Dec 22, 2009

End of Year Hiatus

Let's have a break, shall we? During this time of year, is harder to post updates. See you in 2010. Happy holidays, everyone!

Above, a bass lesson with Sir Paul McCartney (in case you haven't seen this yet).

Dec 18, 2009

Come Together

In a rush, but just for the record: this is a great bassline!

You know the band. You know the album.

(The Beatles, Abbey Road. Yes. Paul McCartney)

Dec 17, 2009


This song, bassline included, sounds like it was released in the year-title. However, it's a recent recording by James Blunt.
I like the way the bass sounds low and deep on this one.

Song: 1973
Artist / Band: James Blunt
Album: All the Lost Sould
Bass: Malcom Moore
Year: 2007

bass tab (external link)

Dec 16, 2009

Blue Monk

Here's another bass trio. I remember when I bought this cd. Ray Brown, Christian McBride and John Clayton simultaneously playing their double basses.

The cd was very appropriately called Superbass. Blue Monk was one of its songs.

Dec 15, 2009

Brown + Meyer + Wooten

Amazing video! Three legends - Ray Brown, Edgar Meyer and Victor Wooten playing together. a jazz bassist, a classical bassist and an electric bassist. All of the, top of their categories.

If anyone knows where to find this recording, please drop a comment.

Dec 14, 2009

Sunny Afternoon

Don't you love chromatic scales? Great song by The Kinks - a band that was missing here.

Song: Sunny Afternoon
Artist / Band: The Kinks
Album: Face to Face
Bass: Pete Quaif
Year: 1966

bass tab (external link)

Dec 11, 2009

Bela Lugosi's Dead

Classic Gothic bass line. A simple bass line where tone and feeling matter a lot.

Song: Bela Lugosi's Dead
Artist / Band: Bauhaus
Album: Bela Lugosi's Dead (single)
Bass: David J
Year: 1979

bass tab (external link)

Dec 10, 2009

Some Kind of Wonderful

Suggested by TB user Hankzazoid, this is a song I have actually covered on a gig - and have completely forgotten ever since.

Song: Every Breath You Take
Artist / Band: Grand Funk Railroad
Album: All the Girls in the World Beware!!!
Bass: Mel Schacher
Year: 1974

bass tab (external link)

Dec 9, 2009

Every Breath You Take

You see, easy bass lines and root notes are, sometimes, the best solutions to songs. Even the most celebrated bass players use them. Here's an example of that. Suggested by TB member Elrend.

Additional note: Perhaps you can make this line harder by playing it, as Sting did, on a double bass.

Song: Every Breath You Take
Artist / Band: The Police
Album: Synchronicity
Bass: Sting
Year: 1983

bass tab (external link)

Dec 8, 2009


Picked up by TB user Bass Player 48. This is simple enough to be considered "easy" - although it is "hard" easy - you have to watch for rhythm, as warned by someone - not jason.
The first big hit by Radiohead, on their debut album.

Song: Creep
Artist / Band: Radiohead
Album: Pablo Honey
Bass: Colin Greenwood
Year: 1992

bass tab (external link)

Dec 7, 2009

Louie Louie

Ok, I'll call this week "Easy Week". Nice songs with really easy basslines, selected by myself and a couple of other Talk Bass members. I'll start with my own pick, Louie Louie - only root notes on this bass line.

Song: Louie Louie
Artist / Band: Richard Berry and The Pharaohs
Album: Louie Louie (single)
Bass: The bass player for The Pharaohs (if you know his name, please post a comment)
Year: 1957

bass tab (external link) Not that you really need it...

Dec 4, 2009

Embarrassingly Empty Poll #1: Which genres would you like to see more here?


Another one from Abbey Road, this time by George. Something is one of the most beautiful songs by any Beatle, and McCartney's line is fantastic and, in my opinion, very underappreciated. Melodic as ever, and never clashing with George Harrison's guitar. The solo part is almost like two solos in one (guitar and bass).

Well, there'll be a day when every Abbey Song will have been covered by this blog. The bass of every song in that album is fantastic.

The very rare promo video is quite a finding, as well.

