When you’re just starting out on bass, it can be tough to figure out where to start. Luckily for us, there are plenty of tracks that are easy enough for beginners but still fun and exciting enough for more advanced players. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best beginner bass songs.
The Beatles’ “Come Together” is one of the best and easy songs to learn on bass guitar. It has a moderate speed and requires only basic techniques that can help beginners ramp up their skills.
But there’s definitely a lot more!
Now let’s talk about our favorite easy bass guitar songs, as well as a few tips on how you can learn them yourself.
1. Come Together by The Beatles
“Come Together” is one of the most iconic Beatles songs, and it’s also one of the easiest songs to learn on bass guitar.
It was a popular choice for music stores to include in their demo collections.
The song starts with a simple repeating riff by the left-handed Paul McCartney that works up to a chord-based chorus that moves quickly but isn’t too difficult for beginners.
The verse sections are made up of single notes, making them easier to play than some other songs in this list.
2. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
“Another One Bites The Dust” is a classic 1980 song by Queen that has been covered by many musicians.
It was written by Freddie Mercury and released on the album The Game. The song is widely known for its iconic bass line, featuring staccato notes played in a funky syncopated rhythm.
This makes it an easy song to learn for beginners who want to improve their bass-playing technique!
3. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes is a good song to play.
Why? Because it has a great bass line by Jack White that you can learn easily, and it sounds cool when played on the bass guitar.
The song is easy to learn because it only requires a 7-note phrase, mostly on just a single string. You’ll also enjoy playing this song because it’s enjoyable to learn and play!
4. Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash
This song is a classic by The Clash. It’s been covered by numerous artists and bands over the years and even gave the Netflix series Stranger Things its name.
It’s a great tune to learn if you’re just starting out since it has an easy 4/4 rhythm that flows throughout and a few easy chords. Plus, there are only two sections to this one: Verse 1 and Verse 2.
The song itself was written by Joe Strummer & Mick Jones in 1982 when they were still with The Clash.
5. Otherside by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
If you like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and want to try something a little bit different, this song is definitely worth checking out.
The band is known for owning the stage with its powerful stage presence and high energy levels. This song has many different good techniques that will help you learn new things, such as sliding and string skipping.
It’s ideal for those who already know the basics but may be quite fast for a beginner, so feel free to slow it down as you learn!
6. Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
The song, which was released in 1980, features Osbourne’s first solo single.
It’s a hard rock tune that falls into the genre of heavy metal music and is considered one of her most popular songs.
He wanted to write something that would be similar to their earlier songs but had more energy than anything they had done before. The simple riff you hear throughout this track is very catchy and fun to play on bass guitar!
7. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
This is one of the more popular songs on this list, and with good reason.
It was nominated for Song of the Year at the 57th Grammy Awards, and it has a great rhythm to play along to. This song can definitely give you more energy just by playing it—which is always a great thing!
In terms of difficulty, I would say that “All About That Bass” is an intermediate-level song because there are some tricky sections, but overall, this is an easy bass guitar piece that you can learn quickly. It’s also fun to play!
8. I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown
James Brown was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He ranked 7th on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Musicians of All Time.
Everyone sure is familiar with this tune due to its commercial success. In fact, it’s considered one of the best songs ever!
This is a 12-bar blues song, so beginners can learn some string skipping techniques as well as how to play in 4/4 time signatures at a fast tempo of 168 bpm.
9. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People
This song is a good one to start with because it’s a catchy tune, and its repetitive beats make it easy to learn.
The song garnered popularity in 2010, and it’s the song that put the band on the map.
It has an upbeat tempo, but precision is key since there are fast rhythms.
10. Yellow by Coldplay
“Yellow” is a song by the British rock band Coldplay. It was released as their third single from their debut album “Parachutes” in 2000.
This song is about someone who has been in love with someone for so long but they just can’t seem to get together because of certain circumstances.
It’s a great tune that highlights what makes you want to play bass: it has an amazing melody line with minimalistic accompaniment, which allows you to really dig into those grooves!
11. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
The legendary reggae icon is known for his uplifting and positive messages conveyed through melodic songs that people can sing along to.
“Three Little Birds” has become one of the most perennial favorite songs of young bass players because it’s an easy song with an upbeat feel.
