9/04/2014

Weekly Basslines #140: Higher Ground (Roger Chapman)

I often get asked by my students what my favorite bass players are and a lot of them are quiet puzzled when I tell them that I don't favor the commonly mentoined suspects like Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten or Flea. Of course they're all great bassist, but I prefer bassplaying that always supports the song, no matter what style, and ads something to the overall sound of the music. Well it's hard to describe and therfore I decided to post a series of basslines from my personal bass heroes.

I start off with John Wetton.
Here's an abstract of the Wikipedia article about him:

"John Kenneth Wetton (born 12 June 1949) is an English singer, bassist, and songwriter. He was born in Willington, Derbyshire, and grew up in Bournemouth. He initially rose to fame in with bands such as Family (feat. Roger Chapman), King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash.
After his period with King Crimson, Wetton formed UK, and later he was the frontman and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia....
Wetton has done extensive work as a session musician with acts such as Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry, David Cross and Roger Chapman....."

With his old buddy from "Family" days Roger Chapman John recorded two albums "Mail Order Magic" (1980) and "Hyenas Only Laugh For Fun" (1981).

I did a transcription of the song "Higher Ground" from "Mailorder Magic".
The song is driven by an unison guitar-bass riff derived from the e minor pentatonic scale:



Here's the full transcription: