Top Ten Hardest Bass Riffs
The Top Ten
Can a song be both overrated in it's difficulty and deserving of it at the same time? Yes; YYZ is exactly that - a legendary, difficult song that is legendary partly from its difficulty.
Yyz is a difficult song. It's basic tune isn't that hard thought the solo's leave me jumbled. I have been learning bass for close to two years now and this has definitely been the biggest challenge yet. Like I said the tempo isn't to hard and if you want to make things easier for yourself use a little third finger. The solo's and particularly the triplet ending are... hmm lets say FRUSTRATING, but apart from that its not an extremely difficult piece. Really some Primus should be up at number 1. I have to agree, Cliff Burtons anesthesia sounds ridiculously guitar rooted; but man I have to give it too him to come up with that is some great work. GEDDY IS BETTER. I have to ask why the hell is hysteria even on this list?! It's a sinch. I learnt it in like 40 minutes. Seriously.
It's really painful to learn this song, and I disagree with some of the comments here : the base lines aren't easy at all, to play them properly with mutes and rigor is really demanding. Though, after playing the song a few hundred times, it actually seems to be easy. The very hard part is the solos and the end, which are incredibly difficult to play properly, even after lots of time through them. The only thing which makes this song easier than some of this top 10 is that the rhythm isn't so complex and it doesn't demands a lot of endurance to get through the song.
The tempo isn't all that fast ranging from around 90-110. It starts to get hard when you notice the whole song is in sixteenth and there is absolutely no room for error because the entire time the bass line is the melody to the song. The bass line is set up so melodiously that you can anticipate the note before it happens which is why you can't miss a single note.
Well, I've learned the first half of the song (my fingers started bleeding) but the drum part is pure insanity
This is Cliff Burton at his best. The recording was insane, but the live version is pure insanity on the bass. Hell I can play bits on pieces of this song, but even in the first riff, my fingers hurt like hell. Cliff's best song on the bass
It may seem like an easy song but once you really get into this song you start realizing that its really not. To memorize each part is nuts.. To play each part is nuts. To get the distortion to mastery is nuts. Good luck with this one world.
Honestly I can play both anesthesia and yyz and I think yyz is a whole lot easier just because the timing is easier... Oh yeah and there is insane bass chords in anesthesia and crazy triplets that yyz does not have. Do not undermind this song because it is not famous it is really difficult
A good opening song and a great opening solo to play if you have all the frets and the slap bass during the verse is just flawless!
Never had to listen to a chorus so many times to get the hang of the bass' groove
It took me a while to get the hang of how the funk and the beat worked together
Difficult solo and overall song is hard to play
Ever tried to play this song? Don't. It will completely destroy and/or ruin your life. Laugh out loud It's funny that half of these songs are by les claypool.
Wow! Really amazing how he plays this while singing and moving around. Definitely deserves to be at the top of this list.
I can't drive THAT damn fast, Les.
For a person who only played bass for a year looking at this song made me just nope out
I honestly think that this should be higher up on the list. Yes, the intro sounds difficult (and it is, especially if you play in standard), but the solo section is the real doozie here. Not because of the fact it's insanely fast, or makes you stretch over about 5 frets, but because of the fact that it takes a boatload of endurance to play through it, and it definitely takes 1000 times more than any songs in the top 10.
Why is this not top 3? This song should have been named the "Make Your Arms Pudding Song" YYZ would only be harder in the area of more to remember, whilst this is far more technically difficult.
I'll put this one as number 2, it's hard but fun to play it, of course the first time you actully achieve it your hands are going to be like after an earthquake
This song is hard, fast at times and abruptly slow, just to get back on track as well. It should be higher in the list
This song is quite hard, but not enough I think to be on this top 10. However, it's not that easy like some of the comments suggest. The base line can be difficult to learn for a beginner, and it's difficult to keep it constant in terms of speed and intensity through the entire song
Epic song, but its not that hard, I can play it after only playing bass for 2 years. But its still my favourite song on base.
this bassline is hard, not only because the Intros & verses are played at a blinding pace, but the chorus is slow, thus making it hard to stay in time
Fantastic feeling when you play it well, the intro is bloody mental!
Without a doubt, the most difficult Primus lick of all time. The amount of technique needed to play this is beyond that of most player's range, and is a notorious morale killer.
