Top 5 Bass Lines & How to Play Them
The bass is often an overlooked instrument, but it shouldn’t be. The bass provides powerful bass lines, which hold a song together or can even take the lead. Bass lines and grooves give the song its rhythm and help give the other instruments freedom to roam. Some of the most famous and memorable songs are centered around catchy bass lines. The Who’s “My Generation”, Rush’s “YYZ”, or Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” are a few example of famous sounds with resounding bass lines.
The rhythm section of a band often serves as the centerpiece of many genres of music. With the rise in popularity of rock music in the 1960’s the electric bass soon replaced the double bass in most bands and music groups. As the bass developed over time, new techniques and styles were adapted to get the bass to produce more sounds.
The bass has been traditionally used in jazz, country, blues, folk, and bluegrass music genres. When hip-hop and rap music started to develop in the 80’s the bass and rhythm section began to take center stage. In recent years, electronic music and EDM use heavy bass tracks and grooves throughout songs. The bass is a powerful instrument that has developed over the years and now is used in many different way to create various styles of music. The bass plays an equally important role as any other instrument in music.
We’ve assembled a list of our top five bass lines and provided you with videos on how to play them.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California
Flea happens to be one of the most skilled bass players of all time. His live bass riffs are often hard to duplicate but this video shows you how to play his much more tame version of Dani California.
Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure
One of the memorable bass grooves from the early 80’s, Under Pressure is simple groove but as you may now, very catchy.
Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild side
Walk on the Wild Side is a very different song from the rest of our songs on our list. The song is a slower tempo but the bass takes the lead in this song and plays with powerful chords throughout.
The Who – My Generation
You can’t have a list about bass lines without including The Who’s classic hit, “My Generation”. It is one of the first recorded musical compositions with a bass solo in it.
Pink Floyd – Money
Last but not least we have Pink Floyd’s “Money”. Another catchy bass groove that anyone can identify after the first 5 notes. One of the first songs that beginner bass players learn to play.
Bonus: Primus – John The Fisherman
I decided to add a bonus song to this list. This song is about advanced as they come but it includes most of the bass playing tenchinques I mentioned above. Warning. Only attempt this song if your fingers are ready to rock.