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Jamerson - Darling Dear

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Cristo, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. I've been working on this - or more correctly Gerald Veasely's version on SITSOM, which I assume is pretty close. I'm not a good reader but I'm getting better. This book is helping.

    I'd really like to hear the original to see how the bass fits in with the vocals and other instruments. The line in this song seems almost like it was a solo piece; it is so melodic. I have seen it described as a "concerto for bass guitar."

    I feel much the way Gerald described - it made me realize how little I knew about bass.

    This to me is a phenomenal sounding line - it impresses me much more than either Bernadette or How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone. Not that those songs are unimpressive, just that they are often cited as Jamerson's "best", or whatever. I guess it's just a matter of personal taste.

    Not only does it sound great, but it seems to be chock full of "Jamersonisms" - all those trademark moves of his.

    Most interesting to me has been that although it is a challenge to remember which part comes next, I have not found the song (so far) to be "technically" difficult, in the sense that it is incredibly fast, or requires difficult fingerings or position shifts. (It is not hurting my hand.)

    This came as a surprise, since just listening to it I thought "I'll never be able to play that in a million years." Well I can't just yet, but I'm getting there sooner than I expected. Should be less than a million...unless I discover something further along that is a roadblock.

    Just goes to show, it does not have to be impossible to play to sound really, really good.

    For those who have learned this line and others - what do you consider to be the most "technically challenging" Jamerson line?
    One Drop likes this.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I would put "Darling Dear" up there with JJ's more intricate lines...the original is on the Jackson 5's Third Album(one of the 1st 'real' albums given to me as a youth; of course, I probably stuck to "I'll Be There", "Goin' Back To Indiana", & "Mama's Pearl").

    Others in the intricate style(for me) would be "Home Cookin'", "For Once In My Life", "How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone".

    Back in the day...how would you like to have been one of the road bassists expected to dupe this stuff in concert?
  3. That would have been a tough gig. Sink or swim.

    Yeah, it skipped my mind, but Home Cookin' - that's one I won't play in a million years! Of course I haven't even tried yet, but it looks like murder.
  4. Lo.


    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    There's no single track that tops the others IMO. I think some of the toughest stuff to crack is when Jamerson is being 'playful' with a simple figure. You also need to learn it using only one finger with your right hand - the rakes and grace notes sound better when you do this, mainly because the 'correct' volume of the note comes out more naturally.

    Here's a fraction of my non-SITSOM favourites:

    I Want Her To Say It Again - David Ruffin
    It's Gonna Take A Whole Lot of Doing - David Ruffin
    The End Of Our Road - Gladys Knight
    I Don't Want To Do Wrong - Gladys Knight
    Theme From Enter The Dragon - Dennis Coffee (great example of Jamerson's hard plucking tone in the short solo break)
    What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - The Contours (this is pure groove - not the classic Jimmy Ruffin version, which sounds utterly miserable by comparison)

    I play in an all-Motown band and I guess some of the toughest stuff I get to is:

    You Keep Me Hanging On - Supremes (the lightning fast quiet 'skips' are difficult)
    Grapevine - Gladys Knight (not too difficult, as long as you only use 1 finger RH)
    Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Gaye/Terrell (not too difficult, but the backward rakes on G are fast and tough)

    A brilliant Jamerson emulation is played by Michael Henderson on the Fantastic Four's "Don't Tell Me I'm crazy" (I think he may have done all the Fantastic Four's stuff at Mowtown), and on Stevie Wonder's "Live at the Talk of the Town" album (1970 - incorrectly credited to Jamerson on AllMusic.com!)

    Studying Jamerson is all the practise I need, but your own sound will inevitably be a mix of all your favourite players. What did Jaco say, 'Every musician is a thief'?
  5. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    Jamerson is about 50% of what I practice. I learn constantly from transcribing and playing his lines. As far as technical difficulty goes, playing Gladys Knight's Grapevine perfectly, is a challenge. Those chorus arppegios and their variations are no piece of cake to play cleanly and in the pocket. BTW, the SITSOM version of Darling Dear, is not 100% correct. There are acouple of inaccurate parts. You can find them if you listen carefully. Try iTunes if you don't have the tune. I am proud to say that I know that line note for note. It's been in my warm-up rep for about a year. Good luck with it.
  6. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who thought Grapevine has some tough sections. The descending riff off of C at the first chorus is tough for me.

    In the later choruses, it changes to eliminate the E note, and becomes easier to play (for me) with just a rake and hammer. Still, there's quite a few variations on it though, and I don't have it down yet.

    I'm not too worried about trying to master playing his lines exactly as the original. No one is ever going to hear it but me. I'm just using the song learning process as a tool to teach me new concepts, riffs, ideas. He had some good ones, that's for sure.

    The SITSOM version of Darling Dear may not be exactly note for note, but it certainly sounds great. I'd like to hear the original at some point, simply because it seems Veasley's tone, while very very nice in my view, has a lot more sustain and presence than what I've heard typically on the Motown stuff from Jamerson. The feel of the song probably changes a bit if you have those dead old dirty flatwounds thumpin'.

