Bass Transcriptions

I will be the first to admit that I'm no bass player. That being said, I think learning/studying bass parts from great bass players is not only beneficial to budding bass players, but important for all musicians. I think it's important to learn how good bass parts fit into the context of the song you're playing. Also, as a guitarist, there are times when you may need to play some bass parts, whether you're creating backing tracks, recording a demo of a song you've written, or been called to substitute for the bass player on a gig (and as a working musician, you don't want to turn down gigs). I feel that a lot of people assume that if you can play guitar you can play bass. That's just not true, they're entirely different instruments with entirely different mindsets. Join me as we explore some great bass lines.

  • Allman Brothers Band
  • The Beatles
  • Grateful Dead
  • Phish
  • Stevie Wonder

Grateful Dead Bass Transcriptions

Casey Jones


"Casey Jones" is a Hunter/Garcia composition that was released on the Dead's 1970 album "Workingman's Dead". Robert Hunter stated in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone that "Casey Jones" didn't start out as a song, instead it suddenly popped into his mind: "driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones, you better watch your speed." Hunter said that he wrote that down and moved on to whatever else he was doing. It wasn’t until some time later he came across it and thought, "That's the germ of a pretty good song”. 

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Ripple


“Ripple” appeared on the 1970 album “American Beauty”. Robert Hunter wrote this song that year in London on the same afternoon he wrote “Brokedown Palace” and “To Lay Me Down”. David Grisman was plays mandolin on this track as well as "Friend of the Devil".

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Sugar Magnolia


“Sugar Magnolia” was written by Robert Hunter and Bob Weir, and appeared on their 1970 album “American Beauty”. Remember that Phil Lesh chooses to use a pick when he plays, again showing the uniqueness of his style.

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