Basic Beginner Bassist Recommendations

Note: Please keep in mind this post is targeted at only the beginning individual wanting to learn how to play the Bass in the most cost efficient and fastest way possible.

I started this topic because I have seen so many people on the forum, that are trying to learn to play the Bass from scratch, get themselves involved in discussions that they do not need the information for, to start playing, and it ends up only confusing them.

First of all I believe anybody can learn to play the Bass along to any of their favorite songs, after taking the B2B course, and the following is my list of ALL recommended minimum items that a beginner needs, to accomplish this, to start with.


1 - A Bass, with a wide strap, you are happy to make music with.
2 - An amp suitable for the Bass, that has a headphone jack for silent practice. (Most do.)
Note: Do not purchase an amp with built in effects. You do not need them as a beginner and it only adds to the cost and confusion.
3 - A tuner suitable for Bass.
4 - A cable to connect the Bass to the amp.
5 - Guitar stand - Not essential at first but highly recommended

And that’s it for essential equipment.


1 - Gig bag
2 - Nail clippers and nail file
3 - Plectrum/Picks
4 - Ear plugs - Tinnitus is a bitch and not repairable
5 - Strap locks

Note: In the beginning forget about effects, pedals. midi controllers and the other myriad of add-ons that are available. Just start with the basics equipment, the rest you can get involved with later.

So now that you have you equipment what do you do?

Lessons - I honestly believe that the @JoshFossgreen Beginner to Baddass course is the best for learning to play the Bass that there currently is. There is a money back guarantee, and I know for a fact it is valid, so there is no risk.

So sign up for the B2B course, start at Lesson one and just go through it one lesson at a time.
You will be playing along in the first few days.

You should allocate at least 1/2 to 1 hour per session and at least several times a week. One hour once a week is not going to get you there.

Finally, stick to the course and do not get sidetracked.
Have fun, enjoy the journey and don’t get too stressed out.
Stay in touch with the forum, ask any questions you may have.
You will find us a very friendly and helpful group.

If I missed anything essential to a beginner wanting to learn to play the Bass from scratch please let me know.


I think something really important is to enjoy the journey as a whole and do not put too much pressure on yourself


Thanks. I added it.


I would not phrase this as requirements, rather “suggestions”. I see “requirements” and I more or less tune out the rest of the post.

Additionally, I think you’re being too prescriptive. For example, I agree that combo amps with built in effects are a waste of money and you’ll just be replacing them with outboard effects anyway, and I will always suggest against them, but I don’t think they will hold anyone back per se, and if someone wants one, they should go for it.


From the horses mouth - 20 beginner tips


I think a student should play a bass that excites them. If they want to play a 4 or 5 string, do it.

This is a good video on the subject

I note Julia starts the video with a Squier Afinity Jaguar H; one humbucker, two knobs. Which is how I wish I started out. Simple. But if they really want that metal sound of a drop tuned 5, they should start out with a 5. Longer path, but if it hooks them, then go for it.


A Fender Rumble Studio 40 costs $500CAN a Fender Rumble 40 costs $290CAN.
The effects are not an essential to a beginner just learning and only add to the cost.


But they are still not essential for someone just starting to learn Bass and only add to the initial equipment cost for them.


Problem is the @JoshFossgreen B2B course is geared to learning on a 4 string Bass and the 5 string Bass only adds to the beginner’s start up costs.


Totally get the point.

You can do the entire B2B course on a 5 string using the B as a thumbrest.

One of the mistakes I made early on was to get a bass for my first bass that didn’t excite me. The shop was closing up due to covid and it was a bargain, but sitting there looking at it I wasn’t motivated to pick it up. It was a beautiful natural color, but I wanted a black instrument.

I soon rectified the situation by getting a black Fender Jazz. I would come home and look at it, it was beautiful and I wanted to play it. That feeling I think is more important than number of strings.

If a 5 string is what gives the player that feeling, then they should get one is what I’m saying.

If that doesn’t matter, get a p bass or Ray 4 or similar, and a Rumble 40, and start thumping.


I agree but wanted any beginners to be aware of how the B2B course was laid out after you mentioned 5 string Basses.

I also realize that no matter what equipment anybody suggests a new Bass player should start with, and by new I mean somebody that has the Bass itch but has never even held a Bass before, it is still their decision on what they want to purchase as far as equipment is concerned but they should be made aware that learning to play the Bass does not have to be as difficult as some make it out to be and does not have to cost an arm and a leg to get started. That is why I never mentioned anything about which Bass they should buy or which size amp to get. The very first point I made was that the Bass they select should be one that they are pleased with.

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The choice of bass is a tricky one that I think deserves a bit more consideration. I chose mine based on price point, looks and a cursory glance at some reviews that said it wasn’t terrible but I really didn’t have a clue about jazz vs progressive, 4 or 5 strings, active or passive etc. To be honest after 9 months of learning I still don’t, I couldn’t even tell you what category my bass falls into.
So while I’m enjoying playing it, there’s a nagging doubt in my mind that maybe I would have been better off starting with something else. There are a lot of choices to make when buying a bass so some help with those choices would be useful.

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Josh sort of covers it a little here.

And there’s a few more videos on YouTube of a similar ilk.

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Mmmmmm, don’t be so quick to judge. His heart’s in the right place. This is a solid list of basics to get started — without some of the expensive mistakes we’ve all made.
Would I tone it down a little if I wrote it? Yes. But I’m a writer. There are people paid to tell me when I’ve gone too far. This was an honest attempt to let newbies know what they need to get started, so rather than tear it down, let’s build it up.
What do you wish you had known when you first picked up a bass?


Might I suggest changing the title to “recommendations” and getting rid of a lot of the banter (deleting) so this thread is useful to a newbie?


Agreed. But can that choice really be meaningfully made before one has at least minimal experience playing bass?


You were smart by not picking a Bass by just the price point. At least your choice turned out to be acceptable to you and you stuck with it, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact you enjoy playing it.

After 9 months can you say what it is you would like in a Bass that your current one does not provide you with?

You are a lot more knowledgeable about Basses now than you were 9 months ago and if you ask questions on the forum regarding your thoughts on a new Bass I am sure you will get help making a decision. Just like you did in the beginning. Congratulations getting to the 9 month mark by the way. I assume you are taking the B2B course.

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I used Josh’s gear video to make my choice. I figured if he blesses something it was worthy. But in general, no, it’s super hard to do this. You have no idea what’s important in the beginning. Neck, body weight, pickups, tone etc. I think the first choice in bass should be one that gets you excited about playing it. But you might want to keep in mind that first bass is rarely your last.


I honestly think one could find a used Squire P Bass for about $100.00 and a used amp in the same range. As long as the bass holds tune, intonates well and gets a set-up, one could play the rest of their lives and be happy with the playability and tones from that simple set-up.


You might and I did :+1:

I assume you are saying the topic title change will get rid of a lot of the banter - is that correct.