Song: Something
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album: Abbey Road
Bass: Paul McCartney
Year: 1969

bass tab (external link)

Dec 3, 2009

So Much to Say

DMB has a new single going on (called Funny the Way It Is), which served as a reminder for me to post something played by their great bass player Stefan Lessard. He was just 16 when he entered the band - quite an achievement. His melodies and rhythm are always very interesting and precise.

Song: So Much to Say
Artist / Band: Dave Matthews Band
Album: Crash
Bass: Stefan Lessard
Year: 1996

bass tab (external link)

Dec 2, 2009

Glamour Boys

I remember when this one was released. Suddenly, everyone was talking about how great the bass line was.

I am not sure exactly why, and I am quite sure it was not intentional, but this song has a Brazilian music feel. No wonder they were/are so popular over here!

Song: Glamour Boys
Artist / Band: Living Colour
Album: Vivid
Bass: Muzz Skillings
Year: 1988

bass tab (external link)

Dec 1, 2009

Pain Lies on the Riverside

I am not sure why or if this is relevant at all, but lots of non-bassist friends of mine love this bassline. I was never a Live fan, but I have to agree that this bass line is contagious!

Song: Pain Lies on the Riverside
Artist / Band: Live
Album: Mental Jewelery
Bass: Patrick Dalheimer
Year: 1991

bass tab (external link)

Nov 30, 2009

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

Marvin Gaye's version of a Motown classic. Bass performed by legendary James Jamerson.

Song: I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Artist / Band: Marvin Gaye
Album: In the Groove
Bass: James Jamerson
Year: 1967

bass tab (external link)

Nov 27, 2009

Seven Nation Army

Ok, this is the most controversial post so far. Yes, I know that The White Stripes are Vocal + Guitar + Drums. No bass nor bassists. Everytime a bass player says he has been playing "the bass intro" of this song on the bass, another one will claim that this song hasn't got one. And I beg to differ.

The sound range of bass and guitar (specially one using an octave pedal) might overlap (see, so it's not a complete absurd to call that intro a "bassline". In fact it is a bassline, played on guitar. What if it was arranged on a keyboard, or as VST, wouldn't it be called "bass line" as well?

Performed on a bass or not, this is a bassline, I say!

Song: Seven Nation Army
Artist / Band: The White Stripes
Album: Elephant
Bass(well, guitar actually): Jack White
Year: 2003

guitar tab (external link)

Nov 26, 2009

2 Minutes to Midnight

Isolated Bass Track:

Steve Harris is, undoubtedly, one of the driving forces behind Iron Maiden. This song is a great showcase of his style, tone and technique (he also uses flatwound strings). I have embedded an extra video for the isolated bass.

If you like the isolated bass track feature, please drop a comment so I'll remember to do it more often.

Song: 2 Minutes to Midnight
Artist / Band: Iron Maiden
Album: Powerslave
Bass: Steve Harris
Year: 1984

bass tab (external link)

Nov 25, 2009

New Fang

This one is new material from a legend: John Paul Jones (from Led Zeppelin) is now playing with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. The name of the supergoup is Them Crooked Vultures.

JPJ really deserves a post here - he made history with Zeppelin, and his work on TCV is as solid as ever.

Song: New Fang
Artist / Band: Them Crooked Vultures
Album: Them Crooked Vultures
Bass: John Paul Jones
Year: 2009

If anyone knows where the bass tabs for this song can be found, comment!

Nov 24, 2009

Play That Funky Music

A cool song with a cool, groovy and simple bass line.
Not that it matters, but would you say that this song does, indeed, sound white to you?

Song: Play That Funky Music
Artist / Band: Wild Cherry
Album: Wild Cherry
Bass: Larry Brown
Year: 1976

bass tab (external link)

Nov 23, 2009


It was about time to have some Marcus Miller around here. This is one of the most complete musicians around (clarinet, sax, keyboards and guitar). He has played with giants such as Miles Davis - in fact he has produced an Davis album (and won a Grammy for it).

Power is one of my favourite Miller songs.

