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Category: GOTW 1

Groove Of The Week #15: Led Zeppelin – ‘Ramble On’

This week’s groove comes courtesy of the great British bassist John Paul Jones, whose part on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Ramble On’ provides a masterclass in writing a part that manages to…

This week’s groove comes courtesy of the great British bassist John Paul Jones, whose part on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Ramble On’ provides a masterclass in writing a part that manages to be melodic without diverting attention away from the rest of the band:

JPJ’s high register line sits firmly in the key of E major, using slides and ghost notes to embellish his part. He varies the part slightly on each repetition, but the basic groove is shown here:

Led Zep - Ramble On

You can check out the original isolated bass part of ‘Ramble On’ below – hearing JPJ’s playing in isolation really demonstrates the huge influence of Motown and Stax recordings:

His tone is very Jamerson-esque, and the verse groove to ‘Ramble On’ reminds me of pioneering soul bassist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn’s part on Eddie Floyd’s ‘Knock On Wood’, which was recorded 3 years before ‘Ramble On’:

Wherever JPJ got the inspiration, his bass work on ‘Ramble On’ (and many other Led Zep songs) gives us a wealth of material for study when it comes to supportive yet melodic bass playing.

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Groove Of The Week #14: Deee-Lite’s ‘Groove Is In The Heart’

Deee-Lite’s one and only hit ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ was propelled by the infectious bassline provided by none other than William ‘Bootsy’ Collins who, thanks to his time with…

Deee-Lite’s one and only hit ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ was propelled by the infectious bassline provided by none other than William ‘Bootsy’ Collins who, thanks to his time with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, has no shortage of experience in laying down a consistent, propulsive groove.

The line sits nicely in position, using chord tones and the odd chromatic approach to outline the Ab7-Db7 harmony (the classic chord I to chord IV move found in countless funk, rock, soul and pop tunes):

Deee-Lite- Groove Is In The Heart copy

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Groove Of The Week #13: Incubus -‘Are You In?’

This week’s laid back swung 16th groove comes courtesy of one of my teenage bass heroes, Dirk Lance. Incubus first caught my attention when I heard Make Yourself and totally…

This week’s laid back swung 16th groove comes courtesy of one of my teenage bass heroes, Dirk Lance. Incubus first caught my attention when I heard Make Yourself and totally freaked out – at the age of 15 I’d never heard anything quite like it before.

The follow-up album, Morning View, remains one of my favourites – recently I’ve been spent a lot of time in the car driving to and from gigs and I’ve been working my way through Incubus’ back catalogue, one of the grooves that stuck out was Dirk’s part on ‘Are You In?’:

The key to this groove is to relax! Be sure to listen to the original to really get a handle on the 16th note swing feel.

Incubus - Are You In?

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Groove Of The Week #12: Muse – ‘Hysteria’

Apologies that this post is somewhat late, things have been rather manic lately. Anyway, here’s last week’s Groove Of The Week video, which features Chris Wolstenholme’s amazing pedal point riff…

Apologies that this post is somewhat late, things have been rather manic lately. Anyway, here’s last week’s Groove Of The Week video, which features Chris Wolstenholme’s amazing pedal point riff on Muse’s ‘Hysteria’.

This line is tricky for a number of reasons, particularly getting the balance between fretted notes and open strings. Once you’ve got everything even at a low tempo it’s just a case of bringing the speed up and playing it consistently for 4 minutes… Good Luck!

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Groove Of The Week #11: Erykah Badu – ‘Didn’t Cha Know’

Whilst I’m trying my best to provide transcriptions from a variety of players over the course of this year’s Groove Of The Week series there are some bassists that I…

Whilst I’m trying my best to provide transcriptions from a variety of players over the course of this year’s Groove Of The Week series there are some bassists that I just can’t stop listening to. Pino Palladino is one of them.

We’ve already heard from Pino on D’Angelo’s The Charade, and this week’s groove sees him laying down another great line on Erykah Badu’s ‘Didn’t Cha Know’:

There are two main grooves that Pino plays, both of which outline an Ebm tonality:

Erykah Badu - Didn t Cha Know copy

The first line makes frequent use of the 9th (F) and although it sounds relatively simple it might take some practice to get the descending 4th intervals to sound smooth.

Groove 2 makes further use of the upper extensions as Pino references the b7th, 9th and 11th (Db, F and Ab respectively).

Want to instantly incorporate this sound into your playing?

Easy! All you have to do is play a major triad down a whole tone on minor chords. In this case we have a Db major triad played over an Ebm chord – this is something Miles Davis and many other improvisers have made great use of (Miles’ classic solo on ‘So What‘ features a number of lines that feature this concept, including C major triad lines played over Dm7 harmony).

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Groove Of The Week #10: Groove Collective – ‘Everything Is Changing’

For our 10th week of groove we’re investigating Jonathan Maron’s amazing bass line on Groove Collective’s ‘Everything Is Changing’. If you’re not familiar with Jonathan’s playing then this is a…

For our 10th week of groove we’re investigating Jonathan Maron’s amazing bass line on Groove Collective’s ‘Everything Is Changing’. If you’re not familiar with Jonathan’s playing then this is a great introduction to his propulsive playing style (you can check out his extensive discography here).

The line outlines an E minor tonality, focusing predominantly on the E minor pentatonic scale with the addition of the 9th (F#) to add some colour to the part. This groove can be quite challenging to play at tempo if you’re not used to raking the strings with your right hand (playing consecutive notes on adjacent strings with the same right hand finger rather than strictly alternating) so start off slow and focus on getting every note in the part to ‘speak’ clearly.

Groove Collective - Everything Is Changing copy

Got A Groove Request? Let Me Know!

If there’s a bass line that you love but have never got round to learning then let me know by commenting on this post – it could be a classic groove or a song that you feel deserves wider recognition from the bass playing world.

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