Top 30 Most Iconic FUNK Bass Riffs

Need some funky bass inspiration? Take a juicy bite of these bass riffs, from Stevie Wonder to RHCP to Vulfpeck. It’s business time.

Check it out here*:

If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, these riffs will be a real jumble of easy to play, and WTF JOSH I TRIED THIS RIFF AND NOW I’M CRYING. Enjoy at your own risk. :slightly_smiling_face:


Want to play along? Here’s sheet music and bass tabs for every iconic bass riff, in order:

Hope this video pumps some funky bass inspiration into your tank! And thanks to everyone here for your contributions, many of which made it into the video. :slight_smile:

What should I catch for next time? And what other genres/subgenres would you like to see me do these kind of videos for?

*PS - it turns out Youtube doesn’t reward ‘external views’ the same way, so I won’t be posting direct video links when I first start Youtube threads. It would help me a ton if you’d click the link to the Videos page and click in from there - you guys are the kind of high-quality views that signal to Youtube “this is a good video, I will show it to many bass enthusiasts, I am a good little AI”.


That duck walk might haunt me tonight :scream: :joy:

Nicely done, sir!! :smile:


aka “The top 30 most iconic funk bass faces”

this was a great video!


If you asked me what was missing from BB videos, it would be booty shaking.
Now, I can’t say that anymore.
I feel heard.

Also, this video rules.
The tabs alone validate the using of the internet.
Thanks for this!


Sitting next to my fiancé on the couch I said, “I’m setting a personal goal to learn all of these riffs”. That was at the start of the video. By the time we got to Larry Graham I was like “Umm…maybe one day”.

Well done, Josh. Top tier content as always.


Same here.

Fantastic video.
A few comments:

@JoshFossgreen - talk a little about the downward thumb pluck technique you use in a few of these and when it’s useful please, that’s a new one.

It is against the physical laws of the universe not to smile when playing Do I Do, cannot be done.

Booty shaking is the highlight.

@kristine - you need to come back and see this.


Absolutely Brilliant & So Dig That @JoshFossgreen Booty Dance

Well Done,


Very cool video and great extra material with the noteflight riffs :fire:

It took me a while to learn it and get something resembling the groove, but I got the ain’t no stopping us now riff going, it was very fun…not at ‘level 5’ yet but I will definitely be practicing this one and a few more :+1:

edit: The ‘bass nerd remix’ vid was a cool extra too


What a cool video! :sunglasses: :+1:

How about…

  • 30 Most Iconic Grunge Bass Riffs
  • 30 Most Iconic Punk Bass Riffs

I was talking about Josh’s BassBuzz videos earlier today. One of the things that sets Josh apart from most other YouTubers (no matter the topic) is that every second of every video, I find interesting. There’s no padding, fluff, or time filing, it’s all useful information.

I’m looking forward to putting together a 30 Most Iconic Bass Riffs section in the YouTube video guide.




Yet another solid win from @JoshFossgreen ! I’d watch him even if i couldn’t play😃

1 Like

Billie Jean
“Go ahead. Tell me I’m playing it wrong in the comments. It’s okay.”

:rofl: :joy: :rofl:


Haha, you can thank my editor for that. During the first round of feedback I was like “dude can you cut that it’s so awkward” and he sent me a 3 paragraph essay on why we should keep it, lol.

Haha yup, that and the Stomp riff were beastly to pull off!

Ha, yep, otherwise known as the “thumb plucking technique Josh tells B2B students not to do” technique. :slight_smile:

I could do a whole boring video on thumb plucking! Nice way to get a really mellow fleshy tone for slower/quieter stuff… good way to pluck two notes simultaneously spread across the strings (like the octaves in Billie Jean)… works well for thumb n fingers arpeggiating like guitar players do.

And the great thing about the ‘technique’ is there’s really nothing to it, just pluck with your thumb and mess around. Much easier than slapping. :crazy_face:

Would love to! Part of my secret agenda with the If you could only listen to 3 genres? thread was to gauge what people might be most interested in for future Riffs vids. :slight_smile:

Still no takers! I’ll give it a couple weeks though lol.


Please do.

I was using it on a cover that I haven’t recorded yet because it gave more of an upright bass sound.

In that case, I vote for Soft Rock/R&B.


That’s 2, he wants 3.
Fess up to that closet yodeling passion you have and let it be known!


Lol! ACtuaLly Soft Rock/R&B is ONE category, with the operative word being “Soft.” Think “Dreams” by FM and “Sweetest Taboo” by Sade. Everyone expects funk and grunge and rock videos. Something soft would be unexpected and slightly confusing, but the bass lines are undeniably good.

If I’m gonna fess up to something, it’s mariachi music.


I’m glad Bootsy made the cut, but a little sad that Groove Is in the Heart did not. Sure, he sampled Herbie Hancock but he Bootsy-fied it, making that riff his own. Ain’t no one gonna mistake Groove for Bring Down the Birds.

The look on your face for Wild Cherry is the same look I get whenever YouTube Music tries to pull that sh*t on me. “I told you no, YT!”

Personally, I would swap out Wild Cherry with Bill Wither’s Use Me or L.T.D.’s Back In Love Again.


PS I think we’d all like to read this.


1 Like

This was a fabulous video! The format is great, the video is well shot and edited and the comments/expressions were awesome. My absolutely favorite information/instruction/entertainment video from you in a while. I also love the fact that you provided a tab (as played) to the whole video and included a spotify playlist as well. High quality work and extras.

This video checked all the elements that attracted me to your channel and to this course from the beginning. I would love to see more of these with different genres!

chef’s kiss

Awesome work!


30 Most Iconic Prog Bass Lines
30 Most Iconic Hair Metal Bass Lines
30 Most Iconic New Wave Bass Lines
30 Most Iconic Goth Bass Lines

I love this format. I want to see a whole series of these. Josh playing “Bella Lugosi Is Dead” makes me laugh for some reason.