HONKY TONK WOMAN BASS LESSON

classic rock bassist

TO PLAY or NOT TO PLAY, THAT IS THE QUESTION

This is a classic song to add to your repertoire or setlist. Most people love it.

Written in 1969 by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards while on vacation in Brazil. Keith said he was inspired to write a country tune and it later morphed into a rocker when Mick Taylor joined the band. It’s listed in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at #116.

While the bass part is not hard to learn, the key is the groove and when to play and not to play.

Bill Wyman is a master of playing parts that just fit right with the song.

The song can be divided up into five parts:

Intro

Verse

Chorus

Solo

End

Bill doesn’t play bass during the intro or two verses. So, hey less to learn, right? This really adds to the chorus. The bass comes in and everyone wants to sing along.  Ah...the power of the bass.

After the first chorus, verse two kicks in and the bass drops out...another cool effect.  You can take a swig of beer while everyone else works. Nice.

Chorus two then kicks in with the bass playing some slight variations.

Next, comes the great solo section with dueling guitars and some chord variations. The bass gets a little busier as well.

The solo leads right into the final chorus with the bass staying busy.

Finally, the chorus leads right to the ending. Everyone in the band will follow the bass, so get this part down pat. It’s super easy, so no problems.

Enjoy!

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