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When it dies, your bass will go silent. The battery can last for weeks or months depending on how often you play. Having said all of that, our testers enjoyed the ability to access different sounds from the bass. At this price level, a bass with active electronics will send a stronger output signal to the amp than our top pick, which uses passive electronics. Short-scale basses have noticeably shorter necks with narrower spacing between the frets, and can weigh significantly less than standard-size basses, making them the best option for children or any adult who finds a standard inch bass to be unwieldy or uncomfortable to play.

Playability should be the top priority for any beginner, said Schmied, who has more than a decade of experience teaching elementary school students. Our testers enjoyed the sonic choices provided by the dual-pickup configuration, which lets you move between a rounder, classic tone and a punchier, more modern sound. Our testers liked the three-knob design versus two or four , as it provides exciting tonal options yet still is easy enough for a beginner to figure out. The Mikro we tested weighed just under 6 pounds.

This made it the easiest bass to handle for our 7-year-old tester, who was able to play it standing up for several minutes without undue discomfort. Nevertheless, the Mikro is designed with a shorter scale length than any other kid-friendly bass we considered The Mikro comes in seven colors, from pearl white to metallic purple, an unusually large choice among the short-scale models we looked at. Color and aesthetics play a huge role in a guitar purchase. Resist the urge to save money by plugging your bass into that guitar amp you have laying around.

Step-By-Step Bass Lessons

We really like the Fender Rumble 25 , which delivers impressive sound for the money. What we love most for beginners is that right out of the box, with the dials set at neutral, the amp offers a deep, rich tone. For those who grew up listening to classic soul and rock records, this is what a bass is supposed to sound like.

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The Ibanez Promethean P20 is another solid amp option with similar features that is slightly shorter and lighter than the Fender. To our ears the sound is thinner and more trebly, with a more modern, versus classic, bass sound. We think most people would be fine with this, but anyone coming to the bass with a music or audio background is going to want to fiddle with the EQ knobs on the Promethean to get a desirable sound. The Monoprice , for example, is nearly half the weight and size and price of the Rumble But it delivers a dramatically thinner sound that is prone to distorting at higher levels.

Our audio interface pick alone is going to cost more than any of the amps we just mentioned. This is undeniably convenient. The number one user complaint about this kit across several music retailer sites, however, is the poor quality of the amp. The amps we recommend in the above section deliver markedly better sound that could help motivate you to continue on with the instrument.

But some kit items are redundant. The stand-alone GSR comes with a cable, you probably have a pair of headphones, and free tuning apps are available for your phone. But if you continue to practice regularly, that watt kit amp is going to be the first thing you upgrade.

But again, for the same price you could buy the bass separately and get the more powerful amp, adding just a few more pounds and marginally more bulk. Basses have very long necks, and much of what makes one bass easy or difficult to play versus another comes down to the amount of relief, or bow, in the neck. Any reputable retail music store will include an initial setup with your instrument purchase. Basses, with their longer and thicker necks, simply have a smaller sweet spot of playability than other guitars. The more pleasurable the playing experience is from the beginning, the more likely it is that you or your child will stick with it, making a setup well worth the additional expense.

No matter where you go, Gluck said that any competent bass setup should begin with an evaluation of the instrument. Gluck said you should also expect a setup to involve:. Strings from different manufacturers have varying characteristics and come in a range of gauges, which may require slightly different adjustments to nut height and intonation. Most of them are solid choices in their own right.

Selecting an instrument is a very personal matter. The Ibanez Talman TMB30 was a very close second to our top short-scale pick, missing the mark largely because we felt it may be uncomfortably heavy for a young bass student. The added heft did give it a beefier tone that our testers liked, so it can be a very solid choice for an adult who simply prefers the feel of a short-scale bass. The Dean Hillsboro Junior was well-liked by our testers. Our testers were all unimpressed with the Squier Bronco bass.

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The build quality is top-notch, but it is a significantly heavier bass than our picks, which makes us reluctant to recommend it for a beginner, particularly one with a smaller frame. The Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass shares most of the qualities we like in the Precision Bass PJ, but has a slimmer neck so it may be easier to navigate for those with smaller hands. Our testers had mixed reactions to the Dean Edge 1 PJ bass. All agreed, however, that having four knob controls, all the same size, needlessly complicates things for beginners.

Our testers liked the high-quality finish of the Mitchell MB , another bass with active electronics, and the 5-foot-4 Ruzza felt the shape was a good fit for her body. The sound was a letdown, however, with complaints about a lack of definition in the low end and electronics that were the least-liked out of all the models our panelists played. The Ibanez GSREX has a single pickup, but for just a few dollars more you can get our alternate pick, the GSR , which offers a dual set of pickups and active electronics for a wider range of tones.

The Dean Edge 09 costs essentially the same as the Edge 1 PJ bass we tested, but it has a single pickup while the Edge 1 comes with two. In this guide we are prioritizing basses with a standard design and aesthetics to appeal to as wide a range of beginners as possible. The ultra-cheap Huntington Precision bass has multiple user reviews complaining of issues like loose frets, a broken tuning head, and a stripped truss rod.

