal or live performance. The Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazz Bass is the closest you’ll get to stepping back into the 60s! An extremely hard-working bass guitar that looks, feels and sounds absolutely amazing. View all Squier Jazz Bass Guitars HERE.
10. IBANEZ TMB100-IV TALMAN BASS GUITAR STARTER PACK
The Ibanez TMB100-IV Talman Bass Guitar Starter Pack, pictured here in Ivory is ideal for beginners as well as accomplished players. We love it as the pickups provide a sound far greater than you’d expect from a bass at this range– high quality is the order of the day. The Ibanez TMB100-IV Talman Bass Guitar is ideal for players of all styles as you have a PJ pickup configuration and the ability to isolate or blend the two. This combination of Jazz and P style pickups means you can enjoy the classic thump of a P bass as well as the growl and grit from a J-Bass pickup and even mix the two together.
The Poplar body, Jatoba fretboard and maple neck ensures your guitar is extremely resonant and reliable. A great bass guitar to learn to play on, tour with or just have for recording around the home. You also get a highly respected Ashdown Studio Jnr Super Lightweight Bass Combo amplifier, gig bag, strap, tuner and lead - everything you need to play bass straight out of the box! Also available in Tri-Fade Burst HERE.
11. YAMAHA TRBX174 BASS GUITAR IN OLD VIOLIN SUNBURST
Finally, we have the extremely budget-friendly Yamaha TRBX174 Bass Guitar in Old Violin Sunburst – a particularly well-designed bass that incorporates powerful humbucker pickups and an onboard 3-band EQ so you can enjoy a variety of different tones. The deep cutaway design allows players to reach all the high notes on the fretboard – ideal for jazz players!
An Alder body ensures superior resonance and Rosewood fingerboard provides a warm and extremely comfortable playing experience. At just over £200, the Yamaha TRBX174 Bass Guitar in Old Violin Sunburst is a great option for players of all levels. Shop all Yamaha Bass Guitars HERE.