The Story Behind David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” Bass Line

Brandon Shaw recently sent us this video created by Spector Basses, and it’s a cool look into the creation of a great bass line. The clip details the evolution of David Bowie’s hit single “Let’s Dance” as it morphed from a folksy guitar number to the monster groove it became.

The bass line was ultimately tracked by Carmine Rojas, who was pivotal in Bowie’s 80s era. He also played on the songs “Blue Jean,” “China Girl,” and “Modern Love.” You’ll be able to catch him soon on the 2020 “A Bowie Celebration” tour.

Edit: Carmine Rojas wrote in to clarify what bass was used on “Let’s Dance.” “The bass used on the session was my 1974 Fender jazz body combined with my 1968 Tele neck and the pick-ups were two different ones. One was an EMG Jazz pick-up and one was a DiMarzio. I used the bass for the Let’s Dance album session but only used it on tour for the Ricochet tour in the Far East,” he shared. You can see Rojas performing alongside Nona Hendryx with the bass in question below.

In any case, put on your red shoes and hear Nile Rodgers explain the song’s direction:

Carmine Rojas with Let's Dance Fender Bass

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  1. Andy Alonso

    So nice, I had to watch it twice! Thanks for sharing, that was great.