Hey, James here…
In this week’s bass guitar lesson I’m going to share 5 legendary Paul McCartney Bass Riffs.
Back in 1989 my folks took me to a concert that changed everything!
They took me to see Paul McCartney and his band live at Wembley Area.
Two things happened:
1 - I fell in love with live Rock ‘N’ Roll music and massive gigs.
2 - I fell in love with Paul McCartney’s bass lines and riffs.
Today I’m going to share my 5 favourite Paul McCartney Bass Riffs.
Whenever I learn a riff I always look at how else I can ‘install’ it in the rest of my bass guitar playing. I look at bass riffs as being pieces of music language and I always look for other opportunities to use them in my wider bass playing.
In this lesson I also show you how these bass riffs can be used in other applications. In the video lesson I teach you the bass riff then demonstrate how it can be applied to a simple 12 bar blues.
Once you’ve learned these legendary bass riffs… where else can you install them in your bass playing?
Riff 1 - Taxman
This riff is taken from the 1966 Album Revolver. Taxman is a simple one bar riff based on the Dm Pentatonic Scale.
Riff 2 - Birthday
Birthday comes from the 1968 ‘White Album’ and is based on Rock N Roll style riff pattern. I recommend starting this riff on a 2nd finger.
Riff 3 - I Saw Her Standing There
This riff is a ‘technique benchmark’. If you can play this riff Paul McCartney bass riff up to speed you’re doing well! Also make sure you check out the I Saw Her Standing There Speed Builder lesson we released recently on the eBassGuitar blog 🙂
Riff 4 - Come Together
This is a seminal riff from the 1969 album Abbey Road. This is a prime example of a riff which is absolutely integral to the composition of the song.
Riff 5 - Day Tripper
Day Tripper is a 2 bar riff from the 1965 double A side with ‘We Can Work It Out’. It falls beautiful under the hands using the open strings.
Also try this up the octave too - it’s considerably more trickier!
Backing Tracks For This Bass Guitar Lesson
II you want to get the backing track used in this lesson you can get it as part of the Blues Jam Backing Track Album available on the eBassGuitar website.
Here’s a link - Get The Blues Jam Backing Track Album
Lesson Wrap Up
Paul McCartney is unquestionably one of the most influential bass players in popular music history. In the 1960s his bass lines started carving out the role of the modern electric bass.
That’s why I recommend all of my students study his bass lines because they are absolutely essential study for anyone in the beginner to intermediate phases of learning. Learn more about the fundamental skills bass players need inside my program The Bass Lab PLUS.
The Bass Lab PLUS is a complete program for the beginner to intermediate bass player - Join FREE Today with a 14 day trial.
All Bass Lab PLUS courses are easy to understand and simplify complex ideas so bass players in the early phases of learning can make rapid progress and achieve results that impress their friends and family fast.
Good luck and get stuck in!James