Paul McCartney is regarded as a innovative and legendary bass player for some very good reasons. His playing is highly melodic, and often more complex than it sounds. His bass lines set the foundation of the harmony and the groove, but are also inventive and memorable. Today’s Classic Bass Line is from the song “Savoy Truffle” on The White Album.
A great quote from John Lennon in 1980:
“Paul was one of the most innovative bass players that ever played bass, and half the stuff that’s going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period. He was coy about his bass playing. He’s an egomaniac about everything else, but his bass playing he was always a bit coy about. He is a great musician who plays the bass like few other people could play it.” John Lennon
“Savoy Truffle” is in G Major, but it uses secondary dominants to move around many different key centers. The line shifts positions frequently and is highly scalar. McCartney played this song on his Rickenbacker 4001 with flatwound strings. If you want to replicate his sound, use flatwound strings, solo the neck pickup, and play with a pick.
“Savoy Truffle” – Original recording