I live in an apartment with a (quiet) business downstairs, would an unplugged electric bass be quiet enough to play without disturbing people?
if your walls are that thin that you can hear a bass unplugged through them id suggest moving haha

You should be fine having it plugged in, you dont have to crank it just a nice chill volume
or you could get headphones to plug into your amp..granted that there's a headphone jack. that's what i do when i want to play my guitar late at night here in my dorm room

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If it’s plugged in no sound comes from the strings at all? That probably sounds ridiculous to everyone but I’m completely new to this whole thing. I played acoustic(guitar) for like 2 months and that’s about it for my instrument experience.
Quote by MarishaMaromi
If it’s plugged in no sound comes from the strings at all?

No, the sound still originates at the strings if it is either plugged in or not plugged in. When it is plugged in the pickups pick up the sound from the strings and send it to the amp.

Also, the business downstairs will not have a problem with you playing an unplugged bass. It is very quiet.
"Notes are expensive, spend them wisely." - B.B. King
I practice unplugged all the time. I can hear it just fine. An amp, even at low volume, will send low frequency through most walls. Low frequencies travel further than higher ones. I can her the neighbors kids with subs in their car over a block away through my house walls.
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unplugged is quiet for downstairs, but also you. Headphones is the best quiet option. When using an amp get it to a tame volume then put it on say a table or some pillows or the couch, to keep it from transmitting through the floor.