The 7 Best Lightweight Bass Guitars (2023)
Lightweight bass guitars are ideal for people with back problems, young or beginner bassists, and traveling musicians. Regular bass guitars are heavy instruments, causing shoulder fatigue and back problems in extended use. They are not travel-friendly, making life harder for on-the-go musicians.
Fortunately, there are many great lightweight electric bass guitars out there for bassists looking for more comfort and portability.
I would recommend Squier Classic Vibe 70’s Precision Bass, a great lightweight and versatile Fender quality bass with a surprisingly affordable price.
If you are after something more affordable, you can check out my budget pick, Ibanez miKro GSRM20, which provides great tones as well as a comfortable playing experience for its price.
The 7 Best Lightweight Bass Guitars (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Squier Classic Vibe 70's Precision Bass
Squier Classic Vibe 70’s Precision Bass is the modern and more affordable version of the iconic 70’s Fender P Bass. It has a comfortable C-shaped neck, Fender alnico split-single coil pickups, and a vintage look, just like a 70’s style P-bass. It is a great and versatile bass for the offered price.
- Great value for the price
- Great vintage look
- Versatile Fender alnico split-single coil pickup
- Not exactly lightweight but feels very balanced
- Comes with relatively low-quality stock strings
- Can do with some action adjustment
Although not the lightest, this bass weighs around 10 lbs (4.5 kg) which is average for a bass guitar. The sound is pretty warm with punchy low ends. It has a vast sonic versatility; you can use this bass for blues, rock, R&B, and pretty much any genre. The instrument also looks pretty handsome with a vintage feel and has 3 different finish options.
I can’t say much against it as the sound, playability, and portability are great for the price. The only issue is that the strings on the guitar should be changed, and the action should be adjusted when the guitar arrives, but these are standard procedures with almost any bass you would purchase.
|Weight||10 lbs (4.5 kg)|
|Pickups||SS, Fender-designed Alnico Split Single-Coil|
|Controls||2 x volume, 1 x master tone|
Overall, Squier Classic Vibe 70’s Precision Bass is a great bass guitar for beginners, as well as pro bassists who want a relatively portable and high-quality bass with a lightweight.
2. Ibanez miKro GSRM20
Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is one of the most preferred entry-level bass guitars. As a short-scale bass, it is compact and lightweight, making it an ideal choice for younger players as well as traveling musicians. With its comfortable slim neck, decent sound, and affordable price, this is a great first bass.
- Compact and lightweight, great for younger musicians
- Slim neck provides comfortable playability
- P and J pickups configuration provide high sonic versatility
- Good bass for a highly affordable price
- Not the best pickups, lacks warmth
- Poplar is a relatively low-quality wood
Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is a great guitar for kids and smaller adults with its slim neck, the lightweight of 6.5 lbs (2.9 kg), and 28.6” scale. Plus, the P and J single-coil pickup combination provides a wide range of tones to play different genres.
It has a meaty tone but lacks warmth overall as the pickups are not the highest quality. Also, the poplar bodies do not make the best bass guitars as they are often used as cheap replacements for mahogany bodies.
|Weight||6.5 lbs (2.9 kg)|
|Pickups||SS, Dynamix P Split Single-coil, Dynamix J Single-coil|
|Controls||2 x volume, 1 x master tone|
Overall, this is a great bass guitar in the price range. It may not provide a professional sound, but it is enough for a beginner bass guitar. I highly recommend it as a first bass for younger musicians as well as a backup guitar for bassists always on the road.
3. Fender Player Precision Electric Bass
Fender Player Precision Electric Bass delivers the iconic classic P-style bass with a modern touch for a more comfortable playing experience. This bass is ready for studios or stages with the classic vintage look, great-sounding, and highly versatile Fender tones combined with a modern C-shaped neck.
- Classic Fender quality and tones with a modern comfortable neck
- Great sound and versatile tones
- Relatively lightweight
Fender P Basses are famous for their great tones and sonic versatility, and this one is no different. The Alnico Precision pickups provide fat low end to punchy to high treble tones for any genre. The body is classic with alder wood, but the neck is a modern C-shaped, smoothly finished neck, which provides great comfort when playing.
