You may find it difficult to find bass books to help you practice your instrument. This guide to the best bass guitar books for beginners will help you find great books, so you can learn bass guitar faster.

I’ve been playing guitar and bass for many years. I know how hard it can be to find a good book to help you learn about music and all aspects of the bass guitar.

Quick Look: Best Bass Guitar Books for Beginners

#1 Best Beginner Bass Guitar Book: Bass for Dummies


You can use the books in this guide as you learn how to play bass guitar. Create your own music bookshelf and use lessons in these books as inspiration for your own playing.

What Makes a Great Bass Guitar Book?

Each bass guitar book highlights a certain aspect of playing bass guitar. For example, you may want a good scale or chord book. Other books will help you play songs or work on a certain bass technique.

a great bass guitar book

You may want to have a combination of books to fill out your bookshelf. The books listed below would all make excellent additions to your music book collection.

Types of Bass Guitar Books

This short guide below will show you the basic types of bass guitar books that you can expect to find. You don’t necessarily need all of these books, but a good combination can help you out.


You’ll probably want a book that explains bass guitar scales. You want to be able to move freely up and down the fretboard, so this type of book is the ideal option.


While a lot of bass guitar involves single-note playing, there are also bass chords that you can play. A good chord encyclopedia designed for bass can be an asset to your music bookshelf.


You may want a book or two on certain bass techniques. There may be a certain bass guitar technique that you want to learn, and a book that focuses on these aspects can be beneficial.

Music Theory

It’s a good idea to have a book on music theory. Since music theory is universal, you can apply this to bass guitar as well. Of course, a book that focuses specifically on bass guitar theory can be more of an asset.


You’ll probably want some books that dive into certain bass guitar styles, such as rock or metal. You may also want some song books that teach you how to play the bass lines of your favorite songs.

See also: Best Bass Guitar Songs

10 Best Bass Guitar Books

Here are the 10 best bass guitar books for beginners. These books will help you learn how to play the bass guitar properly. I’ve chosen books in several different categories, so you’ll have a well-rounded music collection.

1. Music Theory for the Bass Player

  • Author: Ariane Cap
  • Length: 184 pages
  • Style: All
  • Material covered: Music theory/playing bass

Music Theory for the Bass Player is an excellent book on bass guitar theory. Beginners can start out on the first few pages and work their way through the book as they gain experience on the bass. This is a book that you can keep in your collection forever.

I like this book because it teaches not only the basics, but advanced topics too. The student will learn intervals, triads, basics of the bass, various techniques, scales, and other aspects of bass guitar playing.



2. First 50 Songs You Should Learn on Bass Guitar

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 122 pages
  • Style: All
  • Material covered: Songs

The First 50 Songs You Should Learn book teaches the student plenty of famous bass guitar songs. New bass players will have a solid foundation in songs after they finish going through this book. The bass lines are featured in easy-to-follow tablature format.

The book covers a lot of great songs such as Black Dog, American Girl, Crossfire, Down on the Corner, Paranoid, Hey Joe, and other hit songs. The player has plenty of options for songs to learn with this book.



3. Bass Guitar for Dummies

  • Author: Pattrick Pfeiffer
  • Length: 416 pages
  • Style: All
  • Material covered: Multiple topics

Bass Guitar for Dummies is an excellent reference book for all aspects of playing bass guitar. Beginner bass guitar students will learn a lot through this book. They can take it slowly and add in other concepts as they get more confident playing bass guitar.

The book focuses on the basics, but includes other material such as how to play bass in multiple genres, warming up, scales, bass maintenance, rhythm, and other topics. This bass guitar learning book has the student covered.



4. Bass Scale Finder

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 112 pages
  • Style: Any
  • Material covered: Bass scales

Bass Scale Finder is an excellent resource for the student that’s learning how to play bass guitar scales. Each of the scales is presented in an easy-to-follow format. You can look up whatever scale you want to play and get multiple fingerings for it.

This is an excellent book for learning bass guitar scales. Each scale shape has multiple fingerings on each page, so the student will have different ways of playing each scale. All of the basic scales are presented in the book.



5. Bass Chord Encyclopedia

  • Author: Alfred Music
  • Length: 96 pages
  • Style: Any
  • Material covered: Basic bass chords

Bass Chord Encyclopedia is the perfect reference material for the beginner bass guitar student looking to learn the chords for playing bass. The individual notes are laid out for each chord form, so the student can follow along.

