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"This Boy," that bass line

There are a lot of musical hooks and signature sounds in The Beatles' B-side single, "This Boy." The full, rich, three part harmony throughout, John's let-'er-rip vocal solo in the bridge, the almost "do-wop" vibe of the standard four-chord progression -- and Paul's bass line.

It might be one of those things you don't really notice until it's gone, but Paul's bass -- never standing still, as usual -- dances around some "blue notes" between chord changes, and replicating those passing notes on the guitar adds a lot of color to a solo/fingerstyle performance.

Thankfully, the riffs can be played on frets we're already fingering as part of the usual chord shapes, so there's no need to leave our neck position. The passing note transitions take place between the B minor to E minor chords, and between the E minor to A major chords:

Bonus: for a more tightly-clustered D9 chord in the bridge (where John sings, "but oh myyyyy-hi-hi-hiiii"), try this voicing

That's just a C7 chord, slid up to the fifth fret and played with the high E string open. What could be simpler?

1 comment:

  1. The opening chords of "This Boy" fascinate me.
    It's D3,D2,D3,but that f#,e,f# movement is on the D string!Above that well-known a,d,f#.
    Open A,and the E6 is off duty. :)


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