10 Easy Bass Songs For Beginners (With Videos)
When learning to play bass, it’s great to try out some easy songs that can get you up and running quickly. It’s very rewarding and can really help you stay motivated to keep playing and practising.
Trying to learn how to play bass songs that require a more advanced level can only lead to frustration! As a beginner, it is just better to try simpler tracks like the
ones presented below.
- 1. The White Stripes—Seven Nation Army
- 2. Michael Jackson—Smooth Criminal
- 3. Ozzy Osbourne—Crazy Train
- 4. ZZ Top—La Grange
- 5. Nirvana—Come As You Are
- 6. Queen—Another One Bites The Dust
- 7. Meghan Trainor—All About That Bass
- 8. Rick James—Superfreak
- 9. The Clash—Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
- 10. The Beatles—Come Together
1. The White Stripes—Seven Nation Army
The White Stripes have many songs that are easy to learn for bass players, but “Seven Nation Army” is definitely a strong contender since it is one of the band’s most popular hits ever.
It is also very catchy. This is partly because it was originally played with a semi-acoustic guitar that had an octave shift done, not a bass guitar.
Over the years, several bands covered the hit, and they almost always use the bass guitar. You can learn it very fast, with the entire main riff requiring just the use of your A string.
This makes it perfect for the beginner bass enthusiast.
2. Michael Jackson—Smooth Criminal
“Smooth Criminal” is one of the most memorable songs launched by one of the most recognizable and admired pop artists ever. You’ve surely heard the bassline featured in many covers, but you should also know that it is a very simple first introduction to patterns in guitar bass melodies.
The song features standard tuning, and the only real problem for beginners is that it is played at 118 BPM, which makes it faster. However, when you learn it, you can start slow and increase your playing speed as you get more comfortable playing it.
With the same pattern played all throughout the song, “Smooth Criminal” can be your way to learn fundamentals and pay tribute to the King of Pop.
3. Ozzy Osbourne—Crazy Train
For those that love heavy metal music, learning to play “Crazy Train” is a great accomplishment since everyone in the industry values and respects Ozzy Osbourne. For aspiring bass players, though, it is considered to be a beginner song.
The only real problem with “Crazy Train” is that it is originally played at 138 BPM. Just as with “Smooth Criminal,” you can start slow. Also, you can start with the easiest part, which is the groove.
Be careful with the silence that exists between notes, and in the future, you will find yourself using the bassline to compose your own hits!
4. ZZ Top—La Grange
ZZ Top’s “La Grange” has always been a huge hit and is still very popular among rock music enthusiasts.
It is a great way for beginners to practice keeping rhythm with the drums, and the basic riff only uses 2 keys—A and C. There is also a descending line that you play during the interlude, but it is also simple.
As you get better at playing the bassline, you can practice with alternate plucking to perfect your mastery of the shuffle groove, which is faster than some beginners might be able to tackle. However, with practice, “La Grange” is very simple to play.
5. Nirvana—Come As You Are
Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” features a relatively simple bassline, making it very good for beginners. As you play the verse, you just go between chords D and E. As you play the chorus, you use E and G’s roots. Then, during the break, you use A and C’s roots.
“Come As You Are” is also a great song to practice playing the bass guitar with a pick since this is how it is originally played by Krist Novoselic. After some practice, you can surprise your friends with one of the lesser-played songs by Nirvana.
6. Queen—Another One Bites The Dust
Those that want to become bassists may want to try “Another One Bites The Dust.” The bassline is very simple, and it just follows the song’s chord progression. You will mostly use the fifth string, and you will surely not have a problem with the rhythm.
Fretting movements are limited, and the foundations you learn, thanks to Queen’s instantly recognizable hit, will help you get ready for more complicated melodies. And the great thing is that most beginners learn the song’s bass line in just one hour.
7. Meghan Trainor—All About That Bass
“All About That Bass” features a very simple bass line that still has a great groove. For a beginner, it is a wonderful way to practice rhythm and timing.
At the same time, because of the very catchy lyrics of the song, you can easily entertain your friends with a pop hit that they surely know.
8. Rick James—Superfreak
“Superfreak” was amongst the most popular hits of the early ‘80s. However, many were first introduced with the bassline thanks to MC Hammer’s cover, “U Can’t Touch This,” which was very popular during the early ‘90s.
Rick James wrote and performed the funk-filled bassline, and thousands of beginners actually started with it. This is because the bass is the same all throughout the song. Only minor modifications are needed.
While some challenging parts do exist in the bridge and the chorus, they only amount to how you use chords and octaves. Practice “Superfreak” to learn more about slides and hammer-ons.
9. The Clash—Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
This is a true classic of the punk rock scene of the ‘80s. It was not a success in terms of sales, but it is one of the reasons why punk gained a huge following. If you are a bass guitar enthusiast, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” is considered one of the best 500 songs ever written. And since the bassline is simple, you may want to learn it.
You will quickly figure out that the basslines in The Clash’s song are very easy to memorize. While you do need some coordination and flexibility you might lack as a beginner, with practice, the fingerstyle can easily be mastered.
10. The Beatles—Come Together
Most people do not know this, but The Beatles wrote over 200 songs. Many of these are still very popular today. If you love the band and you want to learn how to play the bass, “Come Together” may very well be your best choice.
One of the reasons this song is recommended for beginners is that it helps you learn the transition from the second to the third note, which involves sliding fretting fingers in a way that is difficult at first. Just as the other great songs for beginner bass players listed above, all you need is constant practice, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Bass songs are not always simple, but the ones highlighted here are some of the best a beginner can consider.
You only need a few hours of practice to master every single one on the list, along with the dedication that is always necessary when you learn to play a musical instrument.
Just choose your favorite one to start and move on to the other ones once you’ve mastered that one.