What Popular Songs Can I Play on the Bass?
Learning to play a string instrument like the double bass requires constant effort and determination. The string bass is a large instrument, and while you’re practicing, it aids your progress to use music exercises that engage your attention. Studies have shown that it’s an incredible waste of time to simply practice on “autopilot.” Playing music that you readily recognize and enjoy is an effective way to keep your whole attention focused on performing (called “determined practice”), which will assist your endeavors and improve your ability faster.
Fortunately, there are tons of online sheet music pop, and easy bass songs that you can download. Many classic rock and roll favorites and folk tunes are free, but you can also purchase contemporary music in any genre for a small amount. After downloading, you can print the easy bass music and create a personal play list. In fact, it can be worth the small cost to purchase a three-ring binder and some cellophane slip-holders to hold your music.
This list of songs can help you develop your bass-playing technique with deliberate practice, but it will also increase your improvisation skills. In addition, many of these songs will help you become adept at the “walking bass” line that is characteristic in blues songs and other styles.
Also, remember to look on the download site for an audio feature. It can be very beneficial to purchase your sheet music (either the stand alone part, or with accompaniments), and then practice playing along using this audio recording.
Great Practice Songs:
“The Pokémon” Theme from Pokémon, in G minor. Bass range: F2-Bb3. This $2.99 download is just plain fun, and sounds great on the double bass.
“Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” This Eb Major composition features a bass range of C3-F4 and costs $2.99. A classic movie favorite, this beloved tune is popular all over the world. Purchase the Double Bass and Piano set for $5.95.
“Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet in Gb Major. Add this challenging 5/4, jazzy staple to your repertoire for $5.95, but purchase just the sheet music for string bass for $2.99. This is a great piece for developing your beginner and intermediate bass playing kills.
“America the Beautiful” by Samuel Augustus Ward. Written in 1910, this patriotic song is still very popular today. This C Major composition is an appropriate piece to learn if you’re interested in performing in a professional capacity. $2.99 to download.
Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. Another $2.99 purchase, this beautiful Baroque masterpiece is easy to memorize and is a popular request for weddings. Get ready to challenge your rhythm and intonation skills, this piece features increasingly shortened notes as the measures progress, so your fingers will move faster and faster on the fingerboard. This easy bass music is perfect for beginners and intermediate players. The accompaniment arrangement is available for a total of $5.50.
“Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw, in Eb Major. A top video in 2015, this feel good, popular country music hit is filled with warm-hearted lyrics and a catchy melody. Buy the sheet music online for $3.25.
“She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, in F Major, costs $6.99 for the solo and accompaniment part. From the smashing new musical on Broadway, The Waitress, this brand new song sounds hauntingly beautiful when played on the double bass. See the video here.
“Uptown Funk!" by Mark Ronson, in D Minor. This award-winning hit is an 80’s type song from Bruno Mars, and remains on the popular charts. The solo and instrument part for the string bass is available for $2.99.
“Hello” by Adele, in F Minor. This highly popular tune can be downloaded for $2.99. The accompaniment music is available for $6.99 total.
“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, in A Minor. Although not technically a current hit, this iconic rock song remains a popular bass sheet music download. Its longstanding popularity has made it a rock standard since its release 45 years ago. Download it for $3.99, and watch Led Zeppelin perform it here.
Playing popular, easy bass songs like these will help strengthen your playing technique by keeping your attention focused. This list includes songs that are simple to learn, but that will also stretch your ability.