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A Lesson in Carl Radle’s Style



A Lesson in Carl Radle’s Style

Reader Submission: Rob Collier, May 2011… The Hand That Rocks the Radle
With bass virtuosos, session super-heroes, and low end innovators from Jamerson to Jaco getting most of our attention (and deservedly so), there will always be players who are overlooked and/or taken for granted. Though Carl Radle’s name was a frequent sight in album credits and musician polls in the 1970s—and he is generally considered one of the great sideman stalwarts of that era—his playing style is rarely discussed in print.  Best known as Eric Clapton’s bass player throughout the ‘70s, Radle’s straightforward, supportive grooves made him a favorite of the likes of George Harrison, Leon Russell, Dave Mason, and Delaney Bramlett.

Radle had a no-nonsense style of playing that was utterly devoid of flash.  He favored short, repetitive bass patterns steeped in gospel and rhythm & blues.  At times he displayed McCartney-esque melodicism, creating lines that rivaled the song’s vocal melody for its catchiness.  But first and foremost, Radle played to support the song.  If that meant quarter-note roots for the entire song, that’s what Radle played, and he made it groove.

At the request of Leon Russell, Radle moved from his hometown of Tulsa to Los Angeles in the late 1960s.  Russell introduced Radle to Delaney Bramlett, through whom Radle met Eric Clapton.  With the rhythm section of Bramlett’s band, Clapton formed Derek & the Dominoes.  Together they recorded the iconic Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs as well as being the backing band on George Harrison’s masterful debut All Things Must Pass.  This period from 1969-1972 was Radle’s most prolific and will be the focus of this discussion.

“Keep On Growing” from the Layla album shows several important aspects of Radle’s style.  His line on the chorus is a very simple and repetitive arpeggiation of an A-D chord progression (example 1).

Radle seldom makes any variations on this pattern.  Even when the band vamps on this two-chord groove for the last two minutes of the song, Radle sticks to this line with a few extra ghost notes as his only embellishments.

The chord progression in the verse is also A-D, but here each chord is a full measure instead of a half-measure.  Again, Radle sets up a one-measure groove and sticks to it, not even altering it when the chord changes.

Thus, the bass line acts as a sort of pedal point.  The repetition of the line against the changing harmony creates a lot of tension which is (temporarily) released in the fourth bar with the G-D-A cadence.

During the bridge, Radle helps the song “open up” by playing longer phrases that move through the changes melodically.

The contrast between the moving line of the bridge and the short repetitive patterns in the rest of the song creates a large-scale tension/release that mirrors the tension/release that occurs every four measures within each verse.

Radle shows off his McCartney influence with one of his most melodic bass lines in “Bell Bottom Blues”, also from the Derek & the Dominoes record.

In the pre-chorus and chorus, he holds down the bottom end while providing a beautiful counter-melody to the vocal part.  The B on the downbeat of the ninth bar of the example is an unexpected choice, but contributes to making this one of Radle’s most sing-able lines.

Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen featured a who’s who of session players.  When Leon Russell was put in charge of assembling the musicians, there was no question as to whom he would call for the bass chair.  With an 11-piece band (not counting backing vocalists), Radle’s lines don’t cut through on the recording the way some of us would like, but you can always feel them moving.  In “Sticks and Stones” Radle lays down a solid gospel/R&B groove.  The accents on the “and” of 2 and 4 in the chorus really make this line move.

The chord progression in the chorus is moving back and forth between Bb and F (IV-I, a very common gospel progression).  Here again, Radle varies his groove relatively little.  He plays the same pattern for every Bb chord.  On the F chord, he has two basic patterns that he alternates between.  (Both are given.)

Carl Radle first connected with his future Dominos bandmates while playing with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.  Their live album, “On Tour with Eric Clapton” is the group’s most widely known, though arguably not their finest work.  Still, the band is energetic and Radle’s playing is outstanding (not to mention crystal clear on the recording!).  In “Coming Home,” Radle has two main patterns that he plays in the song—one during the guitar riff

…and one during the verses.

Each is a two-measure groove that he rarely embellishes.  The syncopation in the middle of the groove on the verse keeps propelling the line to the next downbeat.

Radle went on to play on almost every Eric Clapton record in the 1970s.  His premature death in 1980 at age 37 left a void in the bass community.  Radle’s stripped-down, no-frills approach to playing is an in-your-face reminder of what a rock bass player’s primary goal should be: to make the song sound good.

Rob Collier earned his DMA in Composition at the University of Maryland and has taught theory and music technology courses at Chatham University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Maryland.  He is currently an active bass player and bandleader in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Exploring the Joyo Gloam – Sub Octave Fuzz Pedal for Bass



Gear Review: Exploring the Joyo Gloam - Sub Octave Fuzz Pedal for Bass

A review of the Joyo Gloam – Sub Octave Fuzz Pedal for Bass

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinions or the content of our reviews. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

Introduction: The Joyo Gloam is a sub-octave fuzz pedal specifically designed for bass players, combining modern sub-octave effects with rich fuzz tones. With two independently controlled circuits, the Gloam aims to provide a versatile range of sounds, from deep, aggressive fuzz to Moog-like synth effects. This review will explore the Gloam’s specifications, controls, and overall performance, highlighting both its strengths and areas for improvement.