Although it is a great bass, for adults who want a relatively lightweight bass on the stage or the road, Fender Player Precision can also be a good choice for younger musicians. It is a lightweight bass (8.95 lbs – 4 kg) yet big bass, but the letdown is that the Fender quality comes with a high price.
|Weight||8.95 lbs (4 kg)|
|Pickups||Players Series Alnico V Precision Split Single-coil|
|Controls||1 x master volume, 1 x master tone|
In short, Fender Player Precision Electric Bass shines with the classic Fender sound and modern neck combination in a lightweight design. It is a great bass for players who have the budget to afford it.
4. Ibanez SR500E
Ibanez SR500E is a great long-scale bass guitar with a lightweight and comfortable design along with its highly versatile tones. It has many knobs to shape the sound of dual humbuckers. With its great appearance and high-quality materials, it is a bass that is worth taking a look at for any musician.
- Lightweight and comfortable bass
- Dual Bartolini BH2 humbuckers
- High sonic versatility, many tone sculpting options with controls
- The thin neck may not be for everyone
The Ibanez SR500E performs well with any tone with its rich range of tones. It has a good low-frequency punch as well as jazzy and crisp highs. With the 3-band EQ knobs, it allows you to sculpt the tone as you like in your playing. The humbuckers also perform well with a thick overall tone.
Although SR500E performs well with many tones, it does not provide a studio-quality sound. With its lightweight and versatility, it is a great bass for beginners as well as musicians who want a portable all-around bass. The neck is very thin, which is great for fast-playing, but vintage-lovers may find it too modern.
|Weight||8.14 lbs (3.7 kg)|
|Pickups||HH, Bartolini BH2 Humbucker|
|Controls||1 x Volume, 1 x Balancer, 1 x Bass, 1 x Middle, 1 x Treble, 1 x EQ bypass switch, 1 x 3-way Mid frequency switch|
Ibanez SR500E is a good bass guitar to experiment with different tones and genres. It is comfortable, portable, and highly versatile. It is suitable for beginners, younger musicians, smaller adults as well as traveler bass players.
5. Sterling Stingray Ray4
Sterling Stingray Ray4 by Music Man is a long-scale, compact, and lightweight bass, ideal for beginners. It has many finish options for different tastes, as well as a left-hand version. Its active preamp with low-noise humbuckers provide a satisfying sound quality
- Relatively lightweight and compact
- Left-hand option
- 9-volt active preamp, low-noise humbucker, 2-band EQ
- Good quality construction
- Not great for slapping
The bass is pretty lightweight and compact, which is great for beginners. It has a soft maple neck, comfortable to play with but not the best to slap. If you like humbucker bass tones, this is a great bass with an active preamp and 2-band EQ to shape your tone.
|Weight||8.9 lbs (4 kg)|
|Pickups||Sterling Ceramic Humbucker|
|Controls||1 x Volume, 1 x Bass, 1 x Treble|
The bass needs a good setup out-of-the-box, but besides that, it is a great beginner bass for humbucker-bass tone lovers. It is a good first bass with a good value for price ratio.
6. Yamaha TRBX174 RM
Yamaha produces great beginner products, and TRBX174 RM is no different. With its mahogany body, maple neck, 34” scale, P and J pickup combination delivering versatile tones, affordable price, and lightweight, this is an ideal beginner bass. It is a great bang for the buck.
- Great value for the price
- Mahogany is high-quality wood for the body
- P and J pickup combination, versatile sounds
- Not the best sounding pickups
- It’s slightly heavy in comparison to some of the others on this list.
The features may not be of professional quality, and you would not expect a bass in the price range, but they are all ideal for a beginner bass.
The mahogany body is great, the maple neck with rosewood fingerboard is comfortable, and P and J pickups deliver versatile tones for beginners to figure out which style they like more. It is not a lightweight bass but it feels very balanced.
|Weight||12.2 lbs (5.5 kg)|
|Pickups||SS, Ceramic Single-Coil – Split Single-Coil|
|Controls||1 x Tone, 2 x Volume|
Overall, this is an ideal beginner bass with still a lightweight and affordable price. The features and sound quality is not the highest, but they do not need to be. It is a bit heavy and big bass guitar, so this one is not recommended for younger musicians but beginner adults.
