Best Bass Guitar Under $300


In a land of booming lows and rich tones that take every song to the next level, there are many basses to choose from. For the budding bassists out there on a budget, the mission of finding the best bass guitar under 300 dollars can be daunting. Don’t worry, my fellow low riders, we’re here to help.

Understanding What Makes a Good Bass Guitar

Before we dive into our rocking list, let’s jam out some basics about what makes a bass guitar worth its salt. First up is comfort. It doesn’t matter if you’re a garage band hero or an arena-touring rockstar – a guitar that doesn’t sit right will never make sweet music. Sound quality comes in at a close second. The best bass guitar should give off a hearty, full tone that stands out in the busiest of mixes. And last, but far from least, we can’t overlook build quality and durability. If you’re ready to turn your hobby into a lifelong love affair with music, then you need a bass guitar that’s ready to go the distance.

What should I look for when buying a budget bass guitar?

When looking for a budget bass guitar, several factors are essential to ensure you’re getting a good quality instrument without spending too much. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Build Quality:
  • Body and Neck: Look for solid construction, typically with woods like alder, basswood, or maple for the body and maple or rosewood for the neck. Check for any obvious flaws or weak points.
  • Finish: Ensure the finish is even and without blemishes.
  1. Playability:
  • Neck: The neck should feel comfortable in your hand. Check for straightness and any signs of warping. The action (the height of the strings above the fretboard) should be adjustable and comfortable to play.
  • Frets: Inspect the frets for smoothness and proper installation. They should be even and free of sharp edges.
  1. Hardware:
  • Tuners: The tuning machines should be stable and hold the tune well. Even on budget models, tuners should feel smooth and reliable.
  • Bridge: A solid bridge ensures better sustain and intonation. Make sure it’s well-installed and adjustable.
  • Nut: The nut should be properly cut and seated, allowing for smooth string movement and proper action.
  1. Electronics:
  • Pickups: While budget basses may not have top-of-the-line pickups, they should still provide a clear and balanced sound. Check for any unwanted noise or hum.
  • Controls: Test the volume and tone knobs for smooth operation and any crackling noises. Ensure the output jack is secure.
  1. Sound:
  • Play the bass unplugged first to get a sense of its natural resonance and sustain. Then, plug it in to test the pickups and overall amplified sound. Even a budget bass should have a decent tonal range and clarity.
  1. Brand Reputation:
  • Brands like Squier (by Fender), Yamaha, Ibanez, and Epiphone offer reliable budget bass guitars with good quality control and customer support.
  1. Reviews and Recommendations:
  • Research online reviews and seek recommendations from fellow musicians or music store staff. This can provide insight into the instrument’s performance and any common issues.
  1. Comfort and Ergonomics:
  • Ensure the bass feels comfortable to play, both sitting and standing. Consider the weight and balance, especially for longer playing sessions.
  1. Personal Preference:
  • Ultimately, the bass should suit your playing style and musical preferences. Try out different models to see which one feels and sounds best to you.

By considering these factors, you can find a budget bass guitar that provides good value and meets your needs as a musician.

Best Bass Guitar Under $300

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar

First on our list is the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar, a compact dynamo that doesn’t skimp on delivering a mighty sound. This one is a crowd-pleaser, revered for its size, which is ideal for those fresh on their musical journey or those whose hands just favor a smaller fretboard. Despite its size, the Ibanez Mikro is a heavyweight champion in the sound department, dishing out tones that are as full-bodied as they are resonant. With its incredible versatility, this little giant holds its own whether you’re jamming in the garage or dropping jaws in the recording studio.

Yamaha TRBX174EW Mango Wood 4-String Electric Bass Guitar

Cranking up the volume next, we find the remarkable Yamaha TRBX174EW Mango Wood 4-String Electric Bass Guitar. This bad boy is a testament to Yamaha’s reputation for producing top-tier instruments. Carved from the exotic mango wood, it emanates a distinctive, lively tone that helps you stand out. But don’t be fooled by its good looks – the TRBX174EW is more than just eye candy. Its robust build pairs with user-friendly playability and a flexible tone range, allowing you to switch things up across different music styles with ease. So whether you’re into pop, jazz, or classic rock, this bass is your ticket to creating vibrant, memorable soundscapes.

Jackson JS3V Concert Bass

If you’re searching for an instrument that embodies raw power and a penchant for heavy metal, meet the Jackson JS3V Concert Bass. This 5-string bass struts onto the stage with a sturdy build and high-output humbucking pickups that unleash a sound as punchy as a heavyweight boxer’s right hook. Perfect for rock and metal aficionados, this bass offers a thunderous tone that promises to shake up any performance. But the JS3V isn’t just about power – the added fifth string extends the lower range, making it an excellent choice for adventurous players eager to experiment with their sound. So, whether you’re strumming out chunky riffs or exploring complex melodic structures, this Jackson bass is ready to hit the right note.

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Precision Beginnings Bass PJ

Strumming its way into our list is the Squier by Fender Affinity Series Precision Beginnings Bass PJ. This budget-friendly beast offers an authentic Fender experience without making your wallet weep. It boasts a deep, soulful tone that’s the heart of every memorable song, making it a delight for blues, jazz, rock, and punk enthusiasts alike. Its comfortability and versatility come from its sleek neck and adaptable PJ pickup configuration, ensuring you can play to your heart’s content across various genres. But this Squier isn’t just about performance – it’s also about durability. Constructed with Fender’s meticulous attention to detail, it guarantees reliability and longevity. The Precision Beginnings Bass PJ is a testament to the fact that quality and affordability can indeed go hand in hand.

Final Considerations When Buying a Bass Guitar Under 300 Dollars

As you shred through the options, remember that the ultimate bass guitar for you resonates with your unique needs. The genre you strum to, your familiarity with the instrument, and the guitar’s size should harmonize with your requirements. The sweet melody of testing various models – even those playing a higher price tune – will provide invaluable insights about your preferences. So, rock on, future bass legends, and don’t be afraid to strike a chord with a bass guitar that echoes your music, passion, and budget.


What’s the best bass guitar for beginners under $300?

The best bass guitar for beginners under $300 should be user-friendly, durable, and have a good sound quality. Models like the Yamaha TRBX174 and Ibanez GSR200 are great options. They offer a comfortable neck profile for beginners, reliable build quality, and versatile sound suitable for various music styles.

Can I get a quality bass guitar for under $300?

Absolutely! While bass guitars under $300 are generally considered entry-level, many reputable brands offer models with impressive quality in this price range. These guitars often feature good craftsmanship, decent materials, and reliable electronics, providing excellent value for money.

What should I look for in terms of bass guitar build quality?

Pay attention to the type of wood, the finish, the quality of the hardware, and the stability of the neck.

Is it worth upgrading parts of a budget bass guitar?

Upgrading parts of a budget bass guitar can be worth it, especially if you’re satisfied with the guitar’s fundamental aspects. Upgrading components like pickups, tuning machines, or bridges can significantly improve sound quality and playability. However, weigh the cost of upgrades against the benefits and consider if investing in a higher-end model might be more economical in the long run.

How do I maintain a bass guitar in this price range?

To maintain a bass guitar under $300:

  • Regularly clean the body and strings with a soft cloth.
  • Store it in a stable environment, avoiding extreme temperatures and humidity.
  • Change strings periodically based on usage.
  • Check and adjust the neck and intonation as needed.
  • Handle it with care to avoid dents and scratches.
Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis

I initially stared out to build a website around something I enjoy. But it has turned into a labor of love. Reconnecting me with knowledge I had forgotten or never learned. I hope it inspires and enlightens others.

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