Kansas – “Leftoverture”: The Complete Basslines, Part 6
This chapter carries on from the first five installments, and, as usual, includes in-depth analysis, a full transcription (with tab), playing hints and tips, and a video playthrough. If you wish to, you can gradually build up a collection of the chapters to complete the album.
Questions Of My Childhood
This is another fairly short song (under four minutes) and like ‘Opus Insert’ has a straightforward structure that helps to keep the prog excesses to a minimum. There are some changes of feel and key, as you’d expect from a Kansas song, but overall, it’s a very catchy and uplifting piece, with a driving groove in most sections. The main feature of the song is Steve Walsh’s powerful vocal performance, but the instrumental playing is also excellent, with Kerry Livgren’s keyboard work and Robbie Steinhardt’s violin soloing being particularly notable.
This song starts in C major, with a double-feel intro groove where the bass sticks to a C root with some occasional dips onto G. A four-bar link into the verse moves the key into A major. The bass sits out for most of verse one, only joining in with the strong rhythmic hits in bars 19 and 20. At bar 21, the verse sequence starts again, with some simple root notes that lock in with the drums and a few arpeggio ideas to give a little more color to the pattern.
This bassline idea continues through another verse. At the chorus, the bass line joins in with root notes in the F – C – G, F – C – G – D chord movements before reverting to the verse line. A bridge section begins at bar 45, and the bass line becomes rhythmically more straightforward but uses more link notes to smooth the chord changes until bars 52-3 where a strong E pedal idea is used. Bar 54 reiterates the section at the end of the intro, leading into another verse and chorus. After this, the intro section re-appears, and this runs out to the end of the song.
Hope’s bass playing is clear and strong, and although there are no really complex ideas in this song, the bass line provides some powerful, driving rhythmic support and some occasional melodic flow.
Download chapter six and the transcription, then follow along with video: