Marcus Miller: Run For Cover – Slap Bass Riff and Lesson

2019-02-12T11:55:56+00:00September 4th, 2015|Categories: Slap Bass|11 Comments

This week I’m giving you a pretty tough slap line from the tune Run For Cover by David Sanborn. The riff is by Marcus Miller and should test you whatever your level.

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The Basic Riff

Practice Tracks:

Run For Cover can be a really tough line to nail and it’s worth learning it in smaller sections.

First we can try the basic core riff shown below:


Next we can try some of the variations Marcus plays. First let’s try doubling up on the G in the first bar using a pop followed by a slap:

We can also replace one of the open E slaps with a muted note to give more of an anticipated rhythm in the third beat:

The Sliding Lick

At the end of the intro slap section we have the following lick sliding down the G string:

The Complete Intro

When we combine our variations and sliding lick we can play the entire intro section:

The Intro Bend

I’ve left the opening bend until the end of the tutorial because it can be tricky to jump from the lick into the main riff. Be sure to master the riff before adding it in there:

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  1. John September 5, 2015 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Hey Mark,

    What a fantastically detailed breakdown of this iconic bass track. Really well explained, including all the small nuances which are often difficult to hear.

    Great stuff!

    Thank you,

  2. Harald Kienzl September 13, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

    just excellent….. you’re a perfect teacher….

    • James Radix September 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      I fully agree. He leaves no stone uncovered. One of the top 3 online bass teachers on the world, in my opinion.

  3. Philippe Vanderdonckt September 13, 2015 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Hello Mark,
    This is really very well explained
    Thanks a lot!

  4. Mathew Chittezhathu September 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    There are online bass teachers..and then there is Mark.

  5. Gary November 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Excellently thought out and explained. After much practice, i can’t believe i can actually play this. However, the temptation to speed up too soon and loose the rhythm is great. he did warn about that a number of times. silly me.

  6. Dobrica Dunat March 17, 2016 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Sooo perfect well explained!
    Now I can’t wait for my blister to disappear before go to the next lesson 🙂

  7. David July 20, 2017 at 3:10 am - Reply

    I’ve been trying this riff for years. Now I’m finally getting it.
    Thank you sir. Well Done.
    David in Orlando

  8. Dereck January 13, 2018 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Far and away the best explanation! The net is filled with sloppy explanations!

  9. Robert February 23, 2018 at 12:08 am - Reply

    you the man!!!

  10. Mario Lopez November 15, 2018 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Your a great teacher!! Thank you

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