The third single from The Feeling’s debut Twelve Stops And Home (2006), ‘Never Be Lonely’ gave the band a top 10 single in the UK and earned them a nomination for Q magazine’s Best Track of 2006, losing out to Gnarl’s Barkley’s ‘Crazy’.
‘Never Be Lonely’ is something of an anomaly for a modern pop song in that it features some unusual harmonic twists and prominent melodic bass playing. The song opens with bassist Richard Jones providing a simple but effective descending sub-hook that uses syncopation to create a catchy line using only three notes.
This line forms the foundation for the verse with no variation whatsoever – sometimes simplicity is the most powerful tool at your disposal as a bassist. Richard Jones changes his approach for the prechorus, playing a smooth octave line built from connected crotchets that ventures into the middle register of the bass before using quavers to build into the chorus, which features a distinctly non-pop bass part.
Looking at the transcription, the bass line during the chorus looks like it would be more at home in a Bach fugue than a top 10 single – rapid scalar sequences played in unison with the organ that navigate through varied harmonic territory. There are several possible ways to approach this section – it can be played entirely in one position by starting the line on your middle finger:
Alternatively, beginning in a higher position with the little finger means that there’s less stretching involved, but a position shift is required when the line reaches C major:
This motif is revisited in the middle 8, passing through new tonalities – if you’ve opted for the first fingering option then you’ll have to jump up the neck at some point, while those who chose the second fingering will have (almost) all of the notes within easy reach. This passage is a great workout for both the eyes and the fingers, with some unexpected accidentals that will keep you on your toes.