Song: Power
Artist / Band: Marcus Miller
Album: M2
Bass: Marcus Miller
Year: 2001

bass tab (external link)

Nov 20, 2009

Fake Tales of San Francisco

The Arctic Monkeys seem to like to lock in their instruments - in fact that probably is one of their trademarks. But even with guitars, bass and drums accentuating the same beats, there is still space to Andy Nicholson do their fills. Great energy!

Song: Fake Tales of San Francisco
Artist / Band: Arctic Monkeys
Album: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Bass: Andy Nicholson
Year: 2006

bass tab (external link)

Nov 19, 2009

Queen Bitch

Another great bassline by Trevor Bolder for a song by David Bowie. The chorus part is particularly good.

Song: Queen Bitch
Artist / Band: David Bowie
Album: Hunky Dory
Bass: Trevor Bolder
Year: 1971

bass tab (external link)

Nov 18, 2009

Gimme Shelter

Ok, I admit I am a little prejudiced against The Rolling Stones, and I shouldn't. Here is an amazing bassline by the Renaissance man Billy Wyman. It must be said that he and drummer Charlie Watts have formed one of the most solid rhythm sections in the history of rock.

Song: Gimme Shelter
Artist / Band: The Rolling Stones
Album: Let It Bleed
Bass: Billy Wyman
Year: 1969

bass tab (external link)

Nov 17, 2009

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Mingus is probably the most famous jazz bassist - partially because he was not only a jazz bassist, but also a great composer and the leader of his band. His amazing technique and inventiveness make him one of the greatest American musicians ever.

So, without any further ado, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.

Song: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Artist / Band: Charles Mingus
Album: Mingus Ah Um
Bass: Charles Mingus
Year: 1959

Where to find Sheet Music (external link)

Nov 16, 2009

My Girl

Although James Jamerson didn't get much credit for it, he is one of the most influential
bass players ever, for his work with Motown Records. Jamerson is said to have influenced, among others, Paul McCartney, Victor Wooten, Jack Bruce, John Entwistle and Jaco Pastorius - and that's to mention only bassists who have already been discussed on this blog.

So let's start giving Jamerson some notoriety here: the bassline for My Girl, recorded by The Tempations, is one of his best-known pieces of work. It features a very recognisable bass intro.

Song: My Girl
Artist / Band: The Tempations
Album: The Temptations Sing Smokey
Bass: James Jamerson
Year: 1965

bass tab (external link)

Nov 13, 2009

No You Girls

(A question has been bugging me all week: why do record labels prevent people from embedding their YouTube official videos?)

Closing our 2000s week, here is a band who has become extremely popular lately. Franz Ferdinand has in Bob Hardy a perfect player for their style. His bass line for No You Girls is a lesson on how dancing pop-rock lines should be.

Song: No You Girls
Artist / Band: Franz Ferdinand
Album: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Bass: Bob Hardy
Year: 2009

bass tab (external link)

Nov 12, 2009

Cannibal's Hymn

If Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds can be groovy, Martyn P Casey is the main reason for that. It doesn't matter how dark the subject of the song is, Casey adds a playfulness to every creation of this amazing band. In that aspect, It's amazing how he balances the energy of the group.

Song: Cannibal's Hymn
Artist / Band: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Album: Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
Bass: Martin P. Casey
Year: 2004

bass tab (external link)

Nov 11, 2009


Coldplay is a band who, I guess, suffered a bit from being over-exposed. Yet, they gave (give) us some great songs (and albums).

Guy Berryman, on the other hand, is an example of the low-profile-bass-player-who-plays-for-the-song, but that doesn't mean his work shouldn't be heard and acknowledged more often. His bass line for Trouble is melodic, smooth, and perfectly integrated to the song.

Song: Trouble
Artist / Band: Coldplay
Album: Parachutes
Bass: Guy Berryman
Year: 2000

bass tab (external link)

Nov 10, 2009

The National Anthem

This memorable bass riff from Radiohead's The National Anthem belongs to the album Kid A. Released in 2000, it really set the tone for the decade, in a way, don't you think? Colin Greenwood was really inspired - from melody to distortion. Fun and very simple to play.

