10 Songs that Taught Me Bass (Easy to Effin’ Hard)

No, it ain’t just a vanity post - I’m gonna give you tips on soloing, rhythm, speed, endurance and more through these 10 songs.

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, you’ll be able to play the first few songs by Module 8, but after that it gets a little hairy. :stuck_out_tongue:

10 Songs Spotify Playlist

Here’s a Spotify playlist I put together of all the songs from the video, plus a bunch more that I learned back in the day -


All the bass tabs

What was the first song you ever learned on bass?


Great post @JoshFossgreen. I’ll listen to them all when I get home.

As to your question… The first song I learned to solo was Happy Birthday, of which I created a version of my own.
The first song I learned the bass line completely all the way through was Still Got the Blues. I had previously posted that I had learned It’s Getting Near Dawn, which I had but not perfectly all the way through.


Crazy. It’s so fuzzy. That spy song I remember, not the mission impossible one, the other one lol.

I like your course, it’s awesome how you lay out songs across it and create such a strong fundamental.

Among bits and pieces of different songs I learned a lot of Primus, RHCP, Metallica and Zeppelin riffs (but not the whole songs). Too Many Puppies was my first Primus song (the main riff).

To this day other than a few covers I have played live, the only full songs I know are my originals! I had a weird and bad path through learning bass, though somehow came out the other side as a functional and sort of unique bassist.

I need to finish up B2B!


My first song (and only one so far) is Have You Ever Seen the Rain by CCR, just following the root chords. Also almost have the Japanese folk song Sakura Sakura down.

I would point out @JoshFossgreen that Something is sung by George, not John. One of George’s first compositions, and a song for Patti Boyd who had more songs written about her than almost anyone (think Layla by Derek and the Dominos)


Cool video! First song I learned 100% was Khruangbin - White Gloves (It’s just 4 bars over and over). They are probably the band that more than anyone else motivated me to purchase a beginner bass. I’ve always been drawn to bass in songs but something about Laura Lee’s playing is so delightfully chill.


Aaaahhhh crap you’re completely right. I am so rubbish at remembering which Beatle sang what. At least I didn’t say John sang Twist and Shout. :crazy_face:

@bjams, Khruangbin is super cool! Really nice bass playing.


I’ll be watching this when I get out my bass later!


Scanning the description for the song titles

Yes, guilty your honor :joy:


Ahh man, I hadn’t tried Stockholm Syndrome yet. Still can’t do Hysteria all the way through for the whole song.

Wolstenholme is an endurance machine.


i Agree @bjams,
i think i was introduced to them via this forum,
Love Laura Lee’s easy playing style, i actually watched a video of her talking about her gear.
Cheers Brian


My first song i learned to play, and still love to play !


Haha, caught you! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Honestly, the first full song for bass I learned was “Turbo Lover” by Judas Priest. And it was something so trivial as driving a semi-truck late at night, listening to it on the radio and thinking, “Yeah, I could probably play that.”

Learning the tabs really wasn’t an issue.

Ian Hill, the bassist for Judas Priest, more than a few songs he has done involve a lot of eighth-note chugging. (“Breaking The Law”) For Turbo Lover, the first two minutes is nothing but open E eighth-note chugging. But you have some slides, some basic string crossing, and some whole notes as well.

It also forces you to lock into the drummer on the eighth note chugging as well.

It is a good beginners rock bass song. Going by the tab, I mostly got it in about 3-4 hours. Still got to post a cover on it here. I still have to keep myself leaning into my plucking on the second verse, because that’s when the song really takes off.



Great post and video @JoshFossgreen…inspirational! Quick Question - Not to endorse any firm, but what flat wounds did you have on that first P-Bass?

Now to the “inspriational” end, let me go get off my arse and grab my bass!


One of my favorite all-time Judas Priest songs @Sp33dSnakr. Thanks for posting and making us think about it. I gotta learn it now.


First song : Fire by Jimi Hendrix


These are them!

They’re getting on in years now, been on there almost as long as I’ve had the bass. Maybe 2013? So they’ve good some good funk on 'em now. :wink:


Nice. Love them on a P-Bass and I put them on my J-Bass too. I went with the 760FS|La Bella Deep Talk’n which is what my online music store had. So far so good.


Thanks to @JoshFossgreen (and noob Josh) Walking on the moon (incomplete, for now), complete first song The bed’s too big without you. Yes I like da Police.


Do you have any advice for anyone in the predicament of knowing riffs but no whole songs? It feels like a really shameful secret, but I’d love to fix this.

I’ve completed a certain fantastic thing called B2B and have been working (painfully slowly) through Ed Freidland’s Bass Method book 1 but I still don’t know where, when and how to start learning songs. I’m finding so many barriers:

  1. Trying to find songs that are a balance of being motivating but not too challenging
  2. When sightreading or using hybrid tab, not being able to “reproduce” common rhythm elements (rests, syncopation, eight notes) at speed (I can understand them theory wise, but struggle putting it into action) - leads to it taking weeks just to learn a small riff. I’d tried Ed Friedland’s “Easy (lies) Pop Basslines” that goes with the Method Book but after spending hours on the same song (and needing hours more) it was driving me mad and I was sick of hearing it!
  3. Fingering - knowing when to switch between Simandl, one-finger-pet-fret plus knowing which fingers to shift on when using Simandl (1, 2 or 4)
  4. Feeling pressured to “know” what I’m playing (e.g. understanding all the rhythms) and playing precisely to be a “good bassist” rather than “winging it” roughly by ear. I do think I’ve had it drilled into me by teachers that I “have to” sightread and until I can I shouldn’t play!
  5. Just in general not knowing the logistics of “how” to learn - how should you approach a song? Is it best to use paper tabs, or apps? How long should it take before playing along a full speed and how do you avoid burnout with the repetition?