How to Play Hysteria on Bass (10 Simple Steps + Tabs)

Sick of struggling to play Hysteria? This step-by-step lesson will take you to the finish line and level-up your overall playing.

Here’s the full Hysteria bass tab + sheet music:

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, this lesson is safely in the “don’t try it til you finish the course” category! (unless you have a high threshold for frustration :stuck_out_tongue: )

Hysteria Bass Challenges

Here are all 10 challenges in order, so you don’t have to scour through the video every time:

Challenge 1: Speed Blasts

Challenge 2: Epic Endurance

Challenges 3-5: Open String Bounce

Prep Exercises:

Challenges 6-8: Fuel Efficient Fretting

Challenges 9-10: Tone Aficionado

  • Challenge 9: Dial in a clean tone with a good bottom and enough high end to cut through. 2 pickups, fresh strings, maxed passive tone, treble/hi-mid boost are all helpful.

  • Challenge 10: Kick on a distortion with a clean blend, so you get the dirty mess but keep some of the clarity and bottom from your clean tone.

Take the Hysteria Challenge Challenge

If you feel inspired to put in the time on these challenges, feel free to use this thread as your progress log, to post covers, questions, etc.!

And you can come back later if you’re busy doing the 50 First Songs 100 Week Challenge :yum:


@howard this is for you and your new BB :grin:


Great video as usual, Josh . . . thanks very much! . . . :slight_smile:

Also left you a thumbs up on the Tube :+1:



@JT this can be number 51 in the 100 weeks challenge list :crazy_face:


Great idea! It must be done. :slight_smile:

Gives us about 2 years to work up to it. :rofl:


This is my holy grail! I need this specific thing in my life. Thank you so much, I’ll be working on this challenge! :metal:


Added to the BassBuzz YouTube Video Guide. :smiley: :+1:


Great video! Not gonna lie, I thought it was Def Leppard’s Hysteria at first, though.


Excellent idea, might as well close the gap and nail the last 10-20% sometime. I can do this at about 80-90% speed now, so this does seem like a nice break-in exercise :slight_smile:


Ahh yeah. Challenge eight is where it gets hard at full speed :slight_smile:

The endurance is hard too. Really hard.


Love the Ukulele shredding there at the end :slight_smile:


Same here I thought "Ooh Rick Savage is on the BassBuzz radar :slight_smile:

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Hey @JoshFossgreen, I know you know I left a coment on your Youtube video while I was away, but, not only was that #1 Josh comment into Noob Josh clip with your statement about GAS, but that was the best tutorial on “How to break down a song in order to learn and perfect it”. I have not seen anything even coming close, so great work.

I also have an idea for two more videos just like this one with two different songs.
But it won’t be you just doing this same thing over and over, so you have content to put out. Both songs are really different styles of bass playing, and it will help teach how to break these other styles down. I can now look at a song that is straight playing and chugging, and see where it can be broken down and put into different exercises to practice and perfect a song. I may alter it a little, just based on that it is still a learning process, but I have much more confidence.

Even your Smells like teen spirit was close to this with 5 levels, broken differently, but that song has more off beat and ghost playing, but still it is a standard finger or pick style song, so it was not like you just regurgitated that into Hysteria for another video, they were both excellent.

So, I propose to you two songs.

#1 - For Slap (and ghost notes)
“Take the Power Back” by Rage Against The Machine
#2, for Tapping
“Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” by Primus.

Personally, I would like it broke down to get the individual section exercises for me to work on in order to perfect those pieces to the puzzle in order to play them stronger then I do now (and some are obvious, but its reassuring to see it come from you), but for anybody, those would be good song choice examples, that have been popular, and fit into this same format. Plus, it’s another incredible video that will help hundreds of thousands of people at the same time. How to break down Slap and Ghost note songs into sections to practice, and How to do the same for Tapping. True that tapping Riffs are rare, but if you can play and get strong tapping a whole riff and whole song, then it should help to be stronger with tapping all around.

And if you have better song examples for those two styles, Slap and Tapping, or even other styles of music, that would be awesome too.


I have been squising all the juice I can get out of this lesson in the past couple of weeks.

Working on it a friend of mine created this drum beat particularly accompanying the flow of the riff (original drum riff is not doing that)

It’s good for getting up to speed 1 bpm at a time. In parallel to @JoshFossgreen 's advice to go back to normal metronome every now and then to calibrate yourselves…


Cool addition, thanks for sharing


After 10 days (at least half an hour of practice each day) I still can’t get past 80 bpm and play stable enough…

Quite frustrating!


It’s a long haul. That’s where I’ve been for more than a year :slight_smile:

I can do bursts at full speed but I cannot consistently play the song faster than about 75% for more than a few bars without sounding like garbage.

It’s just relentless chugging.


Thanks for sharing that @howard, I’m preparing for a rehearsal for a tribute band and this is one of the four pieces…

I wish I could somehow simplify it to get by till I get good enough but the bass line is so characteristic…


You can play less open notes, and let them carry into each other.

Wont be quite the same effect, and will take practive, nit just plau one open a, as a 1/4 note, or as an 1/8 note carrying to the next 1/8 note that is an open string, then play the fretted note “G” 10 fret, tjen one open a stretched for two notes, then play “A” on the 12th fret, then one open note for for two note duration, then play the fretted G again.

So instead of

0 0 10 12 0
0…0 10 12 0

Where the three dots represent tge tie between the 2 open notes.

Now, I am just thinking this as a hypothetical, I need to play it to see how much advantage this would actually be.

But even on that string where it goes

10 0 7 0 8 8 7 5 7
You could do
10 0 7 0 8…8 7 5 7

Letting the first F carry into the 2nd, then play the rest

Just trying of thinking of ways you could play it, and hit the major notes, but make it slightly easier.

However, if you know the notes well, it might be harder to change back to what I am suggesting.

I am just throwing it at the wall, and seeing what sticks.

I will try to play it, and see if I can come up with a slightly easier solution that may help you get thru the song, at full tempo, flawless, or good enough to play live with others

I might be way off base here, but I might be on to something here%

Give me a little while to play with it.

Off to the pool for my nightly laps, little stationary bike if its available.
Finish it off in jacuzzi for about 10-15 min
Then I will be back for a test.

Be back in 45 min to an hour

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You can actually do all the fingering up there in the 10th-14th frets and not go down the A string (using the E string instead), but I think it’s actually harder.

The real problem is the chugging. At least for me. Left hand is not hard, except the trickly little move back to the A string from the E string maybe.

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