You decide to learn to play a new instrument and choose an electric bass guitar, which is a great choice! As a left-handed individual, if you opt to buy a left-handed electric bass guitar, it might be a tricky process at first, as this limits the options available in the market as opposed to right-handed guitars. However, upon further perusal of this article, you may find the best left handed bass guitar for beginners that does not cost you a small fortune.
Unlike an electric guitar, a bass guitar has four to six strings and is similar to an electric guitar in appearance and construction but has a longer neck and scale length. From a beginner’s perspective, you may want to rule out acoustic bass guitars as they have a wider body and the strings are relatively harder to press. They are actually more difficult to play than normal acoustic guitars.
Fretless guitars should be the next to go as there are no metal frets that can guide the player. These guitars are ideal for experienced bassists rather than beginners who have yet to master finger positioning and lack the refined ear to detect intonation. The last strike on your list would be the upright bass guitar, which is the perfect option to play jazz and blues, however as a beginner, you may struggle with its weight, so it is better to save it for later. That leaves you with the electric bass.
Whether you were inspired by the bassist of your favorite band or searching for a versatile yet convenient instrument, the electric bass ticks all your boxes while making you feel like a star in your own home. Mastering an instrument is all about practice, so as a beginner, start with a basic bass guitar and make your way to the complex models. While most bass guitars come with a hefty price tag, there are more affordable options for simple models that can get you started. This allows you to enjoy learning the instrument without breaking the bank.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here Are Our Picks for Best Beginner Left Handed Bass Guitar…
- 2 What to Look for When Buying a Bass Guitar
- 3 Best Left Handed Bass Guitars for Beginners
In a Hurry? Here Are Our Picks for Best Beginner Left Handed Bass Guitar…
Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Precision Bass
- Full size 4 string
- Single split pickup
- Master Volume/tone controls
Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Jazz Bass
- Full size 4 string
- 2 single coil pickups
- Master tone control and separate volume controls
Ibanez GSR 4 String Bass Guitar
- Full size 4 string
- 2 single coil pickups
- Separate volume, tone, and EQ controls
What to Look for When Buying a Bass Guitar
While looking for ‘the’ bass guitar, you need to have a basic understanding of the instrument’s features so that you may match the features to the music genre you want to play while also being mindful that you are a newbie. You should also know the difference between right handed and left handed guitars because the latter are harder to find in music stores. We would not recommend turning a right handed bass guitar into a left handed one.
Here’s a list of a few features to keep in mind:
Number of Strings
You have the option to choose between four, five, and six-string bass guitars. The higher the number of strings, the higher the difficulty level. Playing a four-string guitar is a great place to start. The narrow neck makes it simple to handle, and due to the popularity of four-string bass guitars, most songs can be played on such a guitar. A guitar with more strings allows you to play a wider range of notes. If you are interested in specifically playing metal, which requires playing a lower pitch, go for a five-string guitar. If not, you can’t go wrong with a four-string guitar to start.
A guitar’s scale length is the distance between the nut and bridge of the guitar. The shorter the scale length the lesser the string tension and, therefore, more wiggle room for a beginner. Electric bass guitars come in a variety of different scales to suit the size of the player. The industry standard is the long scale bass measured at 34″. Shorter than that you have the medium-scale, which ranges from 31″ to 33″. If you are young or struggling to play, and want the scale length to be even shorter, opt for a short scale bass guitar that comes to 30″ or less.
Bolt-on Vs. Neck-through
A bolt-on guitar produces a snappier sound, and you will be able to easily repair or replace the neck if needed. On the other hand, the neck-through guitar produces a fuller sound, and the parts are glued together, making it hard to replace. Ultimately, it is a matter of preference, as some view the bolt-on as low quality while others view it as affordable, and they prefer its sound.
Does it Stay in Tune?
You still have to tune your bass guitar pretty often; however, it is comparatively lesser than regular guitars. Tuning is affected by several factors such as fret positioning, string quality, etc., which is why you should pay attention to the quality of the bass guitar you choose to purchase.
Number of Frets
Electric bass guitars usually have 21, 22, or 24 frets, with 19 and 20 frets being less common. You can choose the number of frets based on the pitch you would like to play. For a higher pitch, go for one with 24 frets, and for a lower pitch, stick with 21 or 22 frets.
This is a crucial part of any electric bass guitar. It converts the vibrations of the string into electric signals. Pickups act differently on each bass guitar. It is essential to choose the right pickup as it affects the way your bass sounds. An easy way to select a pickup is to check the one used by the band whose music you like and select a similar pickup.