Song: The National Anthem
Artist / Band: Radiohead
Album: Kid A
Bass: Colin Greenwood
Year: 2000

bass tab (external link)

Nov 9, 2009

Torture Me

I'll dedicate this week to the 2000s.
Not just because they're ending in a couple of months, but because there is lack of balance here: They've had only seven posts so far.

The first one is from a band that is more associated with the 1990s, but which has released some of their greatest work (and hits) during the 2000s.

The bass line for this song is not that complicated (specially compared to other ones by Flea). Still, I really like how it sounds in the context of the song.

Song: Torture Me
Artist / Band: Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Album: Stadium Arcadium
Bass: Flea
Year: 2005

bass tab (external link)

Nov 6, 2009

All Wrong / Whisper

All right!! This is one of the best bass intros I've ever heard. Mark Sandman is a genius. This live performance is amazing. The bass on Whisper is also great, so enjoy it as a bonus.

Song: All Wrong / Whisper
Artist / Band: Morphine
Album: Cure For Pain / Yes
Bass: Mark Sandman
Year: 1993 / 1995

All Wrong and Whisper bass tabs (external links)

Nov 5, 2009

Abismo de Rosas

Another great bass player from Brazil (and the world), this is Arthur Maia playing Abismo de Rosas, a song from Américo Jacomino, also knwon as Canhoto - one of the greatest guitar players from that country.

Song: Abismo de Rosas
Artist / Band: Arthur Maia
Album: ?
Bass: Arthur Maia
Year: ?

Nov 4, 2009

U Can't Hold No Groove...

Step back. This is Victor Wooten. You can't hold his groove. Amazing performance.

Song: U Can't Hold No Groove...
Artist / Band: Victor Wooten
Album: A Show of Hands
Bass: Victor Wooten
Year: 1996

Bass tab (external link

Nov 3, 2009

Lessons in Love

How could we spend so many weeks posting about pop basslines without mentioning Mark King, from Level 42?! Another classic from the 80s, Lessons in Love is a fine example of King's work. He's the one who sings, too.

Song: Lessons in Love
Artist / Band: Level 42
Album: Running in the Family
Bass: Mark King
Year: 1986

Bass tab (external link

Nov 2, 2009

No Woman No Cry

It's been some time since we had some reggae on the blog, so here it is another classic example, also by Bob Marley. The bassline - a classic in itself - is from Aston Barret. Check out the "verse for the more advanced bassists" on the bass tab.

Song: No Woman No Cry
Artist / Band: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Album: Natty Dread
Bass: Aston Barret
Year: 1974

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 30, 2009

Cry Baby Cry

This is one of my favorite Beatles' songs, and this is very much about the bassline, too - listen to how it grows from the beginning to the end of the song. This is our week's Paul McCartney.

Song: Cry Baby Cry
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album: The Beatles (White Album)
Bass: Paul McCartney
Year: 1968

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 29, 2009

Você Me Faz Continuar

Remember our post on The Beatles' Baby You're a Rich Man? This bassline for Cachorro Grande's song is, to me, a direct descendant of McCartney`s - and still a highly original line by Rodolfo Krieger.

Song: Você Me Faz Continuar
Artist / Band: Cachorro Grande
Album: Todos os Tempos
Bass: Todos os Tempos
Year: 2007

If you know where to find the bass tabs, please let us know! :)

Oct 28, 2009

Around the World

Yesterday we've listened to Chic's Good Times. Today, we listen to a song that seems to be highly influenced by that one, almost twenty years later. Electronic was possibly the 'new disco', by then. Now, I am not an electronic fan - this is our first post on this style - there are a few electronic bands I like. But I have to admit - this bassline is great - you can play it for hours and not feel tired - and the bass tone, perfect. Even if it is a synth (is it?)

Song: Around the World
Artist / Band: Daft Punk
Album: Homework
Bass: Daft Punk (?)
Year: 1997

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 27, 2009

Good Times

Disco is another musical style where the bass is very important. And here's a bassline from that genre that has become very influential not only to disco, but also pop, rock and hip-hop.

