Groove Of The Week #16: Michael McDonald – ‘I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)’

Louis Johnson’s stellar bass work as part of The Brothers Johnson and also as a sideman (his numerous credits include Michael Jackson, George Benson, Grover Washington Jr and George Benson) has cemented his position as one of the most celebrated funk bassists of the 70s and 80s.

Although many of his most famous lines involve hefty doses of slap bass, earning him the nickname ‘Thunder-Thumbs’, Louis’ line on Michael McDonald’s hit ‘I Keep Forgettin’ sees him staying safely in fingerstyle territory. The main groove, which was famously sampled on Warren G’s classic ‘Regulate’, features heavy semiquaver syncopation and requires real attention to detail when it comes to achieving the correct note lengths:

There’s a full note-for-note transcription of the entire tune right here for your grooving pleasure:
I Keep Forgettin’ Full Bass Transcription


  1. Nice work Tom. Thanks for this. I’m listening to the whole tune and reading the transcription. Looks pretty perfect to me. With the dots, I can have this nailed over the weekend. Great tune and thanks again for your hard work. I’ve been enjoying this series and doing the listening and reading of the dots you’ve been posting.

    1. Thanks Peter, I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying the Groove Of The Week series. If you have any requests for future posts then let me know!

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