This week we’re taking a look at the main bass riff from the song Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed. The bass line is originally played by the legendary Herbie Flowers and is actually made up of TWO bass lines – the lower on double bass, the upper on electric bass.

Walk On The Wild Side

Walk On The Wild Side is originally played by the legendary Herbie Flowers and is actually made up of TWO bass lines – the lower on double bass, the upper on electric bass.

Playing this song can be frustrating for a bass player because we have to make some concessions if we’re to play it in it’s complete form. So I’m presenting three different methods that all provide different approaches and techniques including chords and tapping.

Use the following drum track to practice the riff:

Practice Track:

The Two Lines

First let’s look at both lines in isolation. The most prominent ‘lower’ part is played on a double bass. It is common practice to simply play this part when playing in a band:

The upper part is played on electric bass:

Double Stop Method

A simple way to play the riff and retain the ‘tenth’ feel between the lines is to simply ascend from C to F in the lower part:

This results in the following chordal line (a good compromise):

Tap Time!

A simple way of playing the riff in it’s original form is by using hammer ons in the left hand and tapping in the right hand to play both lines simultaneously:

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