Song: Good Times
Artist / Band: Chic
Album: Risqué
Bass: Bernard Edwards
Year: 1979

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 26, 2009

Off-Topic: Follower Day

I've been thinking: since we have a Google Follower thing going on, why not open a day of the month (or more) for suggestions by those who follow this blog?

If you are a Follower, listed in the end of the blog, please send me your suggestion in the comments section for this post. I need to know about new basslines too!

All you need to send: the name of the song, the link for it on youtube, a brief comment on the song and a bit about yourself (optional).


I Will Survive

This one is very fun to play. Damiani's bassline sets the excellent tone of Cake's version of I Will Survive.

Song: I Will Survive
Artist / Band: Cakes
Album: Fashion Nugget
Bass: Victor Damiani
Year: 1996

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 23, 2009

Baby You're a Rich Man

This one is to demonstrate how McCartney and The Beatles were not only concerned about the meldy, but also about tone. The way his bass sounds in this song is still amazing - and, I guess, unheard back then.

Song: Baby You're a Rich Man
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Bass: Paul Webb
Year: 1984

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 22, 2009

It`s My Life

I bet you it was No Doubt's bass player idea to cover this song - it`s a great bassline that sounds like fun to play. Here's the original version, by Talk Talk. Pop bass done the right way.

Song: It's My Life
Artist / Band: Talk Talk
Album: It's My Life
Bass: Paul Webb
Year: 1984

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 21, 2009


Nó em Pingo D'Água is a band that plays a mix of samba, choro and jazz. Their version of Jacob do Bandolin's "Assanhado" is a good example of their style - and of their basslines. Papito, the bassist for the band, is a phenomenal player and musician.

Song: Assanhado
Artist / Band: Nó em Pingo D'Água
Album: Receita de Samba
Bass: Papito
Year: 1991

Oct 20, 2009

Everybody (Backstreet's Back)

Yes, it's a boyband. Yes, it's purely commercial. But hey, that's a nice bass riff.
Jaco Pastorius one day, Backstreet Boys the next. We can't get more eclectic than that!

Song: Everybody
Artist / Band: Backstreet Boys
Album: Backstreet's Back
Bass: If you know who plays the bass on this song, drop us a comment!
Year: 1997

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 19, 2009

Donna Lee

The first track on the first album by a bass genius who was first in many, many aspects. This is a cover of a Miles Davis song, played with bass and congas only.

Song: Donna Lee
Artist / Band: Jaco Pastorius
Album: Jaco Pastorius
Bass: Jaco Pastorius
Year: 1976

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 16, 2009


Eventually you'll find basslines you love in songs you, well, don't like that much. Roundabout, by Yes, is such case for me.
Chris Squire is amazing on this one, though.

Song: Roundabout
Artist / Band: Yes
Album: Fragile
Bass: Chris Squire
Year: 1971

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 15, 2009

Envelheço na Cidade

And now for something completely different...

This song is here for a number of reasons: It's a Brazilian rock song from the eighties, by the closer we'll ever get to a Brazilian mod band. Plus, the bass player (Ricardo Gaspa) is, in my opinion, a bit of an unsung hero - he deserves much more credit and praise for his work than he usually gets.

Song: Envelheço na Cidade
Artist / Band: Ira!
Album: Vivendo e Não Aprendendo
Bass: Ricardo Gaspa
Year: 1986

Bass tab (external link)

Penny Lane

No week is complete without some Paul McCartney. So threr it is: Penny Lane. The four initial notes on thie bass line are fenomenal.

Sorry for the late post!

Song: Penny Lane
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album: Magical History Tour
Bass: Paul McCartney
Year: 1967

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 13, 2009

Prophet 15

This song can instantly throw the listener into a dreamy state of mind - of course the lyrics help, but the bassline is anohter strong reason, I think.

Another good Supergrass bassline is in Evening of the Day. Let's save that for another post.

Song: Prophet 15
Artist / Band: Supergrass
Album: Life on Other Planets
Bass: Mick Quinn
Year: 2002

Oct 12, 2009


The Jam's Start! was actually built around The Beatles' Taxman's bass and guitar riff. Still a great song on its own.

