This week we’re looking at one of the most interesting Ska bass lines ever written: Too Much Too Young by The Specials played by the amazing Horace Panter.

A Classic Ska Line

This bass riff is the perfect example of melodic bass writing through a chord progression. The bass line outlines the chord tones in a really inventive way by using thirds and inversions and the rhythm is also very characteristic of the Two Tone Ska style.

There are two popular versions of Too Much Too Young. The studio version and the faster live version. Both tracks are included:

Drum Track 136bpm:

Drum Track 155bpm:

Learn Your Arpeggios!

This can be a pretty tough bass line to learn at first because it all looks a little strange in terms of the patterns and it moves around a lot. But by understanding what you’re playing from a harmonic standpoint, things can be much easier.

This tune is pretty much in the key of D with the occasional implying of Mixolydian modality (through the bVII chord: C major) and the arpeggios required for the breakdown are as follows:

Learn those arpeggios, watch the lesson and try to see every riff from a harmonic foundation!

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