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Transcriptions - Page 2

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...

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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...

Bass Transcription: Trevor Bolder’s Bass Line on “Changes” by David Bowie

Bass Transcription: Trevor Bolder’s Bass Line on “Changes” by David Bowie

Since 1963, David Bowie worked with many bands as both singer and instrumentalist, and he had released several unsuccessful singles under his own name before “Space Oddity” became his first substantial hit. The song reached number five in the UK in 1969. Bowie’s first two albums (both confusingly called David Bowie) had been recorded using session musicians, with the bass...

Bass Transcription: Colin Moulding’s Bass Line on XTC’s “Senses Working Overtime”

Bass Transcription: Colin Moulding’s Bass Line on XTC’s “Senses Working Overtime”

The three founding members of XTC, bassist Colin Moulding, drummer Terry Chambers and guitarist/vocalist Andy Partridge, initially got together in 1972, calling the band ‘The Helium Kidz’. They took some of their early influence from The New York Dolls and attached themselves to the developing ‘glam rock’ scene that was popular in the UK at the time. When guitarist/keyboardist Barry...

Bass Transcription: Graham Maby’s Bass Line on Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

Bass Transcription: Graham Maby’s Bass Line on Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

Joe Jackson has had a similar career to that of Elvis Costello, first coming to prominence in the “New Wave” era in the late 1970s, and then diversifying into a broader variety of musical styles as he became more established. The initial success of singles such as “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” (1978) and “Different for Girls” (1979)...

Bass Transcription: Finn Guttormsen’s Bass Line on Farmers Market’s “Dusty Traditions”

Bass Transcription: Finn Guttormsen’s Bass Line on Farmers Market’s “Dusty Traditions”

The other day I was watching Michael Brecker’s version of ¨Nothing Personal” in 9/8 meter. I really liked this version and the group that played it. After some research, I found a Norwegian band called Farmers Market. I then contacted bassist Finn Guttormsen, who during the chat explained to me why they play in irregular meters. In his university, the...

Bass Transcription: Bruce Thomas’ Bass Line on Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Lipstick Vogue”

Bass Transcription: Bruce Thomas’ Bass Line on Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Lipstick Vogue”

As there was a very positive response to last month’s transcription of “Oliver’s Army,” I thought that the No Treble readers might like another chance to have a look at Bruce Thomas’ work. This track contains a much busier bass line than “Oliver’s Army”, and Bruce tips his hat to some of his influences within the course of the song....