Connect with us


Encyclopedia of Soul Grooves: Donald “Duck” Dunn’s Classic Bass Lines By Rob Collier



Encyclopedia of Soul Grooves: Donald “Duck” Dunn’s Classic Bass Lines By Rob Collier… The bass world was saddened by the news that Donald “Duck” Dunn, best known as the bassist for Booker T. & the MG’s, died May 13, 2012 while on tour in Japan. The MG’s were the house band for Stax Records, a Memphis label which produced the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, Eddie Floyd, and William Bell, among many others. Stax was often thought of as the southern counterpart to Detroit’s Motown Records. But where Motown was smooth and polished, Stax was gritty and gutsy.

With fellow MG’s Steve Cropper, Al Jackson Jr., and Booker T. Jones, Dunn provided the backbone for hundreds of hits in the 1960s and early 1970s. His playing style was never about being flashy, but always about providing the right groove. Dunn often played simple and repetitive lines, favoring one- and two-measure patterns that would repeat until the next chord change. Listening to a mid-60s Stax record is like being presented with an encyclopedia of soul grooves.

“Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd

The bass line on the verses of “Knock on Wood” (example 1) is, to me, the quintessential Duck Dunn bass line. It is simple and repetitive and it accents the off-beats. Dunn often accented off-beats to help propel a song forward, and he does it masterfully here. It is basically a one-measure groove without variation. It isn’t showy or virtuosic, but it is the perfect bass line for this song. Just try imagining the song without it.


“Eloise (Hang On In There)” by William Bell

The chorus in this 1967 William Bell hit has a very simple two-measure groove (example 2), but the subtle rhythmic difference between the two measures is a nice choice. Also, listen to the way Duck leaves space in the middle of the bar for Cropper’s rhythm guitar lick. These two parts work together seamlessly to form the groove.

“Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday” by William Bell

“Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday” was Bell’s follow-up single to “Eloise.” Duck plays a nice melodic line over this medium-tempo tune (example 3). He often leaves a little space on beats one and two, then plays 16th notes on beat four. This gives the line some movement without being too busy.

“My Baby Specializes” by Delaney & Bonnie

Duck lays down another great off-beat line on this recording from Delaney & Bonnie’s 1969 album, Home (example 4). He plays mostly on the off-beats in both the verse and the chorus. Notice how long Duck avoids the downbeat in the verses.

“Soul Man” by Sam and Dave

Classic Stax song, classic Duck Dunn bass line. The verse is just a one-measure groove that Dunn never varies (example 5). He gives the choruses more of a driving sound by playing straight eighth notes.

The bridge (example 6) is sort of a funkified two-beat.

“You Got Me Hummin’” by Sam and Dave

The outros of Stax songs were often the coolest parts of the recordings. The band always relaxed and just grooved once they got there because they knew it could be faded out. In the outro of “You Got Me Hummin’” (example 7), Duck plays another off-beat line doubled by Cropper’s guitar.

“Ninety Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)” by Wilson Pickett

Although this Wilson Pickett hit was released on Atlantic records, parts of the album were recorded at the Stax studio with Booker T. and the MG’s as the backing band. The bass line is basically a two-measure groove (example 8). Again, Duck rarely varies the pattern.

“Sister’s Got a Boyfriend” by Rufus Thomas

Rufus Thomas’ “Sister’s Got a Boyfriend” is a bit more obscure, but the groove is so good—it’s not just the bass line, but a whole band effort. It’s another off-beat, one-measure pattern (example 9).

“Hip Hug-Her” by Booker T. and the MG’s

Because Booker T. and the MG’s were an instrumental group, each member of the band carried an extra heavy load. Duck’s bass line on “Hip Hug-Her” is simple and repetitive, as was his trademark, but it also serves as a melodic hook. The main groove is a two-measure pattern (example 10). It is basically the same measure repeated, but the second measure has a little rhythmic hiccup that keeps the groove interesting.


Bass Videos

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan



Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Bassist Adam Sullivan…

Hailing from Minnesota since 2012, By the Thousands has produced some serious Technical Metal/Deathcore music. Following their recent EP “The Decent”s release, I have the great opportunity to chat with bassist Adam Sullivan.

