The Most Popular Bass Guitar: A Ranking of the Favorites

Choose the bass guitar you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 20, 2024 06:49
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for settling debates, expressing opinions, and discovering the most popular choices on various topics! Today, we invite you to dive into the world of music and join our quest to find the most popular bass guitar out there. Make your voice heard by voting for your favorite bass axe or suggesting a missing gem in our ever-evolving ranking. With thousands of bass enthusiasts like you participating, this is the perfect opportunity to uncover the true champions of the low end. So, grab your headphones, tune in to your favorite basslines, and let's rock the vote together to unveil the ultimate bass guitar legend!

What Is the Most Popular Bass Guitar?

  1. 1
    One of the most iconic and widely used bass guitars in history, the Fender Precision Bass (also known as the P-Bass) has been used by countless musicians in a variety of genres. Its simple yet versatile design and powerful tone make it a top choice for many bassists.
    The Fender Precision Bass, also known as the P Bass, is a legendary electric bass guitar that revolutionized the way bass players approached their instrument. It was the world's first commercial electric bass guitar and continues to be a top choice for bassists across various music genres.
    • Body Shape: Double-cutaway solid body
    • Neck Material: Maple
    • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood or Maple
    • Scale Length: 34 inches
    • Number of Frets: 20 or 21
    Fender Precision Bass in other rankings
  2. 2
    Fender Jazz Bass
    Th. Ott · CC BY 2.5
    Another classic from Fender, the Jazz Bass has a sleeker, more modern design than the Precision Bass, but still delivers a wide range of tones and excellent playability. It's been used by everyone from Jaco Pastorius to Geddy Lee to Flea.
    The Fender Jazz Bass, often referred to as the Jazz Bass or J Bass, is a highly popular electric bass guitar known for its versatile sound and sleek design. It was introduced by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation in 1960 as a complementary model to the Precision Bass.
    • Scale Length: 34 inches
    • Number of Frets: 20
    • Body Material: Alder or Ash
    • Neck Material: Maple or Rosewood
    • Pickup Configuration: Two single-coil pickups in the bridge and neck positions
    Fender Jazz Bass in other rankings
  3. 3

    Music Man StingRay

    Leo Fender and Tom Walker
    The Music Man StingRay is known for its bright, punchy tone and unique aesthetic, thanks in part to its distinctive 3-band EQ and signature tuning key placement. It's been used by the likes of Tony Levin, John Deacon, and Marcus Miller.
    The Music Man StingRay is a highly regarded electric bass guitar known for its powerful tone and sleek design. It has been popularized by its exceptional build quality, versatility, and use by many professional bassists across various genres.
    • Body Material: Ash or Alder
    • Neck Material: Maple
    • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood or Maple
    • Scale Length: 34 inches
    • Number of Frets: 21
  4. 4
    The Thunderbird is a classic bass guitar with a powerful, full-bodied tone and a distinctive look. It's been used by a wide range of rock and metal musicians, including Nikki Sixx, Krist Novoselic, and John Entwistle.
    The Gibson Thunderbird is a widely renowned electric bass guitar known for its distinctive body shape and powerful tone. It was first introduced by Gibson in 1963 as a response to the growing popularity of Fender's Precision and Jazz basses.
    • Body Shape: Unique Reverse Firebird-style body shape with angular lines.
    • Construction: Neck-through-body construction for enhanced sustain and stability.
    • Materials: Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard.
    • Pickups: Dual passive humbucking pickups for a thick, punchy sound.
    • Controls: Dual volume controls, master tone control.
  5. 5

