The future of music

30 Easy Bass Songs for Beginners with Videos

May 30, 2023
easy bass songs

When starting out trying to learn how to play the bass guitar, you want a few easy bass songs for beginners.

Many people opt for learning the bass with the ignorance that fewer strings mean an easier task. 

Granted there are no real chords to master, the instrument still takes time to learn to play well.

The process is much like learning the guitar and the fundamental theory required is pretty much the same.

If you already have guitar experience the process is streamlined from the start.

But if not, get a few fundamentals down like the notes of the strings, correct positioning, etc., and then take a look at this list of easy bass songs.

We have tried to include a mixture of fun rock, pop, and contemporary songs that offer room for you to grow as a player. 

Some of them will push you a little but none are overly complex and all of them make for great practice.

So let’s take a look at some easy bass guitar songs for beginners.

1. “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen

A key piece of criteria for an easy bass guitar song is a simple but recognizable riff. 

It doesn’t get much more familiar than this 1980s Queen song.

The simplicity of John Deacon’s bassline is astounding, with very few notes to think about and just the right amount of rhythmic creativity it drives the entire song. 

It stays true to the chord progression, so you won’t feel lost and sticks more or less to one string as well making it a  perfect starting point, for a beginner bassist.

As you will already know the melody by heart it will be easier to recognize your mistakes as you are starting out.

Once you get into the groove it is also a great practice piece for improvisation later down the line.

2. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

Another very recognizable bassline that doesn’t waiver too much or demand heavily of a player is “Seven Nation Army”. 

It is an idyllic newbie tune to tackle and is heavier, making it fun to turn up and play.

There are only seven notes in “Seven Nation Army”.

Coincidence? Maybe?

The rest of the accompanying song has a very strict drumbeat so you have an easy metronome for practice.

The speed is pretty relaxed for a heavier piece so it shouldn’t be too taxing to try at full speed from the get-go once you have made sense of the tab.

The White Stripes being a duo didn’t actually have a bassist.

The bassline is instead played on a down-tuned guitar. 

Once you have the nimble fretting down you can rock out in your bedroom and imagine yourself as a guest bassist.

3. “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

This one might be a curveball…

It sounds more difficult than it is.

So don’t be instantly put off, especially if the music genre isn’t necessarily to your taste. 

“All About That Bass” has some great bass fundamentals to learn that we guarantee you are going to employ in countless other songs later down the line.

The playful bubble-gum bass line has a retro 1960s vibe.

There is a bit of a boogie-woogie edge to it, making it rhythmically interesting to sink your teeth into. 

It follows a loose bluesy arpeggio that in turn follows the chord progression.

You are going to find this progression used in a range of pop and rock so it is well worth learning the changes.

4. “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

Despite being written over 60 years ago this bass line withstands the test of time. 

It is wholesomely familiar and still gets pilfered to this day as a skeleton for multiple genres. 

The roots follow one of the most infamous chord progressions of all time so it is well worth any bassist learning. 

Once you have learned it and progressed as a bassist you are going to notice much of what you play further down the line bears a resemblance.

So get started early and get it out of the way.

The bassline is unchallenging; there are four essential sections and each has a solid pattern that makes it a breeze to play.

5. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

Reggae bass lines are also important to have a go at regardless of whether or not it is the style you aspire to play.

The syncopation and the movement that they require are important skill sets that are transferable to other genres. 

Being able to play a bouncy reggae rhythm will believe it or not make you better in general when you write your own impressive heavy metal bass lick.

If you are looking for a reggae song to try then we have to recommend you pick a song by the legendary Bob Marley. 

His 1977 hit “Three Little Birds” is slow which gives a beginner time to wrap their head around the vibe of a reggae piece.

Of course, he has many more challenging upbeat tracks but we suggest sticking with a laid-back tune to start with.

This one requires learning three groovy sections.

It has some nice easy slides that compliment the character of the piece and you can develop your picking in a relaxed manner thanks to the pace.

6. “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry

Now this one is far faster than those we have suggested so far but many of us fall in love with bass for its funkiness.

Loads of funk songs will make you fancy buying a bass guitar but not so many that make for an easy beginner’s bass song.

“Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry is our suggestion for three reasons;

  • It centers around two chords.
  • The verse utilizes just two frets.
  • It also has bass breaks for you to rest and prepare for the following section.

However, the chorus is going to require some flexibility and dexterity and probably make you feel like you have bitten off a little more than you can chew.

The note transitions are fast but you will improve as a player tenfold tackling something so challenging early on.

As with anything else, slow it down, and don’t give up!

