Bass Transcription: Foo Fighters – No Way Back

Released as a double A-side with ‘Cold Day In The Sun’, ‘No Way Back’ was the fourth single from the Foo Fighters’ double album In Your Honor (2005). Although the song performed well in the Billboard Rock and Alternative charts, it failed to match the commercial success of the first two singles from the album, ‘Best Of You’ and ‘DOA’.

Clocking in at 186bpm, ‘No Way Back’ is an unrelenting high-energy assault that showcases the band’s nascent punk influences married with their stadium rock sensibilities. Looking at the transcription of Nate Mendel’s bass part, it’s clear that all of the rhythmic attention in the song is focused on the last quaver of the bar – almost every measure features an accented push on the ‘and’ of beat 4.

In terms of note choices, it’s roots and octaves for the bulk of the tune (again, the dominant element of the song is rhythm), although Nate manages to sneak in a pentatonic fill just before the D.S. (the last bar of page 2 of the transcription). (

Speaking of the D.S, the chart can be a bit of a structural headache if you’re not experienced with multiple endings and codas – take a minute to scan through the entire chart before attempting to play through it at tempo; the transcription represents my best efforts to balance ease of reading with keeping things within a sensible 4 page limit.

Foo Fighters – No Way Back bass transcription pdf