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Analysing Jamerson's Lines

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by rw3cja, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. rw3cja

    rw3cja Guest

    May 24, 2011

    As part of my degree I have chosen to study the work of James Jamerson. However, rather than just learn his lines I realised that I needed to break them down and look at them closely in order to learn as much as possible.

    I have started to post my work here - Jamerson Analysed

    Like I said, I am in the process of working through his lines so the blog will be updated as and when.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Excellent playing!
  3. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007
    Im at BIMM in Brighton, which module is this for?
  4. rw3cja

    rw3cja Guest

    May 24, 2011
    This is for the Professional Musicianship module at BA2.
  5. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    You nailed that line. Good job. Great Jamerson tone as well.
  6. Good on ya!

    Jamerson was such a master - his bass lines almost bring tears to my eyes - they are so beautiful.

    Your playing shows remarkable skill -

    Just one thought - didn't Jamerson shy away from open strings? Please correct me if I'm wrong (I always try to play only fretted notes when trying to sound like him).

    I have subscribed to this thread and added your site to my Favorites!

    I look forward to you becoming a Jamerson Master - and teaching me!

    ps: how do musicians in general (in the UK) feel about Jamerson?
  7. rw3cja

    rw3cja Guest

    May 24, 2011

    In actual fact, Jamerson tended to play a lot of open strings, mainly because he originally played the double bass. Using open strings to aid position changes is very common on the double bass and he carried this technique over to his electric playing.

    Thank you very much! I will be posting more soon-ish.

    I think Jamerson is a huge influence to bass players everywhere. Motown was pretty big in England and his bass playing is still very relevant and influential today.
  8. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007
    Im from the UK too and Jamerson is, quite frankly, my life! Such a God!

    The majority of people will talk about syncopation and the use of chromaticism. For me Jamersons best attribute is his ability to hear a bass line. How many musicians (not just bassists) would have honestly been able to hear those basslines before playing them? I know if i was asked to play on the original darling dear recording, in the studio, back in the day my bassline probably wouldnt have been half as good as that! He had a fantastic imagination and an incredible ear for music.
  9. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    Thank you so much for this! I will enjoy reading through this material.
  10. It's been almost a year and I just viewed your page again.

    To read your analysis and then watch you play it is AWESOME!

    I've got 2 questions for you if you don't mind?

    #1) You said you made this bass (in the youtube video link below) - did you "luthier" it or buy parts? Either way I'm stunned by the look AND the sound - and I (and some others) want to know more! Like, is that a Tele pickup at the neck position? Sounds amazing.

    #2) Why don't you post here more about technique, etc??? You have more to TEACH than to learn - but maybe that is why you are so good? You don't waste time posting on internet forums?

  11. sven kalmar

    sven kalmar

    Apr 29, 2009
    agree..that was very nice. Inspiering to listen to. Makes me wanna fix up my rosewood p and get some flats..
  12. I had the rare opportunity of spending several hours this past summer in Detroit with old family friend and guitar virtuoso Joe Messina, guitar section leader of the legendary Funk Brothers. Joe spent years playing countless sessions with the great James Jamerson at Motown. Joes first recollection of James was that he says James always complained that his feet hurt lol (which I'm not sure what that contributed to his bass wizzardry). What we did discuss was Joes belief that to successfully play a string instrument; you must always know exactly what note you were playing...not just what position on the fingerboard to press the string to hit the "right note". This is called musicallity. I pointed out to Joe that since Jamerson did play a lot of open strings it enabled him to play almost exclusively in 1st position which I assumed led to Jamersons outstanding musicallity, since he did not need to learn the notes all the way up the fingerboard and could really focus on each and every note and hand placement in 1st position...fewer notes to actually learn and focus on....Hmmm. Joe told me he thought I might have something there.
  13. rw3cja

    rw3cja Guest

    May 24, 2011

    Thanks for your kind words!

    Firstly, I think you have me confused with another bassist. I didn't make that bass!

    Secondly, I have every intention of posting more in a 'lesson' style! I'm pretty busy with my degree at the moment, but as soon as this is out of the way, expect more posts!


  14. for once in my life is one of my few most favorite bass lines.
    and this analysis is very intersting and helpful! and youre playing is fantastic. thank you man!
  15. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Frankly, I'm surprised I missed this thread last year, but I'm glad I saw it this time around. Thanks so much for sharing, and I really enjoy your analyses.
  16. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    Absolutely brilliant Chris.
  17. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Excellent work.
  18. Really nice!
  19. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Bookmarked your blog right away!

    You bought me some practice time! I always thought about going deeper in Jamerson analysis and I thank you very much for doing it and posting it up!

    Kudos man!

  20. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Chris, you're the real deal son!

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