Even though this song is mostly up-tempo and doesn’t require any tricky fills or complicated rhythm changes, it still requires a solid sense of timing from the player.
The melody is very catchy and easy to follow (especially if you listen to the original recording), so even beginners will find themselves singing along after playing this tune just once or twice!
12. Money by Pink Floyd
“Money” by Pink Floyd is a great song for beginners. It’s a classic rock tune that has been covered by many bands, and it’s quite easy to play.
Although it can be challenging at first because of its odd time signatures of 7/4 and 3/4, you can expect to produce a really unique sound once you get it right.
The main riff is pretty straightforward, so you’ll be able to get started quickly while learning how to use your fingers on different frets effectively.
13. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana is another great example for beginners to start with.
The band’s biggest hit from their Nirvana album was released in 1991 and became a huge success. The song has an energetic main riff and is a perfect song for beginners who enjoy rock music.
The main riff of this song consists of two chords that are played in eighth notes, meaning there are eight notes per beat instead of the typical four or six notes per beat (in 4/4 time).
14. Come As You Are by Nirvana
This is one of Nirvana’s most famous songs, and it’s no wonder why.
Written by Kurt Cobain, this grunge song offers a lot of what made the genre so popular: powerful lyrics and vocals that are both melancholic and uplifting at the same time.
The tune uses passing notes, giving it its melancholic feel. It’s such a powerful song without being too complex to learn for beginners!
15. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
This is a classic Michael Jackson song that everyone knows.
It’s in a 4/4 time signature with a moderate tempo, and it will require a bit of right-hand dexterity than usual, but it’s worth it.
You are free to reduce the tempo as you start to learn and increase it as you master the song.
Everyone knows this song, and is always a fun song to listen to. You’ll never go wrong with this!
16. Longview by Greenday
The band Greenday is an icon in the punk rock world. They’ve won five Grammy Awards and have sold over 60 million records worldwide.
This song is great for beginners because it’s fairly easy to play, having only four chords and a simple song structure.
It’s also fun to learn with interesting bass parts that help players learn to pick two notes simultaneously.
17. La Grange by ZZ Top
As one of the most popular blues songs of all time, “La Grange” by ZZ Top is often enjoyed by guitar enthusiasts and beginners alike.
The band has sold more than 50 million albums all over the world. This song follows a usual blues chord progression and requires a lot of energy to play, but it’s definitely worth learning how.
It’s also a great practice for new bass players because you don’t have to worry about keeping up with other instruments while playing this one!
18. Stand By Me by Ben E. King
“Stand By Me” is a song originally performed by Ben E. King and covered by many artists, including John Lennon and The Beach Boys.
The song uses a single motif all throughout. It’s an easy chord sequence to learn but requires practice to master, as there are several variations in tempo.
If you’re starting out learning how to play bass guitar or are still trying to get comfortable with playing music on your own instrument, then “Stand By Me” could be just what you need!
19. Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream
This iconic song was written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown and released by Cream in 1968.
It was the band’s first song, and it reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart. Cream is one of the most renowned bands of all time, and this is the band that birthed the legendary Eric Clapton.
This song will give you exposure to the B5 note or the blue note, a note known to add an incredible amount of personality to the bassline.
20. Wicked Games by Chris Isaak
“Wicked Games” was released in 1989, but it took a year for the song to become a hit. It is played on the low E string and in a straightforward chord progression.
While this makes it easy for beginners to pick up, it does make it sound like just another guitar track (which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective).
But don’t let that distract you from how great it is! You’ll have plenty of time later on to explore more complex music—after all, there’s no better way to hone your skills than by learning songs you love!
21. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
“The Chain” is a great song for beginners! The bass line is easy to play, and it sounds good even if you’re not very good at playing the guitar yet.
Nevertheless, the guitar solo in this song is truly relentless in its own right.
The chorus of this song might be familiar to you because it’s been used in Formula One racing coverage, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movies, and countless commercials over the years.
“The Chain” is one of the classic alternative rock songs that everyone knows and loves to play on the guitar or bass.
22. Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz
“Feel Good Inc.” is a song by Gorillaz and written by Damon Albarn from the band Blur.
It was released as a single in 2005 but later included on their debut album, Demon Days.