This one is a rewarding achievement and you’ll love funking out when you can play it through.

If it’s too much try focusing on just one section for now, the descending into riff is an impressive enough goal for a newbie bassist.

7. “Money” by Pink Floyd

Who expected this one on the list?

This Pink Floyd classic is considered a bass staple because it has such a distinct bass line. 

The song just wouldn’t be the same without the iconic riff that bounces below the verses on the bass guitar. 

The real pull of the piece is its time-signature exploration.

It uses a 7/4 signature which is now very commonplace within the genre but at the time gave it a very unique rhythmic undercurrent that swings back to the bar.

Bassists have to grasp the art of rhythm early on together with the drummer they create the rhythmic foundations of any song. 

The 5/4 and 7/4 might be a challenge to wrap your head around in general. 

But, as it is so recognizable you should be able to play along with this one without thinking too deeply about the bars and beats if you learn it as sections.

If you can play this rhythm you will go on to be able to play anything.

8. “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton

The verse has a repetitive four-note pattern and a three-note walk-down.

You are playing with your own groove against the rest of the band which means you can hear yourself within the mix well. 

The speed is steady and there isn’t too much work to add the faster-fingered note changes as flourishes later. 

There are seven notes involved in its entirety making it a good starter bass song to learn. 

Not to mention it’s a classic.

9. “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down

Todd Harrell’s bass line on “Kryptonite” by Three Doors Down presents a more interesting option in terms of rhythm but once again it isn’t complex. 

You don’t have to learn any specific fingering techniques to get a basic version of it going.

The intro and verses are good beginner speed and even as things get a little trickier in the chorus section it isn’t going to require mind-bending skills.

Break the song into two pieces, if managing the held notes of the verses is all that you are up to for now, then be patient with yourself.

It won’t take much to achieve the faster picking rate that is required.

There are no big jumps, you are only really quadrupling up the previous parts of the song bar a few note changes.

10. “Yellow” by Coldplay

Every new bass guitarist should think about this track as a great starter piece for their repertoire.

Some muting technique development is going to be needed.

But in terms of notes and pattern repetition, it ticks all the boxes of an easy bass song for beginners.

You have three main notes to play with and a few thrown in later that will add a little challenge and make you feel like you are pushing yourself somewhere.

It is very ostinato in places which is a good opportunity to make sure you have reliable picking because you can check each note is ringing adequately.

Above all else, it teaches you the basics of rhythm and fingerstyle with its slide-ins without being overwhelmingly technical.

11. “Longview” by Green Day

On the subject of fingerstyle, “Longview” by Green Day is another song with a bass line that serves as a great exercise for aspiring bassists.

Your fretting fingers will need to be coordinated and flexible and you need a good idea of rhythm to recreate the meandering feel as your fingers walk. 

It is on the more intermediate side on the surface because it introduces some double-note picking for the harmonies.

You also have a great slide intro and some palm muting to contend with.

However, the pattern is repetitive and features very few notes and you will feel proud to have the happy bouncing riff in your beginners’ bass repertoire.

Remember you will need to down-tune a half-step on each string for it but this is again another bass skill to acquire early on.

You could learn it with your strings as they are but you won’t be able to play along to a track without transposition.

12. “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple

When it comes to famous bass lines that are easy to reproduce, why not go with Roger Glover’s iconic well rooted riff that anyone can recognize in an instant?

Despite the verse’s simplicity, it is a high-impact riff that offers a few beginner bass skills and wisdom to impart.

Get to grips with the quarter note picking and octave jumps and take it slowly when it comes to the more demanding parts of the piece.

Don’t worry about the variations that come along the way, stick with the core melody and learn to keep the tempo where it needs to be which is a challenge enough for a starter. 

You can revisit the piece for the solo sections once you have a bit more bass study under your belt.

This one should be viewed as a long-term goal for a beginner on the bass.

13. “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks

Another heavier-sounding riff that is very straightforward is “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. 

If you struggle with “Smoke on the Water” it might be an easier choice. 

The only real struggle with this one is it is a fast-paced doozy.

You only have a two-note alternating pattern to learn which slides up a semitone as the song climbs and the pattern moves down a string. 

You also have to hang notes between the sections to give your fingers a rest whilst you try to keep up.

It is a great song for beginners on the bass because you can practice your dexterity between the first and fourth fingers.

This is something you will find yourself using a lot as you continue learning the instrument.

The riff itself is easy to nail but the speed will be your most challenging factor.

14. “La Grange” by ZZ Top

That boogie-woogie-inspired rocking blues track can be split into four different sections to learn in chunks.