You try playing Hysteria and Anesthesia followed by Tommy the cat, out of the three Tommy the Cat will be the hardest to pull of because Les Claypool is such a unique bassist, you will also notice the different levels of physical energy required, this song if played in succession will break a lesser man, plus it's fun and that's what counts, in all honesty my opinion is this is one of the hardest to pull off, along with the awakening.
To be honest this should really be higher up on the list, hysteria isn't hard at all, it's actually quite easy, and the only part to Anesthesia that's hard is when the drums come in, I tried to play this song and it's pretty tough
How tf is this easier than aeroplane, not to mention les is singing a busty vocal line
A good bass line but hard to get the hang of. Especially the fills
Nope not hard especially if your used to metal music
It just sounds really hard too.
Gosh, don't even try to.
Jamiroquai has some amazing baselines, art least one it the sights deserves to be on the list
Hands down, the most underrated difficult song on here. An absolute gunshot of an intro, followed by a walking bassline from hell.
This is so fast and really hard to play
I've spent the last 2 month trying to learn this and I'm only starting to get it down this bass line is honestly insaine
The time signature on this song is arguably what makes it so difficult. Even if you work around the complexity of the main riff and play a simplified version, it is still difficult to control the tone, especially when the riff moves to the 4th string. Still, it's an incredibly fun song to play, and learning it successfully (for the most part) is truly satisfying. I found a great video on YouTube where a dude breaks the song down so you can learn to play it.
justin chancellor is one of the best bass players of all time he has a vary unique way of playing the bass. he is the master of crazy heavy melodic bass riffs
omg justin chancellor has such a unique and tricky way of playing the bass, his timing is so off but when put together it sounds amazing... it is the hardest song I've ever tried to learn
This isn't too hard once you've learned it, but it takes some time. What the heck is hysteria doing so high up? It's fast but once you get it it's super easy...
Wouldn't say this is the who's hardest song on bass (the real or dreaming from the waist), but their bassist only played at about 0.0001% in the studio. He blows any other bassists here out of the water on the technical level, and I'm sure they would all admit to it too
John Entwistle is one of the first greatest bass players ever so to read this list and not see him on it really disappoints me
John used about 10 ~~ of his talent on studio tracks. If you don't listen to his live riffs you are missing the whole point of The Who.
John Entwistle is amazing.
A lot of Chris's basslines are really cool. The one from Sappy is great too, and so is the one from Heart Shaped Box. Definitely a great and underrated bass player.
This is one of nirvana's best songs on bass besides sliver krist novoselic is a good bassist there a good band check them out
Recently have been learning a lot of Nirvana songs for a tribute set, and this one is by far the trickiest. All those slick slides in the verses give this an amazing vibe.
The chorus part cost me much time to find out how to play...
You can see how hard it is to play if you look how many wrong bass tabs of this song are out there... They're ALL WRONG you dumb wanna-be bass player morons... Grow yourself some EARS!
I have not a bass, so the guitar is my practice instrument. Lets just say people were impressed when I picked up a bass
This is the song that made me want to play bass. The bit were it all goes quite for a couple of seconds and the bass slowly starts is incredible and there is really no other song quite like it. In my opinion the best instrumental of all time.
Why is for whom the bell tolls in the list? Orion is sixty times as hard. And, having said that, for whom the bell tolls ain't even hard...
It only took me a few hours to learn most of the song (minus the solo), but it's been a while and I still can't make it sound nearly as clean and great as Cliff does. The solo is the part that gets me every time, those 16th notes.
Very intense bass line. Takes a while to learn but is a very fun song to play. The bass runs after the choruses and after the solo is simply genius. Extremely good song.
Really fun to play but will take time to learn
It's very fun to play and learn thought takes time to perfect
I played this Senior year in HS for a senior spotlight show for the music department. It was so tough back then that I ended up just improvising at many parts/. Still sounded great, but only because I took the basics of the song (if there is anything "basic" about it) and using the same style with easier versions of some of the riffs. I can play it pretty well now after a few years of coming back to it now & again, but there are still parts that get me. Claypool is a god.
"Hardest I've ever tried. "
I have never heard or played anything like this
This isn't a Les Claypool song you fools. It's by a band called The Reddings. It's actually Otis Reddings son on bass
The notes aren't that hard but the rhythm is the hardest one out there it keeps stopping and starting
This honestly needs to be the highest on the list. John Paul Jones is a bass god, but in this song he channels the pure essence of groove and uses it to lay down a line with swagger unmatched by anything else I've heard, and I've heard a lot. For a song based around a blues pattern he keeps the bass line constantly fresh, constantly spicy, constantly moving around, but NEVER overplays! When the band plays, they all leave enough space for each other so that each member can play to the fullest without sacrificing the song for the notes. As far as any other song even close to this style of playing goes, you don't need to look any further.