The song has a catchy beat and lyrics that are fun to play on the bass! This song is played at a fair tempo of 139 bpm. That’s not extremely difficult to master despite the speed.
23. For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica
As a bass player, you want your band to be recognized for their musical talent.
You want people to know that you’re not just “that guy with the bass guitar.” A great way to do this is by playing one of the most iconic riffs of all time.
Any Metallica fan can recognize this song from its opening notes, which have become synonymous with bass guitarists everywhere. Just like Cliff Burton did on stage back in 1971, play it loud and proud!
24. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Billie Jean is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the second single from the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982).
This single has sold over 5 million copies in America alone! That’s no small feat if you ask me!
The bass motifs carry the whole theme of the song, so technically speaking, it could be described as an ostinato. You’ll find that with a bit of practice and guidance, playing “Billie Jean” isn’t as hard as it seems!
25. Under Pressure by Queen
“Under Pressure” is another Queen Song performed by David Bowie.
It’s a classic song that was recorded in 1981. It was originally released as a single, but its most well-known version is on their album Hot Space.
This track’s beat is pretty similar to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”.
The iconic bass riff by John Deacon from “Under Pressure” can be played with few notes because of its simplicity, which makes it easy for bass beginners to learn.
The intro riff has been copied over time by many other artists trying to recreate that classic sound!
26. Bombtrack by Rage Against The Machine
Rage Against the Machine is one of the most iconic indie rock bands of all time. Their self-titled debut album is packed with angry riffs and lyrics that resonate with listeners today.
“Bombtrack” was released in 1993, towards the end of a decade that saw heavy police brutality against unarmed African Americans across America.
This track features classic bass lines played in straight 16th notes; it’s one of those songs beginners should learn on guitar because you can really feel how fast your fingers move when playing along with it!
27. Pretty Fly For A White Guy by The Offspring
The Offspring is an American punk rock band formed in 1984.
The Offspring’s song, “Pretty Fly For A White Guy”, was released in 1998 on their fifth studio album, Americana.
It has a catchy bassline matching the catchy lyrics that make it easy to play and sing along to.
I highly recommend starting your bass journey with this song, as it will give you confidence in playing more difficult songs later on down the road!
28. Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
“Play That Funky Music” is a simple song to learn and play. It was written by Rob Parissi and recorded by Wild Cherry, who released it in 1976 on their self-titled album.
The song uses a single motif with some chord changes here and there, so it’s an easy one to memorize.
So if you’re just starting out on bass guitar and want an upbeat jam that’ll get your fingers moving without too much trouble, look no further than this tune!
29. Super Freak by Rick James
“Super Freak” by Rick James is a classic of the genre.
Originally recorded in 1972 by The Commodores, this song was re-released in 1981 by Rick James.
It ranked number 477 on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list published by Rolling Stones magazine. The same bassline was also used in MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”
This song has very easy chords and only one riff throughout its entirety, meaning that you can easily learn its music without having to remember too many notes or chords!
30. 21 Guns by Green Day
This song is by American rock band Green Day from their eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown.
It was released in 2009 and nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song.
It’s fairly easy to learn and play—thanks to its slow tempo, which gives you plenty of time to shift your fingers between chords.
31. Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down
This song is a classic. It’s one of those songs that everyone knows and loves, regardless of their musical taste.
The bass line in this song is played by Todd Harrell, who uses a simple rhythm with some interesting notes and a beautiful groove.
The song has an easy fingering technique that beginners can play on their first try as long as a sheet music guides them.
You’ll learn about how to play with your fingers instead of using a pick or other types of fingerings, which makes it easier than most other bass guitar songs for beginners.
32. Chameleon by Herbie Hancock
“Chameleon” is a funk jazz song by Herbie Hancock and it was released in 1973.
This song only has two chords, even if it lasts for 15 minutes and 41 seconds.
All you need to do is master the basic patterns and techniques outlined below, then try playing along with the recording until you get it right!
33. Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
This funk classic is a great song for bassists of all levels.
If you’re just getting started, the song only requires two chords: Em9 and Gm9.
The basslines follow these two chords throughout most of the song; in fact, they only require you to play on the 5th and 7th frets for most of it!
34. Tonight, Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins
If you’re looking for a song that’s both catchy and easy to play, this one is for you.
The bass line isn’t too difficult, but it does require some speed if you want to keep up with the tempo of the song (which can be quite fast).