I like this book because it showcases the basic chords and the keys. Not only will students learn the basic chords, but as they get better, all the other chords are outlined in this book.



6. Rock Bass

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 96 pages
  • Style: Rock
  • Material covered: How to play rock bass/songs

The Rock Bass book teaches the student the basics of the bass guitar as it applies to rock music. There are various songs covered in the book, and students will have a solid foundation in playing rock music once they go through the book.

I like this book because it teaches bass basics and applies them to various songs. Students won’t be bored when they go to this book because not only will they be learning bass guitar techniques but popular songs as well.



7. Blues Bass

  • Author: Joe Liebman
  • Length: 80pages
  • Style: Blues
  • Material covered: How to play blues

The Blues Bass book gives the beginner and intermediate bass guitar player plenty of material pertaining to playing blues bass guitar. The student will use simple blues concepts as well as advanced ones.

This book not only teaches students basic blues styles, but also many different styles of blues. Players will have a solid foundation in playing blues bass once they work through this book.



8. Heavy Metal Bass Method

  • Author: Stephan Richter
  • Length: 68 pages
  • Style: Heavy metal
  • Material covered: Metal bass techniques

This book is perfect for both beginners as well as intermediate players. The Heavy Metal Bass Method covers various aspects of playing metal bass. Students will learn concepts such as fingerstyle, playing with a pick, and other techniques.

I like this book because it contains over 120 musical examples that help the student learn the various concepts presented in the book. It will take the student from the beginning stages all the way up to an intermediate level.



9. Simple Songs for Bass

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 120 pages
  • Style: Rock/metal
  • Material covered: Songs

This book introduces the bass guitar student to some simple songs that they can play on their bass. All songs are transcribed in tablature, so they’re easy to read. Students will have a good song foundation when they finish.

I like the Simple Songs for Bass book because the tablature is simplified and the beginning bass student will be able to follow along without any problem. They’ll learn the basics of playing songs after they complete the material.



10. 100 Easy Pop Bass Lines

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 64 pages
  • Style: Pop/rock
  • Material covered: Playing songs

The 100 Easy Pop Bass Lines book teaches the student various popular bass songs. Student will have a good vocabulary of songs to play after they finish going through this book.

I like how this book is arranged because students will learn bass songs on only a couple of strings in the first part of the book. Once they master that, they’ll move onto songs that use all four bass strings.



Beginner Bass Guitar Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions that beginners ask about bass guitar when using a book to learn how to play the instrument.

What Are the Best Bass Guitar Books for Me?

You’ll find a wide range of different books on bass guitar. Here are a few of my recommendations that you probably want to have on your bookshelf.

best beginner bass guitars

All of these books will give you a solid foundation.

  • Basic chord book
  • Scale book
  • Bass guitar techniques or styles such as rock, etc.
  • Music theory book
  • Songbooks

If you have a well-rounded bookshelf, then it will be easier for you to learn bass guitar. You can refer to the material at any time.

How Can I Learn Bass Guitar Faster with a Book?

You really can’t learn bass guitar faster with a book. You have to take the process slowly. The book is beneficial because you can learn step by step, but it’s not necessarily a faster method of learning how to play bass.

Do I Need Music Lessons with a Book?

While you don’t technically need lessons if you use bass guitar books for learning, they can be beneficial. A proper bass guitar teacher can show you how to play various techniques the right way, and you won’t develop as many bad habits.

Should I Use Bass Song Books?

I recommend that you use bass guitar songbooks. A lot of the information you find online is not that accurate. You’ll learn the proper transcription of a song through a songbook.

A lot of this material is the official transcription of the song, so it’s going to be accurate. Some songbooks have stripped-down versions of songs, which can be beneficial for beginners.

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In Conclusion

Thank you for reading my guide to the best bass guitar books for beginners. All of this material will give you plenty to practice on your bass guitar.

Make sure you take things slowly and don’t try to do too much at once. Break the book up into manageable sections and work through each section. Don’t try to learn too many songs at once, but focus on one and then move on.

Please comment, like, and share this article. I look forward to hearing from you at any time. Now, go pick up your bass and play some great lines.