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Bass Transcriptions

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If you're interested, here's a list of the transcriptions/articles/analysesI've done for various magazines and publishers.

All the transcriptions below are in A4-sized PDF format. If you have problems reading these files, click here to get the latest version of the free Adobe Reader. It goes without saying that these transcriptions are for educational purposes only...


Bryan Beller - "Greasy Wheel"

As featured on Thanks In Advance by Bryan Beller

Put simply, Bryan Beller's seminal second album rocks. This transcription of "Greasy Wheel," (hosted on Bryan's own site), serves as a sampler for the full 140-paged book of transcriptions, which can be purchased from Monsieur Beller's digital superstore.

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Jimmy Johnson - "In The Mystery"

As featured on Metal Fatigue by Allan Holdsworth

"In The Mystery" -- from Allan Holdsworth's 1985 album Metal Fatigue -- features yet more superb bass work from Jimmy Johnson, who knocks us dead with some killer lines conjured from a graphite-necked fretless Alembic Series I.

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Rutger Gunnarsson - "Dancing Queen"

As featured on Arrival by Abba

Criminally under-sung bass maestro Rutger Gunnarsson can be heard on just about every Abba hit you can name (though British bassist Mike Watson also played on a few key tracks, too). "Dancing Queen" is Gunnarsson at his best: funky, in the pocket and effortlessly inventive.

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Bill Church - "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)"

As featured on St. Dominic's Preview by Van Morrison

Church's hard-swingin' lines perfectly complement Morrison's homage to R&B legend Jackie Wilson (while also showing how to lay down a tasteful and melodic part that fits the song like a glove).

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Chris Squire - "Going For The One"

As featured on Going For The One by Yes

"Going For The One" is a quintessential Chris Squire classic. His weaving contrapuntal lines and unerring sense of harmonic conviction serve as a spine-tingling master class in melodic inventiveness for bassists of all styles.

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Chris Squire - "Parallels"

As featured on Going For The One by Yes

Unlike the contrapuntal creation permeating "Going For The One," in "Parallels," Chris Squire spends a lot of the time locked into a solid repeating groove with drummer Alan White rather than wandering off into his own harmonic world. Indeed, certain parts of "Parallels" are groovy enough to give Bootsy himself in-the-pocket palpitations.

Standard notation | Tab version | Comments/Analysis


Anthony Jackson - "Billie's Bounce"

As featured on Very Live at Buddy's Place by Buddy Rich

A straight blues outing in which AJ delivers a fine solo while pulling off some of his trademark harmonic twists and turns as he underpins Buddy Rich's band.

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Paul Chambers - "Giant Steps"

As featured on Giant Steps by John Coltrane

Just when you think you've had this tune in the bag for years, someone calls it near the end of a session - you know, after you've already had a few drinks - and you realize: A) It may well have been in your bag, but maybe the zipper wasn't done up as tightly as it should have been, and B) Maybe that fourth beer wasn't such a good idea...

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Jet Harris - "Nivram"

As featured on The Shadows by The Shadows

Though a million miles away from the flash and fireworks of today's bass solos (and solo bassists) Jet Harris was nevertheless the real deal back in the day. And, as an added bonus, he looked cool as all-get-out. Furthermore, this song features what is likely the first ever electric bass solo in a pop setting (1961). Enjoy!

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Francesco DiCosmo - "Bring Me To Life"

As featured on Fallen by Evanescence

Heavier than a rhino and as punchy as Mike Tyson, Francesco DiCosmo's bass playing did much to shape the overall sound and impact of Evanescence's most famous number.

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Camine Rojas - "Let's Dance"

As featured on Let's Dance by David Bowie

"Let's Dance," the title track of David Bowie's seminal 1983 album, features some classy low-end work by session-ace Carmine Rojas. (See below for a transcription of "China Girl.")

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Camine Rojas - "China Girl"

As featured on Let's Dance by David Bowie

Carmine Rojas conjures up superlative song-defining riff on the second track of David Bowie's landmark 1983 album, Let's Dance. (See above for a transcription of the title track "Let's Dance.")

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Anthony Jackson - "Clouds"

As featured on Naughty by Chaka Khan

Though Marcus Miller and Willie Weeks also feature on Naughty, it's Anthony Jackson who steals the show with his thundering low Cs and killer grooves. AJ pushed bass playing into new territory on the six tracks he graces on this album, not least because he played several of the songs on a four-string Fender bass tuned down two whole steps, in effect paving the way for the 5- and 6-string electric basses that are around today.

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Anthony Jackson - "Move Me No Mountain"

As featured on Naughty by Chaka Khan"

Put simply, Naughty contains some of the finest and funkiest bass playing this side of the Horsehead Nebula. This track goes some way toward explaining why...

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Anthony Jackson - "Nothing's Gonna Take You Away"

As featured on Naughty by Chaka Khan

This tune is fine example of what a great rhythm section can do for a fairly standard medium-ballad number, with Anthony Jackson and Steve Ferrone working their collective magic to transform the song into a driving Latin-tinged pop classic.

