9 Easy Bass Songs For Beginners | With Tabs And Backing Track
Looking for easy bass songs to learn? We’ve got just the right ones for you!
If you are a beginner, you may be intimidated by other bassists who can slap like a beast and have incredible repertoires. Everybody started somewhere, so you just need to learn your pentatonic scales and first bass songs to progress on the instrument.
When learning bass songs, it’s important to pick songs within your ability- it’s not only fun to learn easy songs but the feeling of mastering a song is also motivating and keeps you yearning for more.
For your convenience, I have compiled a bunch of easy songs, complete with tabs and backing tracks so you can get started on learning them. At the bottom, I have also put together a short list of my favorite bass songs you can try learning after you’ve mastered the easy ones. Let’s get started, shall we?
9 Easy Bass Songs For Beginners
1. Bombtrack – Rage Against The Machine
Being a beginner doesn’t mean that you have to stick to a boring song with slow beats. This banger by Rage Against The Machine has a punchy bass line with hard-hitting sixteenths. If you haven’t been working with a metronome, this song is excellent for drilling in some practice with your picking and fretting hands
I find this to be a fantastic alt-rock song that captures raw emotions and intensity. The chorus and octaves might be tricky on the first try, but you will get it. Have fun grooving with the track!
Here’s a bassless version you can jam along with:
2. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
The key to a good melody is repetition- and you are going to learn just that with the Seven Nation Army. Though the song originally had bass parts played on a guitar played through a pedal to lower the sounds an octave down, it’s an iconic song for both guitarists and bassists alike.
The song is in the key of G major- so you get to explore the key that has an F#, and the rock song is filled with rhythm variations to keep you interested. It can be easy to not care about the beats but I would suggest counting the beats so you know when to change parts.
Here’s the bassless track so you can practice along with the song.
3. Baba O’Reily – The Who
Baba O’Reily by The Who is one of my favorite songs to play on accordion and keyboards. The song does sound tricky at first, but the bass parts are super easy.
Unlike most of the songs on this list, Baba O’riley has lots of rests- and you can either count the beats or play your parts by feel. The parts are simple, but you can play around with them to see if you can come up with something interesting.
As a bass player, you really want to get stuck playing boring songs. Sure, you will learn them faster, but songs like Baba O’Reily help you become a better musician, and it’s worth the effort. I would suggest first writing down the tabs and then practicing with the track below.
4. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Smells Like Teen Spirit is an iconic song, and just like that- you’re bound to have many heads turn your way. The song is in 4/4 and you won’t have any issues with it – it’s the perfect bass song for beginners.
The bassist Krist Novoselic has certainly done a great job with this song. If you don’t want something technical and just want to enjoy playing easy bass parts, this aggressive rock song is just the perfect match!
5. Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
Ready for some blues? Smoke on the Water is a well-known beginner song on the guitar, but originally, it’s in the key of G minor which can take some getting used to.
You are playing eighth notes, octaves, and holding the fort with moderate-paced notes. It does require some stamina, so if you have never played long parts before, you will definitely walk away with a lot of endurance and patience.
The song is hella groovy, so you will certainly enjoy learning this!
6. Pink Floyd – Money
Pink Floyd is one of those great rock bands that you either like or don’t – regardless, their progressive songs have a lot that musicians can learn from. Money is from the “Dark Side of The Moon” album and it sure hits differently with the funky and interesting parts.
One of the reasons why I’m so in love with this song is- Money does have some tricky odd-time stuff and delves into blues as well, but it’s a bass song you will definitely fall in love with.
As a bassist, you need to have a good command over odd time signatures, and this is a terrific introduction to 3/4 and 7/4, just remember to keep your metronome nearby!
7. Bob Marley – Three Little Birds
Fancy some reggae beats?
Next on the list, we have Three Little Birds in A major key – it’s a rather simple tune with upbeat grooves and happy vibes. Just play along to the track a few times, jamming is great when you don’t have to worry about fast or tricky parts.
It’s also a lesson in keeping a positive outlook in life; so many things to learn from this reggae-inspired song!
8. Green Day – Longview
You’ve probably already heard Longview as Greenday is a household name. The punk-rock band has many fantastic songs, and the best part is? You will find the parts interesting, and you may even use some parts in your own songs later!
If you’ve only played single notes, it’s time to spice things up, you are playing intervals here! This song is also a memorable one, so learn this nice and slow, and record it for your friends to enjoy.
9. Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Black Sabbath holds a special place in the heart of every guitarist who is into rock and heavy metal. Turns out, Ozzy Osbourne’s songs not only have incredible guitar parts but also memorable bass parts.
Crazy Train is surprisingly easy to play on the bass, and you will love jamming along to the hard beats. You will also learn to do staccato mutes when the verse section comes around, so brace ahead for that!
Tips For Learning Bass Songs As A Beginner
Using a tuner is the single most important thing if you want to play riffs by ear later on. Having a good ear is a valuable asset for any musician, and tuning strings every time after picking up the bass will pay dividends as far as ear training is concerned.
I recommend the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip – it’s a neat chromatic tuner that will let you tune the bass, guitar, drums, ukulele, and pretty much anything. You also get an Extended warranty of 3 years.
The ability to keep time and stay in the pocket, in sync with the drummer, is what separates an average bassist from a great bassist. You want to start out slow and easy, and gradually increase the tempo while making sure that each note is crisp and sounds distinct. You don’t want your playing to be sloppy.
You can also use an app on your phone for this but having a real metronome in front will help you avoid any distractions. Practicing with a metronome is a fantastic idea to drill those eighth and sixteenth notes in your head.
Recommendations? I am not a fan of cheap metronomes- those never last. I’ve been using DB-30C Dr. Beat Metronome by Boss for years, and it’s not that expensive. I don’t see any reason why you should talk yourself out of having a decent metronome.
I know most of you will say that having a bass guitar teacher is expensive, you need to arrange your schedule to accommodate a lesson and it’s not probably for you. As somebody who has had several guitar teachers and bass teachers over the years, I agree with that.
Online lessons are cheaper and you can learn at your own pace but there’s a huge caveat. If you play with incorrect technique, there is nobody to correct you. Most instructors will be happy to point out your mistakes and suggest proper techniques- just schedule a 10-minute session in your area once a week or so.
Picking up bad practices is easy, but it can take years to undo the habits you’ve gotten into and develop good practices. It doesn’t even have to be a teacher- if you know somebody who plays bass, you can ask them to check if there are any mistakes in how you hold or play the instrument. Most players are happy to help provided you aren’t bugging them constantly.
Next Steps- Beyond Easy Bass Songs
Now that you’ve drilled the easy bass songs and have mastered them, you can try to play some of these songs. They aren’t necessarily more difficult, but they just don’t sound like beginner bass songs. Take it slow, practice till you get it down, and you will have mastered them in no time at all!
1. Green Day – 21 Guns
A simple song with a thoughtful message- perfect for beginner bassists looking for an easy song to learn on the bass. The song is in F major, and has a 159 bpm which can feel fast but it’s pretty easy once you get some practice.
Sounds amazing too!
2. Paul McCartney – Coming Up
Up for Funky songs? Coming Up is a groovy song that will have you shaking your head while you play.
The Beatles legend also has plenty of songs you may want to check out if you want to learn more about how the iconic band used to write hit songs.
6. Schism – Tool
One of my all-time favorites, the band with four Grammy awards, and one of the more challenging songs to play on the bass with odd time signatures all over the place.
If you are trying to learn this song, I will just say this- it’s only as hard as you make it out to be. Just have some patience, learn the song slowly, and over time, it gets effortless.
Learning bass songs is fun, and with the list of easy beginner bass songs that I’ve put together, you can expect to impress your friends and family, and more importantly, level up your bass skills.
I think the best way to learn bass parts and work on your hearing is to watch other players play songs you want to learn. That’s also the reason why I’ve included play-along tabs by bassists so you can watch and learn what they’re doing.
It’s also important to recognize where bass sits in the grand scheme of things- taking a look at EQ cheat sheets is also something you may want to do if you want to get into the production side of things in the future.
You may have seen bassists like Charles Berthoud and thought to yourself- “man, that’s insane!” You can achieve that too, you just need to practice consistently and invest your time and money to get better every day.
If you liked this post, you may also want to read our post on putting bass strings on a guitar!
FAQ On Easy Bass Songs
Are Nirvana songs easy to play on the bass?
Yes, Nirvana songs don’t have many technical parts, but even when they do, they are fun to play. You should certainly try getting into the band’s songs.
What song has the best bass line?
There are tons of songs like Green Day’s 21 Guns, Gorillaz’s Feel Good Inc, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, etc, but I feel like Tool-Schism has the best arrangement.