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Easy Bass Songs

Beginner Bass Guitar Songs

Songs For Bass Beginners

beginner bass guitar songs

Hey, listen up, my friends! You’ve just stumbled headfirst into the mesmerizing world of the bass guitar, and let me tell you, it’s a hell of a ride. You’re now officially infected with a bug that’s got no antidote. In fact, this four-string beast is the antidote to whatever else ails you in life. Embrace the groove, my friends, ’cause you’re in for a wild journey!

Bass guitar starter packs usually contain everything you need to start playing straight away. You can teach yourself bass guitar by using bass guitar beginner books here.

So you’re looking for the best songs to learn on bass guitar…

On This Page You’ll Find 20+ Songs to Learn On Bass

Like everyone else, you have to begin someplace. That means playing easy bass guitar songs for beginners that will help build your chops and set you up as a phenomenal bassist in the years to come.  It also means finding the best bass guitar songs that are easy on the ear, but also easy on the fingers.

You won’t have to go far to find those easy songs to play on bass guitar. Here is a collection of  Bass Guitar songs for beginners. The songs range from the golden age of Rock and Roll all the way to some modern pieces that are nothing short of superb.

Seriously, by the time you are done with this list, you will be well on your way to creating bass guitar lines of your own that will only be described as divine.

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20 Beginner Bass Guitar Songs You'll Love to Play

We compiled a mix of good bass songs to learn spanning over several decades with some old bass favourites to a few which may be lesser known but still great songs that you’ll love to play on the bass. 

1. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen

“Another One Bites the Dust” is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by bassist John Deacon.

BASS GUITAR: John Deacon, Queens bass player,  performed the iconic bass-line on “Another One Bites the Dust”

INTERESTING FACT: “Another One Bites the Dust” became one of Queen’s biggest hits and showcased Deacon’s songwriting talents.

You may have an idea of who Queen are, but you may not necessarily understand the kind of choke hold they had on the music charts and our hearts and minds. That was due in part to their consistency, but ultimately down to the hits they blessed the world with.

“Another One Bites The Dust” is one of those songs for bass beginners that is a must to learn. The thumping bass and drum should tell you one thing. The bassist, John Deacon, was behind the writing of the song. The song was a departure from what Queen were known for; anthems. Instead, Another One Bites The Dust was a quick foray into the world of disco / funk.

What followed was a masterpiece that will always be relevant and has become one of those must bass guitar songs to learn.

Looking For A Bass Song Book?

This book provides easy arrangements in tab with lyrics for the most popular songs bassists want to play.

Includes: American Girl * Billie Jean * Blister in the Sun * Crossfire * Hey Joe * I Got You (I Feel Good) * Livin’ on a Prayer * Low Rider * Money * Monkey Wrench * My Generation * Paranoid * Peter Gunn * The Pink Panther * Roxanne * Should I Stay or Should I Go * Uptown Funk * What’s Going On * With or Without You * Yellow * and more!

2. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

“Billie Jean” is a song by American singer Michael Jackson.

BASS GUITAR: Louis Johnson played bass guitar on “Billie Jean”. Louis is a renowned session bassist and founding member of the Brothers Johnson.

INTERESTING FACT: Louis Johnson recorded the song on several different basses, before the producer settled on a Yamaha bass for the sonic color he wanted on the song. [Ref]

You need no introduction to Michael Jackson or his body of work. What you may not have paid much attention to was the instrumentals that made this song become the humongous hit it is. Perhaps of interest to you is the bassline.

Billie Jean definitely has one of the simplest bass lines that can be found on anything either Michael Jackson or Quincy Jones worked on. The bass riff itself is simple enough to be played over three frets and on two strings, no matter what part the song is currently on.  You can start your journey to playing by ear with this song.

3. Money - Pink Floyd

“Money” is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd from their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon.

BASS GUITAR: Roger Waters played bass on the recording on “Money”. Roger was also the primary songwriter and co-founder of Pink Floyd.

