If you are considering learning to play the bass guitar in your church worship band, you may be wondering what type of bass guitar is best for leading worship. Is there a specific type you should buy?
Any quality bass guitar will work, but there are some factors to consider when looking for a bass guitar:
- Quality of the instrument
- The appearance of the instrument
It’s important to choose pickups in your bass guitar that are best suited for the style of music your church plays. Some bass guitars lend themselves well to rock, others to jazz, and others are more versatile. We recommend a bass guitar that is more simple and sits well in the mix with minimal work on your part.
While you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good instrument, you don’t want to play a bass guitar that has tuning instability, poor electronics, or a poor neck setup. Even thought the bass isn’t as prominent of an instrument as the guitar or drums, it’s still a distraction to play a bass with defects.
Appearance is a factor to consider as well. Your instrument will be on stage for everyone to see, even if you are positioned further back.
Although the bass guitar is not as noticeable as a lead instrument, like the piano, it still plays a very fundamental part in your church worship team. So choosing a quality bass is important.
There are thousands of bass guitars to choose from, and most of them would work just fine for worship. But below are our suggested bass guitars.
Fender Player Precision Bass
When it comes to a solid bass guitar for an affordable price ($850 for this model), you can’t go wrong with a Fender Player Series Precision. The Precision Bass is a great choice for leading worship, because it is versatile enough for just about any genre. The sleek and contoured body is extremely comfortable.
The Player Series models are made in Mexico, allowing the costs to be much lower while still providing you with a quality instrument.
The passive pickups are simple and will help your bass sit well in the mix with very little effort on your part. Just adjust your volume and tone knob and you’re all set!
The Precision Bass is also a very classic model and looks attractive on stage. We include an example with 3-tone sunburst and a maple fingerboard, but there are many color combinations available.
If you would like to spend more for a higher quality Fender, we include another option below.
Fender American Professional Precision Bass
Although very similar to the previous Precision bass, this American-made professional version offers slightly improved electronics as well as more attention to detail. For example, the neck has smooth, rolled fingerboard edges to make playing more comfortable. This is a more expensive model, at $1,800, and is a better fit for more professional musicians or those willing to make more of an investment.
If you don’t mind some minor imperfections and are just starting out, the previous Mexican-made model should work for you. But if you’re looking for a more professional instrument and are willing to make the investment, this is a solid model to consider.
Like with the previous bass, American-made models are also available in various color combinations.
Fender Player Jazz Bass
Very closely related to the Precision Bass, the Fender Jazz Bass is another very classic and popular choice among bassists. With an additional bridge pickup, there are more tonal possibilities.
The Jazz Bass allows you to get more treble in your playing, offering a more versatile sound. The potential drawback is that more work will be required to get your bass guitar to sit well in the mix, which can be challenging starting out. One option is to play only through the neck pickup, which will make your bass sound more like a Precision Bass.
The Jazz Bass is a great way to get more diversity in your playing while still keeping it simple.
This Fender Player Jazz Bass sells for $850.
Fender American Professional Jazz Bass
As with the Precision Bass, you can buy this American-made professional version of the Jazz Bass for $1,800. Paying the extra amount will get you nicer pickups and a more comfortable playing experience.
Sire Marcus Miller P5 Alder
The models we’ve shared so far might be unaffordable for many bass players just starting out. The good news is that there are more budget-friendly options that still provide quality.
Sire is a bass guitar manufacturer that has partnered with well-known bassist Marcus Miller to create very affordable bass guitars that are still excellent quality for the money.
This beautiful Precision inspired bass costs only $500. There are several other models to choose from, some of which cost even less.
If spending more than $500 on a bass guitar isn’t an option for you, this model might be the best option for you.
Fender Player Jazz 5-String Bass
Perhaps you’ve tried playing along to one of your favorite songs and noticed that some of the bass notes go lower than the low E note on your 4-string bass. Or maybe someone in the band suggested changing the key of a song from E to Eb. Some songs you play will sound better with slightly lower notes than you can get with a 4-string bass. This is where a 5-string bass comes in handy.
A 5-string bass has an additional 5 notes on the lower 5th string: Eb, D, C#, C, and B. Having a 5-string bass is very helpful to have available. This Player Series 5-string is just under $1,000. You can buy a Sire 5-string for less, or an American-made Fender for more.
Which Bass Guitar Is Best for Worship?
In the examples above, we have deliberately focused on more traditional and simple bass guitars. This is because simpler is generally better when it comes to the bass, and the last thing you want to be in your worship band is a distraction. If you are interested in different style bass guitars, active pickups, or more knobs to adjust for different tonal options, you can certainly experiment with other options.
We encourage you to visit your local music store and try several different models for yourself. This is often the best way to find the bass guitar that is the best fit for you.
Remember that the focus of your instrument is to help draw your church closer to God through worship. We hope that this article will help you find the bass guitar that best enables you to do this. Is there a bass guitar that you recommend for worship? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!