What's the deal with Paul mcartney, sting, entwistle etc..

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Suckbird, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Okay, dont listen much to their music but i hear people talk about how great they are but most of the songs i 've heard of them is following the root (not entwiste), so what makes them so great?
    Have i just heard wrong songs or what?

    I saw somewhere that they listed john enthwistle as the best bassist ever. I hear people talk about how good my generation is and i think it's a nice tune but it cant make people think he's better than stu hamm, wooten, sheehan etc... or can it?

    Please give me some songs to check out..
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Just a wild guess-
    ...you haven't really tried to learn/transcribe anything from McCartney, Sting, or Entwistle?
    IMO, these 3 don't always follow the root, either...not that following the root is such a bad thing; I mean, these 3 guys are essentially Pop bassists, ya know?

    You can learn 'how to drive a Pop song from McCartney-
    "I Saw Her Standing There", "Taxman", "I'm Only Sleeping", "All My Loving", "Paperback Writer", "Rain", "Hey Bulldog", "Penny Lane", "Something", etc.

    Sting? You can learn about SPACE & infusing a Reggae-ish feel into Pop music.
    "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Man In A Suitacase", "Canary In A Coalmine", "Bombs Away", etc. For a groove in an ODD time, check out "St. Augustine In Hell".

    Entwistle? How 'bout 'energy' in a Pop setting.
    "The Real Me", "The Punk Meets The Godfather", "Pinball Wizard", You Better", etc.

    As far as Wooten, Hamm, & Sheehan...they're great, too.
    Why limit yourself? You can like them all, ya know?
  3. golden_boy


    Dec 27, 2004
    Theyre all amazing pop bassists. Pop bass is about moving the song along and supporting the vocals as well as drums/guitar. It is always kept simple.

    Paul McCartney was doing awesome little fills etc before anyone was really getting into playing the bass (it had hardly been around that long when he began playing it remember)
  4. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Maybe you're too young to understand that we (the ones in our 30s or more) have all learned to play bass after "She's so heavy", "Something", "My generation" or "Walking on the moon" (I also might add Queen's "Dragon attack" or "Another one bites the dust"). It may be simple to play "Another one bites the dust", but it's John Deacon who put up that inclredibly groovie idea (and it certainly was no finger gifted guy). It was also Simon Gallup (definitely a non technically gifted bassist) who created the highly diggable line in the Cure's "Fascination street". I'm positive history won't remember people such as Victor Wooten or Steve Vai (which I have a very high respect for) as much as it will remember McCartney and the Beatles, Entwistle and The Who, Deacon and Queen, Gallup and The Cure, Sting and The Police, Flea and the RHCP, Jimi Hendrix or BB King (and so many others). Maybe they didn't challenge any technical limit but they pushed MUSICAL limits very far. Regarding bass, I know nobody who walks by singing along Billy Shehan's bass lines (and I do consider him a master bassist). On the other hand, we all sing along the bass in "Something" or "Walking on the moon" and you can't get the "Another one bites the dust" or "If you have to ask" grooves out of your head once you sing them a couple of times. That is what I consider a piece of art born out of the guts of a true genius.

  5. KPJ

    KPJ Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    One thing to remember is that McArtney and Entwistle came FIRST. Hamm, Wooten, Sheehan, et al were inspired by McArtney and Entwistle. It's hard for people who weren't around when the Beatles, the Who, Zeppelin, etc came out to appreciate their impact. These bands showed the way for all of the bands that followed them.

    If you want an idea of how great Entwistle was, check out the deluxe 2-DVD edition of "The Kids Are Alright". On disc two, there is "The Ox Cam" which has John isolated during the recording of "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again", just his playing and his bass track. That will get you to appreciate at the Ox more. Also, "My Generation" was released in 1965.
  6. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    Yeah, that seems to be the case. Paul McCartney's style of bass playing is very melodic and far from just following the root. Listen carefully next time you put on Abbey Road, man. Some great lines in there.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Not wild at all. :)

    Another thing to remember, these guys were all singing while playing. Sting and McCartney doing lead. It's one thing to play "All My Lovin" or "Paperback Writer" or "Spirits In the Material World", but try playing it and singing it at the same time (use a fretless for the Sting songs to make it extra hard). Entwistle's backing vocals were key to the Who's sound, and he sang lead on his fair share of his penned Who songs. Check out "Trick Of The Light" from the 1989 live CD.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Not "always".
    Jamerson's Motown lines are pretty damn complex! ;)
  9. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    You're what, 15? Give a listen to the bass part on a few other tunes on the charts at the time "My Generation" was released. You'll find that there was NOTHING else like it. It was a groundbreaking moment in the bass world. Aside from the fact that Entwistle came up with something totally original, you should take into account all the trouble he had in getting a decent sound. He wanted the sound of a Danelectro Longhorn, with RW strings. During recording he broke a string, and the shop didn't carry RW strings. Can you imagine that? So he was forced to buy another Dano Longhorn. During recording with this bass he broke a string. Back to the shop, he bought a third Dano Longhorn, and yes, he broke a string on this one as well. He recorded the final version with a Fender Jazz with flats. You also probably have no idea how lame bass amplification was at the time. Or the fun of walking into a music shop and hoping they had a bass amp. It was a different time.
  10. Things are worse here, now.
  11. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)