INTERESTING FACT: The cash register tape loop at the beginning of the song was also put together by Roger. It contains sounds of tearing paper and bags of coins being thrown into an industrial food-mixing bowl. [Ref]

“Money! It’s a hit” goes part of the lyrics. Talk about foreshadowing. Even if it wasn’t about speaking, or in this case, singing what they wanted for the song into existence, then the absolute stack of contrasts this song is made of would have made it into the hit it is today.

For one, the song begins on a 7/4 time signature. This is the perfect song to break you away from what you’ve come to expect from music in terms of 4/4 time signature. As a progressive rock song, you can expect the song to go into more interesting parts.

4. Stand By Me - Ben E King

“Stand by Me” is a song originally performed in 1961 by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King and written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller.

BASS GUITAR: Lloyd Trotman, a session bassist, performed the bass-line on the recording of  “Stand By Me”

INTERESTING FACT: There have been over 400 recorded versions of this song by various artists. IN 2015, the song was industed into the Library of Congress for its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.  [REF]

The moment you thump those three bass guitar notes, the spirits of excellence will stand by you. Seriously, the song is a derivative of a spiritual known as Stand By Me Father by the Soul Stirrers. How apt.

This song is a classic that has wound its way into the hearts of people and society as large. As a bassist, Stand By Me becomes a rite of passage but luckily it is one of the easy bass guitar songs to play. The rhythm of that repeating bass riff holds down the fort while the harmony and melody reach into the depths of your consciousness and heals your pain.

Becoming a bassist should be a life skill in this cruel world and Stand By Me is one of the best bass guitar songs for beginners.

Want A Bass Song Book? Try This

(Bass Recorded Versions Mixed). This is not your typical bass tab book. In this new Tab+ series from Hal Leonard we provide you guidance on how to capture the bass tones for each song as well as tips and advice on the techniques used to play the songs. Where possible, we’ve confirmed the gear used on the original recordings via new and previously published interviews with the bassists, producers, and/or engineers. Then we make general recommendations on how to achieve a similar tone, based on that info. Some of the songs will be easy to play even for advanced beginner students, and others might present a much greater challenge. In either case, we’ve identified key technique that should help you learn the songs with greater ease. This volume will help you master 25 must-know bass classics, including: Another One Bites the Dust * Around the World * Blurred Lines * The Boys Are Back in Town * Freewill * Hey Joe * The Joker * London Calling * My Generation * Sledgehammer * Strange Brew * Sweet Emotion * You Can Call Me Al * Young Lust * and more.

5. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac

“Dreams” is a song by Fleetwood Mac from their eleventh studio album Rumours (1977).

BASS GUITAR: John McVie, the bassist for Fleetwood Mac, played the bass guitar on “Dreams.”

INTERESTING FACT: While sitting at her keyboard, Stevie Nicks wrote  a skeletal version of “Dreams” in 10 minutes. It became on of Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic songs. [REF]

If ever there was a simple bass line, then this has to be it. In fact, the challenge is to try to learn it by ear. Your enthusiasm and curiosity will help you achieve this feat in a few minutes.

The bass line is a simple vamp on two notes, with the rhythm of the notes only changing slightly as the song moves forward. If you are having trouble keeping up with your new best friend, the drummer, then playing this song on repeat until you get it right will be of tremendous aid towards your endeavor to playing in the pocket.

6. La Grange – ZZ Top

“La Grange” is a song by the American rock group ZZ Top, from their 1973 album Tres Hombres. 

BASS GUITAR: Dusty Hill was the bassist for ZZ Top who played bass guitar on “La Grange”

INTERESTING FACT: “La Grange” was without a doubt the most popular ZZ Top song of all time. [REF]

You have probably heard this song hundreds, if not thousands of times from the different entertainment media you have come across, such as movies and games. It is mostly used as a precursor to a great adventure, or revenge mission, or “basically” going out to do macho stuff.

In a similar manner, this song can be your rallying call every time you pick up your bass to practice. The song dates back to 1973 and is considered to be one of the most successful songs that ZZ Top have ever done. The bass line is a lesson in playing your part in keeping a steady rhythm.

7. Back In Black - AC DC

“Back in Black” is a song by Australian rock band AC/DC.