  • Dimensions: 130 * 110 * 50 mm
  • Weight: 403g
  • Working Voltage: DC 9V
  • Controls: The Joyo Gloam features a comprehensive control set designed to provide bassists with a wide range of tonal options:
  • Dry Tone: Adjusts the tone of the clean signal.
  • Dry Volume: Controls the volume of the clean signal.
  • Sub Octave Volume: Adjusts the volume of the sub octave signal.
  • Gain: Controls the amount of gain in the fuzz circuit.
  • Fuzz: Adjusts the intensity of the fuzz effect.
  • Bass: Controls the bass frequencies in the fuzz circuit.
  • Treble: Adjusts the treble frequencies in the fuzz circuit.
  • Fuzz Mode Switch: Switches between two different fuzz modes.
  • Dry Tone Frequency Switch: Selects between two different frequency points for the dry tone.

Performance: The Joyo Gloam excels in its dual-circuit design, offering both a sub octave and a fuzz channel that can be controlled individually. However, it’s important to note that the octaver cannot be used without the fuzz circuit activated; the only way to solo the octaver is by turning down the fuzz while both channels are engaged.

Fuzz Circuit: The fuzz circuit includes standard controls such as gain, volume, bass, and treble, along with a fuzz mode switch that toggles between two distinct fuzz modes. While one of the fuzz modes is highly usable and delivers a rich, aggressive tone, the other mode falls short and is less practical for most applications.

Octaver Circuit: The octaver circuit features controls for sub octave volume, clean volume, and clean tone, along with a dry tone frequency switch that provides two different frequency options. This allows for significant tonal versatility, enabling bassists to fine-tune their sound to match their preferences. Despite its limitation of being tied to the fuzz circuit, the octaver produces a deep, balanced sound that stands out.

Combined Effect: When used together, the fuzz and octaver circuits create a wide range of sounds, from classic, aggressive fuzz to synth-like tones reminiscent of a Moog synthesizer. This combination makes the Gloam a powerful tool for bassists seeking to experiment with their sound and achieve unique, textured tones.


  • Versatile Controls: Extensive control options for both fuzz and octaver circuits.
  • Rich Tones: Delivers deep, aggressive fuzz and balanced octaver sounds.
  • Sturdy Construction: Durable build quality ensures reliability.
  • Wide Range of Sounds: Capable of producing everything from classic fuzz to synth-like effects.


  • Unusable Fuzz Mode: One of the fuzz modes is less practical.
  • Dependent Octaver: Octaver cannot be used independently of the fuzz circuit.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the Joyo Gloam sub-octave fuzz pedal offers a versatile and powerful option for bassists looking to expand their tonal palette. Despite some flaws, the Gloam delivers impressive sounds and flexibility. Its combination of rich fuzz and deep octaver tones, coupled with a sturdy construction, makes it a valuable addition to any bassist’s pedalboard. For those seeking a modern bass distortion with the added depth of sub-octave effects, the Joyo Gloam is a compelling choice for a very compelling price.

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July 22 Edition – This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram



TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @jermsbass @ramabass.ok @adamovicbasses @mgbassguitars @marleaux_bassguitars @overwaterbasses @mauriziouberbasses @elrickbasses @zemaitisguitars @sandbergguitars

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Gear News

Behind the Strings: D’Addario’s Story Comes to Life in “Jim’s Corner” YouTube Series



Behind the Strings: D'Addario's Story Comes to Life in "Jim's Corner" YouTube Series

Behind the Strings – Jim’s Corner…

D’Addario & Co. proudly announces the launch of “Jim’s Corner,” a captivating new YouTube series telling the 400-year-old story of the D’Addario family creating the world’s largest music accessories company. This series features Jim D’Addario, Founder and Director of Innovation at D’Addario and Co., sharing his family’s remarkable journey from 17th century Italy to a 21st century global enterprise. 

In the first four episodes now available, Jim D’Addario takes viewers back to the beginning, making strings from animal guts and knotting ukulele wire as a family around the television. Countless generations carried the passion forward until the 1970s when the company made it official and never looked back. Jim recounts the creation of strings that inspired legendary riffs, including one by The Who, the launch of Darco strings, the merger with Martin Guitars and the company’s humble beginnings with his wife, Janet and brother, John. Jim D’Addario’s firsthand accounts provide an intimate and personal perspective on the milestones and challenges that shaped D’Addario into the revered brand it is today.