Dusty Hill’s bassline is a driving force beneath it all and beginner friendly for the most part.

The main hurdle with “La Grange” is the picking speed so make sure you are well warmed up and ready to tackle it with some gusto.

Learn it at half tempo before you attempt the considerably fast full-speed version.

The second section is similar to the first in a different location but requires a little more note-hopping.

It kicks things up a notch but only incrementally making it a solid progressive path for a learner.

Then you have some more relaxing open string on and off motions that let your hand relax a little.

15. “Under Pressure” by Queen

While this one has a few more sections to work on than the previous suggestions it is much simpler than you might suspect for a Queen song.

The intro involves some furious plucking to get that iconic riff that Vanilla Ice fell in love with going.

You get to use your upper frets which we haven’t done at all yet too.

Once the song kicks in the riff moves down an octave and walks itself down the chord progression easily enough.

The octave picking is a good technique to have as a beginner and there isn’t too much demand from the majority of the song.

The underpinning bass line is the stability of the piece.

Which has almost theatrical dynamics.

You are the foundation and so it is more straightforward than the other instrumental parts that play alongside.

Again take this one section for section, find and accept your limitations and try not to get frustrated.

You can come back to the more difficult parts when you are ready to.

Consider it a work in progress.

16. “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles

Okay, this next one might be on the challenging side because of its upbeat groove.

But Rock and Roll’s bass scales feature throughout every genre when you start picking it apart. 

There are plenty of Beatles’ songs for beginner-level bassists and this three-chord structured hit is a great goal post song to have in your song bank.

You can start by just following the three essential root notes and simplify it yourself whilst you get to grips with your bass guitar.

Ritchie Valens’ Latin dance hit “La Bamba” is pretty much the same and you will find the riff works well under most rock and roll. 

Once you are capable of exploring the bass line more and playing sound with it you will find a plethora of songs “borrow from” or center around this pattern. 

17. “Come Together” by The Beatles

We gave the Beatles two spots in this article and to be honest it could have been many more.

With their discography of over 200 songs (many pretty middle-of-the-road when it comes to the technicality), they have plenty of songs to offer that make them easy to learn bass songs.

The lackadaisical slides in this one and its unmistakable unique groove are what make it most appealing to learn as a budding bassist.

You get to play with your upper frets and explore tone as the motion gives you an unmistakable twang to replicate.

The note transitions in “Come Together” are what give the song its chilled and curious vibe. 

The technique for this might be tricky at first but you’ll love playing this one- we guarantee it.

18. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by The Clash

As it is played with a nonchalant attitude people think punk requires less musicality. 

Many punk bass lines are rapid-firing root-plucking tunes at high tempos some have more finesse and present traveling basslines.

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” actually sits somewhere right in the middle and presents a good beginner bass song. 

It is easy enough to follow and familiar to most people, so you will have a good idea of how it should sound but best of all not boring.

The chorus section with its walking bass is a great goal to work towards. 

You are going to need some dexterity to get the job done but it is something to be proud of and surprisingly easier than it sounds.

19. “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac

“The Chain” is a musical hodge-podge made up of song idea material that never made it to the full cut.

All members of Fleetwood Mac contributed to it and so it takes the listener on a wild unpredictable journey. 

The bass takes absolutely “forever” to come in but this gives you time to get into the mood and groove and prepare for what is coming!

You will get plenty of rest as bass only kicks in for choruses so you have breathing space and it is slow-paced plodding and simple all key for an easy bass song. 

Before the track tails off you get that joyous high-octane outro with the iconic bass riff that will have you jumping around your practice space. 

20. “Come As You Are” by Nirvana

Ask most bassists and guitarists for the first ten songs they learned and this one often features.

“Come As You Are,” has a memorable bass line that is easy to play competently.

It can be played quite sloppily so you don’t have to get it perfect; it adds to the grunge style.

Krist Novoselic tuned his bass a whole step down but it can be learned in standard tuning.

It won’t take long to get the hang of this recognizable riff.

21. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

If you fancy something stimulating in a similar ilk then you might want to push yourself to learn “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. 

The faster tempo and unapologetically intense vibe this one gives off will help encourage you to learn this Grunge essential.

It is a more challenging option and will not suit every beginner.

But for the ambitious learner keen to get developing rhythm accuracy it’s a great practice piece that is still as popular as it once was.

22. “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

This one is super easy to learn all the way through; the bass line follows the root notes in an ostinato manner only occasionally taking the listener elsewhere.

We could have opened with this track given the simplicity it offers to a learner.

It is a great first song for anyone looking to learn the bass guitar.