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Anthony Jackson - "Too Much Love"

As featured on Naughty by Chaka Khan

A lot of people think Anthony Jackson is the only bassist on Naughty, but this isn't quite true. There are three other bassists featured: Willie Weeks, Marcus Miller and Mark Stevens (Chaka's brother). However, this song is the only track on the album to credit two bass players, both Anthony jackson and Mark Stevens. Strange indeed...

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Anthony Jackson - "All Night's All Right"

As featured on "Naughty by Chaka Khan

Jackson's rock-solid bass groove provides the foundation for this track, which showcases the band's hermetically tight rhythm section and some very interesting harmony.

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Anthony Jackson - "Our Love's In Danger"

As featured on Naughty by Chaka Khan

Jackson's nuance-packed playing on this track once again requires another detail-heavy transcription. Hey don't shoot the messenger! ;-)

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Anthony Jackson - "What Cha' Gonna Do For Me"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

On this, the title track of Chaka Khan's third solo album, Anthony Jackson's bass part is doubled throughout by a Moog synth. In spite of this, there's no doubt as to who's driving the low-end show. And no, it's not the Moog player!

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Anthony Jackson - "I Know You, I Live You"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

This at-times rhythmically explosive number is one of the most memorable tracks on the What Cha album, thanks to Anthony Jackson's measured but powerful playing and Arif Mardin's punchy horn arrangement.

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Anthony Jackson - "Any Old Sunday"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

On this track, Jackson once again demonstrates that groove and momentum need not be sacrificed when tackling a slower-paced track, in this case, a laid-back shuffle number.

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Anthony Jackson - "We Got Each Other"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

As well as deviating from standard pitch by a quarter-tone, this song is also notable in that the bass player and the rest of the band seem to be grooving in different, albeit related, keys...

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Anthony Jackson - "Night Moods"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

Thanks to Jackson's drivingly insistent lines, this atmospheric quasi-ballad number is shot through with a powerful sense of restrained energy, which merely serves to heighten the tension generated by Chaka's often low-register huskiness, the exotic #11-based harmony, and the otherworldly, delay-soaked flute.

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Anthony Jackson - "Heed The Warning"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

As well as serving as a classic example of how a great riff can build a whole song, this track also demonstrates how tiny deviations from the norm can have a subtle, but significant effect. As an added bonus, "Heed The Warning" also contains the finest bass-related moment on the whole of this album. (Well, I think so anyway!)

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Anthony Jackson - "Father He Said"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

Many bassists are so keen to show off their double-thump or 11-fingered tapping technique (often during a sensitive ballad) that they forget about their main function - to support the rest of the band while being sensitive to what's happening around them.On "Father He Said," Anthony Jackson shows exactly how it should be done.

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Anthony Jackson - "Fate"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

For the second album in a row, Chaka's slappin' poppin' sibling Mark Stevens muscles in on Jackson's low-frequency territory, overdubbing lines that perhaps reflect the era in which the album was produced, if not the needs of the song...

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Anthony Jackson - "I Know You, I Live You (Reprise)"

As featured on What Cha' Gonna Do For Me by Chaka Khan

Although there's no fresh material to speak of in terms of the bass, reprising of one of the most musically upbeat songs on the album is a great way to wrap things up.

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Anthony Jackson - "Love Has Fallen On Me"

As featured on Chaka by Chaka Khan

As you'd expect, a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn't quite conform to the "norms" of pop songdom. As such, this track is a study in rhythmic twists and slight-of-hand harmonic turns, with the added bonus of featuring perhaps the first recorded example of AJ's detuned Fender bass.

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Anthony Jackson - "Sleep On It"

As featured on Chaka by Chaka Khan

A mid-tempo soulful funk-tinged number that benefits greatly from the contrasts between sections artfully accentuated by the killer rhythm section of Anthony Jackson and Steve Ferrone. AJ also fires off several scintillating runs that light up the track like fireworks above a tropical beach at twilight...

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Anthony Jackson - "I Was Made To Love Him"

As featured on Chaka by Chaka Khan

Chaka's cover of this Stevie Wonder classic gives Anthony Jackson the chance to show that he's his own man when it comes to interpreting a track that had already been turned into something special by his idol James Jamerson. Check out AJ's masterful use of chromaticism - something that continued to flourish until it became an integral part of his style.

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Robbie Merrill - "Re-Align"

As featured on Faceless by Godsmack

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Matt Snell - "Walk Away"

As featured on War Is The Answer by Five Finger Death Punch

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Dean Bernardini - "Face To The Floor"

As featured on Hats Off To The Bull by Chevelle

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Eric Taylor - "The Sex Is Good"

As featured on Miss America by Saving Abel

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John "Segs" Jennings:「West One (Shine On Me)」

By The Ruts

This has long been my favourite Ruts track, not least cos it's a great study in how to use inversions to spice up te otherwise vanilla harmony: Check out the guitar chords and see how Segs transforms them with his snaking lines - masterful!

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