Classic bass lines. Must know bass lines.
A classic bass line is one that the average person would recognize. Non-musicians don’t pay much attention to what the bass player is doing. Unless it sticks out or it is the hook to the tune.
Some examples of classic lines would be “Brick House” by the Commodores, “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin, “Taxman” by the Beatles, “So What” by Miles Davis, “Longview” by Green Day, and the list goes on. (I will be posting classic lines once a week)
Today’s classic line is from “Money” by Pink Floyd.
“Money” is a track from English progressive rock band Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. Written by Roger Waters, it opened side two of the original vinyl LP, and is the only song on the album to enter the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Money” is noted for its unusual 7/4–4/4 time signature, and the tape loop of money-related sound effects that opens the song.
The form and chord progression are based on the standard twelve-bar blues in the key of B minor, with the vocal melody and nearly all of Gilmour’s soloing based on the pentatonic and blues scales. Two twelve-bar verses are followed by a twenty-bar instrumental section that features a blues-style tenor saxophone solo (played by Dick Parry) along with keyboard, bass and drums and a further two-bar intro in 4/4 leading to the guitar solo, which is structured like a twelve-bar blues, but doubled to a twenty-four-bar length.
Below is a great video by the always nutty and eccentric EddieBass. I copied and corrected his tabs and put them below the video.
There are a couple of ways to play the opening line, and some people prefer playing the A and the D on the 5th fret of the 4th and 3rd string respectively, but I think staying in 2nd position and using the open strings is closer to the original. You will need to be careful and attentive to your left hand/right hand muting.
Roger Waters uses a Fender Precision Bass with Rotosound 77 Flatwound strings. To replicate the tone, you’ll need to use a pick and palm mute the main line. (There will be upcoming posts on playing with a pick and on palm muting.) Some people on the forums think that David Gilmore (the guitarist of Floyd) played this line for Roger, but I can’t find any definitive proof of that.
Money by Pink Floyd (Cover by EddieBass)
The tabs below are for the different sections. The first tab line is the intro and beginning of the verse, 2nd tab is 2nd part of verse etc. Play each section of tab to hear where it fits. Good Luck!