Easy Bass Songs
Beginner Bass Guitar Songs
Songs For Bass Beginners
Congratulations! You are the latest sucker to fall victim to the beautiful and heart thumping lows that a bass guitar is capable of. You have just picked up a disease that has no cure. If anything, the bass guitar is the cure for anything else you may be experiencing in your life.
So you’re looking for the best songs to learn on bass guitar...
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.
Table of Contents
18 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.
You may have an idea of who Queen are, but you may not necessarily understand the kind of chokehold 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.
2. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
“Billie Jean” is a song by American singer Michael Jackson.
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.
“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.
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.
5. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
“Dreams” is a song by Fleetwood Mac from their eleventh studio album Rumours (1977).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!