3 Beginner Bass Riffs (You Can’t F*** Up)

I’m gonna show you some fun beginner bass riffs that you don’t stand a CHANCE of f***ing up. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Songs in the Video

  • Talking Heads - Psycho Killer (0:21)
  • Green Day - 21 Guns (5:14)
  • Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side (11:33)

Riff Tabs

Psycho Killer:

21 Guns:

Walk on the Wild Side Low Part:

Walk on the Wild Side High Part:

Which ones did you already know? What are your other favorite beginner bass riffs?


Yay new videos! This one is great. Love the song selections - Tina Weymouth is one of my favorites, she’s amazing live.

As a beginner, one of the very first basslines I taught myself, decades ago, on my friend’s bass:

super simple. Maybe a little fast but not hard to play at all, probably not harder than Green Day anyway. Classic Jah Wobble.

Decades later, I’m still a beginner but I also still love playing that :slight_smile:

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You’re right, Josh. I tried to uck those bass lines up but I couldn’t.


@JoshFossgreen I know “Psycho Killer” . . . :slight_smile:

The opening riff is very straightforward, but the rest of the track is a bit more difficult than it would seem. I’m still missing a few notes here and there, but I’ve basically got it. Tina makes it look easy . . . :hearts:

Thanks & thumbs up for your video on the Tube!

All best, Joe

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Weird seeing you without the Cirrus! (Until the end of the video that is.)


Yeah, it gets harder as it goes for sure! Which is case-in-point why I don’t generally teach full songs to beginners, they might sound easy in one spot and then suddenly jump a few months ahead in difficulty. Starting with riffs = :heartpulse:

And yeah @lucas9000, I’ve been using the Cirrus a lot less in lesson videos lately, a lot of people benefit from having the dots on the fretboard to follow. Plus I’ve been developing a bigger crush on Fender basses. :stuck_out_tongue:


Somebody recalling my email and he talks about solar. how about that he said is a 251 and talk about c minor. Actually I cannot understand what he is trying to say maybe he plays music very well, but maybe in your words it could go much better.


He is talking about the relationship between the chords of the song, “Solar” by Miles Davis.
The chord movement goes from a 2 chord, to a 5 chord to a 1 chord.
This is not going to mean anything unless you have a lot of scale, chord and theory knowledge to back it up.
I would ignore it all for now.
If you want to teach someone how to a good pasta sauce, you start by telling them to chop up onion, garlic and celery (maybe carrot too) and cook it slowly and delicately in some oil for about 12 minutes.

If I just said: To make a good pasta sauce, start with a soffritto - it doesn’t help. You don’t know what soffritto is. So.
Don’t get distracted by music theory words.
Just practice scales, work with what you do know, and then a 2-5-1 progression will start to makes sense.


Gio that is a very good ans. I respect that👐

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Having said that…
The way to understand chord progression relationships (using those numbers) is to feel comfortable with the major scale, and the relationship between the root note of a major scale, and each other note.

Those distances, relationships, and the order of notes is like learning how to read a ruler for musicians.
It is the measuring system by which we measure:
Chord Progressions
Note-to-note relationships.

Super important stuff!!
But none of it will make any sense until your knowledge of the major scale is strong and solid.

Happy playing!


:love_you_gesture:I had to say you are just a good adviser, Its just the best I had seen. Better than Aris that just a so so job,big mistake with her. :grin:you just let me keep rocking.:love_you_gesture:

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Great riffs - as a complete beginner, I can’t say I didn’t F*** up somewhat, but they’re nice motivation to begin to really practice this until they become smooth. Okay, now back to the training modules!