Bass Transcription: Blink-182 – First Date

On hearing band manager Rick DeVoe’s comment that Blink-182’s 2001 Take Off Your Pants And Jacket lacked a ‘catchy, feel-good’ song, frontman Tom DeLonge went away and wrote ‘First Date’ – an upbeat tale of teenage angst and awkwardness that became the album’s second single and a staple of the band’s live set (bassist Mark Hoppus’ response to the remark was to write the album’s lead single ‘The Rock Show’ in 10 minutes).

The song begins with a frenetic 2-bar drum fill before the rest of the band piles in with a typical pop-punk guitar melody supported by Mark Hoppus’ driving 8th notes. The constant quaver rhythm continues through the verse – given the tempo of 192bpm this requires some degree of stamina to maintain the necessary level of energy and intensity that the line needs to propel the song forward.

Thankfully the prechorus contains some rests, which provide some respite. The chorus section features more 8th note action, although Hoppus creates some harmonic interest by choosing to play a B in bar 2 – this creates a 1st inversion G chord (or G/B) and creates a smooth descending bass line leading between the C and Am chords.

The bridge section features a simple syncopation idea that creates some rhythmic interest; dropping the first quaver of the bar and shifting the accents onto the off beats totally alters the rhythmic emphasis, creating something of an instrumental hook midway through the song.

Blink 182 – First Date bass transcription.pdf