The lyrics are also simple enough that even beginners can enjoy them without getting confused.
“Tonight, Tonight” is a 1995 hit from The Smashing Pumpkins and features a bass line that’s easy enough for beginners but still fun enough so they won’t get bored after playing it over and over again.
35. Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor
Released in 2015, this song is not one of Meghan’s most famous.
But it’s a great song and an excellent choice for anyone starting their bass journey. The slow tempo and uncomplicated fingerstyle make it an easy track to play and learn.
If you can hear the bassline in your head, you should be able to play along with this track with ease.
36. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
This song is a great choice for beginner bassists because it’s fun to play and the bass line is pretty catchy.
Today, it’s probably one of the most well-known songs out there—especially since School of Rock used it as one of their main tracks in the movie.
The tune itself has a very “catchy” feel to it that makes you want to keep listening over and over again.
And if you’re looking for some extra practice with your instrument, this song makes for an excellent choice!
37. Twist and Shout by The Beatles
This song is another classic from The Beatles.
It’s very easy to play and will get your listeners excited. It has a similar bass structure to Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.”
Bass players can follow the guitar in this song, but they should also make sure that they play their own notes between the guitar chords.
This will create more rhythm and give the listener something extra to listen to while they groove along with the chorus of this upbeat tune!
38. You Really Got Me by The Kinks
This is a great song for beginners of all ages and skill levels. It’s easy to play but still sounds so cool. It gained even more popularity when Eddie Van Halen and his band covered this track.
It has a 4/4 time signature and is pretty simple overall, with just one bass part that plays over the entire song.
If you have an ear for music then this will be easy to pick up on your own! But if not, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help get you started.
39. Circles by Post Malone
“Circles” by Post Malone is one of the best ways to practice strumming and fingerpicking, which makes it a great beginner song.
This soft track has an upbeat feel that doesn’t overpower the lyrics, making it easy to sing along to.
The guitar part is simple enough for beginners to learn quickly and can be used in many different ways, such as open chords or thumb-up strumming. The catchy melody will get stuck in your head each time you play it!
40. Enter Sandman by Metallica
The song is also one of the most popular songs played on bass guitar in general. It’s easy to see why.
The opening riff has been frequently imitated and copied, but it’s still pretty hard to beat the original.
In “Enter Sandman,” he kept his bassline straightforward and simple with an emphasis on power chords—which makes this one easy for beginners as well as pros alike!
41. Dakota by Stereophonics
If you’re looking for an edgy song that any crowd can enjoy, look no further than “Dakota.”
The track is Stereophonics’ only chart-topping single and has some catchy guitar riffs. This, indeed, is an ideal beginner-friendly song.
It’s also easy to play with your fingers or pluck the strings and requires very few chords. If you’re just starting out on bass guitar, this is a great tune for beginners.
42. Lonely Boy by The Black Keys
“Lonely Boy” is a song from The Black Keys, an American rock band that won a Grammy in 2011.
This song has a medium tempo and a simple chord progression which makes it suitable for beginners.
If you are looking for easy bass songs for beginners then this is one of them.
43. Rolling In The Deep by Adele
“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele is one of the most famous songs by the British singer-songwriter, Adele.
This song has been used in numerous movies and TV shows and is known for being a crowd pleaser.
The build of this song makes it perfect for a jam session with friends or family. The bassline is simple but sounds good when played together with other instruments such as guitar or piano.
Anyone who would listen to this song will definitely be impressed by its beautiful lyrics and melody, but they won’t expect that you are playing bass guitar!
44. Killing In The Name by Rage Against the Machine
This song is a bit more challenging compared to the others on this list, but with practice, even beginners can nail it.
The main bass riff of this song is one of the most iconic riffs in rock music. It was released in 1992 and has been covered by many other artists since then.
To play this song on your bass guitar, you’ll need to tune it down from standard tuning to drop D first.
45. She Loves You by The Beatles
If you’re looking for a song that has a light faster tempo than the ones we’ve covered so far, this one is perfect for you.
The fast tempo will challenge not only your speed and dexterity but also help you unleash more of your bass skills.
Not only does it have an addictive melody but also an unforgettable intro riff that will surely get stuck in your head for days on end!