BASS GUITAR: Cliff Williams who was AC/DC’s bassist at the time played on the “Back In Black” recording.

INTERESTING FACT: “Back In Black” was released 5 months after the death of former lead singer Bon Scott as a tribute to him. It ranks 2nd in worldwide sales. Only Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” has beaten it.  [REF]

You will need to first burn away the energy that this song brings into any situation before you can sit down to start playing this song. Better still, you can save this song for those days when you don’t feel like practicing, yes, they will be in plenty.

AC DC came up with a masterpiece that no one will ever let die away from consciousness. This all belies the fact that underneath that driving guitar riff, the bass is rolling with it all the way. The different sections of the song perfectly encapsulate the role you will be playing as a bassist; pillar of support.

8. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift

“Shake It Off” is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. 

BASS: Karl Johan Schuster known as Shellback, is an artist from Karlshamn, Sweden. [REF]

INTERESTING FACT: A deft electric bass accentuates the verses and is most prominent in the chorus. A synth bass provides the low drone heard in the chorus. [REF]

Even though the general consensus is that the music of today pales in comparison to what was coming out 15 years ago all the way to the beginning of recorded music, there still are gems that are worth looking into and lauding.

Shake It Off has a simple bass part and is one of the easiest bass guitar songs to play.

You could start by mimicking the baritone saxophone line and get familiar with the higher frets of the bass. At the appropriate time, drop down and hold the bass whole notes.

This is one of the simple bass guitar beginner songs listed here as the bass line is largely long sustained notes, but it’s still one of those fun songs to play on bass guitar.

9. Under Pressure - Queen

“Under Pressure” is a song by the British rock band Queen and singer David Bowie.

BASS GUITAR: John Deacon, Queen’s bass guitarist, played bass guitar on “Under Pressure,”. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury joined forces on the vocals.

INTERESTING FACT: Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland was Queen’s favourite recording studio. David Bowie, who has a house nearby dropped in when Queen was recording “Under Pressure”. The recording grew from a jam session based on a riff by bass player John Deacon.[REF]

If there is one thing Queen are known for is coming up with absolute gems of musical productions. Under Pressure is just but another of their numerous hits, but this one is specifically important for you as a bassist. It’s also one of the simple bass guitar songs to learn.

This time, rather than just hold down the fort, the bass line makes up a good part of the intro and development of the song afterwards. This song is a classic example of what a bass guitar is capable when given more responsibility and definitely one of the best bass lines in rock.

Being one of the easy bass guitar songs for beginners, you should learn this song, not only for the bass line, but developing your musical nous in general.

10. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” is a song co-written by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond, recorded by American rock band Starship for their second studio album, No Protection (1987).

BASS GUITAR: Pete Sears played bass guitar on “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

INTERESTING FACT: This power ballad “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” was featured in the 1987 film Mannequin. [REF]

As a bassist, it will be your job to learn time divisions and use them to great effect to lay down a groove in conjunction with your drama. Here is a song that does the playing every beat in a bar perfectly. This gives it the driving effect that walking bass lines are known for.

The bassline is the reason this song topped the charts in the UK, Ireland and Canada; let no one tell you otherwise. You start bobbing your head from the moment the song starts to the end. Who would be able to resist such charms?

11. Another Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd (Part2)

“Another Brick in the Wall” is a three-part composition on Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock opera The Wall, written by bassist Roger Waters. “Part 2”, a protest song against rigid and abusive schooling, features a children’s choir. At the suggestion of producer Bob Ezrin, Pink Floyd added elements of disco.

BASS GUITAR: Roger Waters, the primary songwriter and bassist for Pink Floyd, played bass guitar on “Another Brick In The Wall.

INTERESTING FACT: On Pink Floyd’s album “The Wall” there is a Part 1 and Part 3 of “Another Brick In The Wall” [REF]

The thing about music is it’s an art. You can achieve different effects by doing various different things, or by doing nothing at all. That is the power of space in music. The previous song on this list is notable for its ever-present driving bass. This song by Pink Floyd, great space left in the low end by the bass line interspersed with sparse notes. It’s one of the easy bass and guitar songs and great for jammin’ with guitar and drummer friends.

