17 Easy Tuba Songs For Beginners

Tuba is all about the basslines. But that doesn’t mean you want to sit around doing drills and exercises all day long. Wouldn’t you love a bit of music to sink your teeth into?

Well, don’t worry, because even as a tubaist, there are more than a few songs you can pick up as a beginner.

And in this guide, we look at over a dozen easy tuba songs for beginners.

“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen

Song year: 1980

Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” as with several other tunes introduced here, effectively falls under the category of “songs every music student should study and learn.”

Now, the song can be about as complicated as you make it, and that’s true of just about any song. But learning the chorus melody should prove a walk in the park for just about anyone.

The disco-influenced “Another One Bites The Dust” is a great song to get warmed up with.

“Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd

Song year: 2020

The 80s retro-influenced “Save Your Tears” was written and produced by The Weeknd alongside the legendary Max Martin and Oscar Holter. The song made it big, propelling all the way to the top of the charts in 18 countries.

The song is dominated by layers of synthesizers. Some have called the melodies “ominous” but I’m not hearing it. I would call them stale. But that’s just me.

Most importantly, though, the melody is a relatively easy one to play on the tuba.

“Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande

Song year: 2018

Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” was the surprise release of November 2018. Given her lyrical content, I’m not sure if anything coming from Grande can truly be considered a surprise. At best, it’s an “unannounced” release.

The song, fittingly, is a tribute to Grande’s failed relationships. Music critics ate it up.

The video above demonstrates how to play the melody to this song, which features sextuplets quite heavily. You’ll probably want to start slow with this one and gradually build up some speed.

Fun tuba songs

“Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran

Song year: 2017

Ed Sheeran didn’t originally write “Shape Of You” for himself and rather intended it as a Rihanna / Rudimental duet. After the head of the record label convinced him to keep it as his own, Sheeran attempted to get Jay-Z to lend a verse, though he politely declined.

That might explain why “Shape Of You” is more pop and tropical house inspired than many of his other tunes.

The melody sits relatively “tightly” on the staff, which is perhaps why tuba players have found it to be an easy song to play. But the melody does move fast, so you’ll almost certainly want to start slow and build up from there.

“Believer” by Imagine Dragons

Song year: 2017

Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” sounds like a typical tune for the Las Vegas pop band. Lead vocalist Dan Reynolds said the song is about rising above his experiences with arthritis and as many other struggles he could conjure up.

The music video is especially fun, given that it shows a boxing match between Reynolds, as well as Swedish actor and martial artist Dolph Lundgren, known best as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

In typical Imagine Dragon fashion, the melody features plenty of triplets and sextuplets.

“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

Song year: 2003

The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” features a simple, straightforward garage band arrangement. Given that the “band” was effectively a duo, it’s not surprising.

Though many people initially thought the song was, at best, ironic, it went on to be embraced as a sports arena pump-up.

The main riff is easy enough for any instrumentalist to learn, which is why “Seven Nation Army” is widely taught in music schools everywhere you go. Like it or hate it, it’s not a bad song to get under your command.

How to play tuba

“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

Song year: 2014

The throwback 70s funk of “Uptown Funk” quickly caught on with audiences everywhere. It helped that British producer Mark Ronson knew to employ the helping hand of Bruno Mars to amp up the excitement for the tune.

The song rose to the top of the charts, and stayed at the top for consecutive weeks, making it the most successful tune for Ronson and Mars alike.

As you might have expected, the bassline is handled very nicely on the tuba. The above tutorial will also walk you through the melody.

“Careless Whisper” by George Michael

Song year: 1984

George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” is remembered well for that classic saxophone riff. But who says you can’t play it on the tuba?

The song is primarily about a guilty lover who betrays their significant other, and as a result, the song is emotional, both in terms of delivery and arrangement.

If you’re able to play the riff on tuba, you’ll probably see plenty of heads turning in recognition, even if the people listening can’t immediately place the riff.

“Hey Jude” by The Beatles

Song year: 1968

The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” is one of the most popular and well-known uplifting singalongs of all time. Rest assured it paved the way for plenty of anthem rock bands, including Journey.

It is a cliché, but it's also a truism that every student should endeavor to learn a bit of Beatles, as you just never know when it might be called upon at an open mic, jam, or performance.

“Hey Jude” is an excellent tune to tackle as a tuba player, especially as it will teach you many essential techniques for playing melodies.

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