    The fact that their past music survives until the present days is the clue. McCartney's, Sting's, Entwistle's music (amongst others') will outlive almost every virtuous player you can think of. Now, how much do you think the Wooten-like frenesi will last? (and I in no way mean to be disrespectful in any way with Victor Wooten or any other virtuous bassist -many of which I like a lot-).

  12. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    they were pioneers.. they did their time chipping away at the tunnel so that others could stroll through it and start their own digging at the rockface... but we couldn't walk that path without someone digging it out for us first...

    the old guys you mentioned, along with others, did soooo much to develop the language of electric bass that we all owe them respect

    Billy Sheehan will tell you himself that Entwistle and McCartney were his idols... you learn from your predecessors and then you try and build on what they did... it's to be expected that future generations are technically better than their predecessors.. in fact if Billy or Stu Hamm weren't technically better than John Entwistle there'd be something majorly wrong...

    anyway, if Paul could have played like Victor, would that have made the Beatles any better? would a blurry-thumbed slap-a-thon have made 'Revolver' a better record? :) let's not forget what iamthebassman touched upon... these guys were working with crappy gear, recording technology was laughable compared to today... try pulling out some 'double thumbing' or whatever on a Hofner Violin Bass and see how great it sounds :)
  13. These players play for the song. Nothing against the virtuosos out there, but they tend to find bands and gigs that lend itself to more of their style playing and creativity. And that's just what they should be doing. I believe there is still something to be said for those bass players in genres other than jazz that find what works for the songs and just plain anchors it. It does not have to be and is not just root notes all the time. If you think that, you just not listening to how McCartney plays of vocal melodies at times rather than just following the drums or guitar riffs, etc, or those deviously evil lines in The Real Me (that floor me everytime I hear it).

    Jerry Jemmott will be one of my favorite bass players of all time because of the way he took simple ideas and expanded them in the songs he played. He did not doing any that spectacular when he played, but he did "write the book on how to play bass in a blues, R & B, and funk setting." Laying down some of these lines may not seem that hard. If they are not, feel free to go out and make a name for yourself.

    To me, its all about tasteful note choices within the context of the song. A conversation with the other instruments and voices, rather than ego, chops, and virtuosity (which are not bad things by any means).
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I would think more than a few here at TB would have better technique than Paul.
    That & $1.29 will buy you a 12oz coffee at 7-11.
    I know what you're saying...still, what's wrong with the bass' tone on any of those George Martin albums?

    BTW, as an aside-
    Wooten is outta the '60s/'70s 'School of Groove'...and he did play a Hofner back in the '70s! I think he has a new bio that just came out; check out the pix!!! ;)
  15. Vysous


    Mar 29, 2005
    Have you heard Entwistle's solo from album The Who in Royal Albert Hall (Who reunion 2001) in tune 5:15, it lasts probably about 5 minutes and its GREAT, FAST (VERY VERY), UBELIEVABLE.
    First time i saw it, I sat down and shouted : I am ending with BASS!! John even tappes and its pretty GOOD!
    JOHN! REST IN PEACE, you will be in my mind FOREVER!!!!
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You should see the video. Friggin' mind boggling and he makes it look effortless. Shame about the total crap tone though.
  17. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    Without Paul, there wouldn't be a Victor Wooten version of "Norwegian Wood". First time I saw and heard him play that in a solo, I couldn't sleep for a few days as it ran through my head.
  18. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    When Jaco Pastorious was interviewed by Guitar World magazine for a cover story in circa 1982 he said "I am a poor replica of Jerry Jemmott."

    Taking simple ideas and exapanidng them or just pulling of simplicty with perfection is impressive in it's own right!

    In the same article he spoke of meeting Sting and referred to him as "a playing mother" (it was a compliment)
  19. HunsBassist


    Oct 3, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    It's not that they were amazing bassists. They were revolutionary bassists. Paul McCartney invented a style all his own that is still rarely duplicated. Sting was (and still is) one of the only bassists to play rock with an upright. I don't know what's up with people considering Entwhistle one of their favorites. Although I haven't heard much of him so I guess I'm not the best judge of that. Hope this give a little perspective on the issue.