Finally… back again.

Bass is Ace (as opposed to Ace of Base [Swedish pop group])

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My previous post spoke of the importance of guitar in providing the “hook” that’s so important to musicians looking to score a hit.  Today is something of an addendum.  On occasion the bass guitar provides (at least part of) the hook which captures the listener’s interest.  Here’s another quiz…

1.  This one is one of those Sixties anthems.  There is a brief taste of the bass “hook” at the beginning but it is expanded significantly mid-song.

2.  A classic love song from 1968 and a classic bass hook opens the song.

3.  Can’t I escape the decade?  Well, not if I want to include this classic intro…

4.  Okay, so it’s from the Seventies (just barely out of the Sixties).  Possibly the least well known of this collection… although it reached #3 in 1970.

5.  We’ve finally reached the Eighties!  No surprise that the bass player of the band wrote this one.

And the answers are…

1      2      3      4      5

Of course, there’s more to a bass line than a few introductory notes.  Maybe that’s why Paul McCartney (he of The Beatles bass sound) counts God Only Knows among his favourites.  Yes, excellent arrangement/production.  Yes, tender lyrics.  Yes, wonderful melody/harmony.  And yes, a good bass line running throughout the song.  Here, in a pretend “live” performance… actually the original recording (notice how the bass line plays off the chord structure).

It was early on in this blog (actually Roots Part Three from September, 2010) that I alluded to my fondness for the way in which George Gershwin worked his harmony against his bass line (no guitar required).  It’s worth repeating that fact here as I conclude this quick look at bass hooks…

Further addendum…

You have, no doubt, your own favourite bass hooks.  As my wife (Jane) was listening to these examples she immediately thought of one of her personal favs (which I also quite like)… Real Real Gone by Van Morrison.  Bring it home, Van…









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