Request Fingerings for Standing in the Shadows book- Jamerson

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by Ant Illington, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    Do any of you advanced players have written fingerings for any of the songs in the book or do you care to do any? Particularly interested if you happen to know how HE played them.

    Right now, I'm particularly interested in Second That Emotion (there's just a snippet of that one in the book). I have performed it and have transcribed a lot of it but I'm curious if my intuition is correct because I sometimes make things harder than they could be played as I was originally encouraged to minimize hand shifting and encouraged to not play open strings (for transposing concerns). I favor playing it as low on the fretboard as possible and with no open strings, but I wonder, for instance, how he (or any normal, good bassist) would have played it. In the third measure alone there are a few possibilities. Open strings vs 5th frets, or the B's on the 2ND fret of A vs on the 7th fret of E if playing the D's on the 5th fret of A (the 7th fret of E is completely counterintuitive to me for this song but just checking). Have at it. Pics of notation welcomed. Thanks!
  2. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    I would try playing all the A and D notes open. There aren't any low E notes in this song, and open G notes just don't sound good (at least on my bass). Everyone seems to agree that Jamerson played lots of open notes because of his background playing URB.
    I couldn't find this on youtube, but I have the Standing the Shadows of Motown CD. Great CD. I compared this version to my Hitsville USA version. I think it's the same session, but the bass is MUCH easier to hear on the Standing the Shadows of Motown version, which has no vocals and includes much more of the outro. I did notice a tiny mistake in the transcription from the book, which is only partial. In measure 11, the last note before the A chord is a G#.
    I attached a full transcription.

    Attached Files:

    Ant Illington likes this.
  3. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    I just assume he played everything in as low a position as possible, preferring open strings nearly 100% of the time, even when playing fifths as in the intro to My Girl, which you can see him playing in the first 5 seconds of this video:

  4. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    It's about time YOU replied! Thanks. I never saw video of him. Can't wait to get on wifi and watch.
  5. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    Damn, look how content and modest Jamerson looks at :53. Maybe it's just me looking at things from the perspective of today where "everybody who is anything" is either overly-chill/bored or overly-arrogant/look-at-me, but one might imagine a person of Jamerson's greatness and impact to not look like a little kid proudly playing Mary Had a Little Lamb at a recital.

    Look at him, an adept jazzer/funk machine playing about the simplest bass line ever played but there is not an ounce of boredom in his face. He's as happy as a clam. Awesome. I've never seen footage of him before. Thanks.
    Mushroo, Jloch86 and ICM like this.
  6. TedH


    Dec 6, 2014
    Westchester, NY
    The book does notate open strings on a few songs, and I've had some discussions with folks like Danny Morris, who suggest JJ would've likely played a lot of open strings for 2 reasons. First, he was a jazz/upright guy, and upright players are very used to playing open strings to help them out on the long fretboard with high action to help their left hand out a bit. Second, given the hi-speed that he could play, open strings would've been a near necessity in some cases.

    So not in all cases were opens played (e.g., Ain't No Mountain, Keep Me Hangin' On), but for many (e.g., I Was Made to Love Her).
    Ant Illington likes this.
  7. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    A few things to keep in mind with Jamerson:

    1. He used open strings, whether or not they were part of the key or the harmony;
    2. He loved chromatic movement;
    3. he sometimes got to the root by attacking it chromatically one note below to one above to the root itself;
    4. Because he used one finger on his right hand, he did a lot of raking, therefore, knowing your chord shapes is essential to the technique;
    5. He was all about Rhythm. He loved "dropping the one" on 16th note passages.

    These observations make it a lot easier to tackle his work.
    LeeNunn, Mushroo and Ant Illington like this.
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