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Bass Transcription: Ewan Vernal’s Bass Line on “The Wildness” by Deacon Blue

Bass Transcription: Ewan Vernal’s Bass Line on “The Wildness” by Deacon Blue

Ewen Vernal was born in 1964 into a musical family in Glasgow, Scotland. His mother was a vocalist, and his father played saxophone and also led a local choir. Ewen’s early musical experiences focused on playing the piano and singing, but this changed during his teenage years after he found an old acoustic guitar in his loft. Although only the...

Bass Transcription: Bruce Foxton’s Bass Line on “Start!” by The Jam

Bass Transcription: Bruce Foxton’s Bass Line on “Start!” by The Jam

The Jam was a very successful British band that achieved considerable chart success, with 18 top 40 singles and four number ones. They also released six top 20 albums and gained wide critical acclaim for their song-writing. Although their early hits were considered New Wave, the band blended a wider range of influences into their material than many of the...

Bass Transcription: Anthony Jackson’s Bass Line on Michel Camilo’s “We Three”

Bass Transcription: Anthony Jackson’s Bass Line on Michel Camilo’s “We Three”

Anthony Jackson is one of the most versatile bass players in the music scene and a real innovator in the 6-string bass (or contrabass guitar) that he developed in the seventies. He is known as a session musician working with artists like Diane Ross, Chaka Khan, Steely Dan, and Steve Khan, but he made a very important body of work...

Bass Transcription: Mikey Craig’s Bass Line on “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” by Culture Club

Bass Transcription: Mikey Craig’s Bass Line on “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” by Culture Club

Culture Club is a very successful British band that had immense popularity around the world, selling over fifty million records. They were formed in 1981 and were led by vocalist Boy George (George O’Dowd) whose flamboyant androgynous style and sharp tongue attracted huge media interest. The band was considered to be part of the British “New Romantic” movement of the...

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Bass Transcription: Horace Panter’s Bass Line on “Ghost Town” by The Specials

Bass Transcription: Horace Panter’s Bass Line on “Ghost Town” by The Specials

The Specials were perhaps the defining band of the late 70s British Ska movement, and they had a run of hit singles and albums between 1979 and 1984. Their band leader and principal songwriter Jerry Dammers was also the founder of Two-Tone Records, an independent label that helped to push the genre into the mainstream. The Specials were a multi-racial...

Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

Kate Bush came from a very musical family, and at eleven she taught herself to play the piano. Soon after this she began to write songs and at sixteen she recorded a demo of fifty compositions and sent them to prospective record companies, but this did not lead to any offers. However, a family friend had a connection with Pink...

Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

Free was formed in 1968 in London, and they followed in the footsteps of bands such as Cream and Fleetwood Mac, who grew out of the British Blues Explosion of the mid-sixties. By moving away from some of the restrictions of the genre, Free (alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple), helped to define British heavy rock music of...

Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Note: It is not certain who the bassist was on The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” but it’s likely to be Wilton Felder, who played on many of their early recordings after they moved to Los Angeles in 1969. There’s relatively little information about the studio musicians who worked for Motown in L.A. during this period, so...

Bass Transcription: Ronnie Lane’s Bass Line on “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces

Bass Transcription: Ronnie Lane’s Bass Line on “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces

Ronnie Lane was born in Plaistow in East London on April 1st 1946. As a teenager, his father had encouraged him to play the guitar as “he’d always have a friend”. At first, he played skiffle, a type of rough country blues popular in the UK in the early 1960s, but he was also influenced by The Shadows and The...

Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”

Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”

The first thing we have to consider to play this arrangement is the accents. The trick is to emphasize the 2nd and 4th movement, just as a drummer would do with the snare drum. To do this use the “strum” technique (think Stanley Clarke in School Days), accenting the 2nd and 4th movement where I can try to keep it...