- Active vs. Passive Pickup: A passive pickup does not require power. Instead, it uses a combination of wire and magnets. It converts the string vibrations into electric signals, and voila! You are able to hear the tune of the electric bass guitar that you know and love. Since it doesn’t require a battery, it is relatively less expensive. On the other hand, active pickups use a battery enabling them to produce a much clearer sound. It doesn’t lose its quality while using long cables, making it suitable for gigs and playing metal.
An open tuner allows you to tune your bass with great accuracy. A closed tuner is easier to operate and is rust-resistant. However, they weigh heavier than the open ones, which may affect the balance of the guitar.
The wood used in a bass affects two main things – weight and tone. If you plan to play the bass while sitting, you might not mind a heavier wood, but rethink your decision if you plan on standing instead. Similarly, choose an appropriate wood based on the tone you want. Ash is a popular choice amongst beginners.
Action is the distance between the strings and the fretboard. High action is when the distance is farther and vice versa for low action. Action has a significant impact on the guitar’s tone, so opt for one that suits your style and the type of music you plan to play. Low action is generally more suited to beginners as it is easier to play, and you don’t have to press the strings too hard, unlike with high-action bass guitars. Avoid going too low, as that will compromise the clean sound with buzzing noises.
Are the Electronics Good?
It is important to test the bass with an amplifier to give you a better idea of the final sound. There shouldn’t be any static or interference that would lower the overall quality of music. Additionally, make sure you are able to control the volume and tone to your liking.
As initially discussed, the four-string guitar is suited to beginners due to its narrow neck, allowing younger players, or bassists with smaller hands, to play the instrument easily instead of struggling with hand placement.
Now that you’ve noted the features you prefer in your bass guitar browse the following list of left-handed electric bass guitars to get you started.
Best Left Handed Bass Guitars for Beginners
Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Left-Handed Precision Bass
The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Left-Handed Precision Bass is a four-string fretted guitar that’s modeled on the famous vintage 60’s Fender P-Bass. Its C-shaped body and slim neck make it convenient to play, even as a beginner. The master tone and volume dials are smooth to use and of good quality. The passive Alnico split single-coil pickup designed by Fender gives it a powerful output, which makes it great for rock and metal. The bass has a warm tone and sustain that matches the overall vintage style that Fender was going for.
The bass comes with a poplar body, bolt-on Maple neck, and Laurel fingerboard, which adds to the guitar’s vintage look and weighs 11 lbs, which is a little bit above the industry standard. The scale length is a regular 34″.
The tuners do the job, but tuning it precisely might get complicated. Nonetheless, this is not a breaking point for beginners. In case you want to switch out the tuners for an alternative, it is pretty simple to do so with this guitar.
The string action is low, making it easier for beginners to play the bass while also giving you a clean sound. The fingerboard is also easy-playing. A period-correct design and threaded 4 saddles allow you to adjust the string spacing on the bass bridge.
There are a few problems with the guitar’s overall finishing such as the 20 frets feeling sharp because they’re tall and narrow, but that can be easily solved by filing the edges down. For the price tag attached to the bass, it is still worth it. If you are looking for a precision bass guitar that isn’t too expensive to play some old-school tunes, this is the perfect pick for you.
Great value for money.
Great tone and sustain that suits the classic style.
The Alnico split-coil pickup gives you a much bigger output.
The tuners don’t allow for precise tuning.
The frets feel sharp.
Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Left-Handed Jazz Bass
With its bulkier body and full-toned sound, a precision bass guitar may not always be the best choice for you. If you are searching for a bass with a slim, tapered look to play various styles but especially with clearer tones, a jazz bass guitar checks all those boxes and more. And if you still want a Fender, the Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Left-Handed Jazz Bass is the way to go.
The offset shape of this J bass and its accompanying C-shaped neck are designed with one priority in mind – comfort. This bass has a high gloss neck giving it a smooth feel. The black inlays and Maple neck add to the 70’s aesthetic. The guitar has a 34″ scale neck with 20 frets and is marginally heavier than an average J bass guitar. The bass comes in four strings.
The two Alnico single-coil pickups for the neck and bridge makes this bass more versatile, allowing you to play higher registers. It gives the bass a punchy and more impactful sound. The thin neck of the guitar with a noticeable tapering towards the nut also makes maneuvering your hand across the guitar easier and smoother, which is excellent for new players. There are three dials – one for the neck pickup, another for the bridge pickup, and the last master control for tone. There’s also a vintage-style 4-barrel saddle.
