10 Best Paul McCartney Bass Lines
Not only is Paul McCartney apart of the greatest songwriting partnership in modern pop he is also one of the most creative bass players ever. Using his melodic skill he creates parts that can be heard as a song within a song.
Often the McCartney bass part would be the last thing recorded on Beatles songs. This would have been to preserve as much sound quality as they could in 1960s recording would often require to bounce tracks down. Also this allowed McCartney to freely roam the fretboard to compliment the orchestration on later Beatles era songs.
If you would like to learn how to play these bass parts contact the Eastern Suburbs School of Music on the form to your right or by phone at 0421 705 150.
Here is 10 Great Paul McCartney bass parts you must learn.
I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles
The excitement of the tune is propelled by this walking bass part. Using major arpeggios he creates a fast exciting piece of music. Think he plays this bass line while singing the tune as well.
Think For Yourself – The Beatles
McCartney would often be at his most creative on George Harrison songs in the Beatles repertoire. This cut from Rubber Soul featured McCartney playing two bass lines. One was recorded with a clean standard tone, the other with a distorted tone. A cracking piece of bass line work that lifts the song into another world.
With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles
The Beatles had ceased as a touring band which afforded more time in the studio to experiment. This Ringo sung tune from Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band has McCartney playing at the higher frets of the bass.
Penny Lane – The Beatles
This McCartney written song has a wonderful melodic line that would have been played on the Rickenbacker bass that was used in the latter era of The Beatles and Paul’s solo years.
Something – The Beatles
Another George Harrison tune where McCartney’s bass playing shines. Some have been critical of the playing because it may outshine the song itself. It is a great example of how bass playing and creating a line can be a song within a song.
Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles
Apart of the difficult Get Back/Let It Be sessions, this Lennon lead tune is mostly a two chord song. With limited harmony content (chords) this allows McCartney room to create a melodic bass line to make the song interesting. A typical example of late era Beatles bass playing.
Another Day – Paul McCartney
McCartney’s first solo single has a clinic of pop bass playing. Moments of groove in the verse, busy walking playing in the chorus and melodic bridge work.
Silly Love Songs – Wings
This song was aimed at McCartney critics for his lighter approach to songwriting thatn his more political partner John Lennon. This song is built of its bass line melody. This clip shows the song with just vocal, drums and bass. Not much more needed!
Coming Up – Paul McCartney
Appearing on his 1980 solo album which spelled the end of the group Wings. Like his first solo release, Paul plays all the instruments on the album recorded at home. A groove based line that includes some great octave playing in the chorus.
My Brave Face – Paul McCartney
Co-written with Elvis Costello, My Brave Face is McCartney’s best single of the 1980s. Containing a cool pull off lick to counter the funky guitar stabs. The song revisits a Beatles style sound, something McCartney had avoided most of his solo career.