Instrument Spotlight – Bass Guitar

In Instrument Spotlight by Ben Jinks

Today’s instalment of Instrument spotlight is brought to you by the King of Harmony itself. The Bass Guitar! Often overlooked by some as an easy alternative to guitar, well we are here to convince you different.

This iconic piece of wood is the heart and soul of any live band, just ask James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, LEMMY! The list goes on and on. Without the bass there is no harmony, no bed for melodic instruments to thrive on and it’s immediately noticeable in a live setting when the bass has disappeared.

Objectively, the most famous bassline there is comes from John McVie of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’. Simple in nature, using only 5 notes assembled perfectly, allowed the rest of the band to build on the groove and create one of the most iconic outros ever made. This mammoth of a bass riff, it’s drive, it’s pumping repetitiveness was famously used as BBC’s Formula One’s Coverage Theme for 30 years! If that alone doesn’t convince you of the bass’s power, take a look at:

‘Ain’t No Moutain High Enough’ – Marvin Gaye

‘Another One Bites the Dust’ – Queen

‘Good Vibrations’ – The Beach Boys

And for the parents, The Seinfeld theme!

Lastly, the bass is an incredibly fun instrument to play, that has a completely unique feel to other instruments. If you are interested in giving it a go, Portsmouth Music Academy are offering trial lessons for Bass Guitar for £9!! Weekly spaces are also available for those who wish to become the next Flea!

‘Slappin Da Bass!’