Hey, James here!
I want you to imagine this scenario—it's 6:00 AM Sunday, and I'm lying in bed with my five-year-old-old son Oliver, trying to grab a few extra winks so I don't have to get out of bed. I say, "Oliver, stick some music on" and so he says, "Alexa, play Elton John" and this song, "Rocket Man" comes on,
Through my sleepy haze, I zone in and listen to the bass properly. This has been one of my favorite songs for decades, and I have never appreciated the true genius and magnificence of Dee Murray's bass line. Dee Murray was Elton's bass player throughout the 70s and through to the 80s, but he's not one of those names you hear often.
In my perspective, he's one of those really underrated bass players. To put it in context, he played on all of those incredible "smash it" albums from the 70s and played in front of 400,000 people at Central Park in New York. Today, you're going to discover his bass line to Rocket Man, which has absolutely everything from melody to groove to simplicity to feel. He's a true master.
Once you learn the verse and the chorus to this song, you will have the foundations for the whole of the song, and what you'll discover is Dee Murray plays variations of the same idea, but in different octaves of the bass guitar to really spice it up and make it interesting. As you should have discovered by now, this baseline has everything—beautiful melody at the top, this little beautiful walking bass idea as you hit the beginning of the chorus, and then that funky groove as you hit the second bars 5-8 of the chorus section.
Make sure you check out the video above where we dive deep into this bass line and listen to the whole of this track from beginning to end and really, really zone in on the bass guitar and the beauty of what it's doing.
What's your favorite part about this particular bass line? Let me know in the comments below!
I'll see you next week!