New (Old) Stuff

I’ve recently been going over some of the older transcriptions in the archive to see if there’s anything that my ears missed when I first started writing things out in 2007. I’d hoped that in the last 8 years my transcription skills might have improved slightly, and I was strangely relieved to find plenty of mistakes to rectify…

1. ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ – Otis Redding

On closer listening I realised that not all of Duck Dunn’s approach note lines during the verses are the same, and he likes to play around with the note lengths at the end of phrases.

I made a play along video for this but Warner Music Group won’t allow it to be viewed on YouTube due to copyright restictions. Oh well.

2. ‘I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)’ – Michael McDonald

Sharp-eared subscriber Peter Weil got in touch to let me know that I’d missed some of the finer details of the (late) great Louis Johnson’s line. I found this one particularly tricky to accurately catch all of the subtle variations, so many thanks to Peter for pointing out the missing pieces!

YouTube Play Along:

3. ‘Runaway’ – Jamiroquai

Having recently covered this in ‘Groove Of The Week’ I thought it could do with a tidy-up. The main improvement has been notating more of Paul Turner’s fills during the second chorus.

‘Behind The Scenes’ In The Studio, Circa 2012

While sorting through my ancient transcriptions I found some footage shot by a producer from a studio session I did for Jamie Abbott back in 2012. The video shows us tracking an acoustic version of Jamie’s song ‘Light Love’ – my trusty P-bass was strung with nylon tapewounds at this point. All the harmonic stuff comes from too much time listening to Jaco on Joni Mitchell’s ‘Coyote’, apologies for the bass faces.

Some new (new) transcriptions are on the way, honest.

Groove Of The Week #16: Michael McDonald – ‘I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)’

Louis Johnson’s stellar bass work as part of The Brothers Johnson and also as a sideman (his numerous credits include Michael Jackson, George Benson, Grover Washington Jr and George Benson) has cemented his position as one of the most celebrated funk bassists of the 70s and 80s.

Although many of his most famous lines involve hefty doses of slap bass, earning him the nickname ‘Thunder-Thumbs’, Louis’ line on Michael McDonald’s hit ‘I Keep Forgettin’ sees him staying safely in fingerstyle territory. The main groove, which was famously sampled on Warren G’s classic ‘Regulate’, features heavy semiquaver syncopation and requires real attention to detail when it comes to achieving the correct note lengths:


There’s a full note-for-note transcription of the entire tune right here for your grooving pleasure:


I Keep Forgettin’ Full Bass Transcription