7. Squier Bronco Bass
The Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass Guitar is a great bass for younger musicians, beginners, or bassists who want a simple backup instrument. Squier by Fender Bronco Bass is compact, comfortable, and lightweight and features a simple design with surprisingly great tones.
- Great value for the price
- Lightweight, portable and comfortable
- Simple design
- Good sound quality
- Not very versatile
This bass has a straightforward design with one pickup and one volume control and tone control. Still, it provides a warm tone with full and rich sounds that can go with different genres and playing styles.
The C shaped-neck is also really comfortable, which is good for beginners. The 30” scale and lightweight make this bass suitable for younger musicians as well as for travelers and small adults.
|Weight||8.8 lbs (3.9 kg)|
|Controls||1 x Volume, 1 x Tone|
Squier Bronco Bass is one of the most preferred first basses on the market, and there is a reason for it. Its simplicity, portability, lightweight, and decent quality make this one a good choice for entry-level musicians of all ages.
What is a lightweight bass guitar?
A lightweight bass guitar weighs between 5 to 10 lbs, while a regular bass guitar weighs around 10 lbs. Lightweight bass guitars are ideal for younger musicians and smaller adults. It is also ideal for bassists who play their instruments for long periods to avoid shoulder fatigue and back pain.
Lightweight bass guitars are produced with lighter parts such as the bridge, tuners, pickups, and knobs, along with lighter woods to cut off the overall weight of the instruments. Instead of brass and steel parts, aluminum parts are used for lighter weight.
Furthermore, instead of medium-heavy woods like ash, alder, mahogany, lightweight basses have lighter woods such as okoume, poplar, and basswood. Also, some bass guitars have a hollow body which significantly reduces the weight.
Are lightweight bass guitars better for kids?
Lightweight bass guitars are more suitable for younger musicians, as they are easier to control. Bass guitars are heavy and big instruments that are not ideal for small bodies and hands. But, lightweight and short-scale bass guitars allow kids and smaller adults to play and control basses easier.
What is the difference between a lightweight and normal bass?
A lightweight bass weighs between 5 lbs to 10 lbs, while regular bass guitars weigh more than 10 lbs, often around 12 lbs. Lightweight bass guitars are made of lighter materials or feature shorter scales than regular basses to cut down the weight considerably for more comfort and portability.
What to look out for when buying a lightweight bass guitar?
When buying a lightweight bass guitar, you should consider the weight, scale length, as well as sound, and playability of the instrument. Ideally, the weight should be around or below 8 lbs. Depending on your need and the hand size, you can consider a short-scale or a long-scale bass.
If a younger musician is going to play the bass, you should look for a short-scale bass as they are easier to handle for beginners and small hands. After mastering the short-scale basses, they can go on with a long-scale bass.
If you are an experienced bassist and looking for a backup guitar to avoid shoulder and back pain while on the road or stage, then you should go for a bass guitar around or slightly above 8 lbs with a long scale.
Should you invest too much in a lightweight bass?
Lightweight basses are often preferred by beginner musicians. As a beginner, you explore the instrument and your own style. When you get more experienced and know precisely what you want and need, you can invest more in your bass. So, a decent-quality first bass will be more than enough.
However, experienced musicians looking for a lightweight solution on stage and studios for longer periods of playing can invest in a professional lightweight bass for high-sound quality and comfortability.
Lightweight bass guitars are ideal basses for kids, younger players, and smaller adults. They are made with lighter parts and woods to allow smaller players to control the instrument better, as well as let bassists play it for extended periods without any shoulder and back pain.
A heavy bass does not mean better or worse, as the same goes for lighter bass guitars. There are many great options in the market, just like the Squier Classic Vibe 70’s Precision Bass, which feel comfortable and balanced, look elegant and vintage while sounding great for its price.
You can also check the Ibanez miKro GSRM20, great bass for an affordable price, which is especially ideal for kids with its lightweight and short scale.