Watch the Question & Answer online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Motown Bass Survival Guide

The question and answer approach is very effective in creating dynamic bass lines in general and was used often on Motown hits. Sometimes splitting a bar or a two or four bar phrase into two parts that were married together using space and motion. One approach Jamerson used was starting with some type of dotted quarter/8th phrase and answering that with a more syncopated but relative phrase. This will be our approach in these examples.

This is a Curtis Mayfield style 2 bar groove in Dm where we have a sparser beginning of the phrase playing the root, 5, and b7 with this dotted quarter 8th pattern and then answer the question with syncopated lines that follow. Each question has a slightly different answer, but all relating to the question and musical situation.