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Simplest Song You Just Can't Play?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BayStateBass, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Didn't know where this would fit, but I guess it could result in some pretty comical stories, so I put it here.

    Are there any songs your band does where your part is so painfully simple that there's no way you should ever struggle with it, yet you do?

    I'm just wondering if I'm the only one here.

    For example; we do T-R-O-U-B-L-E by Travis Tritt. Not a complex bass line by any means, but fairly fast. I can blast through that song and play it right every time.

    Then we have God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood. And it seems every time I play that song I step on my ****. Wrong notes, wrong timing, I just seem to destroy that song every time. Recently I've been able to get through it okay, but I just scratch my head and feel like the dumbest person in the band when that song comes out.

    Any of you have an experience like this? Or am I really just that dumb?
  2. robgo


    Jan 25, 2008
    I used to play in a ZZ Top tribute band. Both Sharp dressed man and Gimme all your lovin are pretty much 1 note over and over with a sudden change for the chorus. Not complicated but very easy to mess up.

    I always used to think of it as a bit like being a goalkeeper for a really good football team (what you call 'soccer'!!) you stand around doing very little for ages and then you suddenly have to think.
  3. For me it is Ray Charles' "Giorgia". I've played it with so many different people who each have their own take on the chord changes that it has become one huge muddle in my head,
  4. qervo


    May 18, 2011
    Same thing for me except the song is Crazy by Patsy Cline. I must have played it 6 different ways because no one seems to play it the same.
  5. CTC564

    CTC564 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ
    Maggie May by Rod Stewart
  6. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    I felt that way for a while learning "Rockstar" by nickelback (it's a bar band, whaddaya gonna do.)
    I didn't listen to the song enough before the first rehearsal and I would get messed up watching the acoustic guitar player (who plays lefty . . . on a righty guitar upside down . . . and with a capo.) It's super simple really but for the first few weeks I just kept messing it up.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    We have a song on our list called "Beats so Lonely" by an old 80s act, Charlie Sexton. I think he was a one-hit wonder, I had never heard of it and I grew up in the 80s. Anyway, it's just all endless eighth-note roots. Anyway, our BL plays it with a different chord-verse-bridge structure than in any recording of it I've ever been able to find, and 3/4 of the time we play it I just totally lose track of what's coming next and miss a change. I really really really wish we would drop the song, it's not like anyone out there is dying to hear it.
  8. BigEarl


    Sep 29, 2003
    Elgin, TX
    Gawd I hate to admit this, but Bad Company "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" ...yeah, it's a classic, built on repeating riffs, but for some inexplicable reason I am always anticipating the WRONG riff! Arrrrrrgggggg!
  9. BigEarl


    Sep 29, 2003
    Elgin, TX
    .. and to address two earlier posts:

    1. Yes, Crazy is another one that drives me crazy.


    2. Charlie Sexton is still considered a God in Austin!
  10. jef4490


    Jun 30, 2012
    Great thread. I was thinking about this just recently. I find Subdivisions by Rush incredibly difficult to play convincingly (not the keys, and not the fills, but the main bass part specifically). It's only three notes and probably one of the simplest Rush bass lines I'd think, but I find it challenging to make it sound as good as Geddy plays it and I honestly don't know why I struggle with it so much.
  11. JaamE

    JaamE Owner of the GK Angry Bird amp

    Apr 13, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    Friggin "That Smell" all they want from me is roots, which is fine, but it never sounds right to me, ever.
  12. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Really? OK, well, at least, tell him he has a fan up in the frozen north. One, anyway.
  13. the wako kid

    the wako kid

    May 11, 2011
    I can't play Higher ground by the chili's and make it sound right,which is pretty sad because it's supposed to be like the first slap song you learn. I really can't learn any slap songs actually.:bawl:
  14. qervo


    May 18, 2011
    Start with something more simple like Sly an the Family Stone - Thank you fo letting me be myself .
  15. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I have been playing and singing lead on both those ZZ Top songs since they were new, including now in my current band. Many bass players cannot play those songs right for some reason. Plus, there are 2 19 measure guitar solos in Sharp Dressed Man (which I am also the timekeeper) and most bands can't seem to figure out how to count those right.

    Are you referring to That Smell by Lynyrd Sktmyrd? If so, there is way more than just bass root notes going on in that song.

  16. We have Sharp Dressed Man in our repertoire and yes, you have to count out the change because it's not where you would expect it to be.

    As far as That Smell, there is way more going on. Just like Call Me The Breeze. I've seen bands where the bassist plays just roots on those songs. We don't do That Smell, but we do Call Me The Breeze and I have it down pretty good, the right way.
  17. Scott Sauna

    Scott Sauna

    Oct 12, 2012
    Roundabout-Yes....Oh wait that song is hard...
  18. Tequila Sunrise - The Eagles

    I can play it, sure. I can sing and play the darned thing, but the bridge gets me like 20%.

    Also retrograde turnarounds get me in jams sometimes. You know; F, C, G.
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I'm in an R&B Band. Not many songs trip me up, if ever. I have been woodsheding on Spain (Chick Corea). The end part of that arpeggio section gets me every time. Honestly, it's a fairly simple song otherwise.
  20. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    I used to play with a guitarist who called that tune knowing that the rest of the band had never played it before! Even when I learned it, same deal on the arpeggio section. Might be able to nail it these days if I were still playing jazz.

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