Led Zeppelin: “Ramble On” – John Paul Jones Isolated Bass (Isolated Bass Week)

Our week-long celebration of “all bass” continues, with this isolated bass track for Led Zeppelin’s 1969 classic, “Ramble On”, from Led Zeppelin II.

John Paul Jones and his awesome, melodic bass line from the tune is heard loud and clear, the way we like it.

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Share your thoughts

  1. So awesome. How do you get all these isolated tracks?

    • J – that is very cool – looking for this in tablature for practice – JP Jones I will never be, but I can dream my rock n roll dreams

  2. Ah, the art of nimble fingers getting the job done….quite a sensation!

    • You just gotta lovw the bass man, king of the groove, master of the low note and shaker of souls. When I celebrate the bass, I miss my brother.

  3. great to hear this isolated , and to know I covered it correctly. the old blind squirl finding his nut LOL!

  4. Boy listen to John work those flat wounds!

  5. Thanks for posting this. I would love to hear isolated bass on The Lemon Song and Immigrant’s Song.

  6. Great track! It even goes beyond the fadeout point we actually know of…

  7. A song in itself.

  8. Definitely has that james Jmerson Motown influence! JPJ was such an inspiration to me!

    • The beginning almost sounds like an amalgam of Barney Miller and Sanford and Son! Wow, this is incredible really!

  9. I love all the noodling he does at the end of the song. Amazing.

  10. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  11. They really were such a hell of a band.

  12. I read somewhere that ” Ramble On” was never performed live. What a damn shame!

  13. not sure what bass he is playing, but the lower register notes seem much muddier than the higher ones.

  14. EVERY time that I listen to an isolated bass track form a legend, I ALWAYS notice how sloppy they play but how it ALWAYS works out in the end in the “mix”!!! I always say that dropping’ traxxx is always more difficult than playing live because recordings last forever but it seems that I’m being proven wrong, more & more as I get older.

    • tyler

      On those really low notes I think the string is actually touching the metal part of the pickup. Which causes that heavy metallic thud

  15. Any way to isolate the bass track from “I Can’t Quit Her” by Blood Sweat and Tears?

  16. It has nothing to do with what a producer would let fly. It’s so ridiculously easy to correct pitch and quantize these days that it doesn’t matter how sloppy you are. The producer is going to fix it so it’s perfect. That’s the difference between music before the late 90s, and after. People forget this was recorded on a tape machine, with no visibility to the recording other than sound levels. Trust me, you would be just as sloppy, if not sloppier. I know I am.

  17. Sloppiness is relative. Sometimes songs sound too perfect, especially these days. If the instrument conveys the right emotion and movement, then it’s not really sloppy. Technique follows the same rules. Sometimes, things just work when they’re less than perfect. After all, we’re people.

  18. I m sure he laid this AFTER bonzo. That means he vibed with the drummer, probably rock bass playing number one. This doesn’t sound sloppy at all. He has a feel, and it’s fairly loose by todays definition but this song endures after 30 some odd years. No pro tools, not 1000’s of takes. And this is blues based rock not As I Lay Dying it’s not supposed to sound like a machine played it. That’s the beauty of it.

  19. I believe , though it’s been a lot of years. These tracks were recorded live in the studio. Guitar and vocal re-recorded later. Rhythm,bass and drum parts left in place. Jones was already a celebrated studio musician and later became a Cathedral organist, one of a select few in the world at the time. He was also working on his Doctorate in music. He did and does play ,teach, arrange and compose on every instrument. I’m guessing he did the recording in 2-3 takes and played exactly the way he intended. If an artist is ever content with there last take…Just saying.

  20. The “sloppiness” is what makes it special and brilliant….Paul McCartney was a master of this…also a good producer should care more abut the “overall” sound of the finished product than the individual performances…..sometimes a screw up is what a song needs…

    • David Harvey

      JPJ has a bit of McCartney in his bass performance on “Ramble On”, especially his melodic fills, and perhaps he might’ve been playing too many Beatles records at home!!
      JPJ and Bonzo worked very, very well together as a powerhouse of a rhythm section for Led Zeppelin.

  21. it’s exactly what it is, a working musician playin what he feels to make the track feel like his band sounds…that’s all that counts, and the final mix proves the band worked good like this as well…these guys had a band ‘sound’ like no other, and they worked on that..cool dude, john paul is…jamerson and mc cartney the same..

  22. Sure, a few little inconsistencies, the odd little slip. Led Zep II was recorded still pretty early in their career. Not a lot of time and resources to spare on endless takes and tweaks. The line is so passionate and punchy that it really doesn’t much matter and these little quirks are largely lost in the overall band performance anyway. It was breathtaking to hear the number and quality of variations in the coda. Stunning!

  23. I keep hearing complaints about sloppiness. This was the early 70s where musical performance, output and expression were more important than today’s digital age of sound quality where they analyze every note for pitch and sanitized level perfections. You rarely even hear rock performances this expressive in recordings these days.

  24. bvdon

    The improv stuff at the end is pretty hard to copy… ain’t even gonna waste my time try to get that nuanced stuff. Great bass player.

  25. it’s just soooooooo good!

  26. i’m not even a zeppelin fan but this is some well played bass. you don’t hear someone that good every day. it’s not just in his head, it’s very much in his hands and his control of the instrument. no bad notes, just smooth lovemaking music.

  27. Bazzbass

    This was THE bassline that made me want to play bass in 1978. That was when I got a decent stereo and could actually hear the bass. I loved Sir Paul’s and JPJ’s lines for many years, but this one just did something to me. Add Bonzo and there it is, magic.

  28. Jaime

    Excellent ??

  29. Ian Smith

    JPJ was the whole reason I bought a Fender Jazz