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"Stuck in the Middle" by Stealers Wheel

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by DannyShem, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. DannyShem


    Jan 31, 2013
    I am intrigued by this song. The base is the defining feature of the song, yet it does not play the melody. How to describe/define the roll of the bass in this song? Are there other songs where the bass plays a similar central role? Any input would be welcome (I am pretty new to the bass and music theory).
  2. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    It's just great bass playing. Sort of a walking bassline. Other songs with similar bass:

    Beatles- Eight Days A Week, Come Together
    Green Day- Longview
    Aerosmith- Sweet Emotion
    John Mellencamp's re-make of "Wild Nights" ...well I'm not sure if that's the same vibe, but it's got killer bass.
  3. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Don't know if there's a traditonal music term... I would just think of it as a song built around a bassline / bass riff. As the bass has become capable of more volume, range, and tonal variation over the years there have been loads of them. But they've always been about.

    Ben E King - Stand by Me
    Simply Red - Sad old Red
    Rick James - Super Freak

    Just search for 'best bassline' in google, you'll find loads.
  4. LordRyan


    Dec 9, 2012
    I play in a band that does "Stuck in the Middle With You". It is a pretty cool part. I put in quite of bit of study on it. Some other songs we play with strong melodic Bass underpinning are:

    Eight Days a Week
    All My Loving
    I Saw Her Standing There
    Ob La Di Ob La Da
    Black is Black
    Under the Boardwalk
    I'm a Believer
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Great song. Sad about Gerry Rafferty.
  6. Every time I hear that song I think of Mr. Blonde cutting off that cop's ear. ;)
  7. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
  8. fclefgeoff


    Jan 3, 2002
  9. dannylectro

    dannylectro Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Yonkers, NY
    Roughly speaking, it's called a "contrapuntal" part.
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I can't wait to use that term at my next dinner party I just hope I'm sober enough to remember it. :)
  11. RockInRollDaddy


    Nov 28, 2010
    One of my bands just started playing Stuck in the Middle. Not the greatest song in the world but a cool bass line for sure. We had settled on a intro with bass, piano and clapping which seems good to me but now our guitar player is whining about to start with the (barely audible) guitar bit from the recording that he claims "sets a melody". Any ideas for a short intro I can do on bass that will cut him off at the pass?
  12. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    I always thought it sounded kind of like a Stu Cook line.
  13. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    pretty straight ahead bumpy bugaloo blues bass line, with little scalular connecting runs on the turnarounds.
    Pretty much just following the chord changes.
  14. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    We play this tune and my three guitarists looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to explain that the bass was the featured instrument. Ha! It was like watching three puppies, complete with tilted heads and quizzical looks.
    The guy on acoustic thinks it's all about him and the slide guitarist thinks it revolves around his slide work.
    Maybe I'll try that "contrapuntal" line on them. Ha!
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ayuh. Not that anyone will do it, but at a gig, try dropping the guitars out of one verse of the song, and dropping the bass out of another. Watch the crowd's reaction.
  16. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    Can someone help me with the bass tone in this tune. I have the right notes and rhythm (more-or-less) but it does not seem as, well, "articulate" as the original. I do not think he is playing with a pick (is he?) but every note he plays is well-defined for lack of a better word. I am considering maybe a foam mute or something as I may be "suffering" from too much sustain and I am just not muting it well-enough on my own.
    I am playing a P with TI flats.
  17. Bass players love that song for that very reason - the bass is the primary part. One of the favourite songs of a lot of bassists I know is David Essex's "Rock On", which is nearly all bass. We play it in one of my bands, and me and the other guitarist go off-stage and have a drink. Win-win all round. ;)
  18. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    I just joined a classic rock band, and Stuck in the Middle with You was on the song list. I wasn't familiar with it, but it's fun to play. My 27 year old nephew was familiar with and thinks it's great that we do it. Actually, the hardest part was the first note. It's on the and of 1. It's really a pretty easy song.
  19. Ive had the worst time convincing my lead guitar player that the bass begins on the 'and' not the 'one' if I don't come in on the one it messes him up. Sigh... fun tune to play though!