Busy, Roving Pop Basslines?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by phnord, Mar 18, 2016.


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  1. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm looking for good examples of pop music (or other radio friendly genres) with busy basslines.

    Specific qualities:

    • Lines that draw the listeners ear, yet in a way that does not detract from the vocalist (but adds to it in a counterpuntal fashion)
    • Lines that do not stick to a continual ostinado, but evolve, change, vary, deviate, are organically in flux

    Some of my favorite examples so far:






















    James Jamerson Bassline - "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day" by Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder - I Was Made To Love Her (bass)

    "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" - Deon Estus transcribed bass line

    Runaway by Jamiroquai, bass line

    Note the common threads of lines that support the vocals and song structure, have melodic elements, have very different licks in between each vocal phrase, etc. etc.

    Anyone have some input? :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
    DeaconBlues09 likes this.
  2. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    The reason for this search:

    My natural voice on bass is fairly busy, organic, and melodic, but in a way that reinforces the groove and is counterpuntally sensitive to the melody rather than overshadowing it.

    I want points of reference to refine my style, and also to present to a vocalist that I have been working with as to ways that my style can sit nicely in pop music.
     
  3. knumbskull

    knumbskull

    Jul 28, 2007
    UK
    Talk Talk - It's My Life



    Great bassline that is very lively but also tasteful (I think). Maybe not in the same style as the examples you listed, but worth a listen :)
     
  4. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks, @knumbskull :)

    Anyone else have some ideas? I'm thinking of maybe some Jaco – perhaps when he was playing with Joni Mitchell?
     
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  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Different genres have different flavors of busy.

    Bruce Thomas w/ Elvis Costello. Busy, propulsive chord tones with just a couple passing notes.



    Marcus Miller on Grover Washington's "Just the Two of Us." Busy tasteful counterpoint and support for the melody.

    .

    Graham Maby on early Joe Jackson, for example "Fools in Love"Busy chord tones, like Thomas, but here echoing reggae elements.



    Squeeze's "Tempted" (Keith Wilkinson on bass, IIRC.) Busy, w/ nice tension and release. A lot of slash chords w/ bass under inversions in keys and guitars.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Not Jaco, but check out Wilton Felder on Joni's "Free Man in Paris."
     
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  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA

    "Ramble On"
     
  8. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA


    Rainey on Steely Dan's "Peg"
     
  9. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    Mayor of Simpleton by XTC. It's a freekin'rollercoaster
     
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Get out of my head. I was just about to post this!
     
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  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

     
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  12. phnord

    phnord

    Oct 26, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  13. Icemanaroonie

    Icemanaroonie

    Sep 6, 2015
    Delaware
    I'm on mobile so hopefully someone else can link it, but Cee Lo Green's shag You has a great bass line.
     
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  14. bass12

    bass12 Blistering barnacles! Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Pretty much anything by Level 42. For example:



    "Penthouse And Pavement" by Heaven 17:

     
  15. squirefan

    squirefan

    Nov 22, 2009
    Lansing, Ks.
    Moondance - Van Morrison
     
  16. phillipkregg

    phillipkregg Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Ironically, "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd has a pretty busy bass line:



    But it really works and helps drive the song.


    If you're more into punk, Rancid's Matt Freeman is a good example:

     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  17. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    This one's quite a workout.

     
  18. Charlzm

    Charlzm Guest

    Mar 25, 2011
     
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  19. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Nice arpeggiation in this one. I especially dig the IVmin 9 chord in the verse.

     
  20. 2manynotes

    2manynotes Inactive

    Jun 22, 2012
    Any pop songs with Carol Kaye or Joe Osborn on bass.
     
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