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Grooviest Paul McCartney bass lines?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by deepestend, Jun 17, 2019.


  1. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Excellent thread!
    I'm fortunate to be in a Beatles band and have the opportunity to play many of the songs mentioned in this thread whenever we perform. Playing these songs is such a blast and such a privilege.

    Listen to the entire Beatles catalog as time permits, as there is ALWAYS something to be learned. Paul was so ahead of his time and responsible for not only creating many of the most memorable basslines in recorded history, but also for implementing and using so many different techniques throughout the years which were typically not associated with bass players (chords, hammer-ons, slides, bends, pull-offs, etc.)

    These statements are sooooo true. A lot of people think what Paul plays is simple until you dive into it.


    +100

    I completely agree. This is not one of the tunes that first comes to mind when you think of Paul's best basslines, but the way he weaves in and out of the verses and choruses is sheer perfection. It's not a standout bass line, but it fits the tune like a glove.

    +100

    Hey Tony -
    Of course it's possible, but I doubt it. As far as I've read and understand, in the later years Paul would actually record his bass part last to really nail the story he wanted to tell within the song. Not sure if this is 100% accurate, but it certainly makes sense. Paul was also blown away with how the bass on Pet Sounds was almost never conventional and rarely was played as a root - the bass notes many times were not the note you'd expect, nor in the place you'd expect. This may have influenced his approach as well. We all know Paul had very little company when it came to creating melodic bass lines.

    SOOOOOO TRUE.

    Typical!

    Not taking anything away from all of the phenomenal bass playing through the years of of studio masters including Jamerson, Kaye, Osborn, Sklar, etc. However, I can't think of any other bassist in history who's bass lines can not only be recited by bass players, but can be recited by much of the general public as well. Truly amazing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
    Garret Graves, dan1952, JimK and 2 others like this.
  2. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    I haven't read the whole thread, but has the OP given his definition of "grooviest"?
    He could mean an ostinato ("Come Together"), a walking line that grooves ("All My Loving", "Tell Me Why"), or a melodic part which is "groovy" ("really good" in Austin Powers speak) ("Lovely Rita", "With a Little Help From My Friends", "Nowhere Man").
    If by "grooviest" we mean the ones with solid time and a great feel, every single thing McCartney has ever played qualifies.
    As a genius composer, he has always had a knack for playing things which might or might not be technically difficult, but which are things none of us would have thought of. Even "If I Needed Someone", a rather obscure song, has a simple bass line with a detail no one else would imagine. Check it out.
    None other than chops wizard Stanley Clarke once cited "Come Together" as a great line which "is the whole song."
     
    boggus and nixdad like this.
  3. Our classic rock band plays Come Together, Hey Bulldog, Taxman, Day Tripper and Birthday. I love playing every one of them!
    I'm even a lefty and use a Hofner for these.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
    nixdad likes this.
  4. Skokiaan

    Skokiaan

    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    Paul only played acoustic guitar on this track, nothing else. Per Paul, his part was heavily modified in production, so much so that when the record came out he didn't recognize the song or know he was on it. He was given songwriting and production credits, but based on Paul's comments that must have been as a courtesy.
     
    BOOG likes this.
  5. BOOG

    BOOG Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Interesting! I will have to check my sources deeper. Where did you hear about this?
     
  6. Skokiaan

    Skokiaan

    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    If I could remember I would post a link. I'll look around.
     
    BOOG likes this.
  7. Skokiaan

    Skokiaan

    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    Found it:

    Kanye West edited Paul McCartney on FourFiveSeconds beyond recognition | Metro News

    Kanye West edited Paul McCartney’s voice on FourFiveSeconds so much the Beatle didn’t know it was him

    Sir Paul McCartney has revealed how he didn’t realise he was on Kanye West’s FourFiveSeconds until he was told by the rapper. The Beatles legend collaborated with Kanye West and Rihanna on the hit single, but didn’t recognise the recording which came about from them ‘knocking around’ in the studio. Speaking to Q Magazine, he said: ‘I got a call, somebody said, “Kanye would like to work with you.” So we just knocked around for a few days and he recorded any little thing we did.

