First bass

Best first ever bass to buy bettwen 300 and 500 euros???


Why spend that much? Look at Harley Benton at

Fantastic value for money, and if you buy their top of the range HBZ-2004 it’s still under the lower end of your budget.


This is a really hard question to answer. There are so many types of bass. Still, for quality and bang for the buck, Sire makes great basses in your price range.


Hear, hear. Check out Andertons or Thomann. Both usually have very good selections of Sires in stock.


I have the definitive answer.

It depends, lol.

If you like the traditional look the. A squier p bass or jazz bass is not a bad start. If proaudiostar would ship overseas then Go with them it’s unbelievable price.

If not the traditional looks then Sire M serie are great.

Ibanez and Yamaha in that price range are also out of the box fantastic and from my experience so does the 40th anniversary and classic vibe squier series.

Harley Benton are fantastic and great value for the bucks. There are a few issues that a beginner may not be equipped to handle. Mainly setups issues. Both of the Harley Benton I handled had fret sprouts issues.


Amen to that. Sire M basses offer a tremendous amount of value.

The M3 model is the cheapest, both in cost and materials.

The M7 has premium top wood, the most bling, and the biggest price tag.

The M5 has everything the M7 has (except for the top wood and some extra bling-iness): laminated 12”-radius neck (including Ebony fingerboard), body wood (Swamp Ash), and electronics, for a great price. It is the Goldilocks pick among the Sire M series models.

I have an M5 and it plays like a dream. Its two split-coil pups deliver a ridiculous range of variety and tones. It’s a great bass, but maybe too much gun for a first bass. But who knows? Stranger things have happened. :kissing_closed_eyes:


If I were in the UK/Europe, I’d almost certainly get one of the Harley-Bentons just because they’re so inexpensive and so highly reviewed.

If you know you’re going to stick with it, or if you just want something a bit more premium, Sire seems right.

I’m happy with my Squier, as are many others.

All of those are solid starting points.


The only caution I give is for Harley Benton. The one I had was unplayable out of the box (bridge had to be replaced). I have had Squier, and Sire, I hear good things about Yamaha and Ibanez. But for my money, Sire is the best for QC and features at that price range, Squier is good but may need some setup.


Ibanez SR300 Should be considered. Great bass, thin neck if your hands are small. They sound really good and should fit your budget!


It’s inevitable for a beginner to pay for the first bass setup, if and when it’s possible. I bought my first bass it came with a set up. My first bass here in the US was at the Guitar Center and I paid $10 for the setup, that tells you how long ago that was, lol.

Unless you are planning to be a really fast learner in setting up your own gear on your first instrument, buy from a place that offer setup or pay for one. It will be more expensive than the big box store but it would save you a lot of heartache and frustration. I remember many times when I chose DIY route and the second I ran into issues, I swear I’d have paid $100-$150 extra just to avoid all of that.

Not I don’t care either way as I’ve paid my dues and made enough mistakes on a few dozens fixes. I may not have seen it all but I definitely have seen most problems, I can handle it.


I didn’t :slight_smile:

Setups are not hard to learn.


I agree with that now. Simple things like string height adjustment, neck relief and even intonation are simple to do.

That said, some of the issues I’ve ran into on new basses are beyond first timer. Fret sprout, nut slots, and occasional wiring issues, it’s not something beginners are equipped to deal with.


I’m not so far off being a complete noob that I can recall how intimidating changing strings was. I wasn’t raised around tools.

Still if you get a Paranormal or Anniversary Edition, and most Classic Vibes, you’ll do well in the Squier line. If you go affinity line, you may not do as well. I still think for a new player, in their price range, Sire will be a great player and have the least issues.

That’s not to say Squier is bad. But just to make it simple. Sire.

I just bought a Fender Player, I’m a glutton for punishment


Yeah, MIM Fender has quite a few more problems than mid and upper end Squier for sure. I’d stay away from the MIM for a while.


I agree and would add that it’s not something a beginner should be wasting time on.

Yes, I know someone will say it’s good and useful and important stuff to learn — and I agree — but I think it’s better and more useful and more important for the beginner musician to spend time learning to play the instrument rather than spending time on YouTube (or some silly forum, lol :joy:) figuring out how to set the intonation or whatever — much less having to treat bad fret ends or a poorly set neck.

Get as good a bass as you can afford; then, get a professional setup, especially if it doesn’t quite feel or sound “right”; don’t waste too much time or energy trying to do your own tech work when you don’t yet know how to make music.

That would be my advice on that.


Exactly. I taught a simple instrument building class to middle- and high-schoolers a few months ago. Most of them were in the school rock band and had been playing stringed instruments (guitars and basses) for at least a year. None of them knew how to properly string a guitar. As an old-timer, it seems ridiculous, but as an educator and thinking back to when I first began, it’s actually not that surprising.

That’s why I wouldn’t recommend a new musician doing their own setup work. Have someone do it for you until you get more familiar with your instrument and how everything works.

But do learn how eventually! It will save you time and money, and you’ll actually be able to dial everything in to your exact preferences.

Full disclosure: I’m still not there yet, not completely. I’ve learned a lot, but there are still a few jobs I wouldn’t be very confident in tackling. (Of course, YouTube helps.) For example: to some, switching pickups seems so easy, but I’ve never soldered anything in my life and would be a bit intimidated.


If you are a tinkerer or a bargain hunter it make sense to learn the “how to” from the get go, providing that you know what you are after. There’s some learning curve to what your ears appreciate and heard. Most time we find what we like not from the features or specs we have on the bass but from things that were lacking when you play another bass. This takes a very long time to know what you like and looking for on an ideal bass.

Then you have to know and identify what each of the components and contact points do and how they react to change or adjustment before you can start. It takes many trials and errors to know what you want. Then there are tools.

Many YouTube videos would have you believe that it’s a walk in the park and anyone can nail it on the first try using nothing but a few hex wrench and screw drivers. Sure, if you’ve done it a few dozen times and/or a few dozen takes.

The easiest way to do that is with the right tools mostly single function tools and they are not cheap not for an average consumer. Stewmac is the perfect example of that. Sure you can hack your way with a $5 reamer from Amazon but unless you are very careful you can ruin your instrument very quickly, their version of the bass guitar peghole reamer cost almost $200 but it’s a 60 second job and it’s done right. It’s what many Luthiers use. Same goes to many or most of their specialty tools, expensive but extremely useful.


Hi John, I am a new beginning and have been looking for where to sign up for online lessons. Please can I get any advice from you? Thanks


Right here:


I got an American Fender Strat a few years back, site unseen as they’d sold the one I tried by the time I could afford it. I took it back saying I wasn’t happy with fret buzz. After putting on new strings and supposedly setting it up, I stupidly didn’t try it before driving home. The buzz was atrocious, possibly even worse than before. I did quite a bit of reading and ended up adjusting the neck relief and the buzz pretty much went away. I was nervous touching anything, but had read about making very small adjustments and writing everything down so you can reverse if needed.

Best thing I did as at least I know some of the things to look for and adjust now. Still got lots to learn and go really cautiously and slow. Need to learn more about bridges now.