Song: Start!
Artist / Band: The Jam
Album: Sound Affects
Bass: Bruce Foxton
Year: 1980

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 10, 2009


No week is perfect without The Beatles and McCartney's bass. So here is Taxman. I'll save my next post for The Jam's "Start" - so we can see how it was influenced by this bassline.

Song: Taxman
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album: Revolver
Bass: Paul McCartney
Year: 1966

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 8, 2009


Another great bassline from Flea. How hard it must be to slap as good as this.

Song: Aeroplane
Artist / Band: Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Album: One Hot Minute
Bass: Flea
Year: 1995

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 7, 2009

There There. (The Boney King of Nowhere.)

Another Radiohead song with a killer rhythmic section. Percussion/Drums and Bass creating the perfect atmosphere for a song (and a videoclip) like this one.

Song: There There. (The Boney King of Nowhere.)
Artist / Band: Radiohead
Album: Hail to the Thief
Bass: Colin Greenwood
Year: 2003

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 6, 2009

So What

A great bassline with a great melody that perfectly complements everything else in the song.

Song: So What
Artist / Band: Miles Davis
Album: Kind of Blue
Bass: Paul Chambers
Year: 1959

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 5, 2009

Dreaming of You

Lovely tune, great bassline.

Song: Dreaming of You
Artist / Band: The Coral
Album: The Coral
Bass: Paul Duffy
Year: 2002

Bass tab (external link)

Oct 2, 2009


Another britpop band), Elastica was never as popular as Blur (let alone Oasis), but they did make some interesting songs. This one, featured in the movie Trainspotting, has a bassline that, as simple as it is, give the song very original feel. You can feel the texture of the strings.

Song: 2:1
Artist / Band: Elastica
Album: Elastica
Bass: Annie Holland
Year: 1995

Oct 1, 2009

Lovely Rita

Another one by Paul McCartney. I love how this bassline changes from intro to verse to chorus (similar to intro) to ending. Only McCartney could create something so groovy and so melodic at the same time.

Song: Lovely Rita
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Bass: Paul McCartney
Year: 1967

Sep 30, 2009

Feel Good Inc

That Murdoc Niccals is quite good for a fictional bassist! Actually, the bassist behind the charatcer is Morgan Nicholls, and this is a very effective bass line: simple, cathcy, punchy and very fun to play and/or listen to.

Song: Feel Good Inc
Artist / Band: Gorillaz
Album: Demon Days
Bass: Murdoc Niccals (Morgan Nicholls)
Year: 2005

Sep 29, 2009

Blue Rondo A La Turk

This jazz masterpiece has a very interesting bassline: after almost two minutes of mostly root notes, it develops into a very smooth and classy walking bass. The unusual time signature (9/8) of the first section is remarkable as well.

Song: Blue Rondo A La Turk
Artist / Band: Dave Brubeck Quartet
Album: Time Out
Bass: Eugene Wright
Year: 1959

Sep 28, 2009

Stagger Lee

Another showcase for Martin P. Casey's talent, this song has a bassline that sounds groovy and dark at the same time. No wonder he is the bassist for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Song: Stagger Lee
Artist / Band: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Album: Murder Ballads
Bass: Martin P. Casey
Year: 1996

Sep 25, 2009

I'm Losing You

The great Tony Levin (more about him on future posts) playing with folks from Cheap Trick, on top of John Lennon's I'm Losing You along. This is a 1998's version of a 1980's song.

Song: I'm Losing You
Artist / Band: John Lennon
Album: Wonsaponatime
Bass: tony Levin
Year: 1998

Sep 24, 2009


John Entwistle is one of the most celebrated rock bass players, and there are dozens of songs that could be used to display his talents and explain why he is still so influential. I've chosen this one from the opera rock Tommy.

Song: Sparks
Artist / Band: The Who
Album: Tommy
Bass: John Entwistle
Year: 1969

Sep 23, 2009

Early To Bed

Since we've had lots of melodic lines, here's a very simple one: a single note throughout the whole song. It's all in the rhythm.

Only a genius like Mark Sandman could pull that off and make it work so beautifully.

