Here’s a video showing the bass guitar beginner how to play bass to Heatwave by Martha Reeves – the original bass line was played by James Jamerson.
This tune was originally released in 1963 by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. The tune was penned by the prolific songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland.
The tune is based on a cycle fo chords that are diatonic to the key of Eb and in the lesson I teach the 4 bar intro, and then go bar by bar through the instrumental play through of this progression, and the first vocal run through of this progression.
There are 3 things to really take note of in this line: Jamerson uses first position exclusively and never steps outside it. (First position equals you cover frets 1 to 4 with your fingers).
Jamerson also uses a quarter note walking rhythm – which contrasts against the rhythm that the other Funk Brothers are playing (voiced most noticably by the sax).
And thirdly, Jamerson uses a lot of chromatic approach notes – but pays everyone off by resolving to a root note.