Join me as we hear about Adam’s musical Journey, his Influences, how he gets his sound, and the band’s plans for the future

Photo, Laura Baker

Follow On Social

IG &FB @bythethousands
YTB @BytheThousands

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents



Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Visit Mark online at

Continue Reading

Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp



Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp: A Tribute to 90’s Iconic Sounds

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

In the realm of bass preamp/DI pedals, capturing the essence of iconic tones from the 90s can often feel like an elusive pursuit. However, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp emerges as a great option for bass players seeking to replicate the signature sounds of that era, particularly the revered tech21 SansAmp. With its robust feature set and compact design, the Tidal Wave offers a faithful homage to classic rock tones and low-gain distortions, all while providing modern conveniences for today’s bassist. Let’s delve into why the Joyo Tidal Wave stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly tool for both stage and studio.


Measuring at 130 * 110 * 50 mm and weighing 442g, the Joyo Tidal Wave strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it ideal for gigging musicians and studio enthusiasts alike. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Tidal Wave ensures reliable performance in a variety of settings.


At the heart of the Tidal Wave’s versatility lies its comprehensive control set, allowing bass players to sculpt their tone with precision. Key features include:

– Level: Sets the overall output volume of the pedal.

– Blend: Blends the dry signal with the cab-emulated signal, offering seamless integration of the pedal into any setup.

– Presence: Controls the dynamics of the high upper-mids, crucial for shaping drive tones.

– Drive: Introduces low-gain distortions and classic rock sounds into the clean tone.

– Treble, Middle, and Bass: Provides a 3-band EQ with frequency selectors for bass (40Hz – 80Hz) and mids (500Hz – 1KHz), offering ample control over tonal shaping.

– Middle Shift and Bass Shift: Allows for further fine-tuning of midrange and bass frequencies.

– Ground Lift: Helps eliminate ground loop noise in certain setups.

– DI Attenuation Switch: Adjusts the level of the DI output signal.

– LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal.


True to its inspiration, the Joyo Tidal Wave excels in delivering classic rock tones and low-gain distortions reminiscent of the tech21 SansAmp. Whether you’re seeking gritty overdriven sounds or pristine clean tones, the Tidal Wave offers unparalleled flexibility and sonic versatility. The inclusion of a headphone out, XLR DI out with cab simulation, and throughout for the original bass sound make the Tidal Wave a versatile tool for both stage and studio applications. From practicing silently with headphones to crafting quality recordings in an ampless setup, the Tidal Wave delivers on all fronts with clarity, definition, and unmistakable character.


The Tidal Wave boasts an array of advantages that set it apart from its direct competitors:

– Headphone Out: Transforms the pedal into a convenient practice tool.

– Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design for easy transportation and setup.

– Rugged Construction: Durable build quality ensures longevity and reliability.

– DI and CabSim: Offers professional-grade direct recording capabilities with authentic cab simulation.

– Familiar Tones: Faithfully replicates the classic rock sounds of the tech21 SansAmp.


While the Tidal Wave excels in many aspects, it does have a few drawbacks:

– Plastic Knobs: Knobs may feel less premium compared to pedals with metal controls.

– Cab Simulation Only on XLR Output: Limited cab simulation functionality may require additional routing for certain setups.


In conclusion, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic rock tones from the 90s. With its faithful homage to the tech21 SansAmp, comprehensive control set, and modern conveniences like headphone out and XLR DI with cab simulation, the Tidal Wave offers bassists a versatile  tool for sculpting their sound with precision and finesse. Whether you’re seeking to replicate iconic tones from the past or forge new sonic territories, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp is sure to inspire creativity and elevate your playing to new heights.

Available online at

Continue Reading


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 @cb_basses @alesvychodilbasses @odiengcustom @ramabass.ok @mauriziouberbasses @mgbassguitars @capursoguitars @thebassplace @adamovicbasses @ishguitars

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album



New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (, an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Visit online at | | |

Continue Reading