Speaking of the tone, this bass sounds much like the jazz bass guitars in the 70’s except at a more economical price. It may require a few adjustments to tailor it to your liking such as lowering the action, as it comes on the higher side.
A good J Bass guitar to get on a budget.
Sounds like a traditional jazz bass in the 70’s.
Adjustments need to be made if you prefer lower action.
Ibanez GSR 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BL
Say you want to play rock or metal songs on a beginner-friendly budget guitar with massive output. Well, look no further. The Ibanez GSR200 bass guitar tops the list with its sleek and lightweight design at a surprisingly affordable price. This bass is ideal as a newbie since it’s a four-string guitar with a slim neck that allows you to play with ease while being comfortable.
The Active Phat II EQ circuit boosts the bass, resulting in an overall smooth yet punchy sound. Apart from the bass boost, the guitar has both a single-coil neck pickup and a split bridge pickup, each with its own dial and a tone pickup. This lets you play the punchy sounds associated with rock, and thus, it works great if you have a ‘slap’ style. The bridge is fully adjustable. The tone may not be to everyone’s taste, so be sure to know the kind of sound you want while playing the bass.
Coming to the look of the bass, the Nato body and Rosewood fretboard with maple neck really add to the guitar’s polished feel. It has a 34″ scale while still managing to feel lightweight at 8 lbs. There are 22 frets on the fretboard, which gives you a warmer sound. Overall, it is the perfect choice for a beginner, as it enables you to play all the right tones along with additional power.
An inexpensive option for a powerful bass.
Massive output with the Active Phat II EQ pickup.
Lightweight and very slim neck.
The power doesn’t trump the pricier options.
Sounds more punchy than articulate.
Rogue LX200BL Left-Handed Series III Electric Bass Guitar
The Rogue LX200BL Left-Handed Series III Electric Bass Guitar has great sound with convenient playability. The visuals of the bass lean towards an edgier feel as compared to the Squier basses with its dual cutaways. It has a basswood body, which keeps the guitar relatively lighter than many other guitars. It weighs 9.7 lbs. It is available in blue or red metallic colors, along with a Maple neck, rosewood fretboard, and, not to forget, all-black hardware that adds to the guitar’s overall aesthetic.
It’s a four-string guitar with a 34″ scale length, but what sets it apart from the other guitars on this list is that it has 24 frets. This allows you to play more notes on your bass and gives it a brighter tone and a cleaner sound. This bass combines a precision bass and a jazz bass as it has a jazz-style humbucker bridge pickup and a precision-style split-coil neck pickup. Each pickup has its own set of tone and volume controls. The presence of both the pickups results in the player being able to play rock music due to the P-style pickup and jazz with the help of the J-style pickup. Instead of a vintage-style bridge, this bass has a high-mass adjustable saddle bridge to improve sustain.
For a first guitar, this bass is a suitable choice as a starting point because of its light body, easy playability, and its bright and smooth sound.
You can play brighter sounds.
Suitable for both jazz and rock music.
Not as durable as pricier basses.
Might have some fret buzz out of the box but it can be fixed.
Sterling by Music Man 4 String Bass Guitar
The shape of the Sterling by Music Man 4 String Bass Guitar’s body makes it comfortable to play. Along with a lightweight Basswood body, it has a maple neck and fretboard, resulting in a crisper sound as opposed to a punchy sound you get with Rosewood. The wood used works nicely with both a slap style and a finger style. The scale length is at a full 34″ with 21 medium frets; however, you will still be able to easily maneuver your hand, though the size of the guitar might take some getting used to. The dual deep cutaways give you good access to the fretboard.
Coming to the pickup, it’s a humbucker pickup that produces a warm and loud sound, especially at the lower end. It has a two-band equalizer, i.e., bass and treble dials, which boosts the sound and gives the player more control over the guitar’s overall tone. The third dial is to control the volume of the sound. The volume and tone controls do their job; however, the silver plate they are on disrupts the overall sleek look of the bass. Additionally, to play the bass, you need a 9v battery that slides in at the back of the instrument.
The bass has low action, which produces a smooth and clean sound. Furthermore, this low-string action makes it easier for a new player to press down on the strings. Experienced bass guitar players may be of the opinion that this guitar has limited tones; however, for an individual who is new to the electric bass, this guitar proves to be a good quality, inexpensive choice.
Humbucker pickup helps avoid the hum.
Crisper and richer sound is produced.
It feels bigger than most other starter electric basses.
The soft neck doesn’t have much give for slapping.