Top 5 riffs that you feel at home?

Sometimes due to
-having such short time to play (as little as a couple of minutes before the tea is ready) or
-simply being too tired to do anything complicated at all but still wanting to play SOMETHING or
-if I start getting overwhelmed by what I am trying and failing with and need to touch base…

My go to riff is < James Brown - Papa’s Gotta Brand New Bag >

It is like a home base and the licks between chord changes are so cool it makes me feel really bad ass to be able to play it…

Same goes for testing a bass, amp or any piece of equipment at a music store.

My runner ups are:

  • White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (Every time I touch the Higher E this one calls to me like when I am setting up the intonation)

  • Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc (especially for making low ends growl and everytime I play it my wife goes “chaka chaka chaka”)

  • James Brown - I feel good (Again those licks man!)

  • The Knack - My Sharona ( I usually push myself to play it with slapp technique - it sounds so good in my head but I always mess it up!)

How about you guys?


The James Brown riffs are certainly very catchy. I seem to be playing them very often as well :sweat_smile:

There are some others as well that I don’t master yet, but I play them nevertheless to increase my speed, precision and muting:

  • Lenny Kravitz - The Chamber
  • Black Sabath - Iron Man (no, not the 32th notes part :exploding_head:)
  • Radiohead - Creep (still didn’t get my courage together to get the bridge part done)

Recency bias here, but:

New Order, Procession
Husker Du, Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely
Sisters Of Mercy, Lucretia My Reflection
Gary Numan, Down In The Park
New Order, Temptation <-- working on this now


I find myself constantly fiddling with some bass lines I wrote, two of which I already shared on this forum somewhere.

Here are the youtube links

Other than that:

  • Rage Against the Machine - Calm Like a Bomb
  • Muse - Hysteria / In Your World
  • Tool - Ænima / Schism
  • Joy Division - Shadowplay / She Lost Control / Twenty Four Hours

I really want to learn that one!


@JoshFossgreen has you covered for Hysteria. Unfortunately I only learnt about this video existence this year. Would have been pretty useful back then


This Must Be The Place - Talking Heads
Let’s Dance - David Bowie
Roses Are Free - Phish/Ween
Feel Good Inc - The Gorillaz
Tonight Tonight - The Smashing Pumpkins

I just learned Tonight Tonight this weekend, but I’m addicted to playing it. Such a gorgeous song, and playing my bass underneath the string section is really satisfying.

Honorable mention to Woo Hoo by the 5,6,7,8’s. It is a little to fast to “feel at home” in, but I’ve got it down pretty good and makes me feel great when I nail it.


Too Rolling Stoned - Trower
Billie Jean - MJ
Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson
Aint No Good Life - BB King
Radar Love - Golden Earring
I realize that this is all over the place but it is what it is…If I’m not trying to come up with something new or not just playing with a jam track chances are I’m playing one of these. BTW Aint No Good Life is definitely a great walking primer give it a try. Spent most of the evening working on Sweet Emotion I guess I’ll have to throw that in on the next round of “What’s Under Your Fingers”


It’s hard. I’ve got the left hand more or less down but I just can’t chug that fast for the whole song.


That reminds me, Disorder, She’s Lost Control, and A Means To An End should be on my list somewhere too :slight_smile:


Ow, Disorder should also be on my list!


I don’t want to give you the wrong impression I play all of these perfectly. Some of them I just play a few riffs from the actual song, not necessarily the whole song.

Muse and Tool can get very overwhelming, there’s a lot happening on their basslines (more Tool than Muse, but you get the point) and the tempos are not forgiving


There’s so many out there to choose from. I seem to be discovering new bass lines on a regular basis that I had long forgotten or not even heard of before.
Presently my top 5 would have to be
1/ Ace of Spades - Motörhead
2/Crosstown traffic - Jimmy Hendrix
3/ When September ends - Green Day
4/ Feeling good - Nina Simone
5/ Simple Man - Lynryd Skynyrd


Hey @Fahri, great question…

I need to memorize some more, but where I am 6 months in are:

  1. Song For My Father - Horace Silver. SO glad @JoshFossgreen put that into the B2BA course. I love Jazz, but never knew this song.
  2. 7 Nation Army (for sure!) - White Stripes
  3. Although I don’t have them memorized, I love: a. Feel Good Inc - The Gorillaz, b. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson (need to get to where I can play it at full speed), and many others.

Man, I gotta get busy memorizing some more riffs.


I like playing the main riff Joy Division’s Love will tear us apart. That one works great soundwise even unplugged, and while working, I sometimes take my bass while thinking about something just for a minute or two.

Tool -Schism is also something I try, but that one really isn’t easy for me with those hammer ons.
And I put it in my head to learn the bass solo from Tool - Invincible. Even got myself a bass whammy for that.


Thanks to @gcancella and @JoshFossgreen of course Muse-Hysteria has quickly become my test tool as well… Did not learn anything plays that fast until that one.

Loving the D chord part there!

I am using it to see how much my right hand index finger has recovered day by day :smiley:


Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor”
Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes”
Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”
Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine”

I can play all completely through