Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Base/Bass/Basic: Run Through the Jungle

purchase [ Creedence Run Through the Jungle ]

I have generally worked with the assumption that most basic (pop) songs are based on the the I-IV-V progression. And it's true: songs such as She Loves You, Twistin' the Night Away and If You're Happy and You Know It are all essentially variations of the I-IV-V standard.

And then, just the other night, I watched a performance from a group of exceptionally talented vocalists, who maintained a I-I-I progression (if progression it can be called) for minutes on end.
That's essentially a "drone" - and what became apparent to me- in terms of viability/interest - was what the musician overlays the "static" backup with - for example, a soaring solo in the same key - is what really makes the song.

There would seem to be a major element of jazz/experiment behind this: classic pop, it's not.
Unless the song becomes a (popular) hit.

So ... How to work in the role of a basic bass line that moves around, but is limited to a single note/<chord> and is part of a major hit?
A bit of a quandary. But it's been done. More than once. Aretha's "Chain of Fools" is one such.

Here's another: kind of the epitome of making the most of what (little) you got: a single chord.
But it works perfectly well. Makes me wonder if the Doors didn't do something similar?

Creedence Clearwater/Run Through the Jungle

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