Middle management’s favourite band staked their claim as Britain’s premier radio-friendly indie providers with the release of 2002’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head that spawned hits ‘Clocks’, ‘The Scientist’ and ‘In My Place’. The album went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide and earned the band three Grammys, one of which was for ‘In My Place’.
Kicking off with 2 bars of MASSIVE sounding drums (possibly an attempt to capture the spirit of Led Zeppelin’s ‘When The Levee Breaks’), the song quickly settles into rock ballad territory due to the sparse, chiming guitar melody and sparse bass & organ accompaniment. The bass part for the intro and the verse alternates between sustained minims and more rhythmically active phrases that double the syncopated kick drum part – this is good practice for getting acquainted with semiquaver subdivisions and the rarely-seen double dotted crotchet note value.
For the chorus, Guy Berryman steps out of the background and gives us a melodic line that mirrors Chris Martin’s vocal on every other bar, providing interest for the listener without taking up too much space in the mix.
Tonally speaking you’re looking for a warm, fat, fingerstyle sound that provides a solid foundation for the rest of the band’s parts – one of my favourite descriptions of this sort of bass sound is from saxophonist Bob Reynolds (John Mayer, Snarky Puppy and many others) who, when asked for what he wants from a bass player, said that their tone should be like ‘a warm blanket that I want to be wrapped up in’. Quite.