If there ever was a song that will make girls go crazy about playing bass guitar then this would be it!
46. Don’t Forget Me by Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Don’t Forget Me” is a good song to help you learn how to palm-mute.
Although palm muting open strings is utilized by guitarists more than bassists, it’s still an important skill to learn to become a good bass player. In this track, Flea demonstrates that he knows how to make his bassline really stand out for the rest of the song.
It’s also an effective track for practicing because there are many different techniques used throughout that can help you develop your skills.
47. Message In A Bottle by The Police
“Message In A Bottle” is a song with a bass line that repeats itself frequently in an almost hypnotic fashion.
You’ll find yourself playing along with the music, but it’s also not intimidating, as there are only four notes in each section of the song.
That makes it easy to learn in an afternoon and gives you plenty of opportunity to practice your skills!
48. Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
This song is great for beginner bass players. It’s also a true guilty pleasure for guitarists, and the incredible riffs are a blast to play.
The bass line in this song won’t be too hard, but it does have some tricky sections that will challenge your fingers and ear training abilities.
If you’re just starting out on bass, this is an ideal song to tackle!
49. With Or Without You by U2
The next song is “With Or Without You” by U2. This famous rock ballad was released more than three decades ago but its fame continues to this day.
The chord progression itself is very simple and only has four notes, so it’s definitely an easy one to add to your repertoire.
The song also features a catchy melody with just a few chords on the bass tab that can be learned quickly as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest song to play on the bass?
The easiest song to play on the bass is “Longview” by Green Day.
This is a great beginner’s song because of its simple intro and main riff, which can be easily memorized and played over and over again. The song mainly includes just four notes played repeatedly, so there’s not much to remember.
The song also has a simple verse, chorus, and bridge structure, which makes it easy to master.
What is easier to learn: bass or guitar?
If you’re considering learning how to play either one of these instruments but aren’t sure which one would be easier for you, then let me help.
The electric bass guitar is much easier for beginners because it has four strings instead of six.
As far as skill level goes, there isn’t much difference between them since aspiring bassists and guitar players both require a lot of practice sessions and patience.
In fact, some people argue that learning guitar first is a great opportunity to make playing bass easier because certain chord shapes translate well into those positions.
If you want to dig deeper, check out this recent article I wrote regarding which is easier between bass and guitar.
Should I play bass with a pick or my fingers?
You can use either a pick or your fingers to play bass, but it’s a good idea to start with a pick. That way you don’t also have to build up calluses on your fingers which can be painful and take time to develop.
That being said, many bassists find that they have more control over the sound of their instrument with their hands than they do with a pick.
Also, though, if you ever plan to play funk music, fingers will always be better as you can slap the bass as needed.
If you want to develop your skills as an electric bassist and make better music in general, practice is essential.
So as I said, if you don’t know how to play an instrument yet—like the guitar or piano—then it’s best for you to start off playing with a pick. This is because it will be easier for your fingers and hands until they get used to playing instruments properly.
But there’s a big difference in the sound of a bass played with fingers vs a pick. So ultimately what you want it to sound like also matters.
Here are some of the most famous bass players who play with their fingers:
- Duck Dunn (session bassist for many Stax Records Motown songs from the 60s and 70s)
- Jack Bruce (Cream)
- Geddy Lee (Rush)
- Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
And here are some of the most famous bass players who play with a pick:
- Paul McCartney
- Chris Squire (Yes)
- Roger Glover (Deep Purple)
- Mike Dirnt (Green Day)
- Matt Freeman (Rancid)
Some players, though, use both methods depending on the sound they want in a particular song. Those include:
- John Entwistle (The Who)
- John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
- Sting (The Police)
- Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
Personally, I like playing with a pick (that’s me in the main pic at the top). I am decent with fingers and pretty good at slap bass. But most of the time, I like the precision of using a pick and I like the defined click of the strings you get with that too.
Now you’re ready to play some fun songs on the bass!
These easy bass guitar songs for beginners are just a few of the many options out there.
The key is to find and learn new songs that you enjoy and that suit your skill level so you can truly have a lot of fun during your bass lessons. If it’s too hard, try something else until you find something that fits perfectly for you.
Feel free to utilize this list of songs to learn on bass to make it easier for you.
Image by Paulo Cesar Ventura from Pixabay