Watch the So Rude online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Focus On: Reggae Bass
We mix standard ska walking bass with reggae rhythms and blues type unison motifs in this one. In bar 1 we have a standard quarter note walk over the A minor chord using the root, A, the minor 3rd, C, the 5, E, then back to the minor 3rd. Bar 2 has a similar approach, outlining the F triad 1,3, and 5 with F, A, and C but ending on the 2, G that transitions to A, our root in the next bar. Bar 3 has a reggae-like figure hitting the root on the downbeat and then following it with 8th notes using the 5. These are played straight though, like normal rock 8ths, not swung. The next bar is a similar figure but it starts with the minor 3rd, C, making it more melodic, then playing the 5. The next 3 bars, 5, 6, and 7 are the same as bars 1, 2, and 3, establishing a pattern. Bar 8 is similar to bar 7 but instead of all E's on the 8th notes we play, two E's, the 5, then E and F which is the minor of flat 6, the last two 8ths are E, the 5, and C, the minor 3rd. In bars 9 and 10 we return to the main motif set up in bars 1 and 2, then we introduce a new chord, D minor. We continue the triad down to root format over the D minor, D, F, A, D. Our last two bars of this phrase are played over an E chord. Same rhythm that was used earlier in bars 3 and 4, and 7 and 8. This time we start on low E, the root, as a quarter note and finish the bar playing 8th notes using the 5, B. The next bar is also over E and uses the same rhythm, it starts with low E, goes to the 5, B for 3 eighth notes, moves to G, the minor third, this is a blue note and is not in the E chord or scale. It then goes back to the 5, B, and again to the G note. You may notice that from bar 9-13 we have a 5 bar phrase to end the section.
Next we repeat this A section again with a few variations. Bars 14-16 are the same as bars 1-3. In bar 17 we begin on the C again for the A minor chord but from there go to the 5, for five 8ths, and then a G which is the b7 but also functions as a lead in to A in bar 18. Bars 18-20 are once again a repeat of bars 14-16, then in bar 21 we have a motif very similar to bar 8, it starts with the minor 3rd, C, two E's, the 5, an E then a C, the minor third, and ending with the minor 6, F going to the 5, E. Bars 22-25 are identical to bars 9-12. In bar 26 we have a figure that uses octaves in a disco like fashion walking up from E to A. It starts with E, then the octave E, F# and its octave, G, and then G# which sets up the A minor riff coming up. This unison line is made up entirely of the A blues scale which is A, C, D, Eb, E,and G. We start on the root which is A at the 7th fret of the D string, walk down to G, the b7, then a few 8th notes starting with E, the 5, back to G, the b7, down to C, minor third, to D, the 4. We hold this note over the bar and come back on the and of beat 1 in bar 28 with the root A, down an octave, up to C, the minor third, to D, the 4 which is tied to another D so we hold it. Next is the b5, or blue note D# followed by E, the 5, and G, the b7. We repeat this 2 bar phrase for bars 29-30 and 31-32. Bar 33 also repeats the 1st bar of our two bar phrase but in bar 34 we change the notes to end the phrase. So we still hold the D note over the bar but this time follow it by going up to the 5, E, back down to the b7, D, to C, minor third, back up to the 4, D, back to C, then A, the root, down to G, the b7 and end on the root A, down an octave, we let that note hold for almost 2 bars before doing a slide on 4 that leads back to the verse.