Gang Of Four - What We All Want

I’ve been trying to find the music or tab for the bass line in this song and I haven’t been able to find anything on it. So, I’m turning to the community for help.

Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.

The bass line starts at 00:34.

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I would love this too, definitely my favorite GoF song and just a great bassline in general. Have never found a tab or sheet music for it.

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When he goes high it sounds like he is strumming the D and G fretted at the 3rd fret but I am way behind on ear training so that could be really off.

Such a fantastic song. Drums are perfect too.

For that band, the guitarist (Andy Gill) is the one that is usually historically revered, but man they are really just driven by an amazing rhythm section.

Dave Allen (the bassist) went on to form Shriekback, who you might remember.

Sounds kind of like a pop to me.

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Okay. I’ll give that a try.

What I have so far:

  • It’s a lot easier to hear the riff at the 02:54 mark.
  • The riff is only 4 seconds long.
  • Every other time he plays the riff there is an extra note right before the high part.
  • There seem to be these very slight variations throughout the whole song. (Not enough to change anything but just enough for him to put his stank on it.)
  • Otherwise there are minimal changes.

It’s definitely an in the pocket, funky kind of bassline, varying a little in timing here and there for good effect

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That’s “Return the Gift”, not “What We All Want”.

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Yeah I just realised :crazy_face:

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Here’s a vid live with some bass shots. Sara Lee on bass, Dave Allen had left by then.

Here’s a lower quality audio live vid that shows more bass with Dave playing it:

Sadly kind of blurry. P-bass of course :slight_smile:

Andy Gill kept touring using the name with a backing band (no idea who they are except Jon King, the original singer, still is here) up until his death, pretty good view of the bass here:

Apparently Gail Ann Dorsey played bass for them in 1991 :slight_smile:

I think you’re right, the high part is not a pop.

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Playing around I think the main notes in the riff are open E, F# on the E string, and F# on the D string (the octave), with some selective fill notes.

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:joy: I made the same mistake when I first started talking to Howard about it.

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Holy crap!
In that third video he broke the E string and had to change the riff.
I’ve never seen anyone break an E string by accident. :open_mouth:

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No idea who he is but he’s good :slight_smile:

After he breaks the string it looks like he moves up an octave to the 7th and 9th on the A string, so yeah, E and F#. I think we have the basic riff. Could use some verification there.

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:joy::joy::joy:
I was having a “blonde” moment

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I love this band x infinity.

I’d love to make this transcription happen… but no promises.
Distance leaerning supervision to children is harder than you think it is…

GB

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They are so good.

The “Return The Gift” “remaster” disc is amazing, definitely has my favorite versions of all the songs on it. It’s not really a remaster - when they did the original mixdown they hated all the drums on it, and at that point decided to just rerecord everything from scratch with more modern technology. It’s actually a cool story. Sounds great.

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Not sure this will help (or if it is even accurate), but you can see the chord progression for the guitar on here at least. GoF

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you can transcribe for me if you like @Gio, send it over and I will clean it up.
Cheers Brian

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@Gio If you could just explain what you think he’s doing when he hits the high note, I would be most appreciative.

It sounds like more than one note to me. @howard identified F#. Any ideas?

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I’m pretty sure by ear that the main intervals are root-second-ninth anyway, and it looked to me like E (root) and F# (second, ninth). That last bit about the specific notes needs verification.

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