23 Easy Bass Tabs (Perfect For Beginners)

hoefner 4-string bass guitar with bass tabs layered on top

While some claim that most bass lines are easy, it turns out that finding easy bass tabs is surprisingly hard.

Some bass lines are inspiring, but too technically demanding for inexperienced bassists. Then there are the bass lines that have complex parts in them that make them that are not obvious at first. Thus, it can be a challenge for beginners to find out what songs they should learn to play on the bass.

For that reason, I made this list of 23 easy bass tabs.

I`ve thoroughly gone through every song, to ensure that they are indeed fitting for beginners. To keep the list interesting, I`ve also included different genres. Lastly, I`ve also picked bass lines that showcase different aspects of how to play the bass.

Thus, I believe every beginner will find at least some easy bass tabs that will suit them among these.

Related reading: Many famous Christmas songs have easy bass tabs and work well as solo-bass arrangments. To learn more, check out these easy christmas songs for the bass that I`ve made full tabs for.

23. AC/DC – Thunderstruck

  • Genre: Rock
  • Tempo: 136 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Cliff Williams
thunderstruck by acdc bass tablature

If you want to try out one of the easiest songs to play on the bass, choose Thunderstruck by AC/DC.

The reason it`s easy is that for most of the song Cliff Williams is repeatedly playing 8th note Bs. Thus, if you can hold this simple groove down for a couple of minutes, you can get through most of the song on that alone.

Through the later parts, the bass changes things up slightly, with a couple of stops and melodic changes. Still, these changes give you ample time to switch finger positions between notes. As a result, this is a great song to try for those who are completely new to the bass.

22. Foo Fighters – My Hero

  • Genre: Rock
  • Tempo: 155 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Nate Mendel
my hero tab for bass guitar

For an easy bass line that still has some more speed to it, I recommend My Hero by Foo Fighters.

During most of the song, Nate Mendel switches between playing an E and a C#. He also throws in a B in the chorus, as well as playing a simple bass lick towards the end of it.

As a result, you can get through this song without much issue as long as you are able to pound out 8th notes at a 155 BPM pace. The small changes in the chorus also ensure that the bass part doesn`t feel too repetitive, which also makes this a fun tune to play.

21. Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)

  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Tempo: 117 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Tim Kingsbury
rebellion lies by arcade fire bass tab

If you are looking for an easy upbeat indie-rock bass tab, Arcade Fire`s Rebellion is a great pick.

While the song continually builds up, the bassline stays the same throughout most of it. This line consists of an A#-D#-A#-G progression, played at a gentle 117 BPM pace.

Notably, the bass makes a small melodic change toward the end of it without increasing the overall difficulty of the line noticeably.

20. Coldplay – Yellow

  • Genre: Pop/Rock
  • Tempo: 87 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Guy Berryman
bass tab for yellow by coldplay

Yellow by Coldplay is a fitting song to learn for bassists who are looking for something a bit more slow and mellow.

At a tempo of 87 BPM, the challenge lies more in playing it slow enough, than fast enough. Thus, it`s a great song for learning to stay in the pocket and feeling the groove of the song as your play.

The bassline itself is relatively straightforward and repeats 4 notes for most of the song. It does however have some changes in its melodic pattern. It also has a couple of octave jumps. These bump the difficulty up somewhat but are also made a lot more beginner-friendly by the slow tempo of the song.

19. Pixies – Where Is My Mind?

  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Tempo: 81 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Kim Deal

where is my mind by the pixies bass notation

The lyrics, Kim Deal`s backup vocals, and the low-intensity chorus are all iconic parts of Pixies` Where Is My Mind?. To me though, the best part of it has always been Deal`s bass line.

This is largely thanks to its unique rhythm, and how it switches from an 8th-note rhythm to 16th notes towards the end of it. As a result, it adds a lot of drive to the song and makes it a ton of fun to play.

This 2-bar groove is repeated throughout the majority of the song. The only changes happen at the end of the choruses and during the bridge. The chorus is similar in difficulty to the main riff, though the bridge has some 16th-note variations in it that make it slightly more challenging.

