Non-Musical Theatre Songs

20 Audition-Friendly Rock Songs for Basses

Looking for new material to expand your vocal chops with? Or does your casting call specifically request non-musical theatre rock songs? With more pop/rock musicals entering the scene, it’s becoming increasingly common to keep a prepared rock song in your back pocket. And because of that, we’ve put together a list of amazing rock songs for basses, broken down by decade.

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1950s/1960s Rock Songs for Basses

Crackin’ Up” – Bo Diddley

Sunday Morning” – The Velvet Underground

The Old Laughing Lady” – Neil Young

Three Steps to Heaven” – Eddie Cochran

1970s Rock Songs for Basses

C’est La Vie” – Emerson Lake & Palmer

I Believe in Father Christmas” – Emerson Lake & Palmer

Tom Traubert’s Blues” – Tom Waits

Your Song” – Elton John

1980s Rock Songs for Basses

Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division

Mercy Seat” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nikita” – Elton John

The Carny” – Nick Cave

1990s Rock Songs for Basses

A Long December” – Counting Crows

Butt Town” – Iggy Pop

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” – Crash Test Dummies

The Ship Song” – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Contemporary Rock Songs for Basses

Ever the Same” – Rob Thomas

Future Days” – Pearl Jam

Let the Bells Ring” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

The Fable of the Brown Ape” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Want more songs? Check out these DIY Rep Books for EVERY vocal type!

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Which of these bass rock songs is your favorite?

And what are you working on at the moment? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below! In the meantime, you can check out our database of best audition songs for specific musicals.

Stacy Karyn, Author of Rock Songs for Basses.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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