Learn How To Build Your Speed Using The ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ Bass Riff Speed Builder – YT126

Paolo Bass Lab PLUS Membership, blog, Song Analyse

In this week's bass guitar lesson we’re going to look at how to build your speed using the I Saw Her Standing There Bass Riff Speed Builder.

Paul McCartney’s legendary bass riff to the iconic Beatles song I Saw Her Standing There has been a ‘real world’ technique exercise that I’ve taught students for well over a decade now. 

If you can play this consistently and accurately you are well on the way to having a rock solid bass guitar technique.​​​​

If you’re just starting out playing this riff the chances are you are going to want to practice it slowly to begin with.

Practicing any piece of music slowly is super important to build up speed…. But there is another way which is often overlooked which I’m going to share with you in this lesson.

Backing Tracks For This Bass Guitar Lesson

First of all ...If you want to get the backing track used in this lesson it’s available as part of the Classic Rock Jam Backing Track Album.

You can get the album here - Get The Classic Rock Jam Backing Track Album

Introducing The ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ Bass Riff Speed Builder

Practising a piece of music by changing the tempo I often look at as ‘vertical’ practice. I.e. The tempo goes up and down.

However, it’s also possible to have ‘horizontal practice’ too. This is where we simply use a bass line or riff ensuring we keep the core elements. 

I’m going to show you how to do this using the bass riff from I Saw Her Standing There.

You’ll notice the first riff is very straightforward and over 5 riffs we gradually add more notes in… note by note this will push your technique a little harder each time.

The great thing with ‘horizontal practice’ is you do not have to slow the original track down… so you’ll end up with  much more ‘musical’ and rewarding practice sessions.

The critical thing to appreciate with this approach is all of the important notes remain placed the same. If you compare riff 5 to riff 1 all we are doing is removing notes. Fundamentally we are not changing the placement of any of the notes.

Bass Riff 1

Bass Riff 2

Bass Riff 3

Bass Riff 4

Bass Riff 5

(This is the original bass line to I Saw Her Standing There) 

‘I Saw Her Standing There Verse Sequence’

Once you’ve learned each riff the important thing is put it into context over the chord sequence to the verse of ‘I saw Her Standing There’

Here is the verse sequence using the original Paul McCartney bass line.

For the ascending sequence that happens at letter B just play quarter notes (as per the original Beatles bass line) - this will give your muscles a rest as you get into the later more demanding riffs 🙂

Lesson Wrap Up

Building your technique is a massively important part of playing the bass guitar. Think of technique as being like a car - issues with technique can be like trying to drive a vehicle with a flat tyre!

If you want to develop your technique from the ground upwards there is a full, 100% real world technique course inside the Bass Lab PLUS called the Essential Technique Course.

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!


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