Songs to Practice and Play with

I’d love to see a forum section talking about songs to practice and work on that would typically be in the skill set of having done/being in progress on your BadAss course. Discuss where you’ve found tabs and music that help and the quality of those transcriptions, or just chord sequences. This would be a fast go-to place for more practice songs or songs to play with your buds.

I’ll start out with a few that I’ve found:

First, I’ve found Ultimate Guitar and BigBassTabs to generally be the 2 places I end up finding the most useful, along with a mix of others. My wife street busks as vocals with bits of a band (yay Covid!, the only time the whole band has been together is for one video everyone individually recorded) or just a guitarist - depending on who comes along in a day. She’s working to get me to do stuff with them, and it’s surprising how much your course has given me tools to be able to do so along with a bit of research.

Billie Holiday Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt did it almost identically. The Ultimate Guitar official tab bass line (for Linda) is pretty good. There are really only 2 sequences with a couple of transitions that you need to get in. The first sequence is B (On A String)-F#(on D string)-F#(on E String) and the second is F#(E Str)-C#(A Str)-F#(D Str). This is an interval sequence that gets used with variations a lot! This is a very mellow play-along and great if you have a good singer!

Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason - Another mellow song. The only challenge is the ending which is slightly tricky, mostly for figuring out when to play it! My wife asked for this song. The Version 1 tab has everything except the ending in a very compact and readable form. The ending you’ll need to pick up from their pro tab or Big Bass Tabs.

Sia’s version of California Dreamin’ - I used Audition to cut out the bass below 300Hz on this and I love playing along to it! I couldn’t find a Bass tab for this that was worthwhile, so I synthesized my own based on the chord sequences in Ultimate Guitar. This started because the Mamas and Papas version is a crowd favorite for my wife.

And on crowd favorites - Lucinda Williams Can’t Let Go - another one you’ll need to synthesize your own bass line for from the chords.

Bob Seger’s California Star - again, take the chords (I used Ultimate Guitar) and make a Bass line out of fifths and octaves. I found a glitch here in that the chords for the guitar version were off - but it specified a Capo. Perhaps that is the way guitar music is typically done, but the chords for the Piano version were correct (A-E-D-A). I typically do the open string, fifth, octave, fifth for the A & E and chug the open D a bit with a fifth at the end (which is the octave to the A).

And yes - all that practice Josh gave us of Octaves and Fifths and such in the class is incredible at building usable bass lines for all these things, and if you can’t find a bass tab, you can often find the chord sequences to make transcribing a usable (maybe not the original!) bass line pretty easy.

Those are a few of the songs I’ve been able to handle fairly easily and are a lot of fun. Some of the others that I’ve been doing are straight out of the class - my wife’s guitar partner used to play with Creedence, so I Put A Spell On You was one of the first we did together. And Johnny Cash and Hank Williams are crowd pleasers.

I’d love to see what other folks have been able to pull together and where they pick up the music or how they pull together their lines.


Oh, and one more. Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. This is an easy one to pick up and the BigBassTabs version is excellent.


Ultimate Guitar and BigBassTabs has been discussed in other threads. They’re good places for those who are just beginning to learn bass and are still relying on tab to play. However, for those who have progressed through the B2B course, they fall short because they don’t offer actual musical notation.
To me, the best place is Chordify, which gives you the chords to the song so you can then create a bassline. Once you have gotten to the stage in B2B where you understand chord tones and arpeggios, creating basslines from the chord charts is a simple process.
However, I do concur that Ultimate Guitar and BigBassTabs are good places for the beginner.


Gimme All Your Lovin’ and Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top are very simple, and should be doable a couple of modules into B2B (8th note chugging + some minimal string crossing)


Ultimate Guitar usually does have full music, but BBT is just tabs. I’ll check out chordify!


Actually, ultimate guitar does have an option for standard notation; I use it often. It’s buggy sometimes, but they usually correct it you make a comment.


They must have recently added it. It was one of my complaints, which I had expressed to the owners. I guess they finally responded and added it. I absolutely abhor playing from tab!
It doesn’t matter now though, I moved on and just use Chordify to create my own basslines from the chord charts, and it works out much better.

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