Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Boston - Hitch a Ride - Bass tab & Transcription

The rock band Boston's mastermind Tom Scholz is not just an innovative guitarist and great songwriter. He is a masterful keyboard player and an accomplished rock bassist. Yes he is the one playing the bass on the Boston recordings. The first two Boston albums alone contain enough great bass lines to keep a budding bass player busy for quite a while and learn great rock bass playing along the way.

I remember reading an article in a guitar magazine regarding Tom Scholz's bass playing, saying; "This is how rock bass should be played". I have to say I must agree.

Personally, his bass playing along with Zeppelin's John Paul Jones & Paul McCartney have influenced me immensely when I was coming up as a bass player. Melodic, Bouncy and rhythmically interesting are the words that come to mind when listening to Tom's bass playing, especially on the song "Hitch a Ride".

I found the isolated bass video below on YouTube. The poster set the bass louder enough over the accompaniment so we can distinguish all of the details & nuances of the bass line. Take a listen and hear what I mean. For a more in-depth look at the bass line, you can check out my complete 7 page transcription available here on my store page. Enjoy!

Boston - Hitch A Ride (Isolated Bass)


For more Boston/Tom Scholz transcriptions BOSTON BASS COLLECTION includes 10 Ten top hits from these arena rock legends!. Written in Standard Notation and TAB. Click on the link or the image below for more details about BOSTON BASS COLLECTION

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What Is and What Should Never Be - Bass Tab & Transcription


Led Zeppelin II is definitely on my list of all-time favorite albums for must-learn bass lines.

John Paul Jones bass work on Zeppelin's second effort is at its zenith. Back then, JPJ was already a seasoned studio musician, multi-instrumentalist, in-demand arranger and record producer. He knew his craft and you can hear the influence James Jamerson had on his bass playing during those years, which he confirmed later in a magazine interview. You can get a sense of that influence while listening to tracks such as The Lemon Song, Ramble On and the one transcribed here.  

What is and what should never be first verse starts with a mix of major pentatonic and chromatic notes for the main riffs between the E and A chords. It then moves to a unison guitar and bass riff during the chorus. For the second verse, he uses a line similar to the one he used in the first verse. Worth noting, is, how the motif used for the verses evolves when we get to the guitar solo section . JPJ plays a very lyrical pattern behind Jimmy Page slide guitar work during the solo. Notice how the bass and guitar lines intertwine and weave into one another. Yet, the bass guitar never becomes too obtrusive.

The outro section is where the rubber hits the road. This section has more of a hard-driving feel. Jones uses Jamerson-like runs, fills, descending lines, and makes ample use of  syncopation and open pivot notes.

Although John Paul Jones (AKA John Paul Baldwin) was only 23 at the time of this recording, he was really on the top of his game. Thanks to all his  previous studio experience and the constant touring Led Zeppelin had done in those early years.

Remember that, whenever you immerse yourself and learn all of the intricacies of a bass line inside out, you do acquire some of the skills and knowledge of the musician(s) you emulate. So dig in and enjoy this transcription along with the isolated bass track from the master himself. Happy shedding and all the bass!

Below you will find a sample page of the complete bass transcription with tabs.
For the full 9 page transcription check out the store page.

What is and what should never be -  Led Zeppelin (Bass: John Paul Jones)


John Paul Jones - What Is and What Should Never Be - Isolated Bass track

For more Zeppelin/John Paul Jones transcriptions LED ZEPPELIN BASS TAB ANTHOLOGY includes 21 songs of selected John Paul Jones bass lines. Written in Standard Notation and TAB. Click on the link or the image below for more details about LED ZEPPELIN BASS TAB ANTHOLOGY

Monday, October 14, 2013

Requested: Bass Transcriptions - Like The Way I Do - Slap & Pop Bass Line

For some reason, I have received more than 30 requests in the last few months for the bass line transcription of  Melissa Etheridge's song "Like The Way I Do". I had posted that bass transcription back in July 2012, and it is still available on the site. Maybe it is hard to find, I'm sorry about that. Nevertheless here is the link for this free transcription for you to enjoy!

Happy shedding and all the bass!

Bass Transcriptions - PlayBassLines.com: Like The Way I Do - Slap & Pop Bass Line

PS: Make sure to check out the store, some new John Paul Jones transcriptions are coming soon.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Eric Clapton - It Hurts Me Too - Bass Tab & Transcription Excerpt

It has been a while. Nevertheless here's a new post and bass transcription. Hope you enjoy!

This version of Tampa Red song "It Hurts Me Too" is found on Eric Clapton's 1994 blues cover album "From the Craddle". The liner note says that everything was recorded live, with no overdubs on this song. Dave Bronze (Robin Trower, Procol Harum) is handling the bass duties on this whole album.

