whats jamerson got?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Number27, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Number27

    Number27 Guest

    got so i really dig macca's basslines, and i know that his biggest influence was jamerson... but i don't know any mo-town, or anything else that jamerson did.. so whats his best stuff? particular songs? albums?

    just trying to expand my sphere of influences
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    You need to pick up "Standing in the Shadows of Motown"
  3. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    Jamerson was the house bassist for Motown - chances are you've heard him 50 times already. He probably played on 70% of the records that came out of there.
  4. Planets Collide

    Planets Collide Guest

    Aug 13, 2008
    East Coast, USA
    My Girl - Temptations
    Bernadette - 4 Tops
    Aint That Peculiar - Marvin Gaye
    Ooh Baby Baby - The Miracles
    To Many Fish In The Sea - The Marvelettes
    Uptight (Everything Is Alright) - Stevie Wonder
    Heat Wave (U) - Martha & The Vandellas
    This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
    I Heard It Through The Grapevine (2 recordings) - Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & Pips
    Where Did Our Love Go (U) - Diana/Supremes
    Since I Lost My Baby - Temptations
    For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
    My Guy (U) - Mary Wells
    Your Precious Love - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
    You've Really Got A Hold On Me - The Miracles
    Love Child - Diana/Supremes
    I Guess I'll Always Love you
    Dancing In The Streets - Martha & The Vandellas
    Don't Mess With Bill - The Marvelettes
    What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
    Standing In The Shadows Of Love - 4 Tops
    Mickey's Monkey (U) - The Miracles
    Cloud Nine - Temptations
    Nothing's To Good For My Baby - Temptations
    My Baby Loves Me - Martha & The Vandellas
    You Keep Me Hanging On - Diana/Supremes
    You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
    Little Darling (I Need You) - 4 Tops
    I'm Ready For Love
    The Way You Do The Things You Do - Temptations
    I Can't Help Myself - 4 Tops
    Roadrunner - Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
    You're All I Need To Get By - Temptations
    You Can't Hurry Love - Diana/Supremes
    Shop Around - The Miracles
    Ain't To Proud To Beg - Temptations
    My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
    It's The Same Old Song - 4 Tops
    How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
    Take Me In Your Arms (And Rock Me A Little While) - Brenda Holloway
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough (2 recordings) - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell, Diana/Supremes
    My Baby Must Be A Magician - The Marvelettes
    Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart - Diana/Supremes
    Beauty Is Only Skin Deep - Temptations
    Ask The Lonely - 4 Tops
    Going To A Go-Go - The Miracles
    I was Made To Love Her - Stevie Wonder
    Hitch Hike - Marvin Gaye
    I Second That Emotion - The Miracles
    Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes
    Jimmy Mack (U) - Martha & The Vandellas
    I Hear A Symphony - Diana/Supremes
    Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) - 4 Tops
    I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Temptations
    Get Ready - Temptations
    The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
    Stop! In The Name Of Love - Diana/Supremes
    That's What Love Is Made Of
    Nowhere To Run - Martha & The Vandellas
    Seven Rooms Of Gloom - 4 Tops
    Pride & Joy - Marvin Gaye
    (I Know) I'm Losing You - Temptations
    Two Lovers - Mary Wells
    I'll Turn To Stone - 4 Tops
    Come See About Me - Diana/Supremes
    Stubborn Kind Of Fellow - Marvin Gaye
    How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone
    If I Were your Woman Gladys Knight & The Pips
    My World Is Empty Without You - Diana/Supremes
    The Tracks Of My Tears - The Miracles
    I'm Wondering - Stevie Wonder
    Can I Get A Witness - Marvin Gaye
    The Girls Alright With Me - Temptations
    Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Da Day - Stevie Wonder
    Reflections - Diana/Supremes
    What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin
    Baby I Need Your Loving - 4 Tops
    Quicksand... - Martha & The Vandellas
    Reach Out...I'll Be There - 4 Tops
    You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
    The Bells - The Originals
    Shotgun - Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
    Fingertips (pt2)- Stevie Wonder
    Hey Girl - Stevie Wonder
    What Are You Gonna Do When I'm Gone (U) - Kim Weston (submitted by Chuck Whaley)
    Still Water Runs Deep - Four Tops (Chuck Whaley)
    All in the Game - Four Tops (Chuck Whaley)
    My Baby - Temptations
    The One Who Really Loves You (U)- Mary Wells
    This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
    My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left) - David Ruffin
    It Takes Two (U) - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
    Honey Chile - Martha & the Vandellas
    To Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye
    When Your Young And In Love - Marvelettes
    Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
    Still Waters Run Deep - Four Tops
    If I Were Your Woman - Gladys Knight & the Pips
    I Want You Back - Jackson 5
    It's Growing - The Temptations
    Agent Double O Soul - Edwin Starr
    I Can't Get Next To You - Temptations
    I want A Love I can Feel - Temptations
    Heart Breaking Guy - Supremes

    and then some
  5. tomich


    Sep 8, 2006
    don't miss this.
  6. Daveelvy

    Daveelvy Guest

    Jun 18, 2008
    Portsmouth, England
    Ditto to this. There's plenty more players quoting Jamerson as an influence out there.
  7. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I got the singles '59 - '72 box set. Disk 2 of that is pop in it's purest form and Jamerson owns that stuff. I think I'd have to say that Jamerson is my favorite bass player. When you think about the fact that he was coming up with different killer bass lines doing three sessions a day like that, it kind of boggles the mind.

