the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu

The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence”: Paul McCartney’s Isolated Bass

Editor’s note: This week is Isolated Bass Week III. Follow along and be sure to check out all of the Isolated Bass Week archives too.

Today we get a good listen to the bass line on the Beatles’ song, “Dear Prudence” from the 1968 album known as The White Album.

Paul McCartney covered a lot more than just the bass on this one – including drums, piano, flügelhorn, tambourine, cowbell, handclaps and backing vocals – according to the Wikipedia article about the song:

“They recorded the song at Trident Studios in London on 28, 29 and 30 August 1968. Utilising state of the art eight-track recording equipment, the basic track included finger picking guitar performed by John Lennon as well as George Harrison on the lead guitar, plus Paul McCartney playing the drums in place of Ringo Starr, who had temporarily left the Beatles. The next day, McCartney performed and recorded the bass track and Lennon recorded additional layers to his vocals. Handclapping, tambourine and cowbell were then added by McCartney and Harrison. On the last day of the recording session, piano and flügelhorn tracks were recorded by McCartney.”

But of course, we’re all about the bass, so it is cool to hear this line in isolation. Some people think Sir Paul is playing his Rickenbacker. Others think he’s playing his Fender Jazz. What do you think?