Bass Transcription: The Cardigans – ‘My Favourite Game’

Cardigans My Favourite game bass

The lead single from the band’s fourth album, 1998’s Gran Turismo, ‘My Favourite Game’ gave The Cardigans commercial success in Europe, although it failed to have the same impact in the US as ‘Lovefool’, which had received heavy MTV rotation and appeared on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’.

The Cardigans – ‘My Favourite Game’ bass transcription PDF

This chart was made for a last-minute gig where I’d never met (or played with) the band before, so it’s designed to give all the necessary information without being a note-for-note transcription. ‘My Favourite Game’ features plenty of repetition in the bass part and has a somewhat unusual structure, with some subtle changes in the harmony and the length of sections as the song progresses.

Bassist Magnus Sveningsson keeps things simple with root notes throughout – so simple, in fact, that you could play the entire song on the E string if you really wanted to. Simple doesn’t have to mean dull, though, and there are some interesting features in the bass part:

• The chorus features a C pedal note underneath the changing harmony (bar 26)

• Verses 3 and 4 showcase a neat reharmonisation of the original Cm – Bb – F – Ab chord progression, with the bass using a first inversion of the F chord in the second half of each verse to provide a smoother movement of C – Bb – A – Ab

• Until I transcribed the part, I’d never noticed that there’s a healthy amount of fuzz on the bass, which gives the song some extra attitude and lends the bass a synth feel during the sustained notes in the chorus. Time to dust off those pedals…

The bass part isn’t technically demanding, so the challenge with this tune is keeping your place in the chart. Watch out for the extra bar of drum fill at the end of page 2!