In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best bass guitar songs of all time. Each song here was selected for its iconic nature that inspired thousands of bassists with its unique technique and sound.

Here we’ll see some old classics like Come Together by The Beatles and Money by Pink Floyd, along with some of my personal favorites.

Quick Look: Best Bass Guitar Songs of All Time

#1 Best Bass Guitar Song Overall: Money – Pink Floyd


I’m an experienced bass player with several live shows and recordings under my belt. I quite enjoy playing this groovy and powerful instrument, as the bass is an essential part of any song if played with grace.

Join me as we will explore some of the best songs that feature recognizable and unique bass lines in them.

Bass Guitar Songs

What Makes a Great Bass Guitar Song?

There are several factors to consider when we talk about a good bass guitar song. In my personal opinion, a great bass song must have an iconic bass line with some unique and innovative techniques in it.

bass guitar musician playing a bass guitar song

Most of the songs on this list feature the bass as the main instrument.

Types of Bass Guitar Music

The bass guitar is quite versatile and can be used for almost any musical style. Here I selected some of the most prominent genres that use this instrument.


Jazz is a difficult genre to describe, as this style uses improvisation as its core idea. This style was created in New Orleans in the late 19th century. This musical style requires a huge deal of musical theory and experience, and most jazz musicians are considered some of the most professional and technical artists in the world.

See also: Best Bass Guitars For Jazz Buyer’s Guide


Rock is one of the oldest musical styles that’s quite popular to this day. This genre branched out into numerous musical styles like metal, hard rock, and progressive rock, among many others. This style is based on certain rhythm forms such as 4/4 and simple verse/chorus/verse structures, which makes it so popular and accessible to the mainstream public.


Blues takes inspiration from African American work songs, which were sung by African slaves to alleviate their misery. This style is characterized by pure emotion, as it’s more centered on expressing feelings rather than telling a story.

This style is one of the oldest ones, and it’s considered a father of many genres like rock, jazz, soul, funk, and many others.


Metal was born during the 70s when bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath became quite popular. This style has a loud and aggressive sound, often played with distortion on the guitars and an overall dark sound.

Nowadays, the metal genre has numerous subgenres, and this musical style gained many proponents during the 80s and the 90s with bands like Metallica, Sepultura, Slayer, and Napalm Death.


Funk takes inspiration from other African American genres like blues and soul. Funk music became prominent during the 70s with artists like James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, The Meters, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Funk is an uplifting and dynamic style, as it features fast and groovy bass lines with fast drums and catchy vocals.

10 Best Bass Guitar Songs

Now let’s dive deeper into the songs and what made them so important for the bass guitar.

a musician playing a bass guitar for jazz

Here you’ll find a mixed bag of unique and iconic bass songs from which you can learn a lot about this instrument.

1. Ramble On

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Music type: Folk rock
  • Artist: Led Zeppelin
  • Album: Led Zeppelin II
  • Year released: 1969

Ramble On is a unique blend of folk and rock with the signature 70s Zeppelin sound. This song is hugely inspired by the Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, as Robert Plant takes this world and takes a personal journey through it.

This song has one of the most interesting bass lines made by John Paul Jones. His groovy arrangements add a smooth and old-school feel to this track, which takes huge inspiration from the blues and folk genres.

2. Come Together

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Music type: Blues rock
  • Artist: The Beatles
  • Album: Abbey Road
  • Year released: 1969

Come Together is one of many hit songs composed and recorded by The Beatles during the late 60s. This song was inspired by the slogan “Come Together, Join the Party,” which was used by Timothy Leary, an activist and close friend of John Lennon.

Lennon was asked to write a new official song for Leary’s campaign for governor of California. John Lennon wrote several mock-ups, but none of them could be used. One of those mock-ups was this little gem, which was rescued and rearranged to become the opening track of the iconic Abbey Road album.

This song features a groovy bass line inspired by blues and soul. Here we can hear the versatility of McCartney, as this bass line sounds fresh and interesting even to this day.

3. For Whom the Bell Tolls

  • Difficulty: Professional
  • Music type: Heavy metal
  • Artist: Metallica
  • Album: Ride the Lightning
  • Year released: 1984

This song is one of the most popular tracks recorded by Metallica, which was featured in their second album Ride The Lightning. The title is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same name, where he explores the cruelty of modern warfare, which he experienced in person during the Spanish Civil War in 1937.

This track features one of the most famous bass solos in metal history. Here you clearly hear the masterful ability of Cliff Burton as he brings us this iconic and highly technical bass line that makes this song so unique and praised.

4. Money

  • Difficulty: Professional
  • Music type: Progressive rock
  • Artist: Pink Floyd
  • Album: The Dark Side of the Moon
  • Year released: 1973

Money is the first big American Billboard hit recorded by Pink Floyd. This song features the complex 7/8 time signature and some unique and original arrangements. The bass line written by Roger Waters is considered one of the most iconic bass lines in rock history. It fits in perfectly with that strange tempo and adds the necessary stability and groove to this song.

This song is almost entirely written by Roger Waters, and his bass lines give the foundation for the guitars and other instruments. With some interesting sound effects in the mix, this hit song takes a journey exploring the value of money and the materialism we all live in.

5. Schism

  • Difficulty: Professional
  • Music type: Progressive metal
  • Artist: Tool
  • Album: Lateralus
  • Year released: 2001

Schism is one of the strangest metal songs you’ll find out there. This track has complex and strange tempo and explores the idea of human division by expressing it through unique time signatures. The first few measures are some of the most recognizable bass lines in metal history. You can play them on your bass and everybody will know what band is it.