Song: Early To Bed
Artist / Band: Morphine
Album: Like Swimming
Bass: Mark Sandman
Year: 1997

Sep 22, 2009

Telephone Call From Istanbul (live)

Caution: Double bass solo around 3:00. I like the album version as well, but that bass solo deserves to be heard.

Song: Telephone Call From Istanbul
Artist / Band: Tom Waits
Album: Big Time
Bass: Larry Taylor
Year: 1988

Bass tab (external link, no solo)

Sep 21, 2009

Entertain Me

The only bassline I've ever transcribed into bass tabs and submitted to the internet. The song it's a bit too much similar to Girls and Boys - which features another amazing line by Alex James - but I dare say this bassline is even more thrilling.

Song: Entertain Me
Artist / Band: Blur
Album: The Great Escape
Bass: Alex James
Year: 1995

Sep 18, 2009

Hey Joe

This song of obscure origins is best known from the cover version by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Noel Redding playing the bass. The chorus progression, semitone by semitone, of this walking bassline is as fun to play as to listen to.

Song:Hey Joe
Artist / Band: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Album:Are You Experienced
Bass: Noel Redding
Year: 1967

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 17, 2009


Ok, so what about grunge?

Did you know that Jeff Ament practically built this song around his 12-string Hammer bass? I really enjoy listening to songs that were actually written by the bassist, specially when the song comes from him playing around with his bass.

Artist / Band: Pearl Jam
Bass: Jeff Ament
Year: 1992

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 16, 2009

Stand by me

Another classic with a very recognizable bass line. 8 simple bars repeated throughout the whole song - and it works!

Easy to play, I wonder how hard it was to be created. It's hard to come up with something as simple and as good as that. The strangest thing is: I can't find out who the bass player for the song was.

Song:Stand By Me
Artist / Band: Ben E. King
Album:Don't Play That Song
Bass: please, leave a comment if you know the name of the bassist for this song
Year: 1962

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 15, 2009


This song (mostly) in 7/4, written by Roger Waters, was one of the first pieces I've learned how to play on the bass. I really enjoy how Water's bassline makes the exotic time signature sound very natural.

Artist / Band: Pink Floyd
Album:Dark Side Of The Moon
Bass: Roger Waters
Year: 1973

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 14, 2009

Jenny Was a Friend of Mine

The opening track for The Killers debut album has a really powerful bass that sounds just perfect, specially during the intro. Mark Stoermer, the bassist, is a co-author for that song. I wonder if the bass riff was the starting point of the composition process.

Song:Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
Artist / Band: The Killers
Album:Hot Fuss
Bass: Mark Stoermer
Year: 2004

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 11, 2009

Hey Bulldog

Another beatlesong! I can't help it. I just love McCartney's basslines, and this one is a rock and roll classic, with the bass doubling the guitar doubling the piano.

Actually, I think "Hey Bulldog" is not as widely known as it should (a bit like "Old Brown Shoe"). Why would that be?

Song:Hey Bulldog
Artist / Band: The Beatles
Album:Yellow Submarine (Remastered)
Bass: Paul McCartney
Year: 1969

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 10, 2009

V Centenario

A hit by Argentinian rock/ska/much more band Los Fabullosos Cadillacs, this song has a very contagious bassline by Sr. Flavio that really carries the song. A very festive song with an ironic take on the celebrations for the 500 years of America (from north to south).

Song:Quinto Centenario (Remasterizado 2008)
Artist / Band: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
Album:Vasos Vacios
Bass: Sr. Flavio
Year: 199?

Sep 9, 2009

Under Pressure

Another one that got sampled (actually ripped-off by Vanilla Ice), the bassline for Under Pressure is a classic played by Queen's bass player (and all-around musician)John Deacon. This simple but effective bass riff is really something - the soul of this collaboration between Queen and Bowie.

Hum, maybe we should cover "Another One Bites the Dust" some other time...

Song:Under Pressure
Artist / Band: Queen + David Bowie
Album:Hot Space or Best of Bowie
Bass: John Deacon
Year: 1981

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 8, 2009

Super Freak

I have to admit that I heard this bassline first on MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This. But Rick James is the real thing. The riff is repeated over and over and over during the song... and you never get tired of it!