    When I first started learning them (all of one month ago), I read where numerous folks have said how his lines were very chromatic. Now I am definitely seeing that. He manages to play just about every one of the 12 tones at some point, and it works!
  7. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    .99 from iTunes. It's worth the investment.
  8. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm also learning Dalin' dear right now. Great song. I find it harder to play then bernadette.
    My metronome is now at 65 :)
    I hope to get it at 70 this weekend.

    When I learn a song I do it very slowly, try to really learn it. Where he put the rest, the accent, ect...

  9. Arrgh, if I only had an Ipod...

    Does anyone know if it is on any Motown compilation, or maybe that "Hitsville" compilation?
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You don't need an Ipod...I-Tunes is free; buy/save to your PC & burn to a cd.

    "Darling Dear" is on the Jackson 5's Third Album...it's not on the Hitsville box set & I'd bet it is not on any other Motown compilation since it's more of an obscure tune. The J5's stuff(especially up to Maybe Tomorrow) is a keeper.

    I would also add that Veasley's tone is a bit more on the 'modern' side vs. Jamerson.

    Finally, for me, Gaye's "Grapevine" was more difficult than Knight's version.
  11. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    You may be in my favorite cover band, and I've never even heard you!! :hyper:
    I know one thing though, you DO have my favorite cover gig!!!
  12. Lo.


    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    Heh. I got lucky - the band leader is utterly obsessed with Motown. Here's the last set we did, mainly Jamerson with a healthy sprinkling of Babbit.

    Heatwave - Martha and the Vandellas
    Can I get a witness - Marvin Gaye
    Dancing in the street - Martha and the Vandellas
    How sweet it is (to be loved by you) - Jr Walker and the Allstars
    Going to a go - go - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
    I second that emotion - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
    Ain't nothing like the real thing - Marvin Gaye
    Nowhere to run - Martha and the Vandellas
    He was realy saying something - The Velvelettes
    Higher and Higher - Jackie Wilson
    Signed, sealed, delivered - Stevie Wonder
    Get ready - The Temptations
    It’s the same old song - The Four Tops
    Jimmy Mack - Martha and the Vandellas
    My guy - Mary Wells
    Needle in a haystack - The Velvelettes
    Reach out, I’ll be there - The Four Tops
    The tracks of my tears - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
    This old heart of mine - The Isley Brothers
    Uptight - Stevie Wonder
    Grapevine - Gladys Knight
    You Keep Me Hanging On - Supremes
    Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Chris Clark
    Love is Like an Itching in My Heart - Supremes
    Heaven Must Have Sent You - The Elgins
    Roadrunner - Jr Walker and the Allstars
    What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - The Contours
    Do You Love Me - The Contours
    Behind a Painted Smile - The Isley Brothers
    The Onion Song - Gaye/Terrell
    cubanbass likes this.
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I am old fashioned. I buy records cheap and play them over and over 'til I get it down.

    It's the way I've always learned tunes. My band mates all utilize tabs. I think they miss something by not relying on their ear & instincts more.
  14. hairscrambled

    hairscrambled Commercial User

    Feb 1, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    Store owner, Grandma's Music & Sound
    James' bass is great as always. But the tune and arrangement? I'm not sure even he could save it.
  15. Mulder


    Jan 30, 2006
    Grapevine - Gladys Knight ?? :meh: Did jamerson play on that ?

    I practise Grapevine - Marvin Gaye..you all mistaking in the singer or is there something special about gladys'version that i just don't know about ?

    Ordered the sitsom book + cd..should be here by next week :hyper:
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Who mentioned TAB?
    I'm merely suggesting rather than buy the entire J5 Third Album, one can buy the 'single' of "Darling Dear" from one of the online stores; same as going down to the corner Record Store of yesteyear...only this time it's done over cyberspace.
    Personally, I don't approach buying music this way...although I do buy a lotta albums off the Internet mainly 'cause the local stores won't stock what I want.

    I'm a product of learning tunes off the record, too...ruined many an album 'cause I'm so slowwwwwwwwww!

    ***PUNCHIN' IN***
    Is the TAB reference a comment about copping the line from the written music in the SITSOM book?
    Told you I was slow.
    I dunno; IMO, working with sheet music is definitely a viable tactic/tool for learning...on many levels.
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    When you get the SITSOM book, you'll see & hear Knight's version of "Grapevine"; her version is more upbeat, more Gospel, & 'funkier' than Gaye's version.
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Well, speaking of classic J5 basslines, I was just listening to "Mama's Pearl"(I have the J5's Greatest Hits playing in the car) and d..a..m..n.., whoever it was playing bass was as solid and groovin' as they come!
  19. Lo.


    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    Had a close listen to "Mama's Pearl" - that won't be Jamerson. Possibly Bob Babbitt (but I'm doubtful) or Carole Kaye (sounds like a Jazz bass?). Very nice, anyhow.

    "Pearl" by Stevie Wonder (off the My Cherie Amour album) - that's Jamerson.:bassist:
  20. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Lo, YOU SUCK!!!! And I mean it in a good way!!!!!!!!!
    Do people ask you what the hell you are smiling about while you are playing? I stand jealous...........:bawl: