In this bass guitar lesson, we’ll be looking at legendary bass line for The Temptations hit "Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone"...
This is a song that is deceptively difficult. You’ll soon discover it’s a great vehicle to practice your timing, note placement, counting and mental focus.
There are quite a few versions of this song and here is the exact one I am referencing on Spotify
Here is the bass line with the counting written above. This will help you place each note in relation to the pulse and crucially count the rests.
Here is the same thing again but I’ve added in the counting for all the notes that are ‘off the beat’. It’s important to know exactly where to place these notes.
Lesson Wrap Up
That concludes our bass guitar lesson for "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Once you're comfortable doing with the parts, try to push yourself a little further by taking on this challenge:
Try playing this for the full duration of the track just playing the 4 bass bar bass line only - no fills or deviation!
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Good luck and get stuck in!