Schism is about a distant future, where two opposing groups are in constant conflict, creating “the Great Schism” in the process. This Schism makes each side start treating the opposite as less human, therefore giving the justification for violence.

This track is one of my favorites on this list, as it takes an interesting and complex idea and wraps it in an even more complex and unique sound.

6. Lounge Act

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Music type: Grunge
  • Artist: Nirvana
  • Album: Nevermind
  • Year released: 1991

Lounge Act might not be the most famous bass guitar song, but this track certainly shows the mastery of Chris Novoselic, the bass player from Nirvana. This bassist is very underrated, as his bass lines are quite ingenious and interesting, and they’re great for learning some advanced techniques with the bass.

This song is a great example of what this band is capable of, as they take a simple structure and chord progression and make them into something really unique and special. This is a perfect example of what three young and creative musicians can do when they join forces in a band.

7. Give It Away

  • Difficulty: Professional
  • Music type: Funk rock
  • Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Album: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
  • Year released: 1991

Give it Away is the popular single from the band’s fifth studio album called Blood Sugar Sex Magik. This track is probably the most famous song made by Red Hot Chili Peppers, as it rapidly climbed the top ten charts all around the world. This song features one of the fastest and funkiest bass lines made by legendary bassist Flea.

This song is based on a jam session between Flea and John Frusciante, the guitarist of the band. Originally, the main musical idea was created when both of them played in H.A.T.E., a side project with some members of Fishbone. After this project disbanded, they thought this track could be a proper Red Hot Chili Peppers track.

The lyrics are about pure altruism and how it can make you happier than all the money in the world, as all our dreams and goals are based on the interactions we have with other people.

8. Killing in the Name

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Music type: Funk metal
  • Artist: Rage Against the Machine
  • Album: Rage Against the Machine
  • Year released: 1992

Killing in the Name of is a smooth blend between funk and metal made in pure Rage Against the Machine fashion. The simple but effective riff and bass line of this song made this track so famous, as it got to the top ten charts numerous times in several different countries.

The bass line is quite easy to learn, and it’ll teach you how to write and perform a really good and punchy bass line. You can hear this song frequently played by many young musicians and new bands.

This song has a big political charge, as it takes inspiration from the Rodney King case, which engulfed Los Angeles in riots as a result. In the authentic Rage Against The Machine style, they take the most important facts of this case and transform them into catchy revolutionary lyrics.

9. Dazed and Confused

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Music type: Hard rock
  • Artist: Led Zeppelin
  • Album: Led Zeppelin
  • Year released: 1969

Dazed and Confused is a darker version of the song composed by Jake Holmes in 1967. As it happens with many Led Zeppelin songs, they took or outright stole some riffs from lesser-known artists, which caused them put the names of original composers in their albums. But what Zeppelin really knew how to do well is to take those old songs and transform them into real hits, using their signature sound.

Dazed and Confused begins with one of the most iconic bass lines written by John Paul Jones, as it sets the mood for the rest of the song. Simple but ingenious, this bass line was used as an opening for the John Paul Jones section of the famous Song Remains the Same concert in the Madison Square Garden in 1973.

10. Whipping Post

  • Difficulty: Professional
  • Music type: Southern rock
  • Artist: The Allman Brothers Band
  • Album: The Allman Brothers Band
  • Year released: 1969

Whipping Post first appeared as a final track of the debut album made by The Allman Brothers Band. This song blends dark blues rock with Southern rock melodies, creating a unique contrast. Although one of their earliest compositions, this song was a staple in their live performances and a hit of its own.

Some live versions of Whipping Post can last more than 20 minutes, as they take the original version and add some jazz and psychedelic touches to the mix. This track is the first one I heard from this band.

Whipping Post made me appreciate The Allman Brothers Band, as this band is one of the most versatile groups I’ve ever heard. Their songs can go from jazz, soul, and blues to Southern rock and psychedelic music.

Best Bass Guitar Players

After exploring some of the best songs for the bass guitar, an obvious question comes to mind. Who are the artists behind these iconic songs?

best bass guitar players

Let’s take a look at this small selection of the best bass players of all time.


Flea is currently considered one of the best, if not the best, bass guitar player in the world. His power-funk technique is praised and admired by many musicians, no matter their level. Flea perfectly blends funk and punk, creating his own unique style in the process.

And let’s not forget that Flea appeared as an extra in many Hollywood movies like Back to the Future, The Big Lebowski, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Cliff Burton

Cliff Burton is the legendary bass player from Metallica who helped compose some of the most famous songs from their classic albums Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. Cliff Burton had a great understanding of music theory and harmony, which can be heard in his complex and beautiful bass lines and arrangements.

His prolific career was cut short by a tragic accident during the European tour in 1986. The bus they were traveling in capsized and unfortunately took the life of the best bass player in metal history.

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones is one of the four legendary members of Led Zeppelin. This man is responsible for smoothing out all of the band’s distortion and edgy sound, giving them a more professional sound quality.

John Paul Jones is a versatile musician that can easily compose songs for the bass, mandolin, or piano, as he was classically trained in his youth. John has the most subtle and elegant style when it comes to bass guitar, which is why he is so appreciated to this day.

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In Conclusion

I hope you had fun reading this article about the best bass guitar songs of all time. Here we took a look at some of the most interesting songs that feature prominent and innovative bass lines. From old classics by Led Zeppelin to more modern bands like Tool and Nirvana, we’ve seen a huge variety of playing styles and techniques on the bass guitar.

If you enjoyed this read, feel free to share or leave a comment about your favorite bass players.

Stay safe and as always, good luck with your sonic adventures!