We have left it further down because we are following it with another police track that is just as iconic but a little more demanding.

Scroll on if you want a challenge…

23. “Message In a Bottle” by The Police

“Message In a Bottle” has a lot more to offer in terms of rhythm and melody variation.

It is a little more engaging than every breath you take but can be broken into three distinct parts making it easy to learn to play.

The rhythmic placement is interesting yet it is still fairly easy to finger.

The faster sections of plucking under the “S.O.S” section will be tricky to push without working your way up to the speed.

But this once again makes it a good practice opportunity for a beginner.

24. “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz

This one requires down-tuning a half step to achieve the same sound as the band has.

But it is worth the hassle of a retune later to learn what has got to be one of the catchiest basslines to emerge from the new millennia.

Because of its notoriety, you will be able to impress those around you with what is a relatively easy repetitive bassline.

You probably know it by heart so with that predictability you’ll have an easier time learning it. 

25. “Muscle Museum” by Muse

This track features an almost time-keeping bassline that bobs between two notes each in the same fret on parallel strings before a little walk up and down.

That main riff then repeats and the speed is relaxed.

All key ingredients for an easy bass guitar song!

You have one other section which brings heavy octave bounces, again nice and slow. 

All in all, it’s a pretty easy piece but allows you to explore a different mood on the bass than some of the other tracks we have suggested.

26. “Circles” by Post Malone

“Circles” by Post Malone is a modern pop-rock track that has a bass line that is easy to play but serves up some rhythmic difficulty that should make for good finger exercise.

There’s no need to circumnavigate the length of your instrument’s neck, it is quite relaxing once you know the notes you need.

It’s sort of lulling and lilting in its somewhat off-melodic style.

It fits the song theme well once you have the notes you can play it in “circles”.

27. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

This modern pop chart-topper by Adele leaves more room to evolve as a bassist than it might appear on the surface.

It features some lower note drops that you might not expect and has a big build-up so you can learn the dynamics of playing your bass guitar.

It isn’t complicated in terms of notes and has no demanding hand gymnastics making it a perfect candidate for a beginners’ bass song.

Use it to practice momentum, the bass drives it beneath that heavy piano.

28. “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People

This viral treat features a jaunty upbeat bassline for such a macabre set of apathetic lyrics. 

It is repetitive, once you have the riff down you can get into the groove of it. 

The whole song revolves around the stability of the bassline and you have a good three minutes to get it going, making it a great practice piece.

It also allows you to work on your deadening as you need those shortened notes to give it the bounce.

The tempo could be challenging for some beginners so slow it down and practice without the track once you have the notes down speed it up until you can play along.

29. “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys

“Lonely Boy” has a simple one-riff loop that sort of plods beneath the whole thing. 

You don’t need to worry too much once you know how it goes.

It makes it a good piece for practicing your movement and stage presence.

The energy of the piece will push you to want to move whether you like it or not.

You have some double-ups but this bassline is about as easy as it gets!

Why not try and use it as a starting point to explore adding your own stamp?

30. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown

If you want something that presents a little more of a challenge then look no further than James Brown’s 1965 masterpiece “I Got You”.

We are leaving you with this one as a bit of inspiration. 

It is by no means the easiest song to learn on bass guitar but neither is it too tough!

There are three sections to learn.

Bounding between the octave will make you feel like a funky bassist from the get-go. 

You will have to take it slow until you have the pace for the quarter-note rundowns.

Although the fingering and picking will require a lot of practice it is a great exercise for any bass player and at least you will be familiar with how it ought to sound. 

This is step one when it comes to trying to learn any bassline. 

The video above slows it right down so hopefully, you’ll manage it with the right motivation!

Easy Bass Songs for Beginners – Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of today’s shortlist of easy bass songs.

How does it compare to yours?

Learning to play the bass is like learning any other instrument; it takes time, patience, and dedication.

We all want to emulate our favorite bassists.

Sometimes it can be disappointing to start at the very beginning with an uninspiring root and fifth bounces when you want to walk up and down the neck with finesse.

But every single one of the “greats” started somewhere.

So take it one step at a time.

Fingers crossed today’s article will give you some simple enough bass lines that have enough character to keep you from losing interest in your instrument.

You may also like: Best Bass Songs of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

view profile

songs starting with A
Previous Story

30 Songs Starting With A

blues chord progression guitar
Next Story

10 Best Blues Chord Progressions With Examples

Latest from Guitar

best metal guitars

10 Best Metal Guitars

Calling all wild things, our list of the best metal guitars beckons. As a metal musician, you have your own unique ethos,