When you’re learning how to play bass you don’t want to play scales, or other boring exercises. You want to play songs, right? That’s what we all signed up for when we purchased a bass and started playing after all.
Here’s a list of 5 easy songs for those of you learning how to play bass.
1) With or Without You by U2.
This is a great tune for beginners to get hold of. Firstly it’s only got 4 notes (and I’ll give them to you for free – they are D, A, B and G) and each note is played a bar at a time, in straight 8th notes. So this is a good workout for your plucking hand and making sure that every note you play is even and consistent.
2) Stand By Me by Ben E King.
This has got a few more notes than the U2 song listed above. But it’s still a pretty straightforward song which has an 8 bar pattern that is all you need to learn. Once you can play it the pattern just repeats over and over from the start of the tune right through to the end.
3) Every Breath You Take by the Police.
I teach a simplified version of this which is a great tune for beginners. As with the U2 tune there are a lot of 8th notes, so again it’s a good examination of your plucking hand technique and making sure that all the notes are being played even and consistent.
4) Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen.
Garry Tallent – bass player with the E Street band – doesn’t get the credit he deserves in my opinion (Go listen to his playing on ‘The River,’ that album is full of great, melodic bass lines). As with With or Without You and Every Breath most of the action in this tune is with the plucking hand. So more consistent 8th notes please.
5) My Girl by The Temptations. Bass by James Jamerson.
If you’re at all serious about the bass then James Jamerson is a guy you have to check out. There’ll be more articles on him real soon. Anyway, My Girl is a nice, simple bassline to a great tune. It’s fun to play along with the record, and it’s got one of Jamerson’s many classic bass line sub hooks.
So if you’ve just started out learning how to play the bass and are looking for tunes to play – rather than scales – then these 5 tunes are as good a place to start as any.
If you want more bass related info, head over to my how to play bass website where you’ll find video lessons, articles, reviews and much more. There’s also a weekly ezine you can sign up for – in return for signing up you’ll get a PDF file with 5 cool bass lines in – and each week’s ezine features a bass line in music notation and bass tab. http://www.how-to-play-bass.com