This week I’m going to look at a bass line I played wrong for many, many years: You To Me Are Everything by The Real Thing.

Jerome Rimson

Session bassist Jerome Maurice Rimson is the player behind this undeniably funky bass line. He’s worked with many legendary bands and artists including the likes of Al Jerreau, Phil Lynott, Van Morrison and Freddie Mercury. He’s been a session heavy weight since 1974, not only for his bass playing, but also his production, singing and songwriting.

You To Me Are Everything – The Real Thing

This bass line is a fantastic example of working around a 16th note disco funk groove with some great James Jamerson styling, and I think I might have uncovered some interesting aspects to the line that will lead to playing it in a totally different way!!

As you can see in the notation below, there’s an anacrusis or pick up line before the main song kicks in. Then we go around each chord for four beats per bar. In the key of C Major, we see the intro line go around the I, VI, II, V chord progression. These chords are C Maj 7, A min7,D min7 and G7. Start by playing the roots, then moving on to the root-fifth-octave pattern.

It’s very useful to know the arpeggios for each of these chords as you learn how to play around them. The dominant V chord of G7 brings the progression neatly back to the root position. This V to I movement is known as the perfect cadence as it resolves ‘home’ to the I.

As for the rhythm of the piece, you want to count your way through it or at least be aware of where beat one lands. Relate everything back to that foot as you tap the ground, the down beat should be when your foot hits the ground.

This bass line utilises 16th note’s so be sure to subdivide it and count it like so; 1-e-&-a. This can also be counted as Ta-Ka-Di-Mi. Clap your way through this until you feel comfortable, then progressing on to the root notes before attempting to play the actual line.

There are some variations on the line using some Jamerson style passing notes and syncopation by still outlining the chords being played by the other instruments. I recommend having a go at transcribing it yourself from the original bass line. For this I used the website to extract the original line.

Check out the instrument extraction of here:

Practice Tracks:




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