18. Manowar – Kingdom Come

  • Genre: Metal
  • Tempo: 176 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Joey DeMaio
bass notes for kingdom come by manowar

While it can be hard to find metal songs that are easy enough for a beginner to play, Kingdom Come is a great place to start.

Related reading: I have also featured this song on my list of easy metal bass tabs.

For most of it, Joey DeMaio is playing an 8th note groove that is broken up a couple of half notes. In the chorus and the later parts of the song, he switches to playing sustained whole and half notes.

As a result, the song is beginner-friendly, despite its somewhat fast tempo of 176 BPM. Also, while many metal songs will require you to tune down your bass, Kingdom Come is played in E standard.

17. The Kinks – You Really Got Me

  • Genre: Rock
  • Tempo: 136 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Pete Quaife
bass notation for you really got me by the kinks

Another great option for an easy bass tab with a bit more groove to it is You Really Got Me by The Kinks.

The main groove consists of just two notes; an F and a G. Though, by making great use of rests and a memorable rhythm, Pete Quaifie`s bass line on this track is beyond catchy despite its simplicity.

Through the later parts of the song, the riff is played using different notes. However, it never uses more than 2 notes at a time, which retains both the groove of the song and the ease of playing it.

16. Billy Joel – Piano Man

  • Genre: Folk-Rock
  • Tempo: 103 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Emory Gordy Jr.
piano man by billy joel bass tabs

Piano Man by Billy Joel has a slow groove that I consider one of the best walking basslines of all time.

This means that instead of repeating the root note, it walks between different notes of the chord. Walking bass lines are a staple in jazz and blues, but you will find them in every genre under the sun.

Thus, due to being a great-sounding groove with a slow tempo, this is the perfect introduction to playing walking bass lines. This makes Piano Man a great song to learn if you are looking to play jazz, as walking basslines are a common staple in the genre.

15. Modest Mouse – Float On

  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Tempo: 102 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Eric Judy
float on by modest mouse bass tab

There are few songs that sound as hopeful and upbeat as Modest Mouse`s Float On.

This is reflected in the bass line, which uses key notes of the major scale to drive home this feeling. The staccato notes of it also give it a bouncy character, which fits the optimistic vibe of the song perfectly.

During the chorus, Eric Judy switches to playing long sustained notes. Thus, the song is overall undemanding, and one of the best choices for beginner-level bassists who are looking for something upbeat to play.

14. The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop

  • Genre: Punk
  • Tempo: 176 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Dee Dee Ramone
blitzkrieg bop bass tab for the ramones

I featured Blitzkrieg Bop on my list of easy songs to play on the bass while singing, and for a good reason.

Despite its fast tempo, the simplicity of the main riff results in the bass tab being easy and fitting for beginners. The vocals also align perfectly with the rhythm of Dee Dee Ramone`s bass line and have a simple melody to them.

As a result, this song deserves a spot on this list for a multitude of reasons. It`s a great first punk song to learn and it`s fitting for learning to sing and play bass at the same time. Lastly, it`s an iconic tune that you are likely to cover sooner or later when you find yourself jamming with other people.

13. Three Days Grace – Animal I Have Become

  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Tempo: 122 BPM
  • Tuning: Drop C
  • Bassist: Brad Walst
bass notes and tablature for animal i have become by three days grace

Animal I Have Become is a great showcase of how a deep, and down-tuned bass groove can completely make a song.

In the intro and verse, the bass provides groove to the song by playing a simple melody and using rests. In the chorus, Brad Welst plays a combination of quarter and 8th notes to create a deep and heavy layer. The result is a heavy and dynamic song, that is also easy to play.

This song is also a great introduction to playing triplets. Walst only plays these at the end of the chorus, and due to the moderate tempo of the song, they are a great introduction to this technique.

The song is played in Drop C bass tuning. As the low C is used heavily throughout the bass line, you will need to tune down your bass in order to play this song.

12. Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

  • Genre: New Wave
  • Tempo: 120 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Tina Weymouth
psycho killer bass notation

Talking Heads` biggest hit starts off with a funky staccato groovy by Tina Weymouth.

