A bass line in any piece of music is the foundation on which the melody and chords are built. It's what gives a song its groove. And without a great bassline, a song can feel sluggish and lack energy.
If you're just starting out on bass, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which lines to learn first. That's why we've put together this list of easy basslines for beginners. These lines are perfect for those who are just starting to get comfortable with their instrument.
Once you've mastered these basslines, you'll be ready to tackle some of the more challenging lines out there. But until then, enjoy nailing these beginner-friendly grooves!
What are the different types of bass lines?
The rhythm section's bassline (also known as the "bass part") is a line played by a member of the rhythm section instrument. The electric bass, double bass, tuba, cello, and keyboard (piano, synthesizer, electric organ, or Hammond organ) are examples of these instruments.)
The following are some different types of basslines and how they can be used in music:
- Walking basslines are often used in jazz and blues. They have a steady, forward-moving feel that helps to create a sense of momentum in the music.
- Groove-based basslines are found in many genres of music, from rock to funk to disco. These lines usually have a strong rhythmic feel, and they often make use of syncopation (accenting off-beat rhythms).
- Slap basslines are a style of playing that was popularized by funk bassists in the 1970s. This technique involves using the thumb and forefinger to "slap" the strings, creating a percussive sound.
- Melodic basslines are lines that prominently feature the melody of a song. These lines are often found in pop and rock songs.
- Abstract basslines are more experimental in nature, and they can be found in genres like free jazz and avant-garde music. These lines may make use of extended techniques, such as fretless playing or using alternative tunings.
A bass that "walks" during playtime uses a linear technique. It moves in crotchets or 8th notes with a specific fill, and it plays the chord's roots as well as the chromatic scale to "walk" towards the target notes on the beat. This is a characteristic feature of the electric bass, which is why it is also called the "walking bass." The term can also be applied to other instruments in the rhythm section, such as the keyboard or Hammond organ.
A groove-based bassline uses rhythmic patterns that are syncopated, or "off-beat." These lines are often found in funk and disco music. The goal of a groove-based bassline is to create a sense of movement and energy in the music.
Slap basslines are a style of playing that was popularized by funk bassists in the 1970s. This technique involves using the thumb and forefinger to "slap" the strings, creating a percussive sound. Slap basslines often make use of syncopation, and they often have a strong groove-based feel.
Melodic basslines are lines that prominently feature the melody of a song. These lines are often found in pop and rock songs. Melodic basslines may make use of countermelodies, or secondary melodies that complement the main melody of a song.
Abstract basslines are more experimental in nature, and they can be found in genres like free jazz and avant-garde music. These lines may make use of extended techniques, such as fretless playing or using alternative tunings. Abstract basslines may also be improvised, or created spontaneously during a performance.
How are bass tabs created?
Bass tabs are simply a way of notating bass lines. They show which notes are to be played, and often include other information such as timing and dynamics.
Creating bass tabs is relatively simple. All you need is a basic understanding of how to read music notation. Once you know what the different symbols represent, you can start transcribing bass lines onto paper (or into a computer program).
If you're just starting out, it's probably a good idea to begin by learning some basic bass lines from your favorite songs. This will help you get a feel for how bass tabs work. Once you've got the hang of it, you can start creating your own tabs for original songs or for your favorite tunes.
When writing a bassline, you must consider how to approach the target notes. Target notes are the ones you, as a bass player, are in charge of playing. Furthermore, it's not only about how to get to the target note; it's also about how to walk your way there. It implies: which notes are you going to play on your way there? How are you going to phrase your line? Which articulations (slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs) are you going to use? And so on.
Moreover, it's important to consider the rhythmic placement of the target notes. In other words, you must think about when to play each note in relation to the beats of the measure. This is what will give your bassline its groove. The bass has a third option, known as "skips," in addition to target methods. It's when you silence a string to get a percussive sound. It adds life to your line and is excellent for preceding a target note.
Use phrases and cadences with bass tabs
A phrase is a set of notes that sound complete on their own and would be incomplete without the rest of the song. The bassline phrase, like the guitar phrase, would follow a series of compasses and then transition to a cadence before repeating itself.
Cadences are musical punctuation marks. They show the end of a phrase or section of music. There are four types of cadences: perfect, imperfect, interrupted, and half. The most common cadence in rock music is the perfect cadence, which sounds like "ta-da!"
