1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
  2. Welcome Back!  Please see this thread for more info about the site outage.  Thank you for your patience as we work out bugs and tweak server configs.

Billie Jean Tab Preview

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by jtlessons, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. jtlessons

    jtlessons Inactive

    Nov 19, 2010
  2. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Curious, Song is in F#m and some bassist start the Billie Jean bass line on the low F# (E string - 2nd fret) and others start an octave higher (D string 4th fret) yet, and I can't remember where I saw this but according to the recordings bassist, he plucked the high and low F#'s as one (F# on the 1st & 3rd strings) then single notes for rest of the bass line.
    I've tried it the original way and I can't get it to sound good hitting 2 strings at once, so I start on the E string - 2nd fret, with single notes all the way through.
    It's a thoroughly funky, driving song and simple as all get out.
    It helps if you play the main riff with your pointer finger and pinkie rather than the pointer and ring finger. That way there's less hand/wrist movement and you can concentrate more on the groove and less on the mechanics.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  3. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    It was Louis Johnson. Check out he plays it at 1:04 here. Not sure if he did that on the record though.

  4. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Yep, thanks for the link.
    Louis is starting the the bass line with thumb and 1st or 2nd finger on the F#'s
    The keyboardist and/or the guitarist are playing the "Triads" "7th chords" and contrary to the original posters YouTube "lesson", the bass player is not. Except for the octaves on the F#, it's all single notes.
    If I left the groove in the middle of this song and started playing traids and 7th chords, the guitar player
    would kick me in the shins for having the bottom of the song drop out and stepping all over his parts.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  5. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    One of my favorite warm up songs, I always start out on the (d) string 4th fret. Pointer and ring fingers, single notes. We do it instrumental and the guitarists loves it, audience loves it, real easy dance song as stated previously. CONS; to short so we modify to extend for dance purposes and merge other songs to the same beat/tempo w/o stopping.

  6. When I covered the song 5 years ago, I played the low F#
    lewink likes this.
  7. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    Our band plays this occasionally, and I play the F# an octave up. But I play the entire song with an octave pedal.
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 10, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.