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Skill Centre: Whitesnake

Whitesnake

Back to 1980 as Neil Murray shows you how to play the bass on 'Fool For Your Loving'.


Neil Murray of Whitesnake plays "Fool For Your Loving"

WE'RE EXAMINING in detail the studio version, which appeared on Whitesnake's 1980 "Ready & Willing" LP and also very successfully as a single. Bassist Neil Murray remembers — and this was some six years ago — being presented with "a guitar type thing".

"What I ended up playing," Neil says, "was a lot to do with Jack Bruce and Andy Fraser, that was the direction I was going in then. A lot of the improvised fills were to do with Jack Bruce's style on the album he did with Cozy Powell called 'Over The Top'."

Neil played the studio version on an Aria SB900 that he'd rewired in stereo, DI'd in the studio so that the bass pickup would go to one track and the treble pickup to another. "It meant," he says, "that the pickups, being passive, didn't interact together in the instrument — to me that's a nicer sound, not so twangy. The strings I used, LaBella Quarterwounds, like roundwounds shaved down a bit, didn't have much treble, a very middy sound — and somehow made those Jack Bruce type runs more natural."

A recording of a live version exists on the "In The Heart Of The City" LP: Neil considers it a bit over the top. Why? "On the live version I think I'm trying to do better than I did in the studio, but the sound isn't as good — it was done on a Kramer bass that had different pickups and pickup positions. It was still DI'd, not in stereo, the same strings, and probably miked too from my Sunn Coliseum amp and Acoustic 408 4x15 cabinet — which wasn't really loud enough." Oh, OK then.

Back to the studio version. Much trouble, was it? "I went back and redid the bass quite a few times because I had various ideas, and there was a lot of stopping and starting thinking I could do a better fill. Often it was to fit in with what the drums were doing on the particular take — to try to pick up on what is going on straight away is all right on stage, but of course in the studio if you want to sound right you have the opportunity to go back and do it again, dead in time. But generally I prefer to do things in the first four or five takes."

"In fact, the whole thing is based on scale patterns," reflects Neil. This will become clear.

STRUCTURE



INTRO (as verse); First VERSE (double); BRIDGE; CHORUS; LINK riff; Second VERSE; BRIDGE; CHORUS; LINK riff; SOLO (as verse 2 + bridge); CHORUS; LINK (to fade).


INTRO & VERSE



"The main riff and so on are in G, and I use a G blues scale for most of the lines, using mainly the notes Bb, C, D, F, G, and sometimes the A. I could have followed the guitar riff..

"There's a sort of guitar riff, basically Bb and C over G. Then Bb, C, ending up on the F the second time round. So although the guitar riff's going from Bb to C, I'm playing in G, but I move up to the Bb the second time they play it. Whenever I go up to the C I do a chromatic run from the E back to the G — and it's pretty much the same for the verses as the intro.

Sometimes, in between those riffs, instead of doing chromatic runs, I might do something like F, F#, G, then F, D, G, up and then down, fast, like a drum type thing — I often think in terms of drum fills."

"Oh, and there's a little riff that leads into the song itself; C, Bb, G, F, using the D and the higher F to get up there out of the main riff."

MAIN RIFF, CHROMATIC RUN


MAIN RIFF 1, 2 (5 Beats), 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 5
CHROMATIC RUN 1, 2, 3, 4 (5 Beats), 2, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 2

BRIDGE



Here are Cm7 and Dm type chords. "I play something different each time the bridge comes round," puzzles Mr Murray, "so it's best just to let you know that I play anything in a sort of C blues scale: mostly I use the notes Eb, Bb, C, and the D — it's like an Eb chord over the C, then a more straight D after that.

"Then I did a sort of syncopated fill with the drums: F, F#, G, and then quickly off the G to the D, to the bottom D."

SYNCOPATED DRUM FILL


1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (6 beats)

CHORUS



"The chords are basically Ebmaj, F7, back up to G. So instead of me playing Eb and staying on that note, I kind of still think I'm in G — the Eb itself is the only note that isn't in the G blues scale. In fact it's almost like I'm playing in Bb — like the Eb was the fourth of Bb. But it still roots around the G blues scale. In each chorus, that's the first two times round. Then the third time around it goes Eb, F, D, G, C, D. Instead of going from the F to the G, I've got to get to the D, so I do a chromatic run down."


FIRST & SECOND SEQUENCE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2, 4, 6
THIRD SEQUENCE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8

LINK RIFF



"I'm just following the guitars here — it alternates between an Am and an Fmaj, so your A makes the third of the F. Makes no difference to what the bass plays, but the guitar chords are different: they go G, C, F, G; G, C, Am, G. Live I tended to play this bit in eighth notes, ie four beats on each note.

"The link repeats at the very end of the song till the fade — after the fifth repeat there I play a little matching thing with the tom tom fill, two top Gs very quick, not exactly what the drums are doing but very close, then down to the D and the other G, dididee-bom! It's what John Entwistle would have done, playing fast with his two first right hand fingers."


LINK RIFF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1


SOLO



"I do a bend up from C to D in the gaps (see picture above right). You have to pull it — if you push it there isn't enough room. That's another Jack Bruce thing — I don't think I've got any ideas of my own!

"At the very end of the solo I use the open D and the octave D on the G-string, and then play alternately, running up notes on the G and hitting the open D. In fact I do it before the solo too, just at the end of the link riff. But on this bit I make a mistake on the studio version, hitting the D on the G string and open D, I just hit the open D by accident. It really sticks out to me now — it should have been re-done."

END: OPEN D, RUNNING G-STRING


1, OPEN D, 2, OPEN D, 3, OPEN D, 4, OPEN D, 5, OPEN D




Previous Article in this issue

Chord of The Month

Next article in this issue

No Fixxed Abode


Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

 

Making Music - Aug 1986

Topic:

Instrument Tuition / Technique


Artist:

Whitesnake


Role:

Band/Group

Related Artists:

Jon Lord


Feature

Previous article in this issue:

> Chord of The Month

Next article in this issue:

> No Fixxed Abode


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