The bass also sets the tone for the rest of the song that follows it. It is also a great example of how a simple bassline can be incredibly catchy and impactful.

The main riff is played in A minor and is easy to play as it mainly consists of staccato notes on the open A string. However, the parts that follow it are somewhat more difficult. In the chorus, you will need to move a bit more around the fretboard while playing a somewhat melodic line at 120 BPM.

Towards the later part of the song, there is also a part where the bass switches between playing a low A and a high A and a G. Thus, while I do recommend this song for beginners, it is more demanding than most other entries on this list.

11. Eminem (feat. Dido) – Stan

  • Genre: Hip-hop
  • Tempo: 82 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Mike Elizondo
bass notation for stan by eminem

While there are a ton of amazing hip-hop basslines out there, they can oftentimes be demanding for beginners. Luckily, the bassline on Eminem`s Stan is a great place to start if you want to give the genre a try.

The song mainly consists of a slow line that is mainly made out of half notes. Combine this with the slow 82 BPM tempo of the song, and you`ve got yourself a very beginner-friendly bassline.

On occasion, the bassline will make a slight rhythmic and melodic change, which does not noticeably add to the difficulty.

Note: Bear in mind that playing hip-hop on the bass can be hard even when playing simple lines. This is because how you articulate each note has a big impact on the song as a whole.

10. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle

  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Tempo: 162 BPM
  • Tuning: Drop D
  • Bassist: Rick Burch
the middle by jimmy eat world tab for bass guitar

The Middle By Jimmy Eat World is a great showcase of how much impact intermittent rests in a bass line can have on a song.

For most of the song, Rick Burch is playing straight 8th notes. When the chorus hits, he rests for a quarter note.

However, despite him going back to playing straight 8th notes right after, the song feels like it has been rejuvenated as a result. Because of this, The Middle is a super-fun song to play, and one that I regularly recommend to beginners.

This song is played in Drop D bass tuning. As the low D is used repeatedly throughout it, you will need to tune down your bass to play this song.

9. Rob Zombie – Dragula

  • Genre: Metal
  • Tempo: 130 BPM
  • Tuning: Drop C
  • Bassist: Rob “Blasko” Nicholson
dragula bass tab and notes by rob zombie

For a heavy and hard-hitting bass groove in C, try out Dragula by Rob Zombie.

During the intro and verse, the bass plays for 4 bars and then rests for 4. This makes the riff sound especially heavy when it re-enters after the vocal part.

During the chorus and interlude, the bass line mainly consists of simple 8th-note grooves. As a result, the song as a whole is undemanding to play and does not feel too repetitive.

Despite originally being played in Drop C bass tuning, the bass line can be played in E standard. Thus, the tab I`ve made above is made to be playable without tuning down your bass. For the full tabs of this song, you can either opt to transpose the tab or tune down your bass.

8. The Killers – When You Were Young

  • Genre: Rock
  • Tempo: 130 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Mark Stoermer
when you were young by the killers bass tab

When You Were Young by The Killers showcases how big of a difference it makes to play the same bassline in two different ways.

On it, Mark Stroemer plays an 8th-note bassline that follows the chord progression. However, he regularly switches to playing the entire line an octave higher. As a result, the song as a whole sounds a lot more dynamic and colorful, despite the rhythm and chord progression remaining the same.

Thus, this is a fitting song for beginners, as it teaches you where to find the octave of certain notes. This way, you won`t have to sit down and memorize the fretboard, but can instead learn it in real time while playing a killer bass line.

7. Nirvana – Breed

  • Genre: Grunge
  • Tempo: 159 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Krist Novoselic
breed by nirvana main riff bass tab

Nirvana`s Breed features a catchy bass riff that will teach you how to play slight bends.

The main riff consists of 3 notes, an E, an F#, and an A. These are however played in a groovy and clever way that makes for a hard-hitting grunge riff. Krist Novoselic also adds a slight bend to the A which adds a lot of character to the riff.

The chorus is based on the same rhythm as the riff, but here Novoselic adds some additional melody and rhythmic variations to it. At 159 BPM, this makes the song among the harder ones on the list.

Still, it is an overall beginner-friendly bass tab that I recommend if you are a Nirvana fan, or want to learn how to make use of bends in your own bass lines.