Multiple user reviews note problems like loose strap lugs and input jacks, with several complaints about the poor sound quality of the included amplifier. The bass is a pretty low-maintenance instrument. Strings rarely break, and until you start gigging three nights a week you can get a few months of regular use out of a fresh set before they start to sound dead.

Temperature and humidity extremes are the main things to avoid, Gluck said. Changes in these ambient conditions will affect the neck of your bass and can be compensated for by making minor truss rod adjustments, a straightforward job you can perform at home or have done at your local guitar shop. You should periodically wipe down the neck, fretboard, and strings with a lint-free cloth to remove dust and body oils that build up over time.

And if your fretboard is made out of rosewood or any other unfinished wood, an annual routine of removing the strings and applying a bit of mineral oil to the fretboard will keep the wood nicely hydrated. Note that maple necks have had a finish applied at the factory and should never be oiled.

The Best Bass Guitar for Beginners: Reviews by Wirecutter | A New York Times Company

Perhaps the easiest way to protect your bass is simply to keep it from falling to the floor, a fate you can avoid with an inexpensive guitar stand or wall hook. We respect your privacy. You can change your cookie preferences to enable comments. You can also send us a note or a tweet , or find us on Facebook. Opt out or contact us at any time. Fender Rumble 25 An amplifier we like An inexpensive amplifier with impressive sound, the Rumble is designed for solo practice but has just enough power to play with others.

Ibanez GSR A bass for kids and smaller adults: Fender Rumble 25 What about starter kits? We recruited a panel of New York City musicians as our primary testers: These are the thin, horizontal metal bars inlaid along the neck. They divide the neck into musical notes and indicate where to place your finger to produce those notes. Most basses have between 20 and 24 frets, with a greater number of frets making it possible to play higher-pitched notes. This is the measured distance of the vibrating portion of the strings. Standard basses have a inch scale length. A bass with a shorter scale length can contain the same notes as a standard-length bass but will have a shorter neck, with narrower spaces between the frets, a combination that can be more comfortable for kids or adults with a shorter reach.

Pickups come in several designs and configurations. Preference for one type over another is a matter of personal taste, but basses that come with two pickups instead of one allow for a wider variation of tones as you can adjust the volume of each pickup individually. This course increases in difficulty at the exact right speed. The visuals you provide of the beats, as well as the fret board, are really cool to make sure we are on the path to playing everything correct. The constant reiterations of how to play correctly make this program a huge success.

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I have said this before and I will say it again, I am very impressed with your teaching method. Jack Daily, Milwaukee WI. The lesson package has been phenomenal in improving my bass skills. I had already taken bass lessons for a couple years so I decided to take the Hardcore plan of three lessons a day for a month and this covers it all.

It taught me better techniques on stuff I thought I knew, and new things as well such as Slap bass which I enjoy so much! I highly recommend for beginners, or even experienced players trying to learn something new. Sam Burke, Norman OK. I love this format! I did the exercise on my first lesson. In my first lesson I can learn to play a tune!

Martel Goldsmith, Atlanta GA. From music theory to timing to ear training, all this and much more without me needing to leave my living room. If you're serious about taking your bass playing to the next level, you would be hard-pressed to find a better bass tutor than Josh Fossgreen. Beginner to Badass is 30 hours of super-high-quality, super-effective video lessons, plus an essential Course Extras booklet with all the key points.

Feature packed, this system contains everything you need to get good, with no unnecessary fluff:. Become the boss of your bass by getting your left- and right-hand techniques down. Learn how pro bass players fret and pluck with speed and ease. Avoid common beginner mistakes right out of the gate. Get your groove on. Watch Josh demystify rhythms and time signatures. By applying everything you learn to actually playing real music. Slapping, popping, tapping, chords and more bass wizardry.

Click for Lessons Overview. You can do the lessons at a pace that fits your time and goals. But we also include three flexible schedules too:. The perfect pace for most, Beginner to Badass in just 3 months. Dial in your playing and get the feel of playing with a real band.

Bass Lessons For Beginners

Tracks come in slow, medium, and normal speeds, allowing you to pick the perfect tempo for your current ability. Jam tracks also come in versions with and without the bass track so you can experience holding down the low end yourself. Who the Hell Are BassBuzz? Meet some of the team:. Josh, the main man. Super-hero strengths include the ability to get anyone to learn bass easily. JP Allen, decades of music teaching experience. His collaboration with Josh led to the creation of our unique learning system.

Begin your bass badass journey moments from now …. Videos work on all computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. The Online version includes instant lifetime access to all the lessons and free shipping of the bonus books. Click Here to Order. With the physical version, you get the complete Beginner to Badass system on DVDs compatible worldwide.

Your bass bundle will arrive at your door in no time flat , with fast free shipping. These are the best damn beginner lessons on the planet in the universe. But talk is cheap.