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Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Motown

Cappuccino 12 Jan 09 - 03:01 PM
wyrdolafr 12 Jan 09 - 03:43 PM
Cappuccino 12 Jan 09 - 03:52 PM
wyrdolafr 12 Jan 09 - 04:47 PM
M.Ted 12 Jan 09 - 08:27 PM
Cappuccino 13 Jan 09 - 07:39 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Motown
From: Cappuccino
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 03:01 PM

OK, I know this is a folk forum, and I usually qualify as a folkie... but suddenly I find myself, in my doddery old age, required to play a whole pile of Stax and Motown numbers. One is giving me very real trouble... it's Mary Wells' "My Guy", in Bb, of all keys.

Yes, I know the final fade-out bass vamp was one of James Jamerson's finest moments, but I can't even work out the intro, never mind the verse. Can any Catter bass player out there lead me to a tab sheet which could help me out?

Thanks!
-Cappuccino in Cornwall


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Moto
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 03:43 PM

If by 'suddenly finding yourself required to play a whole pile of Stax and Motown numbers' you mean it's a gigging thing, it might be worth your while trying to get a copy of some of the books that cover Jamerson's work.

I know there's a transcription of 'My Guy' in 'Motown Bass Classics'. Amazon have it for about a tenner.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Motown
From: Cappuccino
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 03:52 PM

Thanks. There's a terrific book about him called 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown', which includes some transcriptions by various famous bass players - the one of 'My Guy' is done by his own son, but it's only of the fade-out bit. And that's absolutely mind-boggling.

Cheers
-Cappuccino


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Moto
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 04:47 PM

Yes, I know that particular book - from maybe the early 1990s? I couldn't remember exactly what was in the book though regarding full transcriptions though, hence I mentioned the 'Motown Bass Classics' book as I remember that having more complete transcriptions.

Good luck with it, Jamerson's shoes are big ones to fill!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Moto
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 08:27 PM

First thing you have to know is that, not withstanding the fact that he played an electric bass, he was really an upright jazz bass player--

While he kept a solid r&b rhythm by alternating between his index and middle fingers, he also would move scalewise, outline chords, and even follow the melody line to provide interest. He tended to let open strings ring whenever and wherever they occurred--That means in the opening,with the Bb on the A string, the he outlines a 6th chord, focusing a lot of energy on the open G string(which is the 6th).

There are a couple of important things to keep in mind-first, to get the sound and feel right, forget the scales and melodies and get the rhythm right--then worry about the the other bits. second, it is much more important to get the overall feel right than to play the part note for note.

Finally-This is dance music. The tempo is most important of all.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Folkie bassist needs help with Motown
From: Cappuccino
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 07:39 AM

From Bb to G - I would never have worked that out in a month of Sundays. And he was a fan of letting open strings ring, was he? Hmmm. Very much appreciated.

And I've ordered the book from Amazon as you suggested, wyrdolafr. Thanks!

- Cappuccino


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