Song:Super Freak (Album Version)
Artist / Band: Rick James
Album:Street Songs
Bass: Rick James
Year: 1981

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 7, 2009

London Calling

One of the most famous album covers in rock and roll history has a photo of Paul Simonon about to smash his Fender on stage. The album is called London Calling, the third by UK punk rock band The Clash.

This is one of the most recognisable Clash bass lines. I could be wrong here, but I think Simonon's work is much better and much more original than any other punk bassist around. Because of its Reggae influence, maybe. Anyway, this is a bassline that, 30 years later, doesn't sound outdated at all. No wonder Damon Albarn called him to join his supergroup, "The Good, The Bad and The Queen" - but that's material for another post...

Song:London Calling
Artist / Band: The Clash
Album:London Calling
Bass: Paul Simonon
Year: 1979

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 4, 2009

Son of a Preacher Man

This is a classic bassline by Tommy Cogbill for a song recorded by Dusty Springfield. You can find every detail about it by clicking here.

Thanks HitPicker, from talkbass forums, for that tip!

Song:Son Of A Preacher Man (Single/LP Version)
Artist / Band: Dusty Springfield
Album:Dusty in Memphis
Bass: Tommy Cogbill
Year: 1969

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 3, 2009

Stir It Up

Reggae, at last! This is a musical style that really favours the bass: you can really hear the bass on a reggae song. Bass players such as Aston Barrett, bass player for the Wailers and creator of so many lines, are the ones who gave reggae music a great deal of its sonic identity. Barrett was a great influence on modern bassists like Flea, for instance.

Plus, he has 52 children.

On a personal note, that's one of the first bass lines I've been taught how to play.

Song:Stir It Up
Artist / Band: Bob Marley and The Wailers
Album:Babylon by Bus
Bass: Aston Barrett
Year: 1978(?)

Bass tab (external link) - Warning: the bass tab might reference another version of this song.

Sep 2, 2009

Save a Prayer

dum. duum-duu-du-dum. duum-duu-du-dum. duum-duu-du-dam, da-dam, da-dum. How can anyone ever forget this bass intro? That's the song trademark! That and the pitch-crazy keyboard, of course.

Song:Save A Prayer (2001 Digital Remaster)
Artist / Band: Duran Duran
Bass: John Taylor
Year: 1982

Bass tab (external link)

Sep 1, 2009

Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

Another British bass. This time, a mod one. Bruce Foxton's bassline for this song by The Jam is amazing in its energy. You can feel it driving the song away. Bruce Foxton is one of those bassists we don't hear a lot about, but we should.

Thanks the reader BottomEnd for the reminder on this one!

Song:Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
Artist / Band: The Jam
Album:All Mod Cons
Bass: Bruce Foxton
Year: 1978

Bass tab (external link)

Aug 31, 2009

Tommy the Cat

Ok, since we have already posted a Tom Waits featuring Les Claypool, here's a Les Claypool (well, Primus) featuring Tom Waits.

Funny thing: I love Les Claypool bass playing - this particular bassline is extraordinary, out of this world really -, but I was never a big Primus fan. However, there's no way of denying the power of Les Claypool as a bass player. Really groovy, really percussive. And quite complex, too. These are not simple basslines, and require a lot - a LOT - of practice. Yes, Les Claypool is an unbelievable player.

Oh, Tom Waits is the voice of Tommy the Cat, by the way.

Song:Tommy The Cat
Artist / Band: Primus
Album:Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Bass: Les Claypool
Year: 1989

Bass tab (external link)

Aug 28, 2009

Big in Japan

Here's the Tom Waits + Les Claypool entry that I've promised earlier. The opening track for the album Mule Variations has a bass line that, if not as acrobatic as most Les Claypool stuff (especially with his band Primus), it's just as good. Overall, it sounds like Les Claypool and it sounds like Tom Waits. Must be good, then!

Song:Big In Japan
Artist / Band: Tom Waits
Album:Mule Variations
Bass: Les Claypool
Year: 1999