All this is for a purpose; to place great emphasis on what the children are singing. Yes, this song was written as a protest against the kind of schooling that children underwent in the UK. The stiff upper lip filtered its way down into the education system and it was a serious problem.

Here are some more lists of beginner bass guitar songs:

12. Crazy In Love - Beyonce

“Crazy in Love” is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé featuring American rapper Jay-Z from Beyoncé’s debut solo studio album Dangerously in Love (2003).

BASS GUITAR: Unknown. Producer and recording listings at Discogs

INTERESTING FACT: “Crazy In Love” marked Beyoncé’s solo debut outside of Destiny’s Child.

This song is a perfect illustration of the various roles that a bass guitar plays based on the genre of the song, the message you want to send and what part of the song you are currently playing. You want people to dance? Drive hard! Want people to listen, go easy on the bass. Do both and you get people to experience different emotions.

That is the power of that instrument you are holding in your hands. The effect is so powerful that this song landed at number one in the charts in the US and UK, as well as spending weeks in the top ten in other countries.

13. My Girl - The Temptations

“My Girl” is a soul music song recorded by the Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) record label.

BASS GUITAR: James Jamerson, one of Motown’s legendary bassists, played bass guitar on “My Girl.”

INTERESTING FACT: “My Girl” was co-written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White. It became one of The Temptations’ signature songs and remains a classic of Motown and soul music. [REF]

Here is a demonstration of what can be achieved with beautiful instrumentation, where the bass is allowed to be the best it can be. Leading from the front, the bass line can sound lost until the guitar comes in and makes sense of what is going on. From there, it is just about laying the ground for a beautiful track to come across the speakers.

Here is a bass line that is not only one of the easy songs to learn on bass guitar, but as described by the Library of Congress, it is “culturally, historically and artistically significant.” Is there anywhere better to learn from?

14. Take Me To The River - Talking Heads

“Take Me to the River” was first written by the legendary singer Al Green in conjunction with equally great guitarist Mabon “Teenie” Hodges. Whether they had hoped this song would be a bassist’s dream, we will never know, but that doesn’t stop it from being just that.

BASS GUITAR: Tina Weymouth, the bassist for Talking Heads, played bass guitar on their cover of “Take Me To The River.”

INTERESTING FACT: Talking Heads covered the song “Take Me to the River” originally recorded by Al Green. Their version became a hit and is known for its unique blend of new wave and soul.

The splash of the cymbal coupled with the thumping kick are all you need to spur you, the bassist into coming up with something simple, yet creative. That is exactly what is going on with this song that is a beginner bassist’s dream, and movie sound director’s favorite. The fact that the bassline changes with the pre-chorus is enough to keep you on your toes.

15. Living for the City - Stevie Wonder

15a. Living for the City - Ruby Turner

“Living for the City” is a 1973 single by Stevie Wonder from his Innervisions album.

BASS GUITAR: Stevie Wonder himself played the bass guitar on “Living for the City” in addition to singing and playing multiple other instruments.
[REF]

INTERESTING FACT: “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder tells the story of a young man’s journey from Mississippi to New York City. It addresses racial inequality and urban life, showcasing Wonder’s social commentary. [REF]

As you grow in your craft and experience as a bassist, if there is one musician you will come to love, it will be Stevie Wonder. His harmonic nous is unparalleled, coming up with tunes that utilize advanced techniques such as modal interchange, secondary dominants and such. His music is so legendary that even Michael Jackson revered Stevie’s left hand for the kind of basslines he would come up with.

This song is a perfect illustration of Stevie’s genius. The bass line rarely changes as the chords move along, making for the perfect learning platform. And then to spice things up, the Dance version by Ruby Turner comes up with a totally different, but equally simplistically beautiful bass line.

16. Soul Bossa Nova - Quincy Jones

“Soul Bossa Nova” is a popular instrumental, composed and first performed by musician and record producer Quincy Jones.

