Taken from ABBA’s hugely successful 1980 Super Trouper album, ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ wasn’t originally intended to be released as a single, but after a remixed version gained considerable popularity in nightclubs the song was finally released a year after the album.

An electronic take on the disco sound with elements of choral music evident in the chorus, ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ has some interesting approaches in the bass part. The propulsive bass playing during the intro is contrasted by the syncopated verse line, which uses chord tones and chromatic approach notes to outline the D minor and C major chords (the chromatic approach is a semitone below the 5th of each chord in both cases).

Bass Transcription: ABBA – Lay All Your Love On Me.pdf

This part sounds like it was double tracked, with the second bass part playing the written line an octave higher – in order to emulate this in a live setting I’d play the written verse part an octave up and use an octave pedal to generate the lower octave.

The verse part also sounds like it was played with a pick, while the rest of the bass on ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ sounds like it was fingerstyle. There’s the possibility that Rutger Gunnarsson only used a pick when overdubbing the higher octave part in order to give it more ‘bite’, but you can experiment with swapping approaches for different sections of the song.

I remember reading an old Bass Player Magazine interview with Arthur Barrow, who revealed that during his tenure in Frank Zappa’s band he used to ‘palm’ a pick (hold it in his hand using the 3rd and 4th fingers) while playing fingerstyle so that he always had both options at his disposal. This feels very weird at first but it does give you a wider sonic palette and neatly gets rid of those awkward ‘where did I leave my pick?’ moments on gigs.