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Bootsy:"Sex Machine" bass question...are the octaves played by the bass ?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Libersolis, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Libersolis


    Sep 9, 2004
    Austin, TX
    "Sex Machine" bass transcription question...are the octaves played by the bass?
    Hey everyone..I am working on some old James Brown tunes and trying to learn the basslines note for note from his old records. I know there are many variations of the Sex Machine bass line, but I just have a question about the first recording.

    I am using transcribe to slow down the recording and pick out the subtleties, but one part I am having difficulty hearing is whether or not the bass plays the Eb octaves that appear throughout the song. When listening to the track at normal speed it sounds like the bass is providing the octaves. However when slowing the track down and isolating these parts, it sounds as if it's only the guitar.

    I've looked online and see the transcription written both ways so I am asking if anyone knows definitively whether or not Bootsy plays the octaves on the record...Thanks!!
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Definitively? No. But it sounds like Bootsy playing them.
  3. Laklandfan

    Laklandfan Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    I've been trying to learn this same song and was having the same problem. Live James Brown sometimes used two bass players at one time. Combinations of "Sweet” Charles Sherrell, Jimmy Mack, Bernard Odum, Tim Drummon, David Weston, and Fred Thomas. Bootsy was the bassist on Sex Machine and it is possible he overdubbed a second bass line, because that might have been what Mr. Dynamite wanted. Here is a live version with two bassists YouTube - ‪James Brown - Sex Machine (1976)‬‏
  4. TokyoJo


    Aug 19, 2011
  5. That ain't Bootsy

  6. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    That looks like James's old band before they quit and he hired the Pacemakers.
  7. Les Izmor

    Les Izmor

    Mar 10, 2008
    Western Mass
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That's more likely the bassist he hired just after Bootsy and the Cincinnati crew left him.
  9. Les Izmor

    Les Izmor

    Mar 10, 2008
    Western Mass

    The recording of the Olympia 1971 show was released in the 90's. The album is called Love Power Peace.

    Sex Machine sounds like it's in D on that record, which is a popular JB funk key. It allows for some great octave skips using the open D string.

    Man, I love this period of JB!!!

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