    ‘In the end, I thought we’d just knocked around and chatted a lot and I’d played a couple of things. ‘Then suddenly in the post I get this Rihanna record and I thought it was great but I had to ring up and say, “What’s this got to do with me?”. ‘Kanye said, “Well that’s you on guitar.” I didn’t recognise it cos they’d sped it up. ‘And then there’s a sort of Mickey Mouse voice on the middle and that’s me. I really liked that,’ he added.

    Let’s be honest. It could have been anyone, couldn’t it? Paul however seemed to enjoy his time with Mr. West, saying: ‘he’s an artist and he’s eccentric but he’s a great guy. ‘It was a great pleasure working with him. You’re on your toes.’
     
    nixdad and BOOG like this.
  8. BOOG

    BOOG Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Well, I had fun playing it Saturday night. Has some room to dance around the Bm.
     
    nixdad likes this.
  9. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    So many of his basslines were iconic, interesting, and some are pretty hard to play well. Keep in mind that he sang leads on many- to really know what he did, play the line and sing his part too! Think the "I Saw Her Standing There" bassline is hard, and a workout? Sing lead and play that line- he did!
     
    nixdad likes this.
  10. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Edit: Ha! I got my songs mixed up. I love "You Won't See Me," but I meant the comments above for "Im Looking Through You." Also from Rubber Soul. Truly a perfect bass part for the song.
     
    biguglyman and flatwound62p like this.
  11. This may have been posted here, but this compilation is just amazing.
    PS - I am amazed if this is George on "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"

     
    nixdad likes this.
  12. Mike JV

    Mike JV

    Mar 19, 2019
    Great thread. While there are many, many greats, Paul is my #1 favorite.

    I've always loved the "bounce" in his playing. Two examples that always come to mind are "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" and "I Call Your Name." Those two have a feel that won't quit!

    Right from some of their earliest recorded bar gigs you could hear how melodic his playing was and the great feel he had for the instrument.
     
    nixdad likes this.
  13. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for posting!

    Maxwell's Silver Hammer has Paul written all over it.
     
  14. boggus

    boggus

    Feb 21, 2018
    Basic track was recorded with Paul on piano and guide vocals, Ringo on drums, and George on right-handed Fender Jazz Bass.

    [​IMG]
     
    nixdad likes this.
  15. Briton

    Briton

    Apr 4, 2009
    London,England
    With the exception of McCartney they all look stoned out of their heads!
    My favourites are Something and Hello Goodbye......Both are fun to play!
     
    nixdad likes this.
  16. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow!. It's certainly a very McCartneyesque bass part!
     
    Richie Se7en and boggus like this.
  17. Various "Beatles Bible" sites state that Paul went back and overdubbed the bass, which makes sense to my ear.
    For instance, check out the triplet run that follows the toms at 1:40

    I don't think that was in George's wheelhouse during basic tracking.
     
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  18. Richie Se7en

    Richie Se7en Presently distractivated Supporting Member


    I totally agree with you on this. Most of the bass tracks played by George were pretty straightforward and this smells like Paul every which way.

    I'm not sure but who is?
     
    nixdad likes this.
  19. boggus

    boggus

    Feb 21, 2018
    Check out alternate basic take on Anthology, it has the same sound, different fills and not as polished yet.
    And in the available multitrack of released version the bass guitar bleeds into the drum track, and the triplet fill is there. So whoever plays that bass part, is playing live together with the drums, and Paul was on Piano. The bass wasn't overdubbed.

    "Beatles Bible" however nice it is, is full of inaccurate information, because a lot of that comes from books like Geoff Emerick's "Here, There and Everywhere".

    Even Beatles themselves weren't sure in 90s during making of Anthology where they were listening to early take of Golden Slumbers basic track, which has bass guitar (also played by George on Jazz Bass), and they are like "who's on bass here?" - Paul says "must be me?", George Martin replies "you are playing piano and singing on this take, so you can't be playing bass", someone (Paul or George) says "must've overdubbed it", to which George Martin reasonably says "why would you overdub a bass on Take 1?", to which George Harrison cracks a joke saying "well, he was keen!".
     
    OldDog52 and nixdad like this.
  20. I did!

    Available where?
     

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