6. Queen – Under Pressure

  • Genre: Rock
  • Tempo: 114 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: John Deacon
bass riff tab and notes for under pressure by queen

There is no denying that the iconic intro to Under Pressure is one of Queen`s greatest bass lines.

What`s great is that the simple rhythm of the main riff makes it fitting to learn for beginners. It only consists of a D and an A and is also a great introduction to how the higher ranges of the bass can be utilized.

With that said, this song does increase in difficulty as it progresses. Some parts retain the rhythm of the main riff but are played at a lower register. In the chorus, the bass plays 8th notes with some melodic runs in it.

Thus, this song will take some more practice than some of the other entries on this list.

Related reading: If you want to recreate the tone of the bass on the studio recording, check out my article on John Deacon`s bass tone.

5. Weezer – Undone (The Sweater Song)

  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Tempo: 75 BPM
  • Tuning: Eb Standard
  • Bassist: Matt Sharp
sweater song by weezer bass notes and tablature

Except for the guitar solo and crescendo towards the end, Matt Sharp mainly sticks to a slow 8th-note groove throughout Undone.

During the song’s later parts there are a bit of 16th notes, and even some 32nd notes thrown in there. However, due to the slow tempo of the song, these parts can still feasibly be played by beginners.

The song is played in half-step down bass tuning. However, tuning down is optional as the low Eb is never played during the song. Thus, the above tab below is transposed to fit standard tuning.

4. The Offspring – Pretty Fly For A White Guy

  • Genre: Punk-Rock
  • Tempo: 142 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Greg K
pretty fly for a white guy bass tab and notes

Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) has a simple main riff that is equally groovy as it is easy to play.

Due to its heavy use of quarter notes, the riff is undemanding despite the song being faster than many others on this list. It also has a rhythm that is intuitive to get down, despite not consisting of straight 8th notes.

In the chorus, things get slightly more tricky. Here the bass plays several melodic fills at an 8th-note pace. Thus, this song is great for beginners who are looking for a groovy line that doesn`t just consist of 8th notes.

3. The Smashing Pumpkins – Today

  • Genre: Alternative Rock
  • Tempo: 82 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: D’arcy Wretzky
today by the smashing pumpkins bass notes

D’arcy Wretzky`s bass line on Today consists of a slow 8th note groove that spans 2 bars.

In the chorus, the rhythm is switched up a little bit, and also consists of a couple of 16th notes.

However, due to the slow tempo of the song, this groove is still beginner friendly. Thus, if you want an easy song with a deep groove that doesn`t just consist of 8th notes, Today is a fitting pick.

2. Blink-182 – Adam`s Song

  • Genre: Pop-Punk
  • Tempo: 136 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Mark Hoppus
adams song bass tab and notes

Despite the somber lyrics of Adam`s song, it can be an incredibly fun song to play.

The whole song is played at an 8th-note rhythm. While the chord progression changes between the verse and chorus, the rhythm and low difficulty of it remain the same.

The interlude is slightly more challenging, as here Mark Hoppus plays a groove that switches between playing the root note and the fifth of the chord. This gives the song some nice variety. It`s also great practice, as this is a pattern you will find in lots of bass lines.

1. U2 – With Or Without You

  • Genre: Rock
  • Tempo: 110 BPM
  • Tuning: E Standard
  • Bassist: Adam Clayton
with or without you by u2 bass tablature

Few songs showcase the power a simple bassline can have as well as With Or Without You by U2.

This is because the song is full of bright effects and guitars that leave a lot of space for the bass to fill in the low end. As a result, the bass also fills an important role, as without it the song would sound completely powerless.

The bassline consists of a simple 8th-note groove that is repeated for almost the entirety of the song. This easy bass line grounds the song and makes it sound cohesive as it builds up. Thus, With or Without You will show you just how much impact you can have as a bass player by repeating a simple 8th-note groove.

Ian Partanen

BassOx Founder. Passionate bassist for 15+ years across a vast selection of genres, currently into indie-rock and hip-hop. Bachelor's degree in Musicology from the University of Oslo.

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