Warning, long post ahead: So for those who don't know, I teach electric bass and classical guitar (mostly bass) at a High School in the Caribbean. Historically, the program has focused strictly on wind and percussion instruments with a strong emphasis on theory and ensemble playing (I've been told we focus on theory way more than american schools, for what that's worth). Its Senior and Jazz bands have toured all over the Caribbean over the last 25 - 30 years, and it's also my high school alma mater. Our system works really well for us because we usually employ teachers who specifically teach their principal instrument (or others within that family of instruments). I was brought in to introduce bass into the program about 3 years ago and it's been going pretty well, but I've been thinking about making improvements by introducing more "interesting" material to the curriculum. We currently teach all students from the same learning course (transcribed to each instrument of course) and although it is very comprehensive, the problem with bassists is that they never learn in the books how to be a 'traditional' bassist. It's all about playing melodies in the book, but nothing about the typical roles that most bassists find themselves in: a support role. I've been working on that with ear training, exposing them to various styles of music and chord theory in the hopes of inspiring them to learn how to effectively play/create basslines. OK, ON TO THE GOOD STUFF: Today I decided I want to create a simple workbook of famous classic and modern basslines from several songs that students may know or can relate to, transcribed by me. I would supply students with a CD/mp3 of each song and go through some of these examples in class, first by ear and then by charts, with the CD to go home with as a reference. I also have a program that slows down songs so I'd include 2 slower versions of the songs on the CD and also examples of me playing the bassline for those who have trouble hearing it on the original track. I would like suggestions from you guys and gals on famous songs that would work for my students (I teach form 1 to 5, the USA equivalent of 7th to 11th grade). Typical Age range: 10 - 18 (We don't have a junior high school, they're all in one school) 95% of my Form 1 students start out with having no prior experience with the bass guitar and little to no knowledge of music theory. Due to the already established system for the other wind instruments, we start teaching all students first in the key of B flat major. Here's some guidelines for what the various levels of students should know by the end of each form: Form 1: 4/4 and 2/4 time signature Whole, Half and Quarter notes and rests Playing songs exclusively in the keys of Bb and Eb major (and by extension, G and C minor) Form 2: (in addition to everything from Form 1) 3/4 time signature 8th notes and rests Tied notes Dotted half and dotted quarter notes and rests Playing songs in F and C major Learning 6 major scales required to join junior band (Bb, C, Ab, F, Eb and G) Form 3: (in addition to everything from previous forms) Cut time and 3/8 time signatures 16th notes and rests Difference between straight and swing Playing songs in junior band scale keys (Bb, C, Ab, F, Eb, G) and also E and A major Learning all 12 major scales, A minor scale and Bb chromatic scale for Senior band Form 4 and 5: Compound time signatures (e.g. 6/8), irregular time signatures (e.g. 5/4) Dotted Eighth notes and rests All major, natural minor and harmonic minor scales and arpeggios Playing in all keys The Junior and Senior Bands play a wide range of styles, mostly classical pieces and pop music medleys. We also have a Jazz ensemble (our most advanced ensemble) so jazz suggestions are also encouraged for the older set. I plan to 'lobotomise' certain songs to make it more accessible to the beginners (simpler rhythms), but I'd like to keep most songs verbatim in their original keys. I'm mainly looking for songs I can use for the younger ones (form 1 and 2). If a song is in E, A or D I'll consider using them for the younger set as well depending on its difficulty. I welcome suggestions from all genres...however, given the culture of this location and trying to reach the students on a common ground, I don't suggest Metal or any of its sub-genres. Most popular styles of music among kids in this region (listed in order of popularity IME): Modern R&B and Hip-Hop, Pop, Reggae, Rock (modern artists usually and/or styles typical of what you'd find in most anime). I'd definitely rather not stick to these genres as I find most of my students very limited in their musical knowledge (as is expected) and would like to expand their musical tastes. Also, as these are young kids/teens and I have to answer to their parents, keep songs with obsene language to a minimum Also, I feel we lose too many kids in the school system due to them not finding their 'place' in school to belong...some like science, some like language/literature, some like technical fields of study etc etc, but many who I see have a spark for music get turned off from it because they find our current presentation of it (at least, before they get to band) to be boring. Once they get in band they're usually good to go! My colleagues and I recognise that the current generation is a little different than we were (and i'm only 27! LOL) and need to be reached in different ways (as opposed to falling into the wrong crowds and getting involved with crime, which is at an all-time high these days around here). I've been using my iPhone and iPad to engage them more with various music apps over the last 3 years with decent amounts of success; just trying to take it all a step further. Any suggestions/ideas that anyone is willing to contribute would be most appreciated. THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!