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Jameson: suggestions for (say) 10 songs as case studies.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Rockin John, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. As Mr J influenced just about every bass player going - even those who's genre is miles away from Motown - I'd like to learn a little from the great man if possible.

    I'd like to make a small list of Motown numbers that I can listen to. I'd also like to back that with written resources (Eg. The scores or tabs or chord charts, etc.) if possible because that will hopefully show me how the bass fits in with other components of the songs.

    Suggestion on both counts gratefully accepted.


  2. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Hi John,
    Firstly for a goldmine of Jamerson info you should check out the "Standing in the shadows of Motown" book.


    This contains pretty much everything you need to know..it also includes transcriptions of his "greatest hits" and 2 cds of other famous players playing them..(you can also pan your hifi's speakers to isolate the bass parts).

    My Favourite Jamerson tracks in no particular order would be..

    Darlin Dear..(Jackson 5)
    Whats Goin On (Marvin Gaye)
    Home Cookin
    Aint no mountain high enough (Supremes & Tammi Terrells versions)
    I was made to love her (Stevie Wonder)
    Nowhere to run (Martha and the vandellas



    The list is endless

    hope this helps
  3. I would agree that "standing in the shadows of motown" is what you are looking for. You would have to know how to read. I made "an easy to play and sightread" list from the book:

    "aint to proud to beg"
    "going to a go go"
    "i second that emotion"
    "get ready"
    "baby love"
    "heat wave"
    "It's the same old song" *** highly reccommended
    "shake me wake me"
  4. Hello guys.

    Thanks for the help.

    Yes, I've seen the book. It is good and I may well have to buy it. Just at the moment though, I've spent my allocation. ;)

    Sethlow3 said:
    Well, Seth' I can't but I'm giving it a good go...


  5. Lo.


    Jan 29, 2005
    NW UK
    Grapevine - Gladys Knight
    The End of Our Road - Gladys Knight
    I Know I'm Losing You - Jackson 5
    I Want Her To Say it Again - David Ruffin
    Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing - M Gaye, T Terrell
    You Make Me Do Things I Don't Want To Do - Marvin Gaye
    I Can't Help It (I Love You) - Marvin Gaye
    For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
    Cloud Nine - Temptations
    Fever In The Funk House - Funk Brothers

  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
  7. apollo11


    Aug 19, 2004
    New York
    Another one that often gets called one of his best is Bernadette.
  8. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Give yourself a lot of time to learn 10 JJ song!

    It took me about 3 months to learn Bernadette. I've been learning Darlin' dear for about 2 weeks and I just increased the metronome by 5 BPM today!!
    Whoo hoo
    I'm now at 55
    Still a long way to go.

    There is only 2 way to learn a song:

    The good way and the bad way
  9. Another thing...
    Jamerson hardly strays away from the low range of the bass. I don't even know if I have heard him play higher than the E on the 9th fret of the G string. He stays down LOW, so the sight reading wouldn't be to difficult as far as the range of notes and where to play them. Jamerson loved the foam mute on his bass, and open strings which IMO is vital to the tone and songs.

    Also, you could learn to read open strings and basic 8th rhythms to get you started. I have no idea of your playing level, but buy one of those stupidly simple beggining bass books with the CD and sharpie out ALL of the Tab. Then you will only hear and see what you need to do. That got me to learn rather quick! With James it's more about reading rhythms and note values rather than the notes themselves.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The hardest part about reading any music is the rhythmic notation...true, though, guys like Jamerson compound that issue with crossing the barline ties & busy syncopations, sometimes played a pretty quick tempos.

    01)What's Going On-Marvin Gaye
    02)I Heard It Through The Grapevive-Gladys Knight
    03)I Heard It Through The Grapevine-Marvin Gaye
    04)Bernadette-Four Tops
    05)For Once In MY Life-Stevie Wonder
    06)Darling Dear-Jackson 5
    07)Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing-Gaye/Terrell
    08)Home Cookin'-Jr. Walker
    09)Uptight-Stevie Wonder
    10)How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone-Supremes

    I picked 9 from the SITSOM book/cd set(Gaye's "Grapevine" is the lone exception).
    RJ-The book will force you to become a better reader...it's put up or shutup; ya wanna play all those great lines, you'll read!
  11. Pretty much just go out and get the book. You will be happy. I have hardly put mine down and the CD's have not left the player.

    As for reading, (which I'm no good at) I am finding that my ability is increasing by using this book, at least in the area of reading the pitches.

    Combining the written notation with the ability to listen to (and replay over and over) the CD's gives you a good shot at learning the lines AND improving your reading ability, so it's a double bonus.

    Another good point about the book is that it contains many many songs, and some are simple enough for a beginner to both read and play, while others require a much higher skill level, so you can start small and grow your abilities over time.

    Darling Dear, wow, what a bass line. I am interested to know how well Gerald Veasley recreates the original performance, as I've never heard that one. Nevertheless, it is something else. Probably be a while before I get that one down...

    Get that book. It's wonderful. Seriously, you will be glad you did.
  12. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Steve Wonders Greatest Hits Vol.2
    Song- You Met Your Match.
    Killer Jamerson!
  13. BassLand


    Mar 20, 2000
    Lost Angeles
  14. KYJazzy


    Nov 10, 2004
    Lexington, KY
    In BassGuitar magazine (Jan 2006 issue on stands now with Jaco on the cover) there is a tablature of "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye, which I believe at one point Jamerson called his finest work. It's a good tab of it and tons of fun to play.
  15. Whoops! I forgot to mention the awesome book "R&B bass masters: the way they play" by Ed Friedland. It only has 3 Jamerson lines, but they cover a lot about his tone and style. More importantly, there is TAB. The other bass players in there are also worth a look.
  16. `ash


    Feb 26, 2004
    I whole heartedly agree with what everyone has said so far.
    This book did wonders for my reading. It really gave me the push along i badly needed.

    If i was to have one gripe about the book, its that some of the artists' comments before the track are too long. (phil chen, you bore me, get to the song already ;) )
    Dont get me wrong, i love hearing what they have to say on their Jamerson expriences and i wish there was more, because its very fascinating, but they should be sperate tracks entirely. Not in front of the music.

    Rant over.

    Get the book.
  17. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    "You keep me hanging on" The Supremes

    Cruising today and that came on the radio. The Bass just pushes the whole song and there's such rhythm and 'feel' there....

  18. LOL +1
  19. Thanks folks.

    Sethlow'You asked about my reading abilities. Form your contributions to my thread, Cm7(b5) you probably now have the answer. :eek: :rollno:

    As a slight side issue, what is Jameson's history I wonder.

    Hello Bassland. Thanks for the transcription. Unfortunately that level is way over my head. Unfortunately, too, I could not get to hear it being played. Do you have another link to the piece?

    Thanks all.

  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The SITSOM book...again. Move it up a few notches on your "Bass To-Get" stuff.
    In addition to the transcriptions, there's plenty of biographical info on JJ.

    Bassland Bob has nice Jamerson info at his site.
    Just take that "What's Happening Brother" groove slow...try to tap out the rhythm to, say, the 1st 2-4 bars, then add the notes.
    IIRC, it begins with 2 1/8th notes(1_&_) tied through until the 'a of 2' leading into a busier thing on Beats 3 & 4.
    See if you can tap out this-
    Get that into your head...then add the notes transcribed in bar #1.