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50+ Beginner Bass Songs For Great Technique

Are you (or do you know of) an aspiring bassist looking for the perfect set of beginner bass songs to get to grips with?

Well, look no further!

As you’ll no doubt agree; things can be tough as a beginner bass player.

Not only will you have to nail your coordination and timing, but you’ll also have to get used to holding your fingers in all sorts of uncomfortable positions (did we tell you about the blisters yet..?)

As a result, it’s essential to make sure you get off on the right foot by learning the right sort of songs. These should be songs that are not only fun to play, but that’ll also develop your technique in the right way.

In this article, our team of writers-slash-former-beginner-bassists have compiled an ultimate list of the top 50+ beginner bass songs you need to learn, including free video lessons, tabs and an insight into why each track is a good fit for beginner bassists.

Let’s get started!

The Songs

1. Come Together (The Beatles)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

If there’s one song with a bassline so distinct that most people can recognize it within seconds, it’s The Beatles’ Come Together. This is an excellent song for beginners because it’s not too tricky while still being a crowd-pleaser. It’s particularly good for getting to grips with your fingerstyle technique. 

Tab available here.

2. Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

Another distinct bassline is that of Walk on the Wild Side. Because it has a very slow tempo, you can take your time switching handshapes which makes it a great learning song for beginner bassists. 

Tab available here.

3. You Really Got Me (The Kinks)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

The tuning for this classic track is standard, as most in this list will be. The Kinks are an iconic rock band, and this song is perfect for beginners because it mainly consists of just one main riff. It’s great for learning to play with a pick. 

Tab available here.

4. The Chain (Fleetwood Mac)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Anything by Fleetwood Mac is fun to listen to and fun to play. This bassline is quite straightforward for a beginner. Jump ahead to the bass guitar solo which happens around the 3-minute mark for the best bass section.  

Tab available here.

5. Pumped Up Kicks (Foster The People)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This track is laid back and on the simpler side. It’s perfect for beginners because it has one standard bass riff throughout the song with just one brief deviation. Once you have the riff down, you’re set for the whole track.

Tab available here.

6. Another One Bites The Dust (Queen)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Another One Bites The Dust is excellent for any bass guitarist as it was actually written by the group’s bassist, John Deacon. Once you get the rhythm down, you’ll have it in your repertoire forever. 

Tab available here.

7. Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

Livin’ on a Prayer features a fair amount of note repetition and the occasional switch-up. It may be more difficult than other tracks on this list, but it’s definitely not too complicated for a beginner. It’s particularly useful for learning how to play across all four strings. 

Tab available here.

8. For Once in my Life (Stevie Wonder)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

Stevie Wonder is arguably one of the greatest musicians of all time and the bass guitar parts in his songs are no exception. For Once in my Life is one of the better ones for beginners, with the track relying heavily on the bass part.

Tab available here.

9. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Dreams is a great beginner bass song as it mainly rocks between just two notes. It’s particularly good for learning both fingerstyle and dynamics, while also forcing you to settle into a tight groove. 

Tab available here.

10. Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will pop up a few times in this list because they’re known for excellent bass guitar. Give It Away lets the bass shine through without being overcomplicated.

Tab available here.

11. Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Smoke on the Water is one of the most common first songs learned by budding guitarists around the world. Its introduction is iconic and a blast to play. This recognizable part will definitely impress your friends and family!

Tab available here.

12. Stand By Me (Ben E. King)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This is another universally known bassline. It’s been sampled in numerous other songs for its catchy and pleasant sound. It’s ideal for any beginner bassist because it has just one progression throughout the duration of the track.

Tab available here.

13. Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This White Stripes number is very straightforward and perfect for a beginner bassist while at the same time, a pleasure to play. 

Tab available here.

14. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

How could we discuss bass guitar without mentioning Nirvana? Smells Like Teen Spirit primarily repeats the same progression throughout, so it’s perfect for beginners. Plus, every bassist needs a Nirvana track in their repertoire.

Tab available here.

15. Feel Good Inc. (The Gorillaz)

Tuning: Eb Ab Db Gb (1/2 step down from standard)

This Gorillaz track deviates slightly from standard tuning, but don’t let that scare you. It’s ideal for a beginner and of course, quite the jam. 