Episode Highlights:

  • Episode 1: The Early Days in Italy and the Move to America
  • Episode 2: Inspiring Iconic Riffs and Legendary Partnerships
  • Episode 3: Launching Darco Strings and Merging with Martin Guitars
  • Episode 4: Building the D’Addario and Co. Legacy

Watch & Subscribe Now:

Join us in celebrating this incredible legacy by watching the first four episodes of “Jim’s Corner” on YouTube. New episodes will drop every month so please subscribe to our channel to ensure you don’t miss any future episodes and exclusive content from D’Addario & Co.:

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Gear News

Gear News: Aguilar Amplification Unveils Limited Edition NYC Gold Skyline Tone Hammer Preamp



Gear News: Aguilar Amplification Unveils Limited Edition NYC Gold Skyline Tone Hammer Preamp

Aguilar Amplification announces the release of the Limited Edition NYC Gold Skyline Tone Hammer Preamp pedal. Hand serialized 1-100, this exclusive edition celebrates Aguilar’s deep roots in New York City with a tribute to its iconic landmarks and vibrant spirit.

Born in the heart of NYC and raised on the road, the Tone Hammer Preamp DI has been an indispensable tool for bassists seeking inspiring tone and versatility. The new Limited Edition Gold NYC builds on this legacy with striking custom graphics encapsulating the essence of New York City. Featuring iconic landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, this pedal is not just a tool, but a piece of art embodying the soul of the city. Each unit features a sharp platinum silkscreen over a stunning matte gold sparkle finish, that is as visually captivating as it is sonically powerful.

The Tone Hammer is an essential preamp/direct box for every bassist’s toolbox. The Tone Hammer features fully sweepable midrange frequencies in addition to bass and treble controls. With the Tone Hammer’s pristine D.I. players are set for either studio or stage. To give this tone shaping unit the ultimate flexibility we introduce our proprietary Adaptive Gain Shaping circuitry (AGS). AGS allows the player to kick in an additional gain structure and EQ with the “stomp” of a button. You can go from modern slap sounds to vintage or overdriven. 18-volt operation gives the Tone Hammer plenty of headroom to reproduce the most dynamic playing styles. Separate gain and master controls allow players to dial in just the right gain structure for any instrument.

Aguilar Amplification’s Jordan Cortese adds, “With only 100 hand-numbered units available, this third iteration of our NYC edition Tone Hammer is a collector’s dream. “It’s a homage to our city’s monumental influence on music and culture and celebrates the craftsmanship and the story of Aguilar”. 

Street price: $299.99 For more information, please visit

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Bass Videos

Gear News: Spector Launches Euro CST and Euro LX Basses



Gear News: Spector Launches Euro CST and Euro LX Basses

Spector, a leading authority in bass guitar design, unveils new additions to its product line: Euro CST, Euro LX and Euro LX Bolt On basses.

Euro CST:
The Euro CST introduces all-new tonewoods, electronics, and finish combinations never seen in the Euro Series, drawing inspiration from Spector’s Woodstock, NY-based Custom Shop. Each Euro CST instrument is meticulously crafted using premium materials, featuring a striking, highly figured Poplar Burl top, a resonant European Ash body, and a 3-piece North American Maple neck paired with an Ebony fingerboard adorned with laminated Abalone Crown inlays.

Euro CST basses are equipped with a lightweight aluminum bridge for precise and reliable intonation. Premium active EMG X Series pickups deliver the exceptional clarity, attack, and silent operation that defines the Spector sound. These basses also feature the all-new Spector Legacy preamp. Developed in collaboration with Darkglass Electronics, this preamp captures the classic “Spector growl,” heard on countless iconic recordings, with added versatility.

Euro CST basses are available in 4- and 5-string models in four distinct high gloss finishes: Natural, Natural Black Burst, Natural Red Burst, and Natural Violet Burst.

Euro LX and Euro LX Bolt-On:
The Euro LX offers all the features that have made the Spector name famous around the globe. Inspired by the iconic NS-2, Euro LX basses feature a fully carved and contoured body, high-grade tonewoods, and professional-grade electronics and hardware. For the first time ever, players can now choose between neck-thru and bolt-on construction in the Euro LX range.  

Each Euro LX bass, regardless of construction, is crafted using premium materials, including a European Alder body, figured European Maple top, and a 3-piece North American Maple neck combined with a Rosewood fingerboard for strength, stability, and sustain. Euro LX basses are then outfitted with a lightweight, aluminum bridge for spot-on, reliable intonation. Premium active pickups from EMG provide the exceptional clarity, attack, and silent operation that Spector is known for. Like the Euro CST basses, these instruments also feature the all-new Spector Legacy preamp.

The newly revised Euro LX range is available in four distinct, hand-rubbed stains, including Transparent Black, Natural Sunburst, Haunted Moss, and Nightshade. Each of these colors features a durable and comfortable matte finish.  

John Stippell, Director, Korg Bass Division, remarks, “I’m thrilled to announce the latest additions to the renowned Euro Range. The CST Series, our new premium offering, features new and unique wood combinations and unprecedented features. The beloved LX Series is now better than ever with the introduction of Bolt-On models, vibrant new color options, and the all-new Spector Legacy Preamp, delivering the classic Spector tone with unmatched precision.”

For more information, visit

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