For this transcription, first, notice that they are tuned a half step down.
Second, I only transcribed two choruses of this eight-bar blues as Dave Bronze plays pretty much the same lines throughout the whole song with only slight variations. I analyzed all of the choruses and included most of these variations within the two choruses transcribed here.
Third, this is a pretty active bass line. Although the song is rather slow at 72 bpm, notice Dave's use of 16th note triplets and double-stops/power chords usually used by guitarists. Dave uses these double-stops when he moves to the G chord, the fourth degree of the song.

Finally, you'll also find on this website Foghat's version and bass transcription of the same song. It has a different feel and it is played in a completly different manner. It is worth comparing the two and see how the same song can be interpreted and played in such a different way. You can listen to Foghat's version and take a look at the transcription here.

Have fun practicing & happy shedding!

Foghat - It Hurts Me Too (Dave Bronze - bass)


You can hear the bass pretty well during the intro on this live version on youtube.
Eric Clapton - It Hurts Me Too (Live)

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Beatles - Lovely Rita - Bass Transcription / Tab

I never paid much attention, nor was I a big fan of "Lovely Rita". So for that reason I never really noticed the bass line before. Until recently, when hearing the isolated bass track on YouTube.
Its bouncy feel, melodic lines made me take notice. So I thought, OK let's transcribe this bass line.

Right from the start, as the chorus begins, there you have it! The bass is the sub-hook.
Then listen how Sir Paul switches between legato and staccato lines in the verses and
throughout the whole song. Also notice his use of slides, in and out of notes and melodic walking lines.

Lovely Rita's bass line is a lesson in melodic bass playing in itself.
If and when you learn this song, don't just play the notes, try to match Sir Paul's bouncy feel.

So enjoy the transcription and happy shedding!

The Beatles - Lovely Rita (Paul McCartney - Isolated Bass)


The Beatles - Lovely Rita - Bass Transcription / Tab

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Paul McCartney is one of the best pop bass players in the world, and this book presents a musical analysis of his consistently inventive and influential bass playing during his tenure in the Beatles. This indispensable guide offers full transcriptions of nine of McCartney's most revered bass parts. Written in standard notation and TAB. 160 pages. Click on the link or the image for more details about PLAYING THE GREAT BEATLES BASSLINES

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Led Zeppelin - The Ocean - Bass Transcription

Led Zeppelin's The Ocean is a John Paul Jones bass line that I got several requests for. I transcribed that song many years ago for a music-minus-one sound-alike company I was working for at the time. I have revisited the transcription, made a few corrections and found a few interesting points such as:
    1. During the main riff, which alternates between 4/4 and 7/8 time signature. On the second bar, on every second beat, where Jimmy Page plays the notes D, E & A, JP Jones plays E, F#, A. Jones plays that motif every single time during the song, against Page's riff. A little dissonance occurs, but it goes by fast and we've been used to hearing it that way for the past 40 years. You might want to play the same riff as the guitar in a live situation, but ultimately the choice is yours.
    2. For the Outro of the song, starting at bar 33, notice the change from a straight feel to a swing feel. I could have written it in 12/8, but I wrote it in 4/4 for ease of reading.
    3. The triplet at bar 61 really starts on a natural B even though it is played over a D major chord.
    4. Before the music starts, on the intro the voice you hear is drummer John Bonham. He says, "We've done four already but now we're steady, and then they went 1, 2, 3, 4!" he is referring to the takes they had done thus far. (source: Wikipedia)

Below you can hear the sound-alike recording I talked about at the beginning of this post. I recorded it with a Fender Precison 1964 borrowed from a friend. I also sing some of the backups during the song Outro. It was a fun session. I hope you enjoy & Good shedding!


Led Zeppelin - The Ocean (Sound-alike)


Led Zeppelin - The Ocean - (John Paul Jones bass)



For more Zeppelin/John Paul Jones transcriptions ULTIMATE BASS PLAY-ALONG: LED ZEPPELIN VOL. 2 contains eight classic Led Zeppelin songs with full bass TAB. The audio CDs contain a complete version and a play-along version (without bass) of each song. Embedded software allows you to slow down, loop, and even transpose keys on your computer. Written in Standard notation and TAB. 54 pages. Includes 2 audio CDs. Click on the link or the image for more details about ULTIMATE BASS PLAY-ALONG: LED ZEPPELIN VOL.2

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ray Brown - Night Train - Bass Transcription

I've received a few requests for a transcription of Ray Brown's classic bass line and solo on "Night Train" from the Oscar Peterson Trio album of the same name. Although I have not transcribed this song myself, I have found this very detailed transcription courtesy of Robert Sabin, a New York City jazz bassist.

Along with his meticulous transcription. Robert offers an in-depth, 73 page analysis of Ray's bass line and solo titled From "The Bottom Up: Night Train". You will find his analysis below the transcription.

Enjoy this fine bass transcription of a timeless jazz Classic, courtesy of Robert Sabin.

Ray Brown - Night Train - Bass and Solo Transcription


The Analysis is available for download here.


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