In this lesson we’re going to have a look at the main riff from the original studio recording of Mr Pink by Level 42. The original bass riff has both a slap bass line and a fingerstyle bass line so learning only one part can sound a little empty.

So… to help with this problem, I’ve created an amalgamation of both riffs that works as a good middle ground compromise! This riff uses only slap bass technique but incorporates a few of the fingerpicked lines here and there.

Mr Pink

As with many of my lessons, I’ve broken this down into two sections for ease of learning. But be under no illusion: each half is pretty intricate and this is not a line you’ll find easy unless you already have a pretty decent slap technique. That being said, once you’ve mastered the first half you’ll find the second much easier as they have much in common.

Like a lot of Mark King lines, the syncopated rhythms give a very propulsive almost locomotive feel, with lots of muted palm slaps to add percussive flavour. To help you play these, I recommend you use what I call “home position” – holding your fretting hand in such a way as to make it easy to relax around the strings and choke them off as easily as possible. The key trick is to not press the strings fully down and strike actual notes: this is all about rhythm.

Getting the motion of your thumb in time with these muted palm slaps is the key to so many slap lines, and the little groups of three are really characteristic of many Mark King lines, so they’re a great way to get into this style of playing.

Click Play To Hear The Drum Track:

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