    Start with any Motown "best of" you can find. You can't go wrong with any of the stuff, even if it's someone else playing, the music will be great.

    Standing in the Shadows of Motown is fantastic, both the book and the movie, but in addition get something with complete songs as well. In fact, get the "best of" first, then get SitSoM. The context that he was putting those parts in is important. It all stands the test of time very well.

  8. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    This should be standard study for any bass player.
  9. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Also check out some recent threads here.
  10. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Eugene Oregon
    Planets Collide long list may include some Carol Kaye, but that is another thread.

    Given the era, where stand-up and "Fender" basses were pretty much in equal use, he was a standout player. Someone who put down a line that was solid rhythmically, as in you could dance to it, but much more active than his contemporaries.

    It was Grapevine that first piqued my interest in bass.
  11. Whoa, didn't carol kaye do most of those basslines?? ;)
  12. mike1762

    mike1762 Guest

    Oct 26, 2008
    From Wikipedia:

    The electric bass Jamerson played was a stock 1962 Fender Precision Bass which was dubbed "The Funk Machine." Jamerson bought it after his first Precision (a gift from fellow bassist Horace "Chili" Ruth) was stolen. It had a three-tone sunburst finish, a tortoise-shell style pickguard, and chrome pickup and bridge covers. He typically set its volume and tone knobs on full. This instrument was also stolen, just days before Jamerson's death in 1983. To date, it has not been found.

    James Jamerson used La Bella heavy-gauge (.052-.110) flatwound strings that he never changed. He never took care of the instrument, and it was most likely warped (many claimed it impossible to play). While this made it more difficult to play, Jamerson believed it improved the quality of the tone. On occasion, Jamerson also tucked a piece of foam underneath the bridge cover to lightly dampen the strings' sustain. Early in the '70s, a producer attempted to modernize James Jamerson's sound by asking the bassist to switch to brighter-sounding roundwound bass strings. Jamerson politely declined.

    One aspect of James Jamerson's upright playing that carried over to the electric bass guitar was the fact that he generally used only his right index finger to pluck the strings while resting his 3rd and 4th fingers on the chrome pickup cover. Jamerson's index finger even earned its own nickname: "The Hook". [1]

    Jamerson's amplifier of choice at club performances was an Ampeg B-15; in larger venues, he used a blue Naugahyde Kustom with twin 15" speakers. On both, the bass was typically turned up full and the treble turned halfway up. On most of his studio recordings, his bass was plugged directly into the mixing console.
  13. Standing in the shadows of Motown, the DVD (and the book), has to get on your list to send to santa m8!

  14. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Listen to The Supremes

    esp "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and "Reflections"

    I swear he kept his best bass lines for these ladies! HOT!
  15. Wasim

    Wasim Guest

    Dec 10, 2004
    Favourite Jamerson lines / good example of his style:

    Darling Dear - Jackson 5
    Chained - Marvin Gaye
    The Flick - Earl van Dyke
    Home Cookin' - Jr. Walker and the All Stars
    Standing in the Shadows of Love - Four Tops
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Gaye + Tammi Terrell
    What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
    What's Happening Brother - Gaye
    I Was Made To Love Her - Stevie Wonder
    How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone - Supremes
    Bernadette - 4 Tops

    Could go on and on, but check these out.

    Also, save yourself some time and just order the Standing in the Shadows of Motown book from Amazon - you will be a better bass player for it, guaranteed.
  16. Wasim

    Wasim Guest

    Dec 10, 2004
    Oh and he was the best and most important bass player of all time, by far. IMO of course. :)
  17. Number27

    Number27 Guest

    great responses guys! i'll be sure to check these out.
  18. Alex E

    Alex E Guest

    Mar 2, 2006
    James Jamerson was a wonderful bassist. Certainly do study him, as his musical knowledge and taste in using scales, chord tones beyond the root/3rd/5th and chromaticism is very advanced. Listen to the songs listed above and the more you listen to, the more you will be blown-away! Wish I could think up stuff like that.

    The more I read about him, the more impressed I am. It's a shame about the 'drink', he would probably still be with us if not for that. Very talented man.

    You like McCartney, too! Good man, having those two guys as influences will take your playing very far along.