Once again, Jamerson blows my mind

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by RichardW, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    During a run this morning, this tune came up on my shuffle and, once again, I was just slack-jawed listening to James Jamerson. I know the guy was a master, but every now and then it hits you in the face. What an incredible line.

    nixdad, turcmic, ahc and 3 others like this.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Imagine hearing this coming out of your parents' AM car radio...
    tzohn, nixdad, buldog5151bass and 2 others like this.
  3. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    Another great line where the bass part is the hook. Classic.

    I like Stevie's eulogy at Jamerson's funeral..."He made part of my world visual".
    nixdad likes this.
  4. joebeadg


    Sep 1, 2010
    eustis fl
    that's a killer song, but damn! Jamerson!!!!!!
    nixdad likes this.
  5. That was amazing!

    Had a Jamerson experience as well. I’ve always loved the bass line to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and knew and appreciated Jamerson’s legendary status.

    But recently I had my headphones on and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” starts playing. It just stopped me in my tracks. I closed my eyes and took it all in—mind blowing indeed!
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  6. joebeadg


    Sep 1, 2010
    eustis fl
    Yea! the opening few notes of mountain are magic, the whole song is, but when I hear the beginning of that song, theres just something beautiful about it
  7. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    +1 on that !!

    ahc and ErikP.Bass like this.
  8. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    I never tire of that one. What a great song. The counterpoint between Stevie’s vocal and Jamersons baselines is phenomenal!
  9. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Amazing and he did it all with just 1 finger. There are no weak or uninteresting bass lines by Jamerson.
    Want to be a great all round bassist and keep getting in better and better bands?
    Learn the funky, almost percussive bass lines from the Jamerson catalog of songs or at least half and learn the bass lines to half of Sir Paul McCartney's melodic bass lines from the Beatles catalog. It's a daily thing but within 6 months to a year, you'll be the king of bass in your neck of the woods. BTW, it's all in the fingers. Neither one of these bassist used pedals except Sir Paul a few times and Jamerson plugged directly into the console recording board. I can attest to this theory. Listen to isolated bass tracks of Sir Paul or Jamerson and you will be surprised how, dare I say, weak and trebley they sound. BUT, and this is a big butt(sorry ladies, not talking about physical attributes) the bass lines and tone fit each song perfectly. Took me a long time to realize my bedroom tone settings while practicing does not carry over to playing with a band live. Little by Little I've changed my performance tone settings more toward treble than deeper bass tones when gigging. The result is it compliments the songs better than my bedroom tone. I use my fingers for soft or loud, I dig in for hard rock and lightly for ballads.
    I did buy an Ampeg Octamizer which proved useless for what our band plays. We started playing some songs that were recorded on a 5 string and I wanted to have my 4 string bass notes play an octave lower. Especially in D, C & B songs.
    No dice. It does give you an octave lower sound but also plays the upper octave note you are playing.
    So you actually get a mixture of upper and lower octave tone. I've tried lowering the clean level to almost zero and it sounds crappy. The pedal was About $140 USD and I've yet to find or figure out a use for it.
    Bought about a year ago and have never play a gig with it. Maybe because I'm old school and well, old in age.
    We never used pedals except occasionally I'd see a bassist with a volume pedal. Now these days there are some incredible pedals for bass that I'm G.A.S.ing for but, do I need pedals to play 1960's and 70's songs? Maybe for a few songs like, 'For the Love Of Money' sung by the O'Jays.
    I just dial in the tone I want then set it and forget it. Let the finger do the tone-volume changes along with where on the strings I'm playing. Up near the fret board or down by the bridge. Different tones for sure.

    Macca & Jamerson.jpg

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  10. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    It sounded like....
    Bzz bz bzz bz bz bz
    Bzz bz bzz bz bz

    You know, because of that one 4" speaker on the dashboard.