    Rickenbacker 4001

    The Rickenbacker 4001 is a unique bass guitar with a bright, jangly tone and a sleek, retro look. It's been used by a wide range of musicians, from Paul McCartney to Lemmy Kilmister to Geddy Lee.
    The Rickenbacker 4001 is a legendary bass guitar known for its distinct tone and iconic design. It was originally introduced in 1961 and quickly gained popularity among bassists of various genres. The 4001 model is often associated with prominent bass players such as Paul McCartney of The Beatles.
    • Body Material: Maple
    • Neck Material: Maple
    • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
    • Scale Length: 33 1/4 inches
    • Number of Frets: 20
    Rickenbacker 4001 in other rankings
  6. 6
    Warwick basses are known for their high-quality craftsmanship and unique design features, and the Thumb model is no exception. It has a distinctive shape that allows for easy access to the upper frets, and a powerful tone that's well-suited for a variety of styles. It's been used by artists like Stuart Zender, John Patitucci, and Marcus Miller.
    The Warwick Thumb is a highly regarded and popular bass guitar known for its exceptional craftsmanship and versatile sound capabilities. It has gained a reputation for its unique design and top-notch performance.
    • Body Shape: Curved, ergonomic double-cutaway design
    • Construction: Neck-through construction
    • Wood: High-quality, hand-selected tonewoods such as Bubinga, Ovangkol, Wenge, and Maple
    • Fingerboard: Wenge or Ebony fingerboard with 24 frets and fretted or fretless options
    • Pickups: Dual active MEC J/J pickups with active/passive switch
  7. 7
    The Ibanez SR Series is a popular line of bass guitars known for their sleek, modern design and versatile tone. They're used by a wide range of musicians, from jazz and funk players to metal and rock bassists.
    The Ibanez SR Series is a line of bass guitars known for their versatility, playability, and sleek design. It is one of the most popular bass guitar series in the world, utilized by a wide range of musicians across different genres.
    • Neck Material: Various options including Maple, Mahogany, and Jatoba
    • Body Material: Various options including Mahogany, Ash, and Maple
    • Scale Length: 34 inches
    • Number of Strings: 4, 5, and 6-string variations available
    • Pickups: Various options including passive and active pickups
  8. 8
    The Yamaha BB Series is a popular line of bass guitars known for their versatility and high-quality construction. They're used by a variety of musicians in different genres, including Nathan East, Tony Levin, and Billy Sheehan.
    The Yamaha BB Series is a line of bass guitars known for their versatility, reliability, and great sound. They are widely regarded as one of the most popular bass guitar series in the market.
    • Body Material: Alder
    • Neck Material: Maple
    • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
    • Scale Length: 34 inches
    • Number of Frets: 21
  9. 9
    Squier is Fender's budget brand, but their Vintage Modified Precision Bass offers a surprisingly high level of quality and playability for the price. It's a great option for beginners or anyone on a tight budget who still wants a quality bass guitar.
    The Squier Vintage Modified Precision Bass is a popular bass guitar known for its classic style and versatile sound. It offers a combination of vintage aesthetics and modern tonal capabilities. This bass is a budget-friendly option for musicians seeking that iconic Precision Bass tone.
    • Body Shape: Precision Bass
    • Body Material: Agathis
    • Neck Material: Maple
    • Fingerboard Material: Indian Laurel
    • Number of Frets: 20
  10. 10
    Hofner Violin Bass
    Nickwass · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The Hofner Violin Bass is a unique and iconic instrument, famously used by Paul McCartney in The Beatles. It has a warm, mellow tone and a distinctive look that sets it apart from other bass guitars.
    The Hofner Violin Bass is a popular bass guitar model known for its distinctive violin-shaped body and rich, warm tone. It was first introduced in the early 1960s and gained widespread popularity through its association with legendary musician Paul McCartney of The Beatles. The Violin Bass has since become an iconic instrument in the world of bass guitars.
    • Body Shape: Violin-shaped
    • Construction: Hollowbody
    • Top Wood: Spruce
    • Back and Sides Wood: Flame Maple
    • Neck Wood: Flame Maple

Missing your favorite bass guitar?


Ranking factors for popular bass guitar

  1. Sound quality
    The tone and resonance of the bass guitar need to be of high quality and should provide a desired level of depth and warmth in the sound. Good pickups, hardware, and construction materials greatly affect the sound quality of a bass guitar.
  2. Playability
    The ease and comfort of playing the bass guitar, including the neck shape and width, string spacing, and fret accessibility, are essential considerations. A comfortable instrument makes playing more enjoyable and helps reduce muscle strain.
  3. Build quality and design
    The durability and aesthetics of the bass guitar should stand the test of time, meaning that a well-built instrument that has a beautiful design will be more desirable to players.
  4. Brand reputation
    A popular bass guitar is often backed by a well-established, reputable brand known for making high-quality instruments. Some potential buyers might be more compelled to choose a bass from a renowned brand.
  5. Versatility
    The versatility of the bass guitar, in terms of its tonal range and compatibility with various music genres, is essential to attract a wide range of players.
  6. Scale length and number of strings
    Some bass guitars have different scale lengths and come in both 4-string and 5-string versions. Personal preferences and the type of music one plays might dictate the choice of scale length and the number of strings.
  7. Electronic components
    Active or passive pickups, onboard preamps, and various tone control options can significantly impact the sound and versatility of a bass guitar. High-quality electronic components will enable the player to control and shape their sound better.
  8. Availability
    A popular bass guitar must be readily available through various retailers, both local and online, to reach a broad audience.
  9. Innovation
    Unique features, cutting-edge technology, or innovative design aspects can also boost the popularity of some bass guitars within the market.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular bass guitar. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Bass is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 222 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Bass once every 24 hours. The rank of each Bass is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular bass guitar

The bass guitar has been an integral part of the music industry since its inception in the 1930s. It serves as the foundation of most popular music genres, including rock, pop, funk, and jazz. The instrument is popular for its deep, resonant sound and ability to create a strong rhythmic pulse that drives the music forward. Over the years, numerous bass guitar models have been developed by various manufacturers, each with its unique sound and style. Some of the most popular brands include Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, and Yamaha. These companies have produced iconic bass guitars that have been used by legendary bassists such as Paul McCartney, Flea, Jaco Pastorius, and Geddy Lee. However, when it comes to determining the most popular bass guitar, opinions are divided. Some people prefer the classic sound of a Fender Precision Bass, while others favor the versatile sound of a Yamaha BB series. Ultimately, the choice of bass guitar comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the musician. Regardless of the model, the bass guitar remains an essential instrument in modern music and will continue to shape the industry for years to come.

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