The 4 Best Lightweight Bass Guitars – Reviews 2023

best lightweight bass guitar, light bass guitar, lightweight bass guitar

Photo by Igor Zalbidea / CC BY

Bass guitars are typical heavier than electric guitars, so most players know what’s waiting for them when they strap them on. However, some people can’t handle the immense weight of bass guitars on their backs, beginners in particular. For tons of folks, searching for a lightweight model is therefore a no-brainer. We aim to help you find it, and after our recommendations, we go into what you should be looking for when selecting a light bass guitar. But first . . .

Here are our recommendations for the 4 best lightweight bass guitars on the market:

Traveler Guitar TB-4 P-Bass Guitar

Traveler Guitar’s identity as a company is to make lighter-weight, compact guitars and basses designed for life on the road. And they’ve been doing it since 1992, so don’t think they’re a newcomer just because you haven’t heard of them. The Traveler 4-string bass is made to the same sound and quality standards you’d expect—just in a smaller, easier to carry package.

Traveler’s 4-string bass is a great option for students and beginners as well as travelers. It has a built-in headphone amp, and you can even plug your MP3 player right into your bass and play along with tracks, no extra equipment required. The Traveler bass is shorter as well as lighter, with a 32” scale small players will find comfortable.

And this isn’t just a practice bass. It has a stage-ready look and a sound to match. The Seymour Duncan MM-101 pickups give the low end a deep rumble without sacrificing the treble. Top to bottom, this is one of the best lightweight basses on the market.

• Weighs less than 7 pounds
• Fits in an airplane’s overhead compartment
• Headphone amp and aux-in built right into bass
• Seymour Duncan pickups have great sound
• Comfortable short scale
• Includes gig bag

• Changing strings can be tricky

Traveler Guitar TB-4P Bass

Ibanez GSRM20BS GSRM20 4-String Bass Guitar

Ibanez is often the brand aspiring metalheads and rockers go to when they search for their first bass, and there are numerous reasons why that is so. First of all, Ibanez offers a rich catalogue of high-quality instruments that stretch out across all price point categories – regarding the GSRM20BS, it’s in the “golden middle”.

Now, this beautiful bass excels in aesthetics and comes available in nine vivid color variations. It’s among our top picks of the best lightweight bass models for the money, given it weighs only 7 pounds. Its poplar body is compact but sufficiently durable to withstand quite an abuse.

With a maple neck and rosewood fretboard, you can rest assured that this bass will give you no troubles, regardless of your skill level. Even though it’s perfect for beginners, experienced veterans could find much use of it, especially money-wise.

• Decently affordable
• Ultra-compact poplar body construction
• Beautiful and available in nine color variations
• Ideal for beginners and experienced bass players

• The “short scale” of this model somewhat hinders the level of sounds you could achieve with it

Squier by Fender 310902506 Bronco Bass Guitar

Squier is one of the world-class leaders in this sphere, and it’s only normal that one should be in each bass guitar review. The folks simply love their instruments, as Squier basses are characterized with a plain construction complemented with high-quality sound.

The first thing that’s not so common (or normal) with this model is that it features Agathis body – this material is certainly not among the most frequently used ones in the construction process of a bass, but it contributed significantly to its lightweight quality, giving it a mere 11 pounds.

Even though that appears as much on the surface, the weight of this bass is quite low when compared to similar models. This bass features 30-inch scale, a maple neck & fingerboard, and chromed hardware set.

• Exotic Agathis body construction
• High-quality maple materials
• Durable and reliable
• High sound customization provided with multiple tone & volume controls

• The only part of this bass which is not as durable as the rest of the construction is the nut

Squier Bronco Bass Demo

Fender 143412300 Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special Guitar

The last lightweight bass in our review also comes from Fender. It’s a premium-quality precision bass with a set of active magnets that provide ground-shaking, yet exceptionally accurate sound. You might feel a bit dissuaded by the price, but note that this is one of the Fender’s best lightweight bass guitar models that just happens to come with a complementary gig bag.

Speaking of which, this outstanding bass (see full specs) weighs only 10 pounds. That’s only three pounds heavier than Epiphone’s Toby IV, but rest assured – it’s light as a feather.

This bass guitar features split-coil Noiseless Jazz pickups, a three-band equalizer, and a plethora of customizable and adjustable settings, including the bass boost & cut, active & passive switch, and more.

The saddle features a Hi-Mass bridge which heavily accentuates both attack and sustain. Regardless of which type of music you play, Fender’s 143412300 will most certainly be good for you.

• Unparalleled setup and sound quality
• Remarkable pickups
• Active electronics
• Looks amazing
• Decently durable
• Weighs only 10 pounds

• Costs a bit.

Fender Deluxe Active Precision Bass Special Okoume Demo | Fender

What Makes the Best Light Bass Guitars?

Apart from the obvious (weight), a good lightweight bass should feature quality materials. Certain woods are very good at providing durability without the expense of weight, such as basswood and maple.

The dimensions of the bass guitar in question (shortly called “scale”) should not be neglected. Logically, large scale basses are heavier than short scale models, but exceptions are possible.

The price is definitely a factor – there are numerous price point categories, ranging from “budget” to “boutique,” and it’s fairly hard to find a lightweight bass in both extremes.

One of the most important aspects of performance is the bass guitar’s hardware. Apart from the body materials, the hardware significantly contributes to the bass guitar’s weight (also one of the reasons why both budget and boutique basses are almost always heavy).

Lastly, there’s the issue of durability. Lighter basses are often made of flimsy, easily breakable wood materials, so finding one which is as durable as it is light could be hard.

Lightweight Bass Guitars Conclusion

Finding the best lightweight bass guitar shouldn’t be too hard. If you’ve read the short buying guide after the reviews, you’re already well-equipped with knowledge needed to discern bad models from good ones.We wish you liked our selection and wish you all the luck in finding the best model!

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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