In my opinion, the best display of bass playing ever. Sure, tapping, slapping, sweeping, etc is cool but to be bass is best served a groove instrument. This song is full of improv-ed groove from Jonesy. Tons of tasteful and musical licks, sweet runs, and dead notes. Not to mention having to play all on up beats on the faster part of the song. And as said, memorizing this whole thing is insane.
In the central part the basso solo is incredible.. I think this is the difficult bass riff not rush Metallica and... Muse! This isn't a band is a nightmare!
A really quick, off-kilter galloping rhythm that can easily throw off novice players, and can even give more seasoned players some trouble in the mid-sections.
The base line doesn't seem so hard, but the ghost notes are really frustrating and make it way more difficult!
I Like the Bass, I am currently learning it, especially after it's attention for "To be Continued..." I had to do it.
I can never get the rhythm right. Too fast for me.
Dear lord the fact that their isn't a Dream Theater song on the list until 14 (Panic Attack) is insane. John Myung is INSANE. This song is INSANE! This song, on all instruments, is EXTREMELY difficult and requires a tremendous amount of focus, skill, and precision to play. Learning this song on Drums was one thing but I imagine on every other instrument it's even more difficult to play, and this is no exception. There's a reason why it's considered one of the most difficult pieces of contemporary music to learn and play.
This song has over 100 time signature changes in under 7 minutes, it contains the time signatures 13/16, 15/16, and 17/16, as well as many, many others. How this song isn't in the top 10 blows my mind.
Why isn't this at top 5? This piece is just insane. every instrument is really hard on this song. John myung is a beast with his 6 string bass
Hardest song I know on bass. Easily beats Metallica and Tool.
How the hell is this NOT #1? YYZ is hard, but the technique to play this song compared to YYZ is miles away in difficulty!
The entire song is insanely fast, and is played almost exclusively with your thumb. This is probably the hardest song to learn how to play, and there are so many unique parts to learn.
Fast as hell and tricky. How isn't this higher?
In my opinion this is a much harder bass solo the anesthesia victor Wooten's style is very interesting and challenging with lots of speed and complex melodies this should defintly be #1
ONLY A GUITARIST WILL RANK VICTOR 22 don't belive everything you see on the internet because this list is a big mess everything is wrong I can play YYZ I can't ever play victor wooten and I can say that I will never play his songs to his standards because its impossible
No one has mastered bass as much as he has!
How in gods name is classical thump or show of hands not in the top three? As it is a post about the hardest bass riffs it's embarrassing looking at how easy the top ten really is!
That harmonic run down lick he does is near impossible.
Victor Wooten dude
This is one of the most complex and musical songs of all time. I would put rush in terms of complexity and musicality on the same level with Beethoven or Bach or Handel Mozart and Vivaldi. Its not just this song, yyz, 2112, Xanadu, and Cygnus x-1 part 1and 2 etc. Plus the bass solo in the middle says it all about Geddy Lee who is without a doubt the greatest bass player of all time.
One of the strangest timed rush songs along with Xanadu and Cyngus x-1 part 1 & 2. Giddy is insane and unbelievably melodic in timing and skill. This song flows like an orchestral piece. With alex's gut air solo and Geddys solo in the middle. Giddy lee is the best and rush has the most skilled players of there instruments.
Oh man this song has one of the best build ups in my opinion, Geddy does not disappoint. Especially with the unexpected fast bass solo that pops up towards the end, took hours to get down right! The synchronicity of these three guys is just amazing
The greatest bass solo of all time. The greatest bass player of all time. This song is better and harder then most of the songs above it and one thing you have to remember about the list is it's hardest bass songs not the coolest bass songs.
Actually, probably one of the easiest bass lines on the album, but I had to vote for it because it's the chilies. If you want some hard Flea bass lines, try playing songs like Salute to Kareem, Coffee Shop and Permutation or any live jams. Also look at songs like Wet Sand and Soul to Squeeze because those are just beautiful on bass.
One of fleas best bass lines. Its amazing how he plays from pop and slap to everything else in that somng and his little solo is brill
Both amazing and difficult bassline. Flea is great!