With its ground-shaking sound and rumbling properties, the bass guitar is an instrument that has been attracting more and more people in recent years. That doesn’t come as a surprise, as nowadays people are gravitating more and more toward low-end heavy music genres.
The bass guitar was, is, and can be employed on pretty much any style of music: pop, funk, rock, and so on; Which makes it one of the most versatile instruments there is. And it is easy for beginners to start playing: if you want, you can simply plug your bass into your smartphone with a device such as an iRig and have access to tons of different tones.
Regardless of your favorite genre of music, this list of beginner bass guitar songs has a choice for everyone to get started playing the instrument. And even if you’re an experienced player, another piece in your repertoire is always great. Keep reading to learn more.
Tip: If you’re still looking for the perfect instrument, check out our Best Bass Guitar article.
17 Beginner Bass Guitar Songs
List of Songs
- Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
- The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
- Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
- The Beatles – Come Together
- Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
- Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
- Nirvana – Come As You Are
- Rick James – Super Freak
- Måneskin – Beggin’
- Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit
- Arctic Monkeys – 505
- Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body
- Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside
- Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
- Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
- The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
This is one of the most popular songs ever and is the defining tune for the band Nirvana. It is a tradition for guitar players to learn the Smells Like Teen Spirit riff as their first song and it isn’t different for bassists.
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
This song is a curious case since it was originally played with a guitar hooked up to an octaver pedal to sound like a bass. The simple arrangement of Seven Nation Army makes it an excellent choice for beginner bassists.
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
In Another One Bites the Dust, Queen gravitates towards a more disco-influenced kind of sound. The same pattern of this song’s bassline can be found on thousands of other dance tracks.
The Beatles – Come Together
No matter where you come from or what your tastes are in music, you’ve probably heard this famous song by The Beatles somewhere. Come Together is a great example of a bassline that encapsulates advanced concepts such as hammer-ons and slides without being too difficult.
Megan Trainor – All About That Bass
Like the name implies, this song is all about that bass. While there are a lot of variations in the bassline throughout the track, it is a great challenge for beginner players to test their ability for memorizing all of the details.
Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc
An iconic song by the animated band Gorillaz, the bassline for Feel Good Inc, unlike in most other tracks on this list, is originally played in a ½ step down tuning (Eb Ab Db Gb). However, it can also be played with the standard tuning if you prefer.
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Another song by the band Nirvana, the bassline riff doubled by the guitar is one of the main protagonists of the track. It is an iconic line that you have probably heard before and an excellent choice for beginners.
Rick James – Super Freak
This bassline may sound complex and hard to play at first listen but it is surprisingly easy. You just have to get the rhythm and timing right, two things which are very important when playing disco songs.
Måneskin – Beggin’
Måneskin took the world by storm last year with this song. The bassline for Beggin’ may sound complex at first, especially its rhythm because the instrumentation is very busy. But in reality, it is kinda simple.
Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit
This song has lots of repeated notes and a cadence that stays in the middle between slow and fast. If you’ve been practicing only with slower songs and feel that it is time for an extra challenge, Jumpsuit is awesome for that.
Arctic Monkeys – 505
This could very much be the first song you learn on the bass guitar, as the bassline itself is very simple and the arrangement can be easily remembered. This is due to the track only featuring 2 chords across its entirety. Less is more in that case.
Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body
This song is a real symbol of the early 2000s. It is an excellent easy choice if you’re into funky and disco basslines. Curious fact: Rock Your Body was originally meant to be recorded and performed by Michael Jackson.
Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love
The guitar riff for Sunshine Of Your Love, played by Eric Clapton, is well known among guitarists, but the line is great for bass players too. The two instruments play almost the exact same thing throughout the entire song.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside
Flea, the bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers, is one of the greatest bass players of all time and there is no doubt about that. Most of the basslines from the band’s songs are complex with lots of rhythmic accents and details, but Otherside is considerably easier to nail.
Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
A very simple bassline that is instantly recognizable, the bass part for Pumped Up Kicks stays pretty much the same throughout the whole song so beginners will have no problems nailing this one.
Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Even though the bassline from Are You Gonna Be My Girl itself is simple, there are a lot of details in the timing and rhythm that only the most attentive ears will catch. Listen to this song for multiple times before you play it.
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
The Weeknd is one of the most successful artists of modern times. The notes on the bassline for Can’t Feel My Face are pretty simple to nail, but the timing may take a little more time to master which is why this is a great track for those bassists wanting to improve their rhythm.
Tip: See how you can make the most out of your daily bass guitar practice in our How To Practice Bass Guitar article.
In our beginner bass guitar songs list, we considered not only how easy it is to play these songs but also what challenges they bring to the player in terms of timing, rhythm, speed, memorization, etc. Each track will improve your skills in different areas.
With that being said, the songs that we recommend the most to learn if you’re a complete beginner are: Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, 505 by Arctic Monkeys, and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. The basslines from these tracks are simple and you will be able to play them in no time.We hope that our beginner bass guitar songs list was helpful. Remember to practice daily and frequently challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions for our website. Happy playing!