How to learn a full song

Hello! I have been so used to playing little snippets or only the fun parts of bass lines, that I have never learned a whole song. I really want to learn a full song but I don’t really know how to go about it. I have the B2B package and I just finished the 12 chord blues if that gives u an idea of where im at. I know there is a list of full songs included but it seems overwhelming to me to learn the whole thing. Any advice is appreciated!


Start here @olliviatherese


Just play along… This guy has taught me so many songs and this one is pretty easy.


There’s nothing wrong with learning the parts of bass lines you like at all, but it’s also good practise learning full songs. If you want to play live with other musicians, you won’t find many bands playing part versions of songs. Start by learn short sections (4, or 8 bars, or just an intro, etc). Play it over and over and then add the next. Repeat and in no time, you’ll know the full song. If you struggle remembering the song format, just scribble it down in a way that you can understand. Good luck :+1:


There’s a great list of songs to check out here somewhere… 50 songs in 100 weeks is great, if you have access to it.

The cool thing here is that the bass lines are very accurate (not always guaranteed in the internet world), and they start from easy and add difficulty as they go.

The other way to approach it would be to start with a list of songs you love and go hunt them down on YouTube, or just listening a ton.

I hope it goes well!


I’m a couple years past B2B now and am still guilty of this.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning riffs and snippets of songs if it’s something you can get enjoyment from!
I like to pick out little bits of songs I hear that grab my attention (cool rhythms or sounding like they might use different techniques) and try to learn them to develop my ear and understanding. Some times this is really helpful to find ways to develop or hone a particular technique or style! Or even just something new to add to a warm up routine!

Now, when it comes to full songs I understand the overwhelming feeling (I get it a lot). I will usually pick songs that I’ve been learning these little snippets of and gradually work through them. It’s daunting at first but the key word is “gradual”, you don’t need to rush anything with learning!

Break it down into much smaller segments, try to copy the rhythm/melody first, then let the notes come after. Rinse and repeat at a slower speed until you find the most comfortable way to move your hand around the fretboard for that part.
Then move onto the next segment, no matter how small. You’ll gradually memorise more and more or the song and hopefully start to see patterns and repetitions in how the bassline is written which will make memorising it easier!

Personally I use tabs as a guide and take what I’ve learned from various online courses to see how parts of the song work together.

Hope this helps!

You have to break a song down into sections. Intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, outro…learn each piece then put them all together. Usually the parts will repeat, sometimes with slight variations. Methodical practice is the only way

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I started out by learning guitar when I was a kid, so I could accompany my singing. So, I wrote down the first words of each verse on a 3x5 notecard, and wrote chords if needed. I can now use those same cards with bass. I want to sing while playing bass, so that makes sense for me, but usually we know the words to the song (and if we’re playing in a group, we’re going to hear those, too) so it’s still a good guide, rather than abstracting it to Verse, Chorus, and stuff like that. I get confused about what is a bridge as opposed to chorus, or whatever. I just go by the words.

So, then with bass (just like when I use Chordify, which shows the guitar chord blocks) I have to remember the rhythms within that - which also makes sense, once I’ve learned them. Yeah, it’s fun to play along with Chordify or video tabs, but for me it’s only a step to learning the whole song.

My little daily notebook boosts me to practice and that I practiced, but also helps me find details that I’m going to need in a couple days because I might (will) forget some of them while I’m learning the song.


Could I add my ¢2 to this….?

I’d say pick a band and a song that you know and love, and with a pretty easy bass line.

In my case, I love Duranx2, always have…but many of John Taylor’s bass lines are way too complicated - go a listed to anything off Rio and you will see what I mean. So I picked “Do you believe in shame” off the Big Thing album. It’s a beautiful song, but has the same basic riff - chugging - all the way though, apart from one short section about 2/3 the way through the song, and then a little chromatic run towards the end.

The basic riff was pretty easy to pick out, it’s three notes, played as 8th, so no bass tab required. For the bits where the song changes, I found someone on YouTube who had played along with the song (no tab), but by watching their fingers, I worked out what JT was doing. And bam! I’d learnt my first, non BassBuzz song! It a beautify song and I love playing it!

