5 Legendary Queen Bass Riffs (Played by John Deacon)

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In this bass lesson I’m going to show you how to play 5 live legendary Queen Bass Riff originally played by John Deacon.

Back in 2006 I was lucky enough to get asked to ‘dep’ or ‘sub’ for the great British Rock Bassist Neil Murrary (best known for his bass playing with Whitesnake) who was working on the Queen show ‘We Will Rock You’.

This was the moment where I really fell in love with John Deacon’s bass playing. He is without question one of the most creative and underrated bassists.

In this lesson I’m going to take you through how to play 5 of my favourite bass riffs taken directly from the original sheet music I used on both the West End & UK Tour of the show.


Riff 1 - Under Pressure


Under Pressure is a prime example of how great bass lines and riffs do not have to be complicated - it’s only two notes!


Riff 2 - Another One Bites The Dust


The bass riff to Another One Bites The Dust  was inspired by the iconic Chic track ‘Good Times’... listen to both and I’m sure you’ll hear how they relate to each other.


Riff 3 - Fat Bottomed Girls


This bass riff uses the D Extender or ‘Drop D’ Tuning. If you don’t have a D extender just tune your E String down a half step.


Riff 4 - One Vision


This iconic bass part is largely played in unison with the guitar part. Make the most of the slides in bars 1 & 2!


Riff 5 - Bohemian Rhapsody


No Queen show is complete without this epic! Here is the bass line from the incredible rock outro to Bohemian Rhapsody which happens just after the acapella / choral section in the middle. This is a real work out for the left hand. Try to use the one finger per fret method to get the speed into this bass line.



Lesson Wrap Up


These 5 riffs are literally the tip of the iceberg when it comes to John Deacon’s incredible bass work.

He is also a true master of playing melodically too in tracks like Play The Game, Only The Good Die Young and Killer Queen… and also really rocking out in songs such as Head Long, I Want it All and of course We Will Rock You. 

If you want to improve your rock bass playing make sure you checkout the 30 Day Killer Rock Bass Action Plan inside the Bass Lab PLUS.

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Good luck and get stuck in!

James


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