Bass Tabs

Free bass guitar tab sheet music, For He's A Jolly Good FellowAn increasing number of people keep asking if there’s a book ofย  tablature or scores of my bass parts. It’s a project I tried to get underway a while ago with a guy called Paul Wolfe.

The problem is that once you attach the parts in any way to the chord structure or lyrics of the song in question, copyright issues become involved, and EC’s music publishers Hal Leonard basically made the entire project non-viable.

There is a certain amount of irony involved as many of the songs presented to us were completely restructured or redefined around the bass part I came up with -such as Chelsea, Girls Talk and B-Movie. Even when my bass lines are sampled or reproduced -like the Oz band Rogue Trader did with Pump It Up – the copyright remains with the songwriter. So all I can say is “Sorry, folks”.

There are a few tabs available by individuals in various places online, but it’s by no means a comprehensive selection.

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31 Responses to Bass Tabs

  1. kenny taylor says:

    have you thought of having Paul put this out somehow with alternative titles?

    for instance ,almost every beginning guitar book has “Aura Lee”in it is a Civil War era folk song,they don’t have to pay royalties.
    now if they called it “Love Me Tender”…….

    accidents might happen

    • Bruce says:

      It’s a thought, but I think you’d struggle! I can’t quite recall what old Civil War song Pump It Up was based on ๐Ÿ™‚ Fortunately there are plenty of good cover versions on YouTube now for anyone who wants to learn my lines.

  2. Adam Kent-Isaac says:

    It’s time for ‘music over-analysis 101’ with yr. host, Mr. A— K— – I—-.

    “Love fool” (Cardigans) – This song was a colossal hit when I was a lad in 1996, and I heard it again and again. Today it was on the “Time Capsule” segment on the radio and I gave it a deep listen, and came to the conclusion that it stands up very well as a really, really good pop song.

    Chordally, it is alluring and interesting. There’s some great tension – and – release going on with the minor verses and major chorus, and then a little return to the tension with those oddball ‘major-minor-diminished’ chords following the “I..don’t…care…’bout….anything…” at the tail end of the choruses.

    I like the rhythm guitar figures on the chorus (what style would that fall under – funk/disco?), the background color provided by the keyboard. And, naturally – I think the bass part is fantastic.

    Agree? Disagree?

  3. Adam Kent-Isaac says:

    Bruce, I think I’ve heard you mention before you were not really a fan of Jaco’s style. And I will admit it’s not for everyone. Restraint is its own kind of virtuosity. But I do think you will appreciate his playing on this song, from his foray into pop music with Joni Mitchell. I happen to think it is one of the most creative and fascinating bass parts of all time.

    • Bruce says:

      No, I think Jaco is one of the five greats along with Jamerson, Entwistle, McCartney and Duck Dunn. I confess I never listened to him as much as the other four, but he always struck me as being a musician first and virtuoso second. Thanks for the clip.

      • Adam Kent-Isaac says:

        Your characterization is entirely accurate, at least from the biography I’ve read and the many interviews I’ve heard, both of him and about him. Jaco loved music – all music – and was able to draw inspiration from the simplest pop music as well as the most complex. He’s quoted numerous times as saying that he initially taught himself to play bass by playing along with the scores and theme songs of television shows – apparently during his time with Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders, he got them to add the “I Love Lucy” theme to their setlist!

      • Bruce says:

        Playing to the TV was one of my tricks when I was starting — I still do it to this day – “Masterchef” being a recent favourite.

  4. Bruce of America says:

    Looking at groups like Dr. Feelgood (post Wilko at least) you see much or all of the band given songwriting credits, as they were collaborations. Were there any rebuffed attempts by the musicians to get such credit for their musical contributions to EC songs?

    • Bruce says:

      There were no rebuffed attempts, because there were no attempts in the first place. We were paid to reflect our contribution to the overall outcome of the songs due to our hand in arranging them etc.

      • Mike Miller says:

        Seems like a fair deal. I would guess that it was a couple of years before the royalties started flowing.

      • Bruce says:

        Nah — there were substantial advances in those golden days of old.

      • Bruce of America says:

        I like to listen to various versions of songs (thanks YouTube uploaders) and it is amazing how much the arrangement of a song, often via the contributions of the musicians involved, can change the song. The lyrics might not change, the chords are probably the same or similar, but what makes the song special is totally transformed. It seems “unfair” that an ordinary tune brought to life by others rewards only the original songwriter in the long run. I doubt anyone sampled “pump it up” for the random guitar scratching in the background. Listen to Mac Davis’ forgettable “A little less conversation”, then the Elvis Presley version, or better yet, the 2000’s remix. It’s barely the same song. Someone made it that way, and I think they deserve more than a small producer or musician’s fee .

      • Bruce says:

        Hurrah — have you thought of standing for President?

      • Mike Miller says:

        Fat-cat singer/songwriters making millions off the backs of their bands. Where’s the outcry for Musical Justice? Bass players matter!

      • Bruce says:

        Ah — the nomination for Vice-President ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Roddy Ring says:

    Do have an accurate tab for “Happy Birthday”? I’ve been struggling with that one for years.

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