BASS GUITAR: Chris White played bass on “Soul Bossa Nova” [REF]

INTERESTING FACT: “Soul Bossa Nova” is a jazz instrumental written by Quincy Jones. It gained renewed popularity when it was featured in the “Austin Powers” film series. [REF]

As a bassist, versatility should be something that you should endeavor to develop. A great step in that direction is stepping into the world of Bossa Nova, a svelte genre from Brazil that was quickly adopted into American Jazz.

While typical Bossa will take you on a harmonic and chromatic trip, this song by Quincy Jones is notable for its simplicity, allowing for a bassist such as yourself to play it without referring to sheet music or tabs. This song featured in the film series Austin Powers 1997, 1999 & 2002.

17. Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads

“Once in a Lifetime” is a song by the American rock band Talking Heads.

BASS GUITAR: Tina Weymouth also played bass guitar on “Once in a Lifetime,” contributing to the song’s unique sound.

INTERESTING FACT: “Once in a Lifetime” features David Byrne’s distinctive vocal style and surreal lyrics.

There comes a time in the life of an artist where they have already provided all the evidence that they are great, they never feel the need to do it anymore. Whether they were trying to, or not, Once in a Lifetime feels like one of those moments for Talking Heads.

While typically the artist’s work at this point would be mind bending, this song has a pretty simple bass line that rarely changes. While the artistically mature can describe it in many words, the only thing that matters is the bass line is simple enough to follow.

18. Let's Groove - Earth Wind And Fire

“Let’s Groove” is a song by the American band Earth, Wind & Fire from their eleventh studio album Raise! (1981).

BASS GUITAR: Verdine White played bass guitar on the hit recording “Let’s Groove”

INTERESTING FACT: “Let’s Groove” was a chart-topping disco and R&B hit for Earth, Wind & Fire and is known for its infectious danceable beat.

From the nobility of groove comes a song that took the world by storm; literally. The tight horn playing, the silky-smooth vocals are buttressed by a simple bass line that slaps! It doesn’t matter that the Disco movement was facing heavy backlash, this song managed to top the charts in over 20 countries and as one good bass guitar song.

19. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Bad Moon Rising” is a song written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. 

BASS GUITAR: Stu Cook played bass guitar on the hit recording “Bad Moon Rising”

INTERESTING FACT: John Fogerty wrote the song after being inspired by a scene in the 1941 film The Devil and Daniel Webster in which a hurricane destroys the crops of several farms, but spares the lead character in the film who makes a deal with the devil in exchange for wealth. Fogerty claims the song is about “the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us. [REF]

The bass line is simple but effective and is largely a bass note played in every crotchet beat.

20. 1999 - Prince

1999” This song was written by Prince. It was the title track of his 1982 album and became one of his most iconic songs.

BASS GUITAR: Mark Brown, better known as Brown Mark played bass guitar on the hit song “1999”

INTERESTING FACT: The lyrics express millennial-themed worries about the end of the world, of course, but Prince insisted during a 1999 interview with CNN’s Larry King that their message is ultimately optimistic: “We were sitting around watching a special about 1999, and a lot of people were talking about the year and speculating on what was going to happen. And I just found it real ironic how everyone that was around me whom I thought to be very optimistic people were dreading those days, and I always knew I’d be cool,” he said. “So, I just wanted to write something that gave hope, and what I find is people listen to it. And no matter where we are in the world, I always get the same type of response from them.” [REF]

Conclusion

We will continue to add to this list of songs for beginner bass players that you’ll love to play. We have included some popular songs while omitting a fair few bass guitar beginner songs that are on many list on the internet already. 

If you are new to bass and looking for bass guitar beginner books so you can play things like bass guitar chords for beginners

Our goal here is to provide the best songs to learn on bass that appeal to all ages and demographic of bass guitar beginners, including bass players with small hands, including bass players with small hands, including bass players with small hands. Enjoy! 

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About Bassic Training

Jeremy Playing bass in Hairspray The Musical Orchestra Pit Welcome to Bassic Training. I’m Jeremy, a professional bass guitarist from Australia. Our goal is to help you fast-track your progress and learn correct bass guitar technique and musicianship.

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