Even if you knew these bass tracks, have you heard them isolated from the rest of the music? Not long ago, a lot of these were leaked from games like Rock Band that had the privilege to use the multitrack masters of many classic tunes. We will show you a couple of these now, so you can pick your favorite isolated audio track of bass guitar.
Isolation is good, when it comes to bass
The Police – “Message In A Bottle”:
It’s Sting on his fretless (!) Fender Precision (starts on 0:12). He pulled this off with a pick, which explains the nice, hard attack (happy transients). Time is not exactly dead on, but his intonation sounds pretty good for a fretless performance.
Duran Duran – “Rio”:
John Taylor did an amazing job with this bass line. The bass he played was most probably his active, single pickup Aria Pro II SB1000. The tone is crispy with lots of cutting high mids. The drive of the performance comes from John playing slightly ahead of the beat.
Fleetwood Mac – “Go Your Own Way”:
John McVie is a heck of a bass player, hey? Once you hear this bass track on its own, you’ll notice a slight fret buzz, and the rather dull tone of flatwound strings, despite the DI track. But John’s timing is pretty good and the pick gives plenty of attack to every note. The distortion helps the bass to cut through the mix as well.
The Beatles – “Hey Bulldog”:
It’s Paul McCartney, and it’s most probably his Rickenbacker 4001. He played with a pick, and the sound is a miced amp, with quite an amount of distortion and a touch of room ambience as well. That’s easier to hear on this bass track in isolation.
Rush – “YYZ”:
Geddy Lee on his Fender Jazz Bass, and his marvellous fingerstyle. It gives almost as much of an attack transient as a pick does. The time is impeccable. The distortion further helps the DI track to stand out in the mix.
Yes – “Roundabout”:
Chris Squire has a beautifully aggressive pick tone, his time feel is perfect on this track. The distortion gives a nice “hair” to the sound of his stereoized Rickenbacker 4001 RM1999, and the fret buzz you can hear on this soloed bass track also helps giving it a cutting quality.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Breaking The Girl”:
Flea most probably used a Wal bass on this tune. He played fingerstyle, and man, it sounds like he attacked those strings pretty hard! The tone is in no way brittle, closer to some earlier classic tones, with just the right amount of treble, and of course some healthy distortion.
The Who – “Overture”:
John Entwistle on what sounds like one of his Precision basses. The tone is actually pretty clean, but you can hear lots of compression. Very accurate timing and a clean fingerstyle performance on this isolated track
of a bass guitar gem.
Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”:
John Paul Jones on his Fender Jazz Bass, and it sure sounds like he was using a pick. The aggressive playing is further emphasized by the distortion and plenty of fret buzz and rattle.
Bass guitar tracks on their own
Four Tops – “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”
Of course there’s no bass topic without mentioning James Jamerson, right? It’s him on his Fender Precision, playing with a single index finger, the “the hook”. No need to worry though. He did manage to keep the rest of his fingers, too. Plenty of “woofy” sounding distortion to help the low-mids heavy tone.