Tab available here.

16. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

Billie Jean is another one of those songs that can be recognized almost right off the bat plus the bass guitar part stays within the same note progressions throughout. It’s great for learning how to skip strings on the bass. 

Tab available here.

17. Moondance (Van Morrison)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Moondance is full of soul and thus, features some great bass guitar. Try it out even if you’re just getting started as it’s a relatively simple track.

Tab available here.

18. Roxanne (The Police)

Tuning: E A D G

Talk about iconic. Roxanne is great for learning how to settle into a tight groove, while also being a tonne of fun to play. 

Tab available here.

19. Santeria (Sublime)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Santeria is a fun one to play. We recommend starting with the chorus as it’s simpler than the verses. 

Tab available here.

20. Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This one is perfect for learning triplets as a beginner, while also being a super iconic bassline to have in your repertoire.

Tab available here.

21. Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Sweet Emotion is repetitive and thus, a good one for anyone bassist just getting started. 

Tab available here.

22. Yellow (Coldplay)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Yellow may be the right track to begin with. The bass part is extremely simple and a nice one to have under your belt to give you the confidence to move on to more complicated tunes. 

Tab available here.

23. Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Smooth Criminal is another repetitive and straightforward bass guitar section that was practically made for a new player. It can be played either fingerstyle or with a pick, but sounds particularly good when played fingerstyle. 

Tab available here.

24. With Or Without You (U2)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This U2 classic features 9 notes throughout so is another excellent place to get started. You’ll have it down and memorized before you know it. 

Tab available here.

25. Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars)

Tuning: Drop D (D A D G)

Uptown Funk features some, well, funky, techniques. Firstly, its tuning deviates from standard by tuning down to drop D, so be sure you tune correctly.

It also has some interesting breaks and pauses that give it that funky feel, so it may be one for later down the line in your beginner bassist journey.

Tab available here.

26. Three Little Birds (Bob Marley)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This Bob Marley classic is perfect for beginners because it features just a few notes throughout. Once you get those nailed, you’ve essentially got the song. 

Tab available here.

27. Redemption Song (Bob Marley)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

While we’re on the Bob Marley topic, we must mention Redemption Song. Though there isn’t a specific bass section, the intro is a good one to learn if you’re just starting out. 

Tab available here.

28. Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Speaking about funky music, this Wild Cherry track is another great song for beginner bass.

Tab available here.

29. I Got You (I Feel Good) (James Brown)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

I Got You is an interesting track to play on bass and yet, rather uncomplicated. Start with the verses before taking on the funkier parts!

Tab available here.

30. The Pink Panther (Theme Song)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

If there’s one song out there with an essential bassline, it’s The Pink Panther theme song. Once you learn this one, you can play it without any other accompaniment, and everyone will recognize it. 

Tab available here.

31. Push It (Salt-N-Pepa)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This ‘80s rap track will get anyone grooving and it has one of the simplest bass guitar parts of all the songs on the list. It’s particularly good for nailing louder dynamics when playing fingerstyle. 

Tab available here.

32. Sunshine of Your Love (Eric Clapton/Cream)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

This is another iconic bass riff and yet, it’s easy! You can learn it in minutes and then impress anyone listening. It’s also pretty forgiving, meaning it won’t matter too much if you fluff the odd note to begin with. 

Tab available here.

33. Super Freak (Rick James)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

If you’ve ever seen the film, “Little Miss Sunshine”, you know this song. It’s great for settling into a tight groove, which is one of the most essential skills to master as a beginner bassist.

Tab available here.

34. Day Tripper (The Beatles)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Day Tripper is a beloved Beatles track and luckily, it’s quite easy to learn. It relies quite heavily on the fretting hand pinkie, meaning it’ll significantly build up your stamina. 

Tab available here.

35. Out of Time (The Rolling Stones)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

The bassline in this Rolling Stones song is super prominent, but can prove somewhat harder than others rhythmically. However, once you’re comfortable settling into a groove, you’ll love learning this one. 

Tab available here.

36. Like I’m Gonna Lose You (Meghan Trainor)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This Meghan Trainor song is smooth and simple. Plus, it’s a nice one to sing along with once you’ve got it down. 

