Previously on this blog, I have written two different articles detailing great guitar songs for beginners. While those articles proved popular, it has occurred to me that I have neglected the bass a bit. As I offer guitar and bass lessons online and in person, it is time I wrote an article concerning my favourite 4 string instrument. So, this post will outline 5 great songs for those just starting out on bass. If you are a bass beginner, then try out these 5 songs to get some easy wins under your fingers. I have had great success as a bass teacher with these songs, so I can personally vouch for them.
Bass Lessons: Top 5 Beginner Songs
Before we dive into this list, I must point out that this article assumes you can read bass tab. If you can’t, then check out this link for a good explanation.
Now that you’re familiar with how to read bass tabs, let’s dive into the list with our first entry. Please note that this list is in no particular order of difficulty. Here is my first pick:
“With Or Without You” – U2
This pumping 8th note bassline from Adam Clayton is an ideal first bass tune for many. With its mid-paced tempo, “With Or Without You” is perfect for practicing the alternating fingerstyle technique on your picking hand. Here is the tab:
“She Sells Sanctuary” – The Cult
Similarly to “With Or Without You”, “She Sells Sanctuary” features a pumping 8th note bassline typically found in rock music. Although the chord progression is easier, the faster tempo makes this one more difficult for beginners practicing their alternating fingerstyle techniques. However, it is the same chord progression and bassline all the way through the song, which makes it great for bass newbies. Below is a tab for this classic by The Cult:
“Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes – Bass Lessons
After featuring this classic from The White Stripes in my “One String Wonders” guitar lesson, I thought it would make a great song for bass beginners to learn. Although it is performed on one string, it is perhaps slightly trickier than first assumed. This is because, unlike our previous examples, it changes notes more frequently. Furthermore, there is a slight stretch from fret 7 to fret 10, which is great for learning how to use your pinkie finger on your fretting hand. Here is the bass tab for the main riff to “Seven Nation Army.”
“Yellow” – Coldplay
Another 8th note style bassline, this time from Coldplay’s Guy Berryman. The intro and verse sequence for “Yellow” is quite easy for beginners to master, as the chord changes happen every two bars. Although I haven’t tabbed the chorus, this won’t present a problem once the main sequence tabbed below has been mastered. Here is the bass tab for the intro to “Yellow.”
“Sugar” – Maroon 5
The final entry is also the most up to date song on the list. “Sugar” by Maroon 5 is a simple yet effective root note bassline which makes it perfect for beginners to learn. Although the off-beat quavers in every bar may present a challenge at first, this is a good opportunity to learn about muting with the fretting hand. This will ensure the rhythms are performed effectively. Finally, if you are interested in the guitar part to this song, then check out the guitar lesson I posted on this blog for a guide on how to play it.
Bass Lessons For Beginners
Now that you have a good idea of which songs are best suited for beginner bass players, it’s time to get some lessons! I recommend getting a good teacher to help you with all of the above. With all of the different techniques to learn, it is important that you don’t pick up any bad habits. With that in mind, if you would like to book bass lessons with me, then I am available for online lessons via Skype or Zoom. Visit my contact page and let’s start you off on your bass journey!