17 Easy Tuba Songs For Beginners

“About Damn Time” by Lizzo

Song year: 2022

The post-disco of “About Damn Time” was a real doozy, picking up multiple MTV Video Music Awards as well as a Grammy Award. TikTok extended the song’s shelf life considerably, though in 2023 it seems to have fallen off a cliff into a deep hole.

But I’m not judging anyone who likes this tune, and I even think it has its moments.

I think you’d be quite brave to learn it on the tuba, though if you’re bored of playing simple melodies, you’ll probably get a kick out of “About Damn Time.”

Learning tuba step by step

“Easy on Me” by Adele

Song year: 2021

Adele’s “Easy on Me” was released as the lead single from her fourth studio album, 30. The minimal pop ballad is a tribute to Adele’s son who struggled with her divorce.

The song was received relatively well by critics, and commercially, it became the longest-running number-one tune on the US Billboard Hot 100 by a female artist in the 2020s (they’re not over yet!).

Thanks to the song’s slow tempo, learning its melody should not prove a Herculean task.

“Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

Song year: 1973

Deep Purple’s immortal “Smoke on the Water” was revolutionary upon its release, and infinitely influential to this day. So much so that the song has effectively become a comedic relief meme for guitarists.

Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was always able to balance simplicity with inspiration, coming up with riffs like “Smoke on the Water” that would live on as the most important in rock history.

The main riff is simple but essential. And that makes it perfect for beginners.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

Song year: 1987

Beginner musicians never grow tired of rickrolling their friends. Of course, to be able to rickroll anyone, you must be able to play his infamous “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Fun fact – the song wasn’t written by Astley, but rather by the English record-producing trio Stock Aitken Waterman. As well, the song was influenced by the 1985 Colonel Abrams hit, “Trapped” (the danceable groove, bassline, and drums certainly bear some resemblance).

The version seen in the video above is a little advanced, and it’s advisable to seek out a simplified version, at least until you get a hang of the song.

Newbie tuba drills

“Take On Me” by A-ha

Song year: 1984

Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha’s “Take On Me” may not have made a lot of sense lyrically, but it still went on to become a massive success thanks to its infectious synth riff and lead singer Morten Harket’s huge vocal range.

“Take On Me” is a great song for brass instruments, but why let the trumpet and trombone have all the fun? You can interpret the tune on the tuba and have it sound cool, too.

“Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry

Song year: 1976

Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” has got that funky bassline that every instrumentalist wants to learn. Fortunately, it’s repetitive and relatively easy to play.

The cover in the video above is a little way over the top, but it is masterful in its delivery of this 70s funk-rock classic.

“Beat It” by Michael Jackson

Song year: 1982

Now, while Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” should be a part of every musician’s lexicon, on the tuba, it can sound more like “high school band class” than “I’m a bad one, you don’t want to mess with me.” Oh well, you’ve got to take what you can get.

“Beat It” is still a rocking hard rock tune, with two illustrious guitarists captured on the original – Steve Lukather, and the late and great Eddie Van Halen.

Tuba songs you should learn

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Song year: 1975

If you’re looking for a bit of a project to work on, then undoubtedly one of your best selections is going to be Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Out of a joke emerged a stunning operatic headbanging prog rock classic with a near six-minute runtime. We’re not sure the band knew what a success it would become as they were working on it, but reportedly, they did enjoy every minute of the writing and recording process.

There may not be a single part that’s particularly hard to play in isolation, but as you might expect, it is a long song, so learning it in its entirety is going to require sticktoitiveness on your part.

Easiest Tuba Songs, Final Thoughts

In closing, remember to practice lots. Just because a song is “easy” doesn’t necessarily mean it does not require any technical proficiency. You will need to be patient, especially in the early going. Best of luck!

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