Tab available here.

37. Longview (Green Day)

Tuning: Half step down (Eb Ab Db Gb)

This Green Day track is a little more tricky however once you get the hand shapes and movements, you’ll be able to play it well and the bass part is a tonne of fun. It’s particularly great for practicing your hammer-ons and pull-offs. 

Tab available here.

38. Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

Should I Stay or Should I Go is a great bass beginner song because it features the same few notes throughout. Plus, everyone knows it so it’s a real crowd-pleaser. The slow tempo makes it particularly good for focusing on your technique without having to worry about speed.

Tab available here.

39. When You Were Young (The Killers)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

When You Were Young is practically made for beginner bass guitarists. The bass part holds the track together and is a blast to play, featuring just one main chord progression throughout most of the track. 

Tab available here.

40. Mr. Blue Sky (Electric Light Orchestra)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

Mr. Blue Sky is an ideal beginner bass track. The song is primarily geared around one core progression, however, the bass part brings the whole track together and keeps it moving along as it was intended.  It’s also great for learning how to play staccato.

Tab available here.

41. Holiday (Green Day)

Tuning: Standard (EADG) 

Holiday is the kind of rock song that you can’t help but move your body to. Luckily, it’s not too complicated and well within the range of possibility for beginner bass guitar players. There’s lots of repetition, which makes it easier to memorize and play at tempo.

Tab available here.

42. Human (The Killers)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This The Killers track is very simple. You’re primarily playing the same notes back and forth the whole time, making it a great one to start out with.

Tab available here.

43. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica)

Tuning: a quarter step above standard tuning (E#A#D#G#)

This song differentiates itself because you’ll need an amp and some distortion if you truly want to replicate the sound Metallica intended for it. The bass riff is considered one of the greatest of all time and once you have that distortion, you’ll channel your inner Metallica.

It’s particularly good for learning how to play in the upper range of the fretboard.

Tab available here.

44. London Calling (The Clash)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This is our second Clash title on the list because The Clash undoubtedly know how to write a rocking bass guitar part. Once you have the bass section down, make sure you play along to the accompanying drums or at least a metronome as the rhythm is key to the song.

Tab available here.

45. Otherside (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for the killer bass guitar sections in their music. “Otherside” is no exception. The solo begins the song and stays constant throughout; it’s a great one for any beginner to learn because it’s fun to play and essential to the track. 

Tab available here.

46. 21 Guns (Green Day)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

We had to include another Green Day track as their songs are filled with excellent beginner bass guitar parts. It’s a straightforward progression and perfect for those just starting out. You’ll want to play along to the recording while you’re practicing as the drums bring the whole song together. 

Tab available here.

47. Money (Pink Floyd)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

We couldn’t complete this list without at least one Pink Floyd number. Money has a very distinct bass guitar part. Once you get it down, you’ll want to play it for anyone and everyone as it’s a ton of fun to play.

It’s also written in 7/8 time, making it great for learning how to play in unusual time signatures.

Tab available here.

48. Wicked Game (Chris Isaak)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

This beautiful track was practically made for the bass guitar. It has a couple of different progressions which makes it slightly more difficult than some of the others on the list, but it’s well-worth the trouble to learn.

Tab available here.

49. La Grange (ZZ Top)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

La Grange has just 4 different riffs, so is ideal for a beginner bassist. If anyone knows how to rock, it’s undoubtedly ZZ Top. 

Tab available here.

50. All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor)

Tuning: Standard (EADG)

To end off the list, we couldn’t help but throw Meghan Trainor’s hit song, “All About That Bass”. The bass section is the star of this one, which seems fitting considering the title. Plus, it’s a simple progression and rhythm that continues throughout the track. 

Tab available here.

Closing Thoughts

We’re sure this list has armed you with the perfect set of songs to learn as a beginner bassist! If you enjoyed this article, why not check out our list of beginner fingerpicking songs for guitar next?

About Author

I'm George; the founder of Indie Panda. I'm passionate about helping independent musicians realize the full potential of their talents and abilities through a strong work ethic, coherent project identity and a strong logistical foundation.