Great Bass Lines: Hysteria by Muse

The bass line for Hysteria by Chris Wolstenholme of Muse gets a lot of love among bass players.

I thought it helpful to put all the information you need to learn this bass line in one place. Then I found that @JoshFossgreen had already done that. Including a tutorial, full transcription, cover video, and an extra tutorial on how to get that Hysteria tone using Garage Band.

If you’re not familiar with Hysteria…


This is a really fun one and very challenging at full speed - a relentless 16th note chug with lots of fretting hand movement, across three strings.

I’ve been working on it for maybe nine months and I can only reliably play it at about 75% speed.

Pretty solidly an intermediate level song.


I actually never heard this song til I started watching pedal demo videos, and it seems to be in almost every single one.
I love playing it. I need to learn the rest of it and start doing the play alongside, really hone skills at full song playthrus, something that has been a weak point of mine all my life, but I am gonna fix that.


Definitely one on my “ to do” list but maybe a little further down the line


It actually sounds cool at even half speed :slight_smile:

It’s just a killer bassline.


Idk if this will help anybody or not, but making myself learn this riff with this fingering has really helped me with this song. It also taught me that I can force myself to make my hand remember positions like this, and opened a door for me to see the light. It will be key when I start learning scales, but will help with many songs, because it is the easier way when you train your hand .

Maybe you already know this and I am just late to the game, but n the hopes this helps anybody, here it is.

Ok, so you start on the A string playing

After fretting on 10 you shift your hand to this position with your ring finger over 7 as you pluck the last open A in that sequence

Here you are in position for the next sequence in bold
0-0-10-0-10-12-0-10-0 -7- 0-8-8-7-5-7

Back to open with hand staying in position in bold
0-0-10-0-10-12-0-10-0 -7**-0-**8-8-7-5-7

Now the key. After plucking that last open A, fret 5-7 and 8 for the next two notes on the 8 in bold
0-0-10-0-10-12-0-10-0 -7- 0**-8-8-**7-5-7

Next lift the pinky for the next 7 in bold

Next life the ring finger for the 5 in bold

Last, re fret 7 in bold with the ring finger
0-0-10-0-10-12-0-10-0-7-0-8-8-7-5**-7-** open E

If it helps GREAT
It was awkward for me at first.
First thing I had to do was practice over and over to place my ring finger over 7 and fret with it. The rest, you just have to work thru it 100’s of times til it sticks. After a while, you won’t even need to think about it.

I make no claims to inventing this, there may be other tutorials showing this. Idk, but for me I just thought, “hey, this might be a good idea, and it worked for me. Maybe, if you don’t already do this, consider trying it and see if it works as good for you as it did for me.

Also, if you have any alternatives that work for this, or any other part of this, or any song, would love to hear about, see them


I fully agree, sometimes I even play it real slow, with drawn out notes, or change up yeh rythem into groupings, just playing around, but it can be real fun and sound killer.
Some times clean, sometimes fuzz, or sub octave, or octofuzz, or OD, or flanged, chorused.

Lots to do with it, that’s why it’s used for pedal vids


I lost my last shred of interest in Beato when the guy he had on to play it played it with a pick.

I love playing with picks. I play like 2/3 of the time with a pick at the moment.

But you don’t play this song with a pick.

You just don’t.


Yeah, I am a plucker and slapped, I have not started honing picking.

I was a picker with my guitar back in the day, so it’s not unfamiliar, I just prefer plucking to picking for the most part.

I do not know this

Rick Beato, prominent music youtuber. Very knowledgeable in general; stylistically not for me.


What is the channel?

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Haven’t tried this on a real bass yet, but couldn’t do it on Expert when playing Rock Band :wink:


Thanks @howard, think I have run across him, can’t recall if I liked or not.

Give it a go @gragil1, and just start slow, and work your way up.

As Howard and I were saying, it still sounds great, and feels great to play it half speed or less. Just keep even chugging and you are gold.


The hardest part for me to get was the crossing between the E and A string at the ending of the second of 4 parts of the riff. Right after the notes I showed up with pics

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Yeah me too, that tripped me up for a while, just due to the bouncing back and forth


That and starting the second and later iterations of the riff. You’re like “Welp, here I am, I’ve just played 64 notes, and I’m… 4 bars into the song.”


Yes, when you jump from the “A” on the D string back to the “G” on the A string with one open A string in between.

I also love this one by MUSE a workout for the right hand !

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