Kick off your bass playing career in style
To fit in alongside our “Non-Bass Player’s Guide to Buying a Bass” article, we decided to put together a list of models that we feel allows you to hit the ground running. Whatever style of music that you play, all of these bass guitars offer tonal versatility and power. Of course, we’ve made sure that they are comfortable for those who are honing their skills.
1. Redwood RB160 Bass Guitar
To start things off we’ve gone for the Redwood RB160 Bass Guitar, which is practically perfect for those looking into picking up the bass guitar.
The RB160 design borrows from a very popular deep double-cutaway model that you will probably have seen before. Ergonomically shaped for maximum playing comfort, the bass establishes a figure-hugging feel with curves in all the right places. Whether you prefer to practise in the seated or standing position it sits nicely on your lap or rests snug against your body. Lightweight alder is used in the construction of the bass, whilst the hardwood neck offers a generous 34-inch scale length to play along.
We should note that youngsters may find it a stretch to get to the lower frets, but we’ll explore short-scale options further down the list.
Moving back to the neck and fingerboard, Redwood opt for a rounded profile for a substantial feel in the hand. There are 24 frets to explore with a relatively curvy 12-inch radius, which means that your fingers can adopt a natural grip position when fretting notes. Thanks to the double-cutaway body shape the highest frets are within easy reach, giving you freedom to move around the fingerboard with minimum effort.
2. Redwood JB2 Bass Guitar
Our second entry is another masterful effort from Redwood with their JB2 Bass Guitar, which is also a rendition of another hugely popular model. A lightweight alder body with a slightly offset waist makes the JB2 another flexible model for those who switch between seated and standing positions. Wear it high or sling it low, either way you can slap, tap or pluck your way through tunes with ease.
The Canadian hard maple neck with gloss finish offers a chunky profile for a reassuring feel in the hand. Extending your hand along its entire length is a breeze, but again, those with a shorter reach may find it somewhat of a stretch. However, don’t let that put you off, where there’s a will there’s a way after all.
Tonal versatility is the name of the game with the JB2, thanks to a pair of pickups with independent volume pots and a master tone pot. Deft attenuation allows you to go from chunky low-end to sparkling upper mids and everywhere in between.
The natural finish of the body is paired with a black pickguard, whilst block position inlays continuing the natural/black aesthetic. Open-type tuning machines maintain tuning stability, giving you the ability to play as passionately as you wish.
3. Epiphone EB-0 SG Bass Guitar
When it comes to rock and roll, is there anything more recognisable than the SG body shape? (Rhetorical question, we’re sure you all have your own opinion on this ;)) The Epiphone EB-0 SG Bass Guitar takes that revered horns body profile and makes excellent use of the single pickup setup.
Marrying classic style with modern performance is harder than it looks, but Epiphone do it so well. From the vintage cherry finish to the vintage style tuning machines, the EB-0 SG is the stuff dreams are made of. Solid mahogany lays the foundation for a reassuringly stable body, whilst the SlimTaper mahogany neck benefits from a short-scale 30.5-inch length. The result is a comfortable, well balanced model that is great for strutting your stuff on stage with. Once again, rosewood features as the fingerboard material of choice, with 20 jumbo frets to play with and pearl dot inlays to guide your way.
As noted, a single Sidewinder humbucking pickup resides in the neck position, which brings to life the rapturous energy of the body and neck’s powerful resonance. As you lash at the strings you can temper and tweak your tone using the volume and tone pots from fat low-end rumble to super tight and articulate upper mids.
Clean and simple yet undeniably stylish, Epiphone EB-0 SG we salute you!
4. Ibanez SRMD200 ‘Mezzo’ Bass Guitar
The Ibanez SRMD200 ‘Mezzo’ Bass Guitar is the newest model on our list, but it has already made quite an impact with those who have been lucky enough to get hold of one. Coming from the Ibanez family we already knew that it was going to be awesome, but boasting a punchy 32-inch scale, gorgeous finishes (Candy Apple Red and Seafoam Green) and a sparkling tonal palette, it is a very exciting prospect indeed.
A pair of Ibanez’ Dynamix P and J pickups feature master volume and balance pots, as well as Ibanez Custom Electronics 2-band EQ for boosting/cutting Bass or Treble. Fat and thick low-end, clipped highs or bouncing mids that pop out unabashed, everything is at your fingertips.
We really can’t throw enough superlatives at the SRMD200 ‘Mezzo’ Bass Guitar, it looks cool, sounds sublime, and plays like a dream. What more could you want?
5. Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass Pack
Where would we be if it wasn’t for the incredible Fender Precision Bass, the one that started it all. For those looking for that classic charm on a tighter budget, you can’t go wrong with the Squier Affinity Series Precision Bass, which picks out all the best bits and then maximises performance for modern bassists.
Lightweight poplar is used in the construction of the body with the customary double-cutaway profile of the P Bass. A lengthy maple neck with comfortable C-shape profile sits sweetly in the hand, whilst the hardwood fingerboard provides a sumptuous touch for the fingers. A PJ pickup configuration (that’s Precision Jazz) open up a vast range of tones to play with to suit any style from jazz to punk.
Included in this pack you get the Squier Affinity PJ Bass, Fender Rumble 15 Amp, a padded gig bag, Fender strap, and 10-foot instrument cable. On top of all that you also get a 3-month subscription to the superb Fender Play online guitar learning platform.
Get in touch
Go to the Dawsons Music website to check out our full range of bass guitars and bass amps. Alternatively, head to your nearest Dawsons store where our in-store specialists will be more than happy to help you out.
As ever, if you need any help or advice then our Customer Service Team are more than happy to help over the phone on 01925 582420 or via Email.
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.