Paul McCartney Offers a Short Tutorial on How to Play the Bass Guitar

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I absolutely love this clip of Paul McCartney showing how to play the bass part for Ever Present Past. He’s just so casual explaining it all (speaking of casual, it’s weird to see him dressed in a t-shirt). Here’s the things I thought were interesting or funny:

  • “Me little baby”
  • “The root notes, which are basically…the notes…of the chords”
  • Thumb picking!
  • There’s a lot of unspoken nuance here, even in he’s simply playing quarter notes that follow the chord progression. For instance, he’s lifting his fretting finger on the upbeat to create a rest rather than letting the note decay. All that’s to say, there’s a lot of style involved in creating even a relatively simple bassline.
  • How his fretting thumb comes up around the top of the fretboard as he reaches for the D and G strings
  • “You can do fiddly bits if you want” – Just absolutely love how he says that with a shrug. So great.
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