McCartney playing fretless in "So Bad"?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Chrisk-K, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA

    I never thought Macca had played a fretless bass, but I'm 99% certain that he played a fretless on this song. The bass tone has fretless characteristics. Pay attention to a little bass run in the chorus section. What do you think?
  2. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    I think that’s Stanley Clarke.
    Samatza and JimK like this.
  3. Paul can play fretless; he can even play stand-up bass (see below). The bass on "So Bad" could be a fretless, but I don't think it's Stanley Clarke.

    dramatwist and dkelley like this.
  4. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Stanley Clarke is listed as contributing bass and vocals to the album but I don't know which songs.
    dkelley likes this.
  5. Unlike Tug of War, unfortunately, credits for individual tracks are not given on Pipes of Peace/i]. Clarke's and McCartney's bass styles are pretty distinct, though. "So Bad" doesn't sound like Clarke to me.
    dkelley likes this.
  6. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA
    I hear nothing related to Clarke in the bassline of So Bad. Of course, there is a possibility that Clarke purposely tried not to sound like himself. But that wouldn’t make any sense.
    IamGroot likes this.
  7. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    IDK this for a fact. Just a thought.

    As far as "not sounding like himself"
    Here is an example from a very well known player.

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  8. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Playbyear and dkelley like this.
  9. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    Flea did an exceptional job. The more I listen to this, the more amazing it is.
    dkelley likes this.
  10. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    The song Hey Hey is the track that Stanley Clarke played on and lists him as a co-writer.

    Love that Bassline on So Bad. I remember when it first aired on MTV.

    It started out like a cheesy love song(unlike silly love songs) but being a Mcartney song I knew it would be worth listening too, and sure enough!

    It does sound like a fretless on the track but the style of playing to me is all McCartney !

    Another great McCartney Bass line I love is Ebony and Ivory. Play it on a big home stereo and feel how strong the Bass is on the mix!
    dkelley likes this.
  11. Just recently saw pics of Maca from the 60’s with a capo on his I think he’s capable of just about anything.

    just my .02

    tindrum likes this.
  12. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    Entertaining to watch him switch instruments each song and he seems comfortable with all of them.
    tindrum likes this.
  13. Flea is a well trained musician who used to play jazz trumpet - wierd eh? great musician, great talent.... awesome personality... and super versatile.

    I totally agree with you - it's amazing playing and musicality.
  14. I don't know why he couldn't play fretless - and I'm sure he's had builder after builder shove a fretless at him and say, try this!? to hear him play it, get his feedback on it etc... not just fretted instrument.s

    he's got a crazy great ear, and it's just not something he particularly cares much about playing, I would assume. That song sounds great and sounds fretless to me, but then I used to think that lots of famous songs used fretless that didn't, when I was young, because I wasn't great at identifying the tone of a higher action fretless.

    Like, many (most? I'm not a stones historian, but I have read various similar posts stating something similar to this) of the Stones' original line-up recordings used fretless bass. I didn't know that until I was older.
    tindrum likes this.
  15. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I always thought it was his Rickenbacker with the rear pickup only:

    - Steve
  16. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Flatwounds, bridge pickup with tone rolled off gets a very pseudo fretless sound.
    Notice he’s playing fingerstyle back by the bridge as well.
    Sounds also like a bit of chorus was used. Macca got a similar tone on Goodnight Tonite.
    bobyoung53, dkelley, tindrum and 2 others like this.
  17. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I am guessing this clip is most everything Paul knows on DB. I know a few guitarists that can do the same.
  18. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA
    Of course, he plays a Ric in that video. The bass tone in the video is different from that in the original version and doesn’t have the mwaaa fretless characteristic.
  19. drumvsbass


    Aug 20, 2011
    The slide at 0:30 seconds is a giveaway that this isn't fretless. you can hear the frets under the sliding, if it was freltess it would have that portamento slide sound.
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  20. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    As much as I dig McCartney, I don't know if fretless is within the wheelhouse of his studiously unstudied technique. And playing a few notes of "heartbreak hotel", with no other instruments, doesn't necessarily mean he can functionally play upright bass.
    IamGroot and pjbassist like this.
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