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I Want You Back (Jackson 5) - what's the correct position to play in?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mikeddd, May 13, 2010.


  1. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    I've decided to learn I Want You Back by the Jackson 5, note for note. I checked out some vids on Youtube then I bought the actual sheet music from sheetmusicdirect. It's a fairly challenging song for me; lots of groove happening here.

    I know that you can play the same notes anywhere on the neck but there are certain positions that "sound and feel right" as compared to others. I.E. an open D string sounds different than a D at the 10th fret on the E.

    The two best (IMO) covers of I Want You Back on youtube show the performers playing in different positions. One at the 3/4th frets and the other in the first position. The actual sheet music shows a mix of both positions! :eyebrow: Is there a no-kidding correct position to play this in? As far as I know, there's no video of Wilton Felder actually playing the song (I'd love to see that if anyone has it!).

    Here's links to the two tube videos.

    3/4th frets (nice touch)


    So, which position is correct, i.e. true to the original recording? Thanks!
     
  2. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Seattle
    I dunno about 'correctness', but I've always played it like the chick in the first video. The song is 'just' an Ab7 scale, learn it both ways and pick which one sounds/feels best to you!
     
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Didn't watch the videos, but I learned it with the help of the transcription in Bass Player (about te years ago) which Felder helped with. Comination of open and Erd posotion mostly.

    John
     
  4. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thanks guys. I've spent the past three hours getting the fingering down on most of the song (everything except the middle "ba-bum-bum-bum-bum" bridge part." I'm finding the first position a bit difficult; I'm not too good at fast runs that have fretted and open strings...I get a little ringing. :( Obviously it's the player's lack of skill here. But playing the combined fingering (as the tab shows) I've got it pretty much nailed. This song is deceiving! There's quite a bit of funk...some notes held just a split second longer than others...and you can totally hear it if you blow it. LOL! Great tune and great learning experience for me. Thanks again.

    Mike
     
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I usually play it in the middle of the neck. I just like the way the notes sound there.

    Here's another example. This is how I play it.
     
  6. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    How do they isolate the bass track like that? That's so cool to actually hear just him. His sound on this track was kind of...don't know how to describe it. It's not fuzz or distortion...it's just got a bit of "twang and hair" on it. Amazing how well it fits in w/the rest of the arrangement.

    I gave playing it in the middle of the neck a shot and it didn't come too naturally. Then again, I just started learning the song yesterday. So far, the way I play it encompasses from the first to the eight fret....not exactly economy of movement but it feels good to me. *shrug* Thanks, DWBass.
     
  7. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I've always played it in 3rd position, with my middle finger playing the Ab root on the 4th fret of the low E string.

    The correct position is the one that is easiest for you to play it in IMO. Try both and see what works best. You find might find some combination of the two methods in the videos you referenced is best for you.
     
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    It's a Fender Telecaster bass (original one with the single-coil pickup) and flats. I THINK it was direct, but there may have been an amp on the track too. I don't recall if the Bass Player article says...

    John
     
  9. This is how I play it and it is 100% accurate - cause Wilton told me so. Haha! Not!

    There is a transcription in one of the 2009 issues of Bass Player per Wilton. I am pretty close to that.



    So, which position is correct, i.e. true to the original recording? Thanks![/quote]
     
  10. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Yes! Another 20 or so times of playing along with the song...I've got the feel nailed. It feels so good to learn a new tune and learn it well...especially one I've been grooving to for oh, 30 years or so. Still need to learn the bridge...that's tomorrow. It's good to hear so many of you play this tune in so many different positions; I don't feel so weird now.
     
  11. The Bridge is just the Arpeggios in the 3rd position. Play them slowly to get it under your fingers and then work it up to speed - cool line!
     
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    It is funny when you hear isolated tracks from R&B bassists in the 60's! What they play fits really well in the context of the music but the playing is sloppy compared to how pro bass players play today! Also the recording methods were pretty basic back then as well. Remember too that those basses were most likely not set up very well with high action. Not very easy playing basses hence the rough playing you hear! And again, a lot of these basslines were written out so you have to give a lot of credit to the songwriters for even conceiving such complicated basslines! Jamerson may have been the only one that had the freedom to add his touch to them and they end up being the focal points of the songs! It's a shame he died so young! I would have loved to hear him play today using a Fodera or Smith or just a well set up Fender P-Bass!
     
  13. namraj

    namraj

    Feb 7, 2008
     
  14. amimbari

    amimbari

    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    all I'm getting out of this thread is a bunch of different ways to play the same song my friends..some of you are stale and plain, some are more "cheerful" and poppy when it comes to all of your interpretations of the same thing. Some use 4stringers some use 5, some use pro audio on top of the video some use camcorders live.


    That song has been played for 40 years differently by thousands of groups/bassplayers, still retaining the original played version in there somewhere, so what is "correct"?

    the OP is talking about "correct position" and if you watch my video I'll guarantee you will not find anyone else on youtube playing it the same way. If you find another person doing it the same way, please let me know as you will be rewarded with a gift of 20 bucks in the paypal account of your choice because I want to talk with that person:)

     
  15. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    It seems like so many things, there is no one "correct" way to physically play it. See, that's the point of music. It's gotta SOUND right, and the "correct way" to play it is the one that makes it sound right when YOU play it. After watching all these videos and seeing people play it in different locations, I wouldn't say that any one is more correct than any other. And it really doesn't matter where Wilton Felder played it either. That's what worked for him on that day. He himself says that working out the fingering threw him some fits. So, just play it, lock the groove with the drummer, and don't get hung up on the mechanical bits.

    But it's good that this came up- I'm going back to work on alternate fingerings just to have options because that's always good. Besides, ten years ago when I learned it we did it in F instead of Ab, and I'm going to relearn it in F again too.

    John
     
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    And your point is?

    Because you play it lefty?

    There is NO correct position! Play it anyway that is comfortable and sounds good! We've said this already!
     
  17. mikeddd

    mikeddd

    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Well, you're right, Amimbari; I haven't seen anyone else play it exactly the way you do. If I tried to play it that way it would confuse me. I definitely understand the "whatever works for you" approach." The reason I worded my OP the way I did is b/c I'm a stickler for "exact." I'm that way with my guitar playing too (20+ guitarist that finally scratched an itch and fell in love :)). I don't like "fake books." I want to play it note for note or I don't want to play it at all. That's just me. YMMV, etc. I do understand that you can play an Ab7 scale in multiple places on the neck; I just like to play it like the original artist (in this case Master Artist IMO) played it. Being that I'm new to bass and still learning, I am still hung up on "the mechanical bits" as JTE very appropriately worded it. :oops: I'm a n00b w/good groove but the mechanics of the bass I'm still learning.
     
  18. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Learn it several different ways, but get over the idea that there's only one "correct" way to play it. Those notes are in different locations, and what physically works for one player (or even on one day) may not work as well to artfully articulate the music for another player.

    Or perhaps if Felder had gone on the road playing the song, he'd have come up with different fingerings. The thing is that, especially for this kind of music, it's more about getting it to gel with everyone else you're playing with than lovingly regurgitating the original recording.

    John
     
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Right! If the notes are correct, it doesn't matter how you acheived playing those notes!
     
  20. gully_P

    gully_P

    May 24, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    This is one of the cleanest most natural feeling versions I've seen on youtube.
     

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