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neilmurraybass

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  1. A fan and friend of mine linked the copies of these transcriptions that are on my Facebook page Neil Murray Bass Guitarist to a FB page to do with Berklee music college in the US and their associated bassists. A very respected bass player and teacher, Steve Bailey, who I've met at Warwick Bass Weekends in Germany, saw the transcriptions and quite rightly made the criticism that sometimes the notation is not exactly 'correct' - I assume he means that you’re supposed to see where each crotchet/quarter note starts in each bar, by using e.g. two tied quavers/eighth notes instead of a crotchet, indicating that one of the four beats in the bar lands in the middle of that particular note. In my defence, I would make the following points: Although in certain situations (Gilgamesh 1973, National Health 1976-7, We Will Rock You 2002 onwards) it's been necessary to be able to read music (but not sight-read), for the entirety of the rest of my career playing by ear and not requiring the 'dots' in order to do the job has been the most important skill. I assume, perhaps wrongly, that the bassists who are interested in my playing are more likely to look at the tab, with help from the notation, particularly for the rhythms. Tab is probably banned at Berklee, and mostly I wouldn’t use it much myself, but I didn’t transcribe these bass lines for Berklee students, and if I'd known they would be scrutinised by one of the instructors, I would have made sure they were notationally perfect. For me to do these transcriptions, my abilities are not good enough to use a pure notation app such as Sibelius. I need to be able to hear the notes sounding similar to a bass guitar, and to at least enter the notes in tab, based on the fret positions I used when the songs were recorded. The program that is best for this is Guitar Pro, though certain bends and effects are difficult to notate, even in an app designed for guitarists. Some parts took a huge amount of time, partly just hearing and working out what I played, particularly on the live versions, given that I often haven’t listened to some of these tracks for 35+ years. So occasionally if I got it sounding correct rhythmically, I left the notation as Guitar Pro had entered it, even if I knew it wasn’t 100% 'correct' according to the rules. Given that I am not earning anything from the transcriptions, I feel they're good enough for people’s purposes. The criticism has left me less enthusiastic about continuing with more transcriptions, though anyway at the moment I am extremely busy with non-musical family situations, soI don’t have time. My main plan was that the transcriptions were just an add-on to videos of me replaying these songs, but that’s a more difficult task, to do well, especially as I'm not an extrovert who loves seeing their face on social media etc. Thanks for everyone’s very kind words!
  2. Take Me With You (live) from Live In The Heart Of The City (1980). On all tracks from this album, I am playing a customised Kramer 350 bass with 2 Di Marzio P-bass pickups in reverse configuration, close together, with probably La Bella Quarterwound strings. I think at this time I was using a Sunn Coliseum Bass amp into an Acoustic 408 4x15 cabinet. I'm sure I could have transcribed it using lots of repeat signs, taking up less space, but writing it out in full means that any slight changes are mostly written out. Take Me With You (live).pdf
  3. Black And Blue, from Ready An' Willing (1980). Black And Blue.pdf
  4. Sweet Talker from Live In The Heart Of The City (1980). Sweet Talker.pdf
  5. Come On (live version) from Live In The Heart Of The City. I freely admit that some of the playing is not perfect on the recording - perhaps the notation tidies it up a little, though I've tried to be accurate! Come On live.pdf
  6. Hit An' Run, from Come An' Get It (1981). Hit An' Run.pdf
  7. They’re struggling to be audible above thundering double bass drums!
  8. Crying In The Rain (1987 version). Trivia: the chord sequence through the whole guitar solo was my idea, but because the song had already been recorded without it on Saints An' Sinners (1982) I didn't receive a credit. Crying In The Rain.pdf
  9. Love To Keep You Warm, from 1978's Trouble album. Modified P-bass with Velvet Hammer pickups and flatwound strings, into a Peavey amp & cab (no DI). Love To Keep You Warm.pdf
  10. Ain't Gonna Cry No More from Whitesnake's Live In The Heart Of The City (1980). My playing is a bit messy on this - sorry, too much adrenalin! Ain't Gonna Cry No More (live).pdf
  11. Don't Break My Heart Again?, Is This Love? 😉
  12. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights from the 1981 album Come An' Get It. Lonely Days Lonely Nights.pdf
  13. The Time Is Right For Love from the 1978 album Trouble. Don't think I can play that fast these days! (150 bpm). The Time Is Right For love.pdf
  14. Still Of The Night from 1987 Whitesnake album. No matter how anyone might have played the main riff since, this is what I played, following what John Sykes wrote & played when we did the backing tracks in autumn 1985. There was overdubbed fretless playing chords during the middle section, which wasn't used on the final mix. The fast bass runs at the end of the track are completely buried in the original mix - a bit easier to make out on the 2017 remix version but still very hard to hear what I play during the end fade-out - if I'd still been in the band in 1987, I would have played it from memory then and would still remember it now (or would have had a tape with what I played much more audible) but I've only played Still Of The Night once or twice in 35 years. Still Of The Night.pdf
  15. 6. Transcription of Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City from Live In The Heart Of The City (1980). Some bits are hard to notate, with my ability anyway! Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City (live).pdf
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