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!