10 Hip Hop/Rap/Dance Songs For Bass Players

This is part of my Bass Guitar Syllabus post where I recommend songs in different genres to listen to (and then ultimately try and figure out by ear). Listening to good music is a form of practice and there is a lifetime of great bass playing to be learnt from these songs!

Make sure to check out the other genres.

Electronic styles of music unashamedly blend styles and genres to create exciting dance-worthy songs. They're so much fun to play for the bass player.

These songs are all easy to play and many have one main section that goes round and round. Start with these simple songs and use them to strengthen your ear whilst aiming to play from beginning to end without stopping.

1.What's Golden

Dirty simple minor riff.


2. People Everyday

Samples play a big part in Hip Hop which often means a groovy and repetitive bass line.


3. This Is How We Do It

Another example of a bass line that goes through the whole song. There's some nice minor second chord progression action going on too.

4. Superstylin'

The 'drop' is an important feature of House music and this tune nails it. Listen out (and figure out) the hypnotic bass line when it comes out. Also check out this live version.

5. Groove Is in the Heart

It doesn't get more infectiously groovy than this. The bass line is based around the 'funk formula'.

6. Blue Monday

Classic dance octaves.

7. Around the World

On the funk side of dance.

8. Rapper's Delight

Borrowed from Bernard Edwards' line on Good Times, this bass line outlines the Dorian mode.


9. Red Alert

Slap and fingers work on this envelope filter infused bass line.


10. Brown Paper Bag

Played on a double bass, this bass line nonetheless sounds great. Another repetitive one.

To learn more about what to learn and why head to Bass Guitar Syllabus

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