Easy and Popular Songs to Play Bass for Beginners

Easy and Popular Songs to Play Bass for Beginners
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Best easy and famous songs for bass, perfect for playing by beginner bassists, with tab and tutorial video.

Famous and easy songs for electric bass

Finding easy bass songs that you like is critical to learning to play. Famous and popular bass lines that you like will give you motivation, and if they are easy, you can master them quickly to enjoy your electric bass. Thus, your learning will become an exciting journey.

Plus, there are so many things to learn as a beginning bassist: new songs, new techniques, and the wonderful world of music theory. Also, there are so many sources of information available ranging from YouTube tutorials to specialized song tablature websites to learn that it can be a bit overwhelming when you’re just starting out.

For this reason, here at Guitarriego we put together this definitive guide to the best easy songs for beginners. Here you will find easy, famous and funny bass lines, perfect for bass students to learn to play.

This guide is designed so that as you progress on your bass guitar journey, you will have the right material for your skill level. Otherwise, the learning process can become frustrating. Therefore, the songs are ordered based on their level of difficulty, starting from the easiest to the most difficult or complex.

We have chosen 30 popular and easy songs to play on the electric bass; so any aspiring bass player can have fun learning, we’ve also provided video lessons and tabs to help you out!

Also, we invite you to visit our guide on the best cheap electric basses for beginners.

List of the best easy songs to play bass for beginners

  1. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
  2. 21 Guns – Green Day
  3. Yellow – Coldplay
  4. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
  5. Wicked Game – Chris Isaac
  6. Come Together – The Beatles
  7. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  8. Longview–Greenday
  9. Under Pressure – Queen
  10. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
  11. Come As You Are – Nirvana
  12. Money – Pink Floyd
  13. Super Freak – Rick James
  14. La Grange – ZZ Top
  15. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
  16. Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
  17. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
  18. Otherside – The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  19. Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz
  20. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
  21. I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
  22. Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) – The Offspring
  23. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
  24. Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson
  25. For Whom The Bell Tolls – Metallica
  26. Billie Jean-Michael Jackson
  27. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
  28. Bombtrack – Rage Against The Machine
  29. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
  30. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People

Before you start, remember to tune your electric bass, use our free online guitar and bass tuner.

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

Click here for tab for Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

Detroit Michigan power duo The White Stripes are famous for their rawer, more organic sound. ‘Seven Nation Army’ has a clear and mostly easy bass line, ideal for beginners learning to play.

This song is very simple and easy to play, just a 7 note phrase played mostly on one string. Thus ‘Seven Nation Army’ is a perfect piece of music for a beginner to learn and enjoy as the bass leads the song.

21 Guns – Green Day

Click here for tab for 21 Guns by Green Day

21 Guns by Green Day was the second single from 21’st Century Breakout, the band’s eighth studio album. This song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The official music video for the song has nearly 400 million views on YouTube.

The song has an amazing melody, very slow tempo, and lots of breaks. Thus, this is one of the best easy songs for a beginning bass player. 21 Guns has everything you need so you can easily learn it on your electric bass. It will give you time to put your hands in place and be ready for the next note. The advice here is that in the octaves at the beginning of the chorus, you’ll need to make sure the 2nd string is muted properly so that only the required 2 notes are heard.

Yellow – Coldplay

Click here for tab for Yellow by Coldplay

Coldplay, the 25-year alternative rock-pop band, have achieved massive commercial success with more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, seven Grammy Awards and nine Brit Awards.

His song Yellow is very easy to play on bass even for a beginner. This hit from the British band features a very simple progression, played at a slow BPM and all in simple 4/4 time. Thus, this is one of the easiest songs for bass students.

Another One Bites The Dust – Queen

Click here for tab for Another One Bites The Dust by Queen

Queen is one of the most popular british bands. His songs are easy to learn and also recognizable by anyone when you play them with your friends. Additionally, Queen is one of the top five best-selling bands of all time with over 150 million albums sold worldwide. Another One Bites the Dust is one of the most famous and iconic songs that has a unique bass that everyone knows.

This song is simple to play on the bass and uses the staccato technique, playing the short notes, quickly muting them with the right hand.

Wicked Game – Chris Isaac

Click here for tab Wicked Game by Chris Isaac

Wicked Game by Chris Isaac was originally released in 1989 and hit the top ten in 1990 thanks to the movie ‘Wild at Heart’. It is a very easy song to play for someone who is just starting to play bass thanks to its super slow tempo. But it’s also an emotionally engaging song.

