- These Transcriptions Are For Educational Purposes Only -


As part of my on-going development as a musician, I've continued to transcribe basslines for many years. Believe me when I say, my first transcriptions were almost illegible. But times change and skills advance, and I'd like to offer some of my transcriptions for you as a resource to practice your sight reading skills. Regardless of your level, even if you can progress through a single bar of notation, it's progress in the right direction. I remember one of my tutors once saying, "If you can't read it, don't play it!". Wise words...

With Bass In Mind Transcription Archives

Song: Joe Frazier

Artist: Bill Bruford

Bassist: Jeff Berlin

A signature bassline from one of the all time greats.

Jeff Berlin has performed with the likes of Frank Zappa, Allen Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, and Frank Gambale and of course, Bill Bruford, I'm so proud to have been taught by him.

Song: Dean Town

Artist: Vulpeck

Bassist: Joe Dart

Joe Dart's impact on the worldwide bass community has been immense - the collective impression that Vulfpeck have left has been so large that it's resulted in Ernie Ball Musicman commissioning their first ever signature bass guitar. I was working for EBMM in LA when Joe took delivery of the instrument - his smile said a thousand words.

Song: Vultures

Artist: John Mayer

Bassist: Pino Palladino

From The Who to John Mayer, D'Angelo to Nine Inch Nails, Pino Palladino is one of the most sort after session musicians on the planet - and a total gentleman! I was fortunate enough to

meet him while I was tutoring his son, Rocco. He proved to be a perfect role model for anyone who wishes to question the myth about 'never meeting your heroes'. Although I've featured 

his fretted playing here, be sure to check out his fretless endeavours with Paul Young!

Transcription: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

Artist: Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Bassist: Norman Watt-Roy

Norman Watt-Roy has always been one of my biggest influences. Back in '98,

Ian Dury's 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick' was the first tune that I ever studied - which literally took months, it's a wonderful bassline which requires a great deal of plucking hand discipline. In more recent years I was fortunate enough to tutor 

Norman's nephew Alan, another fine bassist, during his time at The ICMP, London.

Transcription: Come Together

Artist: The Beatles

Bassist: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney's playing is simply magnificent, but the amount of bassists that have named this recording as a seminal part of their own development is quite substantial - For example, I remember hearing Nathan Watts losing his mind whilst trying to describe the first time he heard 'Come Together'. It's worth noting that at this time in his career McCartney was using both a Fender Jazz ('69) and a Rickenbacker in the studio.

Transcription: Country Boy

Artist: Albert Lee

Bassist: Emery Gordy Jr.

MCA studio musician, Emery Gordy is one of those unsung heroes. A prolific resumé boasts appearances with Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Vince Gill and but of course, Albert Lee. I was honoured to perform this very bassline with Albert back in '17 - a career highlight of mine.

Transcription: Cissy Strut

Artist: The Meters

Bassist: George Porter Jr.

Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011, Cissy Strut was first released back in 1969 on The Meter's debut album. Back then the composition only managed to reach #23 in the Billboard Hot 100, but since has grown to be recognised as a pioneering, seminal R&B instrumental. P-Bass at the ready...

Transcription: Master Blaster (Jammin')

Artist: Stevie Wonder

Bassist: Nathan Watts

I wish I could describe to you the feeling of meeting Nathan for the first time - but I'm afraid it was all a bit of a blur (I can honestly tell you I was properly star struck). Amazingly, he remembered me when we bumped into one another in LA. I'm not sure the 19 year old me would believe the adult me if I told him one day you'll be perching at the bar chatting with Nathan Watts.

Transcription: Under The Bridge

Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Bassist: Flea

Not just the Red Hot Chili Pepper's bassist; Michael Balzary has collaborated with 'Fear', 'Jane's Addiction', 'Atoms for Peace', 'Tom Waits', 'Alanis Morissette' and believe it or not, even 'Johnny Cash'. An incredibly melodic musician, this bassline is one of my favourites - Taken from the seminal '91 album, 'Blood, Suger, Sex, Magik'. EBMM StingRay 5's at the ready!

Transcription: Slegehammer

Artist: Peter Gabriel

Bassist: Tony Levin

A long term associate of Ernie Ball Musicman, Tony Levin pulled out all the stops for his performance on Peter Gabriel's seminal recording; 'Slegehammer'. Originally recorded on a fretless Musicman Sabre, you'll need both an Octave and Chorus pedal in your arsenal if you'd like to accurately reproduce to required tonality.

Al McKibbon was notoriosuly known for his rich, resonant tone and metronomic precision.

Hired by Dizzy Gillespie to replace Ray Brown, McKibbon’s carrer had numous highlights,

from playing on Miles Davis’ groundbreaking 'Birth of the Cool' sessions, to briefly backing

Count Basie. He joined Nat King Cole's main backing, the George Shearing Quartet, in 1951.

Transcription: Let There Be Love

Artist: Nat 'King' Cole

Bassist: Al McKibbon

With the likes of Roger Hawkins, Bobby Womack and The Sweet Inspirations joining her

at Atlantic Studios - Aretha Franklin was in fine company for the undertaking of her 13th

studio album; 'Aretha Now' Jerry Jemmott's playing on this recording is deceptive, what

initially sounds quite straightforward, is actually dense in melodic detail. 

Transcription: I Say A Little Prayer

Artist: Aretha Franklin

Bassist: Jerry Jemmott

'Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)' is taken from Tower of Power's

fourth studio album, 'Back to Oakland' - released in the spring of 1974, on Warner Bros.

To authentically duplicate Prestia's seminal approach to fretting hand articulation, take

the time to watch his 1993, 'Fingerstyle Funk' VHS (now available on digital formats and YouTube).

Transcription: Don't Change Horses

Artist: Tower of Power

Bassist: Francis Rocco Prestia

John Bentley was part of Squeezes' original lineup from 1980 until the the band initially split up in 1982. His playing was featured alongside that of Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford and Jools Holland's on; 'Argybargy', 'East Side Story' and 'Sweet's from a Stranger'. When the band reformed in 1985, Keith Wilkinson took over bass duties. Today, the wonderful Yolanda Charles MBE holds the bass chair, touring with the band since 2017.

Transcription: Tempted

Artist: Squeeze

Bassist: John Bentley

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