30 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 help you stay motivated to keep playing and practicing.
As a bass player, when I retrace my steps from the beginning, it is evident that keeping it simple and learning step by step is the best approach you can have when learning the instrument. 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
- 11. 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite
- 12. Queen – Under Pressure
- 13. The Police – Message In A Bottle
- 14. Coldplay – Yellow
- 15. Ben E. King – Stand By Me
- 16. Green Day – When I Come Around
- 17. Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
- 18. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
- 19. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside
- 20. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
- 21. Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
- 22. Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
- 23. Chris Isaak – Wicked Games
- 24. The Offspring – Pretty Fly For A White Guy
- 25. Green Day – 21 Guns
- 26. The Police – Every Breath You Take
- 27. Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
- 28. The Cranberries – Zombie
- 29. Dio – Holy Diver
- 30. Toto – Africa
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.
11. 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite
“Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down was released in 2000 as part of the group’s album, “The Better Life.” This is yet another easy-to-play song on the bass as it has a pretty straightforward chord progression.
This is a beginner-friendly song because it utilizes a slow fingering technique that doubles on the chorus, which is also good. After all, you can loosen up your fingers in the process.
With no complications along the way, “Kryptonite” is a very simple bass song that you will likely have down within the hour. Plus, adding a 3 Doors Down song to your repertoire will greatly increase your confidence and motivation to keep improving.
12. Queen – Under Pressure
Another Queen song on the list, this time it’s “Under Pressure”. The song was released in 1981 and was a huge success, reaching number one in several countries. The bassline in “Under Pressure” is very simple but effective.
Another iconic bass sound that most are already familiar with. “Under Pressure” is a cool-sounding song that will be an excellent addition to your growing repertoire.
It’s easy and fun for beginners because if played with a pick will test your up-down pattern, or if played with fingers will test your fingering speed. The true test here will be keeping the beat. With a steady beat-base, you will have to learn to keep in time.
13. The Police – Message In A Bottle
Another bass beginner-friendly song is “Message In A Bottle” by The Police. The song was released in 1979 and is one of the band’s most popular songs. The bassline in “Message In A Bottle” is repetitive but fun to play.
This song has a very simple base to start you off with, followed by a doubled rhythm to loosen up your fingers and improve your fingering speed. Afterward, you have cool yet satisfying triplets to add to your sonic versatility.
This is an immensely popular song that will undoubtedly motivate you to keep playing and practicing!
14. Coldplay – Yellow
Next up is “Yellow” by Coldplay. The song was released in 2000 and is one of the band’s most popular songs. The bassline in “Yellow” is very easy to play and is perfect for beginners.
The reason behind this pick is the steady beat that follows through the entire song. While this may seem incredibly easy, you will test your time-keeping and see if you can stay in tempo along the way, without missing a beat from start to finish.
Granted, nothing exceptional happens with the bass in this song, but it will ultimately teach you patience and the importance of staying on beat.
15. Ben E. King – Stand By Me
Another timeless track that will be great to add to your ever-growing repertoire. Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” was released in 1961 and is one of the most popular songs of all time. The bassline in “Stand By Me” is easy to play and perfect for beginners.
While this is a song with a slow tempo, it will ultimately test you on your fills. Granted, there is nothing too complicated here but will be a great foundation-building experience.
16. Green Day – When I Come Around
Time to test your skills a bit with a more fast-paced tempo. Green Day’s “When I Come Around” was released in 1995 and is one of the band’s most popular songs.
“When I Come Around” has a more fast tempo and incorporates a few fills along the way. This song has repetition written all over it so it only requires you to nail down 2 bars and you’re golden.
It will test your speed but will greatly improve your skills for future songs. If you’re playing with a pick, the up-down pattern will be crucial here, or, if you’re using your fingers, speed is key!
17. Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
Time to loosen up those fingers and get funky! “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry was released in 1976 and is one of the most popular funk songs of all time. The bassline in “Play That Funky Music” is very simple but fun to play.
This song will test your chord knowledge and rhythmic skills. With a funky beat that will get you moving, this song is perfect for beginners who want to add some spice to their playing.
The only real challenge here is to see if you have the funk within you! This is an incredibly fun song to learn and will be a great motivating piece for any beginner bassist.
18. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Joining the ranks is another Nirvana song, this time it’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The song is iconic and was released in 1991. The bassline in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is easy to play but will require some practice.
This song uses a lot of power chords and will test your chord knowledge. With a more grungy bassline, this is an excellent song to add to your repertoire.
As far as song structure goes, this is a pretty straightforward deal. The only test is to see if you can be on the beat to the millisecond. If you’re using a pick then the up-down motion will be crucial yet rewarding for future songs.
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside
You probably weren’t expecting a RHCP song but here we go. “Otherside” was released in 1999 and is one of the band’s most popular songs. Time to build those calluses with this iconic piece.
This is a very playful song to learn and is a bit more challenging than most on this list, simply because it requires some sliding up and down the bass. This will build your calluses and provide much-needed experience for future learning.
“Otherside” is beginner-friendly nonetheless, with some simple and playful notes, the only challenge will be to loosen your fingers along the way and get those slides down without giving up in the process.
20. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People was released in 2010 and is one of the most popular songs of the past decade. The bassline in “Pumped Up Kicks” is easy to play and perfect for beginners.
This is a song that most will probably recognize within seconds. The bassline is very playful and will ultimately test how you double your notes within a bar. Apart from that, it should be a straight shot from start to finish.
21. Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
The next one on the list is Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”. The song was released in 1977 and is one of the most popular songs of all time. The bassline in “The Chain” is easy to play and perfect for beginners.
This song is all about keeping the tempo and staying on beat. Apart from that, nothing too complicated with the song in its entirety and should be an easy session for any beginner.
22. Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
Here is a truly iconic bassline to have under your belt. “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz was released in 2005 and is one of the band’s most popular songs. The bassline in “Feel Good Inc.” is easy to play but will require some practice.
This is a chance to have one of the most memorable basslines of all time in your arsenal. Once you get the bassline, it’s all repetition afterward. This should be done within the hour and you will be motivated to keep progressing and learning.
23. Chris Isaak – Wicked Games
“Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak was released in 1989 and is one of the most popular songs of all time. Most people probably already know this song without even hearing it, as it’s very popular.
“Wicked Games” is a pretty straightforward deal when it comes to the bass. The true test is to see if you can keep time and have precision when executing the notes. With nothing too complicated along the way, it’s only a matter of rhythm.
The song has a slow tempo so taking this step by step will be easy and will ultimately result in an iconic addition to your repertoire.
24. The Offspring – Pretty Fly For A White Guy
Let’s spice it up a bit with The Offspring. Their song “Pretty Fly For A White Guy” was released in 1998 and is a very good beginner song if you want to slowly progress your playing skills.
“Pretty Fly For A White Guy” is a playful song, to say the least. This will be a good test to loosen your fingers and play around the neck of the bass. The fills are well within range to be considered a beginner-friendly song so it should be good and fun to learn.
With a fast-paced tempo, there are a few challenges along the way but nothing over-complicated. With a slide here and there, this song has everything to push your skills further.
25. Green Day – 21 Guns
After that challenge, we slow it down a bit with another Green Day song. “21 Guns” was released in 2009. This is a very beginner-friendly bass song to learn and have under your belt.
“21 Guns” is very simple and has a slow tempo attached to it. With a simple chord progression, it is only a matter of staying on beat. This is also a good song to improve your up-down pattern if you’re using a pick as the tempo allows for fluid use of this technique.
Everything about this song screams beginner so it should be an easy night for every starting bassist, give it a go and see for yourself.
26. The Police – Every Breath You Take
Another Police song on the list, this time it’s “Every Breath You Take”. The song was released in 1983 and is one of the most popular songs that you’ve probably already heard countless times.
This song will test how you are at staying on the beat as it has a motion from start to finish that does not deviate whatsoever. Along the way, you also have a few octaves to get that little finger moving and improving.
Other than that, this should be a walk in the park and will ultimately improve how you keep a tempo while at the same time providing you with another iconic song in your arsenal.
27. Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
What better way to learn the bass than with a Bob Marley song to keep it light and fun. His song “Three Little Birds” was released in 1980 and is one of the most memorable basslines in history.
This song is a great beginner song that will test your chord progression skills. The majority of the song is based on two chords so it should be a breeze. With a bouncy and happy feel to it, this is a perfect song to brighten up your day.
Not only is this song simple to learn and master, but it will also ultimately show you that learning the bass can be fun and light in the process. That is the power of a Bob Marley song.
28. The Cranberries – Zombie
You probably already know this one just by reading the name. “Zombie” by The Cranberries was released in 1994 and is one of the most popular songs in history.
Now, this song is a true beginner one to help you along the way of progression. With a slow tempo attached to it, it will revolve around how you keep on the beat without missing a note from start to finish.
Apart from the straight tempo and bass notes, this should not have any surprises along the way. Keep on the beat and this will be a cakewalk.
29. Dio – Holy Diver
Let’s get that up-down motion pattern down with Dio’s “Holy Diver”. The song was released in 1983 and is one of the most popular heavy metal songs of all time.
Nothing about this iconic song should scare you, trust me, it’s a pretty straight shot from start to finish with a steady tempo of the up-down motion I mentioned (in case you’re using a pick). The only bump in the road might be the octaves, which with a little practice will be down and ready in no time.
Having a Dio song in your repertoire will hype you up and motivate you to keep practicing and improving!
30. Toto – Africa
Time to finish off the list with an incredibly popular song. Toto’s “Africa” was released in 1982 and has been covered by countless artists over the years. This should be a very easy one for beginners as it is based around two chords with a slow tempo.
This song will be a test of how you double your notes while keeping the rhythm throughout. Going back and forth from verse to verse should be fun once you have the notes down.
“Africa” is a true beginner bass song but one to help you on your way while improving your skills. Keep it on the beat and have fun as that’s the only way to stay motivated and keep improving.
Playing bass can be a fun and rewarding experience, as well as a challenging one. With the right songs and approach, you can improve your skills in no time. These 30 beginner bass songs are a great way to get started, and I hope you enjoy every minute of it.
With variating challenges, this list has a little something for everyone. From well-known hits to hidden gems, these songs will get your bass playing journey off on the right foot. Remember, practice makes perfect!