1/10/2015

Weekly Basslines #149: Return To Sender (Elvis Presley)

Last thursday (January 8th) Elvis Presley would have turned 80. A good opportunity to take a look at the bassline of one of his songs:

"Return To Sender" was recorded for the Soundtrack of the film "Girls, Girls, Girls" in the year 1962.
The song is composed around one of the most popular chord-progressions in pop music,
the so-called I-VI-II-V-(One-Six-Two-Five)-progression.

The chords are built from the first, sixth, second and fifth degree of a major scale.
For the C major scale these chords are C (I) - Am (VI) - Dm (II) and G (V).



Many songs use the I-VI-II-V-progression throughout and even more use it in certain sections.
In "Return To Sender" the verses are built upon this progression. The key is E flat and these are the corresponding chords:





Bassist Ray Siegel plays a "walking bassline" on double bass and only uses chord tones:




Here's the song (from the movie "Girls, Girls, Girls"):


And here's the transcription: