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)