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 #41

By: Dave Matthews Band

Transcribed by: Justin Marks

rjm46@columbia.edu

 

Listen closely to this song, as many nuances exist once again, especially in the chorus. The verse is just a general outline for the groove. It does change, but the chords and the feel always stay the same. Listen closely again. The chord groove should be played at the very beginning and at the very end. Listen for it. Also, this groove I think is played on a six-string, but you dont really need it. Analysis: This song is an introduction to a very typical Stefan Lessard bass line. Many familiar elements exist in the bass line here, including the groove-oriented root from ont Drink the Water during the verse, but this is more traditional than the previous song discussed. Much of this song, as Matthews has said, derives itself from the style of Sting and the Police, being a very simple chord pattern played with mellow tone and applied very creatively. Lessard takes the ting approach to this as well, staying very light on his left and right hands while still keeping the low end down. Introduction: Hear how he just hits root on the one of every measure, showing the chord changes but not playing anything in between. A good warm-up that he expands upon at the end of the introduction with a very uncoventional chord display, hitting power chords from the E down to the intial A root again (see tab). This is typical Stefan: that melodic slide that just fills space and asserts that another instrument is present in the mix. Verse: So the drums kick in and the groove settles. Again, listen to how lightly Lessard hits the strings with his right fingers. Carefully placed notes, and very thoughtfully done, he just stays out of the picture underneath the vocals, hiding within the bass drum. Listen to the recording: theyre perfect together, Carter and Stefan. Bridge: Wait a second- the groove hasnt changed! Thats right, playing the same notes (which he will later do in ripping Billies as well...) over the same chords, but with a totally different feel. Hear how the rythmn section just pens up underneath this section, elongating the sound of every note on the ride cymbal. Stefan just plays with more length, and creates a totally different sound. Chorus: And then the resolution: this is Stefan Lessard at his best, in the clearest example we have seen so far. Just look at the tab and see where he plays those notes. Here is a good time to establish that Stefan may be a lot of things, but he is certainly not efficient, never conserving hand motion, always sliding up to the middle of the neck instead of just playing a groove in one hand position. This is somewhat justified, since some players prefer the feeling and fullness of the middle of the neck as opposed to the end. But it just seems a bit odd when you look at it. This is a great bass line at its best. Just see how much he expands outside of the bounds of the conventional root approach. The song actually sings when he plays it, as Stefan descends behind Matthews arcing lyrics, following the shuffle feel with a shuffled slide of his own. Breakdown: Now we return back to the verse groove for the instrumental section. But listen to it: something else is happening here. Stefan and Carter are INTERACTING. They play off together, setting up an intense but loose backbeat that lazily plays underneath the violin solo, emphasizing the upbeat without giving too much of a reggae feel. And then, when the cool sax solo kicks in, Carter switches to the ride cymbal, and they elongate again, Stefan just holding the roots and opening up with a deep, full sound to end the song. All in all, then, 41 is an ideal DMB song, because the instrumental jam at the end, matched with the lyrical chorus and the great dynamics, really proves what a great bassist he is who can hold the bottom down without being so obvious. Clearly, Lessards maturity shines through here. Next song well look at will be nts Marching, the definitive DMB song, in which Stefan as a bassist becomes much more of a driving force.

 

4-string tablature:

 

Verse/bridge/breakdown

 

G--------------------------------------------------

D--------------------------------------------------

A--------------------5-6-7-7-7--7-6-5-5-5--5-7-5---

E--5-5-5--5-6-7-7-7------------------------------7-

 

Chorus

 

G--------------------------------------------------------

D----2------------------------12-10---------12-10--------

A------5-3-2------------------------12-10---------12-10--

E--3---------5-3-2=5=7=10=8-8-------------8--------------

 

Initial and final verse (chords)

 

G---------------------------------------

D---------------------------------------

A------7-5-----14-16-17-16-14=12--------

E--5-7-----5-7-12-14-15-14-12=10-10-8-7-

 

 

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