Another thing to note is that most of the time in the song you play on the low E string following a simple progression, perfect for a beginning bassist. Also, it stands out because it will expose you to using passing tones, since the sixth fret on your low E is used as part of the main motif.

Come Together – The Beatles

Click here for tab for Come Together by The Beatles

The Beatles have produced some of the most popular and successful songs of all time. The band from Liverpool have dozens of iconic songs from the history of Rock. Thus, The Beatles is the best-selling band of all time with an incredible 600 million albums sold worldwide. 

Come Together is the perfect song to learn if you are a beginner, as it is not difficult in terms of speed, but it will introduce you to some basic techniques such as sliding. Also, it will allow you to play notes higher up the fretboard.

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

Click here for tab for Stand By Me by Ben E. King

This song is a popular hit in the Soul and R&B genre. This is Ben E. King’s most successful single, reaching number 1 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Covered on virtually every instrument from piano to ukulele. Thus, this is an ideal song for a beginning bass player to learn. With a friendly tempo and a single motif throughout the entire song it is easy to learn to play on the electric bass.

Longview – Greenday

Click here for tab for Longview by Greenday

Greenday is one of the most popular bands in the punk rock genre. This punk band has achieved a level of success with 5 Grammy Awards won and more than 75 million albums sold worldwide.

Longview by Greenday song with very interesting bass parts that are great for the beginner. The main bass line is followed by some intervals where you have to play 2 notes.

Under Pressure – Queen

Click here for tab for Under Pressure by Queen

Under Pressure by Queen is a song with one of the most popular bass lines ever. Furthermore, Under Pressure was written in collaboration with another British legend, David Bowie, and is one of their most successful singles.

The song opens with a legendary bass riff that everyone instantly recognizes. This bass line is used throughout the song. With just two notes, this bass riff is perfect for beginners. Once you’ve mastered the main motif, you’ll refer to it again in the other sections of the song. Undoubtedly, this is an excellent song that every bassist should have in his or her musical repertoire.

The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

Click here for tab for The Chain by Fleetwood Mac

The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, brought back to popularity in the Guardians of the Galaxy film, is one of the band’s most popular songs, going double platinum in the UK with over a million in single sales.

This song has a typical rock structure, which makes it easy to memorize. The bass of this song has a preponderant role, marking the strength and rhythm. It is an excellent song to learn to play using the metronome for any beginner.

Come As You Are – Nirvana

Click here for tab for Come As You Are by Nirvana

Nirvana, the band that invented Grunge with its raw style, has popular songs that are ideal for beginning bassists. Come As You Are by Nirvana is a high-energy song with a hint of melancholy behind it, as the contradictory lyrics encapsulate the difference between who we really are and how society expects us to act.

Musically, the song does the same, making use of passing tones, notes off the scale of the song that help you return to a note of the scale, which add to the song’s gloomy feel. This is one of the best popular and easy to play songs on bass for beginners.

Money – Pink Floyd

Click here for tab for Money by Pink Floyd

It might surprise you that a band in the progressive and psychedelic genres like Pink Floyd would have easy songs. This song is an excellent song for beginners to learn to play. ‘Money’ is also a hit single from the hit album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’.

This song fuses the progressive genre and blues, and although it is an easy song for beginners it has some strange time signatures that include 7/4 and 3/4 time. So be sure to check out the Tab for a helpful visual guide on how to count this, and always remember to use the metronome! This is one of the best easy bass songs for beginning bassists.

Super Freak – Rick James

Click here for Rick James’ Super Freak Tab

This is probably one of the most recognizable and popular bass lines of all time. Ironically, this bass line shares its popularity with its use on MC Hammer’s single “U Can’t Touch This”. In addition, the Rick James song is on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

This song is very easy to play on bass even for beginners. This bass line consists of a single 1 riff. The song focuses on the lower part of the bass fingerboard. The key to this song is to employ good economy of motion by using your free fingers to play the necessary notes and avoiding overstretching.

La Grange – ZZ Top

Click here for La Grange Tablature by ZZ Top

La Grange by ZZ Top is the perfect song for the beginning bass player who wants to play classic Rock Blues. This piece of music is easy to play, but it has a lot of swing. It is one of the best songs for beginners because of how easy and fun it is to learn to play it on the electric bass. It only has a handful of notes that follow a pretty classic blues chord progression. 