Bass tabs usually don't include all the phrases of a song. They just show the main bassline. However, it's still important to be aware of the other parts of the song so you can stay in time and keep your groove going. When you're jamming with a band, it's also important to listen to what the other players are doing. This will help you stay in time and lock into the groove.
Phrases and cadences are similar to the punctuation of music. Phrases describe a musical section as a whole, while cadences conclude it to lead into the next. A cadence may conclude a verse in order to create a chorus or bridge, or it may break up an entire piece into two or more parts that play with greater or lesser intensity than the previous one.
What are the easiest and most popular bass tabs?
Pink Floyd - Money:
You must have known this tab, as it is one of the most popular ones. It was created by Roger Waters and recorded in 1973. The whole song is in 7/4 time, but this section is in 4/4. If you're wondering, 7 indicates how many beats to count, whereas 4 informs you were to count it in the musical figure. In other words, 4 means crotchets.
Money's bassline, for example, is 2+2+3. This indicates you can count the bassline like so:
One, two – One, two – One, two, three.
The key to being on time is learning how to decompose each compass until it feels natural and comfortable for you. This bass tab is a great one to start with because it's easy to understand and play. Moreover, it's fun, too!
White Stripes - Seven Nation Army:
Any beginner can play this song! In 2003, the White Stripes released their song Seven Nation Army, which became a major hit. It helped propel them into the spotlight and is now heard everywhere from sports stadiums across the world to TV series and films.
The verses come with G, D, A, and E chords, which means the bassline will be based on those notes. The key to playing it correctly is nailing the timing and rhythm. You can practice this by counting out loud or tapping your foot along to the beat. The bass tabs look like 7-7-5-7-5-8-7.
When you come to the chorus, it repeats with a little difference in the end: 7-7-5-7-5-8-7-7-7-5-7-5-8-5-8-7. You don`t need to be a genius to understand it. The chorus is just the verse with an extra 8 at the end.
The Beatles - Come Together:
Legendary British rock band The Beatles needs no introduction. They were one of the most influential and commercially successful bands of all time. Their song "Come Together" is a great example of how to use target notes in your bassline.
The opening riff is iconic and easy to play. It's simply G, D, A, E, over and over again. What makes it so catchy is the way Paul McCartney plays around with the timing and rhythm. He doesn't start on the beat but comes in just after it. This gives the line a syncopated feel that really stands out.
Once you've got the hang of that, you can try adding some skips to give it more groove. The tabs look like this: G 10, D 12/5, A 10-12, E 10-10. You see, there are no strict rules when it comes to playing the bass. You can be as creative as you want, as long as you stay in time and in key.
Gorillaz - Feel Good
What young musician didn`t try to recollect the main melody of this song at least once? It is one of the most famous songs by British virtual band Gorillaz. The tabs for this song are very easy, which makes it a great choice for beginners.
This bass tab consists only of 2 chords A and D and looks like this: A 6-6-8-9, D 9-8-8-8-9-8, A 8-6. You can play around with the timing and rhythm to make it sound more interesting. For example, you can hold the first note of each chord for a longer time or add some slides between the notes.
As you can see, there are many easy bass tabs for beginners. So don't be discouraged if you can't play those fast and complex solos right away. Start with something simple and work your way up. With practice, you'll be able to play any bassline in no time!
What is the hardest thing in bass lines?
Playing the right notes at the right time. The best way to get better at bass lines is to practice, practice, practice. But sometimes it's difficult to find good material to practice with.
To practice better, you can do different exercises. For example, you can play scales with a metronome. This will help you get better at playing in time. You can also try different rhythms and ostinatos. Ostinatos are great for learning how to lock in with the rest of the band. They're also good for developing coordination and independence between your hands.
Once you've developed some basic skills, you can start learning songs. The best way to learn a song is to find a bass tab or transcription. This will give you the exact notes that you need to play. You can find bass tabs for almost any song online. But be careful, not all tabs are accurate. Make sure you check multiple sources before you learn a song.
Bass tabs that are easy to play usually have simple chords or melodies. They are a great way for beginners to get started with playing the bass. But don't be discouraged if you can't play those fast and complex solos right away. Start with something simple and work your way up. With practice, you'll be able to play any bassline in no time!