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!  

(I Can't GetNo) Satisfaction ACTUAL Bass Transcription

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 156, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    If I remember correctly Keith recorded the iconic riff on an acoustic into a tape recorder. By turning the volume up they could make the tape deck distort. Other instruments were layered over this. Between Wyman's homemade short scale fretless and Keith's tape deck (which was an early portable reel-to-reel), I'd imagine there was plenty of slop. They probably just used their ears and did whatever sounded good. That's rock 'n' roll. Like Carl Perkins going to a C on a blues in E. Nobody ever told him the rules so he played it his own way.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  2. Nope:
    You are thinking of "Street Fighting Man" as the song recorded on an acoustic guitar through a cheap tape recorder that then became the basis of the whole recorded version of the song.
    The legend is that Keith woke up and recorded the riff for "Satisfaction" in middle of the night onto a cheap tape recorder and then fell back to sleep and the rest of the tape featured his snoring.
    I think I recall reading in his autobiography that Wyman used his homemade fretless for many/most of their recording sessions up to 1969 or so and his choices for basses throughout his career always involved short scale basses because he has very small hands.
    He did have an innate sense of what fit a song and the live versions of the song from Gimme Shelter and such show him happily using both the flatted 3rd and the natural. The band sounds pretty great at times on Gimme Shelter, especially on Satisfaction and some of the early hits which they do in a proto punky style.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  3. I've always heard and played "Satisfaction" as the OP did; major up and minor down. I could be wrong. A very similar bass line exists in The Raiders "Kicks", major up and minor down, to my ear at least.
  4. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    What did Bill play on live versions? Who cares about the studio version? Instad of obsessing over whether he forgot, screwed up, or fudged the intonation on his fretless, is irrelevant. Listen to live recordings to see what he really wanted it to be. Keith said when they recorded these early songs they only knew the the songs for a day or two. Only after playing them live for a long time did they really know what they wanted the song to be. Witness Bill playing on the verse and intro of "Honky Tonk Women" on "Get Your Ya Yas Out", very unlike the studio version.

    Play what sounds right with the guitarists, drummer, keyboard-player, and singer YOU are playing with right now.

    Play the SONG, not the record!!!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
    Oddly, SirMjac28 and Whousedtoplay like this.
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Also, Bill's fretless didn't have the frets removed, they were filed flush to the fingerboard, so watching videos or perusing photos won't tell you it's fretless.
  6. Hats off for not following the guitar line. I've lost count how many bass players I've seen go that route, always quite cringe-worthy for me and anyone else who isn't tone deaf.
    Axstar, swooch and Engle like this.
  7. My ear agrees with yours, FWIW.
    156 likes this.
  8. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    This tune gave me fits when I learned it a few years back, precisely because sometimes I heard major 3rds, sometimes minor, and sometimes I couldn't tell. I think I played major up, minor down (for the most part, at least), but I seem to recall some exceptions to that. I analyzed how it worked with the guitar part to try to get a clue, checked out some videos to try to catch a glimpse of Wyman's hands, even called up an seasoned pro I know and asked him... Listening to live versions seems good advice -- and I agree with the sentiment that a lot of rock tunes are not going to conform to common "rules" of harmony. I didn't realize (per the post above) that some of this material might have been recorded when still in a very raw state, which could explain some inconsistencies.
    156 likes this.
  9. 000D958B-BD08-436F-A6F8-6269FD6332C3. BFED2C04-45AF-4725-A246-7533C7A4A871. 333A6803-EA44-4486-AF2A-40025F9CAD00.
    This is a fascinating thread. I was intrigued by various descriptions of Wyman’s first bass as “homemade” or “Japanese”. Apparently it is actually a 1959 or 1960 Dallas Tuxedo Bass made in the UK by the John E. Dallas company (which in 1965 became Dallas-Arbiter), designed by Dick Sadleir , with a Hofner pickup, it has a 30” scale. They also made a Dallas Tuxedo guitar. Wyman heavily modified the body shape, repainted the body, and filed down the frets. See pics for “before and after”. According to the book “Led Zeppelin Gear” this type was also John Paul Jones’ first bass, and has a mahogany body.

    Edit: This first bass he may have removed the frets, not filed. Also he later added a Baldwin pick-up in the bridge position, and maybe he repainted the body a few times? I’ll have to find a copy the Stones Gear book to see what that says.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  10. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013

    I've listened carefully to three bass-line versions of that song -
    The bass plays "an ascending MAJOR idea (E F# G# A)."

    "...live concert performances of the Stones in 1965".

    The bass plays MINOR 3rd.

    The Stones ft. Mick Taylor, live at Glastonbury Festival, June 29th 2013.
    The bass plays MINOR 3rd up and down.

  11. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Wow... I didn’t know that. That would have taken a lot of work.
  12. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    You seriously need help... (good job!).
  13. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Thanks for posting this. That’s the thing about the Stones... they were always very loose and un-precise. To me, they always caught the spirit of some of the old country-blues players from the Mississippi Delta... but that’s what they were trying to do. The only schooled musician among them was Charlie.
    EDIT: in the Glastonbury show, that’s Darryl Jones playing bass, not Bill Wyman. So I guess he can interpret the bass line as freely as any of us can.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  14. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Funny, I get that same feel-good, after a couple of beers, and a shot of my favorite tequila...
    cazclocker likes this.
  15. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas

    Attached Files:

    Howlin' Hanson likes this.
  16. Me and my friends would listen to the Beatles on his dads super high end hi fi and be amazed at all the stereo stuff they did (huge speakers on each side of the room).
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  17. Same thing with Jumpin Jack Flash
    electracoyote and cazclocker like this.
  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Sounds to me he made some mistakes. They didn’t care and kept the track. The Stones are exactly technical players
  19. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    Part of the issue is that the recording is about 30 cents flat. Making that adjustment in the playback makes hearing the notes much easier. I hear G# the first time and G natural the second time, for example. Even quirkier is coming out of the breaks (measures 20, 40, and 60 in the attached transcription). I think there's more variation in some of the Fs than the Gs. Also, check out the double stop 4ths in the outro.

    Attached Files:

    design, JimK and Whousedtoplay like this.
  20. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    My band recently learned this, I have listened to it countless times and still cannot decide what Bill plays. I put it down to the muddy bass tone and fretless intonation errors.

    I tried all combinations of playing it and non sound wrong (we only have one guitar and he plays the riff) so settled on E F# G# A both ascending and descending (except we play it in D).

    We played it at a gig for the second time on Friday night. A far greater worry than what the correct bassline should be was that our drummer (who sings it) would not remember the phrasing on the last verse and overrun. For only the second time he nailed it, unlike last week where he overran then forgot the ending as well.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017

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.