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

Click here for tab for Three Little Birds by Bob Marley

Bob Marley is the most popular and iconic reggae musician. His songs are characterized by having an optimistic and hopeful message, inspiring his fans to become better and more positive people.

This message of positivity is conveyed through his music, rhythms, and melodies. That’s exactly why Three Little Birds is so great for any beginning bass player to learn. Thus, this fun and easy bass line is one of the best songs to learn to play electric bass. The tempo and notes are relatively easy, the most challenging part of this piece of music will be keeping the rhythm.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash

Click here for Tablature for Should I Stay or Should I Leave by The Clash

Should I Stay Or Should I Go is a classic song by the English punk rock band from the ’70s / ’80s called The Clash. The hit Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’ reinvigorated this punk anthem. Thus, this song has become a piece of music that all young bassists want to learn.

This song is very easy to play and memorize. The biggest difficulty is his breaks. Make sure you stay on top of the rhythm so you can come back at the right time.

Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

Click here for tab for Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream

Cream is one of the biggest rock bands of all time. The band formed in England in the late 1960s and have sold tens of millions of albums worldwide. In addition, it is famous because its guitarist was none other than the legendary Eric Clapton. Sunshine of Your Love is a single from his most popular album, Disraeli Gears.

This is a great song to learn if you are a beginning bass player. Sunshine of Your Love will get you moving across the fretboard and will also expose you to the magic of the “Blue Note”, the B5. Thus, this is one of the best bass lines if you like the genre of Blues and Classic Rock.

Otherside – The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Click here for Otherside Tab by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

If there is a famous bassist, it is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea. One of his most popular songs is Otherside. This piece of music is excellent for challenging the beginning bass player. Otherside requires quite a bit of technique, including string skipping, sliding, and the confidence to play higher notes on the fretboard.

Thus, this song is ideal for beginners who want to take a step forward. If you have some of the basics of the instrument and are looking to improve it a bit, this is the challenge you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to slow the song down a bit until you have it all down. Remember that it is always better to learn slowly and speed up later to make sure you don’t develop bad habits.

Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz

Click here for tab for Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz

The Gorillaz is a ‘virtual’ band, made up of successful musicians. Behind the band made with 2D animations, is the composer Damon Albarn of the band Blur. Gorillaz aimed to explore other styles of music such as hip-hop and electronic, combined with a rock foundation.

Feel Good Inc. is a song that has the electric bass as the protagonist and thanks to its ease and catchy melody it is great for beginners to learn to play. The song has a BPM of just 139, which means medium difficulty. But all the positions on the electric bass fingerboard are quite comfortable, so you should have no difficulty in mastering this bass line.

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

Click here for tab for All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

‘All About That Bass’ by Meghan Trainor is a 2014 song that went to number 1 in a large number of countries. This popular song became a Diamond, which means it sold more than 10 million copies in the US.

The song has the same bass line with some significant pauses. It is important that you are aware of the rhythm and that you enter at the right time after each pause. It’s a fun, upbeat, fun song for any electric bass beginner.

I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown

Click here for tab for I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown

James Brown is ranked 7th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Musicians of All Time. Undoubtedly, I Got You (I Feel Good) is one of the best-known songs of the Soul & Funk genre.

The massive popularity of the single and its distinctive bass line make it a great song for any aspiring bass player to learn. It is essentially a 12 bar blues song. Also, this bass line has some string skipping and bends to try out your various techniques. It will be quite a challenge to finish the song with his 4/4 at 168 bpm, but you will enjoy it!

Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) – The Offspring

Click Here for tab for Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) by The Offspring

If you like punk rock, this will be one of the best easy songs to play on electric bass. The Offspring are one of the most popular bands of the 90s punk revival. Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) from their fifth studio album is one of their most famous songs.

The song’s bass line itself is the epitome of catchy, ideal for a beginning bass player to learn. This song not only has bass lines that work out well, but also uses passing tones. Also, the song does not have many unique parts, which will make it easier for you to learn.

Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne

Click here for tab for Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

Crazy Train is Ozzy Osbourne’s first single as a solo musician. Released in 1980 with their album ‘Blizzard of Ozz’.

