How would you study Khruangbin etc?

So I’ve pretty well made up my mind on the direction I’d like to go with my bass playing.

While I’m open and enjoy a lot of different music, I’m most drawn to the bass style/sound of Khruangbin, The Budos Band, Surprise Chef, and The Rugged Nuggets (to name a few).

Aside from transcribing their bassliness by ear, is there anything else you’d do to gleam some style from them?


Many songs are available at


That’s the way, the truth and the light right there.

What you’re going to find is that 90% of those bass lines are coming from very similar scales/sounds/patterns.

But they keep coming up with killer grooves inside of those patterns/scales/sounds.

The more lines of theirs you figure out by ear, the better your musical brain will get at:

  • hearing the next song and figuring it out
  • learning the patterns / language / styles of each band
  • putting those sounds and styles into your hand and musical brain to come up with your own lines

I wish you luck and patience!!
Those are great bands and great lines.

If you can, stay off the tabs and really try and put your ear in there.
The rewards will be 1,000 times greater.

Also, and @chris_van_hoven loves me for this, lots of the tabs that have shown up from that site have been inaccurate.
So, not heinously wrong, but just not right.
At least if you’re going to play a tab wrong, exercise your ears in the process and play it wrong your way!


Yes I do! I advise everybody to ignore the tabs and videos I provide, as they come from very obscure sources :slight_smile:


Not that I needed permission but this is great to hear.

Mind you, I don’t have any issues digging but I felt that if I played these songs often enough, learning by ear, I’d eventually have them under my fingers etc


Here you go.

Songsterr is basically the best source for tabs in terms of quality and content. Missing a lot of stuff I like but I do tend to trust it more than other sites.

Ultimate Guitar is also ok but really more for their pro. I’ve corrected enough of their non-pro tabs to not have a good feeling for them.

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Do you use this for transcribing at all?

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no; while I actually can read music, I generally just learn from tabs or by ear and don’t really write anything down. It becomes easier and easier to just figure songs out over time.

Try this: google the song’s bpm and key, and then pick up your bass and listen to the song. Pause it, and play notes to try and figure out the intervals. Listen again, and repeat. You’ll be surprised.


That said my genres of choice tend to have really repetitive, driving bass. If I were learning something like Jaco I would 100% be writing things down.

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Interesting how you speak about repetition etc.

Someone recommended me this book recently.

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My first step when doing a cover, after setting up the DAW with correct BPM and key, is to analyze the song structure- chorus, verse, etc. I add DAW markers for all of them and the bridges between them. Then I start looking for the patterns- first while laying down the drum track, and later with bass. Usually you will find that most songs contain just a few repeating patterns.

This structure makes learning the song much easier for me.


Yes to this!

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Seems obvious but with so much content out there, sometimes it’s difficult to learn how most did when there were only records around to try and decipher lol

Oh lord.
This is my repeated mantra to all my students - both online and in real life.
Access to information - while cool when you know what information you need - is brutal when you’re not sure what information you need.
Because every video/lesson/content-thing is screaming “this is the thing you realllllly need!!!” and…

It’s not.

Learning by ear is still the most powerful, helpful, musical way to get that stuff together.
Doing it with some specific help when you need it - that’s what all those online resources are for!

I wish you much luck and patience.
And I’m definitely here to support this process!


I love learning by ear and then figuring out what pattern they are using which typical is a pentatonic.

And SO many times a tab is not quite right - the ears don’t lie!

I’ve been checking out some of Damian Erskine’s videos on Bass Education, and he has a BIG emphasis on transcribing from ear.

I agree with you and him for sure - you gain so much by learning by ear!