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Intermediate Bass Lines: 5 Cool songs to enhance your playing


Intermediate Bass Lines: 5 Cool songs to enhance your playing  · 

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Intermediate bass lines are the bridge that you need to cross to get to the next level. Come with us as we check out some TABs that’ll help you on your way.

Let’s say that you’ve been playing bass for a while. You’re happy with progress, TABs and rhythms are only getting easier for you. Which is great! But do you ever feel that things are bit too easy?

Well, if that’s the case, then it looks like you’re ready for some intermediate bass lines. In this guide, we’ll explore a few songs that’ll help you experiment with different techniques and exercises.

Overall, giving the confidence and the skill set to drive off into the sunset of bass playing greatness. Let’s check out some TABs…

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

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Our fist intermediate bass line is this 1970s classic from Stevie Wonder. It’s recognisable enough that you’ll be able to impress your friends and bandmates.

The first thing to note when playing this song, is that we’re not in standard tuning. We need to be in Eb, which is half a step lower than standard. However, if you’re not ready to play along to the record, then feel free to play in standard tuning.

This bass part isn’t the main melody of the song, which is the part that everyone associates with Superstition. Instead, we play a couple of stabs on an open E note, with a couple of fives and sevens thrown in for good measure. After several bars of this, we move to another part of the verse. We’ll call this riff B

Superstition Bass TAB
Intermediate Bass Lines – Superstition Verse

In riff B, we’re playing an alternate melody, and have slightly varied what we were playing before. This could be viewed as an intermediate bass line because of the assortment of semi-quavers, hammer ons, slides and rests.

Intermediate Bass Lines
Intermediate Bass Lines – Superstition Riff B

If you’re looking to play this to the record, you’ll need to tune down. Luckily, *Thomann have plenty of tuners to choose from. Whether you want to add a tuner pedal to your signal chain, or just stick one on top of your headstock.

A Kind Of Magic – Queen

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Secondly, we’re moving onwards to the 1980s. John Deacon was awfully quiet during his time in Queen, however he never failed to deliver a groovy bass part.

Similarly, we’ve got a splattering of rests breaking up the notes across every bar. Each of the two rests in each bar are worth half a beat each. Therefore, they’re quaver rests.

This intermediate bass moves one pattern across the chord progression. We start on the root, which is A, followed by B and D before concluding on A. Watch out for this one, it’s fast and will require plenty of two finger plucking action.

Queen Bass TAB
Intermediate Bass Lines – A Kind Of Magic

Deacon favoured a Warwick Buzzard in the mid 1980s. There are plenty of *Warwick’s to choose from now in 2024:

Long Train Runnin’ – The Doobie Brothers

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Again, we’re back to the early 1970s for some more Dad rock vibes! Arguably their most well known track, The Doobie Brothers have some other musically accomplished tracks. If you haven’t done so already, give them a listen.

A little bit like A Kind Of Magic, this intermediate bass line revolves around a couple of themes that move with the chord progression. Luckily for us, the verse only has two chords. Gm7 and Cm7.

What makes this track potentially challenging is that we’re playing right at the top of the neck by the nut. Therefore the string tension is at its greatest and can make notes harder to play. Don’t worry! Dig deep, push hard and you’ll master it in no time.

Intermediate Bass Lines - Long Train Runnin'
Intermediate Bass Lines – Long Train Runnin’

Trian Potter started out with The Doobie Brothers, sporting a *Fender Jazz bass. Amongst others, the J bass is what he is most known for playing.

Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin

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Compared to our other intermediate bass lines, this one ain’t so bad on first inspection. A couple of open notes with a cheeky 1/2 step bend is perfectly achievable!

However, the pre-solo section just keeps climbing up and up the neck as a result of a few key changes. We’ll include both the intro and this pre-solo section.

Watch out for those bends. We want to consider this as more of a tweak to the note, than a bend. Bend too far and it’ll sound off. This bend is the distance of one fret, or one semi-tone.

  • Led Zeppelin Bass TAB
  • Intermediate Bass TAB

Hotel California – The Eagles

Finishing our look at intermediate bass lines, is another timeless classic. Guitar players shudder at the mere mention of this song, thanks to an exquisite harmony scattered guitar solo.

However, it isn’t so easy for us bass players either! Our bass part snakes its way through a chord progression containing 8 chords. This can be tricky to remember. It’s okay though, as the pattern remains roughly the same.

We usually start on the root note, followed the perfect 5th and octave before going back up to the route. It’s best to play this with your 1st, 3rd and pinkie fingers. This allows for an on, off, on approach to fretting. With lot’s of pivoting between notes, this one will sound great when you’ve mastered it.

The Eagles Intermediate Bass TAB
Intermediate Bass Lines – Hotel California

There we have it! That was our look at some bass lines that’ll test you at first, but eventually you’ll be able to jam along. Learning songs that are potentially above your skill set is never a bad thing, it’s how we learn as musicians.

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Intermediate Bass Lines

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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