This iconic song has a great bass line, which combined with the guitar riff sounds great. Playing this song on the electric bass is relatively easy even for a beginner.

Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson

Click here for tab for Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, the ‘King of Pop’, was legendary for his great voice, energetic rhythms, catchy melodies and dance moves. Thus, the instrumental side of the music was really remarkable because Michael Jackson was accompanied by great musicians.

Smooth Criminal is one of the most iconic songs and its bass line is fantastic, it has a great choice of notes. This song is noted for its great rhythm and requires some right-hand dexterity to play at its speed. But you can slow down a bit -BPM- until you master the patterns.

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Metallica

Click here for tab for For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica

Metallica is one of the most popular metal bands. For Whom The Bell Tolls is one of the best songs on their second album Ride the Lightning. This song features one of the best electric bass riffs played by the great Cliff Burton.

If you like the heavy metal genre this is one of the best easy songs to learn to play bass for beginners. We recommend adding some distortion to your electric bass and also a Wah pedal. Enjoy powerful song for beginning bassists.

Billie Jean-Michael Jackson

Click here for tab Michael Jackson by Billie Jean

Michael Jackson is a pop legend, and his songs are characterized by being recorded with the best session musicians of the time. Billie Jean is one of his most popular songs, and it is mainly driven by the bass motif. This single is one of the biggest ever, going 5x platinum, which means more than 5 million copies sold, in the US alone!

What makes this song friendly is that most of it focuses on a bass motif. This is what would technically be called an ostinato; which is where one instrument plays a short, repetitive melody and the rest of the music moves around that. It may seem a bit difficult at first, but with practice, this song is perfect for learning to play bass even for a beginner.

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Click here for tab for Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Nirvana’s most popular and iconic song was Smells Like Teen Spirit from the album Nevermind. Even this song was rated as one of the best songs of all time with cumulative sales of more than 6 million just for this song. In addition, the official music video on YouTube has more than 1.3 billion views.

The song has an aggressive main riff, but easy to play even for a beginner. There’s nothing overly technical about the song and its repeating sections.

Bombtrack – Rage Against The Machine

Click here for tab for Bombtrack by Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against the Machine are legends in the alternative metal and rap space. The band accumulates more than 16 million albums sold worldwide. The band’s songs are perfect for any beginning bass player looking for something to rock out to.

Bombtrack begins with a powerful bass line that plays straight sixteenth notes. No doubt the song’s intro will be a challenge for any beginning bass player, but it serves as a picking exercise. Then the rest of the song is very rhythmic and above all very fun to play. The octaves between the 2nd and 4th frets of the chorus give it excellent detail.

Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Click here for tab for Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry reached number 1 on the US R&B charts in 1976 with their self-titled debut album. His single ‘Play That Funky Music’ sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

The song has a singular motif that will follow the chord changes as the song progresses. So the first step is to master the main pattern, then the rest of the song will come easily to you. This song is perfect for beginning bass players learning to use the Hammer-on technique.

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People

Click here for tab Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People

Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People went viral in 2010. With this song the band catapulted their popularity, which allowed them to work with iconic electronic musician deadmau5.

Pumped Up Kicks is a popular bass song and quite easy to play, ideal for beginners. This piece of music has a fairly fast tempo of 128bpm, which can be a bit challenging, making it a perfect song for developing your electric bass skills. Plus, this excellent bass line will have you putting into practice those hammer-ons and pull-offs you’ve been learning.

Final Tips on Easy Bass Songs for Beginners

If you are a beginning bass player, this songbook is perfect for you to learn to play the electric bass. With these bass lines you will be able to advance in this wonderful world of music. It is true that in the beginning it is easier to play the bass than a guitar, since chords are not normally used. But mastering an instrument always takes a lot of practice and study time.

These songs combine the enjoyment of playing great popular songs while learning to play the electric bass. Thus, you will achieve great motivation, which will enhance your musical learning. One last piece of advice, know the song cover to cover before you learn it.

If you want to go a step further, we recommend our tutorial on how to read sheet music and learn to read music for bass and guitar.

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Sebass Scala

I'm the Basses Editor at Guitarriego. I have a vast experience of 30 years playing the bass. I am a music and bass teacher. I was the bass player for Don Adams, Monovision, La Quimera, among others, with whom I recorded several albums and played in large stadiums at international events. Currently my band is Boxes where I am the vocalist.

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