I learnt DD’s The Wild Boys in much the same way. Listen, search for a bass tab (5there were all sorts, many wrong!), play along, play along, play along….

For me, the key is not to pick something that as too hard and so will demoralise, but pick something that is a stretch, but doable. Listen, search for tabs, then give it a go.

I’m currently learning “Another one bites the dust”. It’s a great bass line, that for the most part is pretty easy. But there are bits that are more complicated - only a couple of bars - for this one I found a YouTube video with a tab. I created a loop for the bit I couldn’t get right and just played it over and over again. Repetition, repetition, repetition…

It’s great fun!!

How to learn to play bass on a full song?

Same way you learn how to sing a song, only easier, :joy:

You’d hum the melodies then words then phrases next thing you know you get a verse then chorus then outtro.

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Personally, Olivia, when I’m learning a song, I just look at each verse (or even smaller repeated patterns within a verse), learn that, and then move on the next one. Then I start putting the chunks together one at a time and repeating it to reinforce my memory.

Just like in B2B’s lessons: Josh teaches the rhythm on the right hand, then moves to the notes on the left. Every chunk reinforces your memory. I wouldn’t try to do the whole song all at once. If you’re using tab, sometimes they don’t break it up naturally depending on who wrote it. If it’s sheet music and you can read it, it makes it easier to break it up into chunks. Just my $.02. :slight_smile:


I just found a great software that helped me immensely with learning full songs: Tonelib Jam (ToneLib Jam | Perfect all-in-one practice and music composing tool.). You can test it for 30 days and it is often discounted to about 40€.

You can download many syncronized Tab/Songs for free on

I use the “3d” mode for learning new songs a lot - it’s a little like Rocksmith. But you can also use “normal” Tab Mode.

Highly recommended!!!


Thought that I would add to this something I’ve been doing today. I am learning Learn to Fly, by the Foo Fighters. There are a couple of sections where you go from the main riff to bars of straight eights, starting on the 5th fret of the D string, noodle around there a bit, then drop back to the main riff. Basically, this:

I kept missing the 1, or fluffed a transient note in another similar section on the 4 &


A drum machine (well, the drum tracks on my Zoom B1four) set at the right BPM, and simply play that transition, time and time again, listening, counting (1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 £…), building the muscle memory.

As with anything, learning a song takes repetition….

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Another method @sunDOG is to use Repeattube.

Copy the video you’re working on and loop the sections you need. Slow it down in the controls below.


Yes, I actually did that with a section of Another one bites the dust that I was having a problem with.

I liked the drum machine today as it was ‘pure’, i.e. I was concentrating on the beat, the counting, making sure the transition up the fretboard was seamless, the groove was ‘in the pocket’, the notes I was fretting were were buzzless etc.

The other thing I have found interesting is that there are an awful lot of bass tabs for this song, yet most of them do not indicate the actual rhythm / syncopation in the main riff…

Practicing the transitions is really important. Everyone likes to play the riffs. When I mess up while playing a song it’s usually at a transition.


Same method as Barney, but with the video player VLC. Enable the View/Advanced Controls, and you will be able to set A/B mark points to any videos, playing the marks as a loop, and with speed control if you wish to. This makes the most of playing “little snippets” until you fully memorize the whole song (which is more concerning to me when I learn a new song ^^´).

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This is how you learn a new song as a pro:-) I would use a week! Hehe:-)
John Mayer Bassist hears FOO FIGHTERS The Pretender for the FIRST TIME (

In Tonelib Jam, loops look like this (I’m taking @sunDOG 's example with Foo Fighter’s “Learn To Fly”) using a Songster GP5 tab and the original Foo Fighters track.

I have marked Bars 37-38 for looping and can set playback speed optionally.

Also I can unmute the drum track and mute the audio track, if necessary.

I kind of like it: :slight_smile:


I listen to it, then find a tutorial with tabs if possible, or look for a chart, guitar pro etc.
Go over it a few times then play along to a recording getting it more right each time.
I haven’t transcribed anything yet.