Thursday, January 2, 2014

Amarillo by Morning

Alright here's an easy one to get us started. This is a must have in your arsenal if you are playing in a working country band. Written by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser, it was first released in 1973. Since then several other artists have recorded a version of this song, most notably George Strait in 1983. This is from George Strait's version.

Intro/Between Verses

Verse 1&2/Chorus


Verse 3/Chorus (Key change up one whole step)




Alright, that is pretty much the song in a nutshell. Let the quarter notes sustain and taper off. (Just listen to the recording and imitate it.) Take note of the key change after the second chorus. The song modulates up a whole step. (In this case from the key of D to the key of E.) The form of the song is as follows:
Section A - Intro
Section B - Verse/Chorus 1
Section C - Repeat Section A
Section D - Repeat Section B
Section E - Repeat Section A without the repeat and the last measure modulating for the key change
Section F - Verse/Chorus 3
Section G - Outtro 

In case you need to play this in a different key here's the Chord Changes:

Intro I iii IV V
Verse1 & 2/ Chorus I iii IV I I iii IV V IV V I V IV I V IV
Verse 3/Chorus (Key changed one whole step up) I iii IV I I iii IV V7 IV V7 I V7 IV I V7 IV
Outtro I iii IV V I

The You Tube video 

I hope you enjoy learning this Classic Country chart. I do have this in a pdf cheat sheet that can be printed out. If you would like it just drop me a line at my e-mail address.

Bill D.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First post on this blog

 First off Happy New Year!! This is one of my New Year's resolutions. I wanted to start a blog and regularly post on it. This blog is going to focus on transcribing the Bass Guitar parts for songs that I am working on either for the band I play in or for my personal enjoyment.
 Since this is the first post I will get the boring stuff out of the way. A bit about myself. I am a 40 something musician that lives in the Florida pan handle. I was a musician in the US Navy and I have formal training in music. I play several instruments but I find that I play the bass guitar mostly. In the last 20 years I've performed in many groups ranging from jazz combos to rock bands to well you name it I've probably played in it. I did take an extended break from playing but thanks to my wife and kids I am back to actively practicing my favorite hobby. I am currently involved in a project that is predominantly playing country music, so I would bet that most of my transcriptions will be in that style.
 My transcriptions will include both the standard notation and tab notation. I will also include the you tube video that I used while transcribing the parts. With that said, and I know this isn't conducive in having people read my blog, I will always recommend that you transcribe your own parts. Why you may ask? The simple answer is that it will make you a better player. It will train your ear and it will help you get a familiarity with your instrument. Plus it forces you to listen, hopefully not only to the notes being played but the subtle things that the professional bass player on the recording is doing. There is so much more to playing on the professional level than just playing the right notes.
  Another note about my transcriptions. In theory when one sits down to play a "cover" you play it the way the band that you are covering played it. I tend to not learn the part note for note. I will learn the "important parts" of the songs then I fill in. Most songs follow a certain form, and once you learn that form there are often only a few sections that you need to learn. Then you can repeat them when they are needed. the exception to this are bass lines that "make" the song. Meaning if the bass line is one that is recognizable or something that you hum to, then it's safe to say that you should learn it note for note. (A great example is Brown-eyed Girl). Otherwise you are free to use the transcribed line as a reference... embellishing or simplifying as needed.
   I hope to provide both accurate transcriptions plus any tips that may help you if you decide to ever play the song in a band.
   I hope to be adding the first transcription shortly. I encourage you to feel free to leave comments or even if you have questions feel free to e-mail me at
Bill D.