Full Transcription: Stevie Wonder – That Girl

First, a huge thank you to those of you who have been checking out the transcriptions and books.  I really appreciate it, as well as the comments, even the creepy ones from people who say they’re staring in my bedroom window.  Just remember, YOU CAN’T UNSEE ANYTHING YOU SEE!

I kid.  But seriously, it’s been forever since my last transcription, and I felt a little guilty, so here’s the full line from Stevie Wonder’s “That Girl.”  It sounds to me like Stevie is playing the bass line himself on the synthesizer a la “Boogie on Reggae Woman” – but perhaps those of you with more motivation to research can confirm or deny.

Where to begin with this one?  The multiple song sections, the rhythms, the harmony, the tiny bass line variations… it’s a beast.  Particularly the abundance of minor 7th leaps which, perhaps, take a bit less dexterity to play on the piano than the bass.  But that’s also why I really like it.

Have fun!

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Five Bass Lines by 311

Way back when I had to walk barefoot through thirty miles of snow with half a sandal and no canteen to school, I played 311 songs.  Other than my church (where I started playing bass), a big source of inspiration came from this group when I was 14.  Kind of strange revisiting these, really.

Anyway, here are five bass lines by 311.  If you ever wondered how to play bass lines by p-nut, chances are, you’re high.  Either way, here’s the song list:

Love Song (cover of The Cure)
All Mixed Up
Beautiful Disaster
Come Original

Also, P-nut usually plays a 5 string bass for all those notes below low E.

5 x 311

Free Transcriptions: 80s Bass Lines

This week’s free bass transcription is a compilation of 80s bass lines I enjoy.  The names of the songs and players are:

Bon JoviYou Give Love a Bad Name – Bass line by Alec John Such

QueenUnder Pressure – Bass line by John Deacon

Talk TalkIt’s My Life – Bass line by Paul Webb

Phil CollinsEasy Lover – Nathan East

Duran DuranRio – Bass line by John Taylor

QueenAnother One Bites the Dust – John Deacon

If you’ve caught any of my past compilations, these are intended to reflect the main portions of the songs rather than the entire bass lines.

80s Compilation p180s Compilation p2

Free Bass Transcription – Searching by Hubert Eaves IV

Hubert Eaves IV gives us this week’s free bass transcription from the track “Searching”… a fat line with tons of attitude on Erykah Badu’s “Live” album.  Some of my observations…

The bass line plays a big role in driving the song forward… simple, consistent lines with subtle variations throughout.  The interaction between Eaves and drummer Poogie Bell is mouth-wateringly tasteful, as in the bass fill at measure 16.  Short and simple, it’s as if Bell says to Eaves, “I hear you!  I’ll get out of your way,” and the bass line is elevated that much further.

The verse starts in the key of E minor, and modulates to G minor for the chorus.

Though I only transcribed the first half, check out the recording sometime for the last half.  Between Eaves’ slap bass line, and Poogie’s shift to the ride cymbal, the song’s intensity goes much higher.  Cool stuff.

Also, I remember one of my teachers pointing out the bass note at 3:00.  It sounds like a rather shaky A (tonic) played on an E major (dominant), which struck my teacher as a mistake…. maybe a misfire as to where Eaves thought the song was going.  Hard to say for sure, but it sure sounds that way.  IF it’s a mistake, I like that it’s there.  Reminds me that small fries like myself may still have a fighting chance in a world where mistakes are heard on major albums🙂.


Free Bass Transcription: Turn It Around by Terrance Palmer

What can I say… I obviously love Terrance’s playing.  Once again, if this type of music isn’t your thing (I’m in this camp), hopefully the skill and talent will still prove beneficial.

It’s been a long day, so I’ll skip the usual “what I like” section and leave you with the music.  This is from Israel Houghton’s “Live in South Africa” album.

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