Bassline for jamming with the kids

My kids wanted to learn music, the older guitar, younger on drums. They do well after a couple months of lessons but slowed down, just not having fun. So I picked up a bass and the program and working through it pretty well. This has sparked them to practice much more. I want to have fun and jam with them, they still aren’t super confident so I would like to lay down a simple bass line they can play along with, but is interesting enough to not bore them. I want to support their sound, not do my own thing. Any recommendations?


Can’t go wrong with the bassline from Feel Good, Inc. The drums with that song are groovy. Blitzkrieg Bop as well.


Try to find out what they want to learn with their respective instruments. It may be that they don’t see the bigger picture of what they’re working towards. At the same time, make sure the person teaching them (if private lessons) understands where they want to go.

I’ll give you a personal example: I started with piano. I also grew up in the middle of nowhere. What I wanted to do with piano was be able to sit down, say “what key are we in” and then jam out. I actually wanted to do scales and such. Sadly, due to my proximity to said middle of nowhere, there wasn’t a very large pool of teachers to choose from and I eventually made my way through all the ones available at the time. Every teacher I worked with, after I told them my goal and what I was willing to do to get there, kept saying “Oh, scales are boring. You don’t want to do there. Here, let’s work on the Suzuki method.”

Side note: I hate Suzuki method. I hate with a seething rage. It may work for some but with my lizard brain, I just hated it. But that’s a rant for another day.

Screw Suzuki.


I finally found a teacher that said something to the effect of “oh scales are boring, you don’t want to do scales. Let’s at least get your foundation right and we can revisit that later.” So I wound up taking lessons from here for a long time. Never got to where I wanted to go with piano and it frustrated me. It made me really not want to continue. To this day, I can play piano but I don’t play like someone that has been playing for almost 40 years.

Make sure they’re learning what they want to learn.

and avoid Suzuki method.

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Thanks, sounds a lot like how I started with the piano many years ago, didn’t work for me either. They get really frustrated when they make a mistake, so everything stops and they try to go again, I’m hoping together they can just keep going and not get stuck in a rut. Have fun, hit the wrong notes and just keep going.

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I think a simple blues progression would work well. It’s the root (no pun) of a lot of pop and rock and country

1 - 4 - 5 never goes out of style


What I’ve realized over time with kids, grandkids (and now greats) is that (myself included back in the '50’s) wasn’t “Into” “Learning” music as much as I (and them) wanted to “Play” music… I have a few students that I teach beginner guitar (and now bass) to that the very first thing I work on with them is to teach them how to “Play a song”… That’s what they want… No scales, not theory, nothing but a simple song that they can feel good about learning how to play… Once you get their attention into playing by using something that they can actually play early on, things just grow from there… Hell, the B2B course was built on the same premise…

I love playing music with my kids and grandkids… Some of the old country tunes (three chords and a story) are some good ones to work with… But hey, whatever floats yer boat - as long as it’s not something too difficult to keep afloat!! :joy:

Keep on Thumpin’!


My girl’s first song well she wanted Disney Show yourself and Love is an open door but clearly that’s even above her old man’s ability, lol.

Her first real song was Don’t wait too long.
It was or can be a simple quarter note with a few chord and the chorus has enough tension to want to come back to verses.

She picked up the uBass again and started figuring out Won’t go home without you. Another straight forward 8th note song throughout the song, fills are optional.

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That, @Al1885 , is modesty that’s as false as your frugal and parsimonious approach to buying basses :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Yep, I saw my son start to learn piano (keyboard at home) and guitar. In the first few weeks the teacher had him playing the Spiderman theme on piano and he loved it, couldn’t get enough of ringing up whoever would answer the phone and play it to them. He then learned Happy Birthday and couldn’t wait for people to have birthdays.

Then, I think his teacher tried to start teaching him “music” and he very quickly lost interest and within a few weeks had pretty much stopped playing.

Guitar didn’t even get that far, his primary school had a music program and made it sound like you had to have your own guitar. After he rocked up with his 3/4 acoustic, he found out they had 3/4 electic at school. Didn’t really want to buy another guitar so soon and thought my normal electic would be too big. I tried to teach him some basic single note songs just for fun, but that’s not what they were doing at school so he didn’t really engage. The teacher at school was adamant they needed to play chords. His little 8 or 9 year old hands had other ideas and he got frustrated which quickly ruined his interest. I tried to encourage him to continue, but just not interested.

Then full on video games entered his life and that was that, doesn’t want to play music at all anymore.

If I had my time over, I would have learned a few songs he liked to show him what’s possible and I think he may have jumped on board. I asked him recently (now about 4 years older) if he had any interest and took him to a music shop with a great range of instruments, but he pretty much shot me down in flames with a firm “no”.

I guess the morale of my story is to let them run the show and see where it goes. Good luck and hopefully they stick with it. If I could go back and slap my 13 year old self when I quit the school band after just one year I would, then I’d go to my 19 year old self and do the same when I stopped playing guitar after probably only a few months. Each time, the friends I was playing with either stopped or moved away and the one-man-band didn’t really appeal to me.

Another thought, if you haven’t already, record them and let them listen back. I’ve got a YouTube video where I used the whammy bar properly for the first time and it still makes me smile if I go back and watch it :slightly_smiling_face: