Nailing The Bass Intro To “My Girl” By Palm Muting and Getting a Vintage Tone

In this lesson, we’ll learn how to keep it groovy by palm muting and using our thumb — a slightly different technique compared to standard finger-style playing. To practice this, we’ll play the distinctive intro part to “My Girl” by The Temptations and draw our attention to tone and note duration.

We’ll specifically work on getting that classic sound from Motown and R&B records, so whether you’re playing a vintage instrument or using a modern bass and amp, you can get pretty close to the James Jamerson, Bob Babbitt, or Duck Dunn tone.

Enjoy, and keep it groovy!

Ryan Madora is a professional bass player, author, and educator living in Nashville, TN. In addition to touring and session work, she teaches private lessons and masterclasses to students of all levels. Visit her website to learn more!

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  1. Thanks for the crystal clear explanation of this technique. I could have used this one a long time ago. Would have saved me a few years of double bass diversion! Most of the thumb plucking “how to” videos are about slap. Your idea is more fundamental and is very handy for a lot of music I play. Keep up the good work … you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!