So I’ve been trying to to learn this song

So I’ve been trying to learn Guns of Brixton by the Clash and I’ve got the notes down but because of the repetitive nature of the bassline, I keep messing up when I’m supposed to change from 4 on D to 3 on E and vice versa. Any advice on how to nail this riff would be greatly appreciated.

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have you slowed it down in something like transcribe? Not sure if it is an ostinato bass line, but those can be tough because of the repetitive nature of them like Red Clay in the course in Module 12.

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I had that same issue with GOOD by Better Than Ezra. What I did was listen for some sort of audio cue in the song that signaled the change was coming. Also, of course, concentration and practice.
Hope that helps.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have any kind of tablature software. I learned it through online tabs.

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I had something similar this weekend learning Tonight Tonight. Every part of the song is easy, but getting the timing of the transitions was the tricky part. The main way I learned it was sheer repetition, but I use certain lyrics as cues for where I need to be next which helped a bunch. Once you get it in your ears and in your fingers well enough you will just feel the changes coming without needing to pay much attention.

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Download the Songster app. I only use the free version, ads are annoying, but it has good tabs for lots of songs and is MUCH easier than going off random internet tabs. Not everything is on there with my taste in music, but they have a ton of songs.
When I want tabs my first stop is Songster, my second stop is you tube to see if anyone has made a bass lesson for the song. If I strike out there I’ll try the likes of bigbass tabs and whatever else Google brings up…

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I used the Songsterr website but I’ll download the app for easier access. And I agree. Songsterr is amazing.

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Songsterr requires you to buy premium to get access to the whole song :confused: I think I’ll just stick to the website.

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I’m using whole songs for free… It only tells me I need premium to change speed or key. I can play whole songs and loop specific parts and I’ve never paid them a dime…

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Hmm. Maybe it’s just me. Either way, the website seems to work fine for me.

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I used this website for some songs and I think there’s other people on here using it more extensively. According to the user reviews, tabs should be good.


Of course, there’s part of the features that are premium, but I guess they need to make money somehow :sweat_smile:
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I’m not sure that I understand the question, but from a quick look at the tab, things seem to be in “phrases”. So, if you think of a section as a phrase, then you’ll know when each phrase ends and a new one begins (which will allow you to know when to make the change).

Also, it looks like (from a quick glance) that the Gb (4 on the D string) phrase is played 2x, then the G (3 on the E string) is played 2x, then back to the Gb. So, after playing the Gb 2x, you know the next time is the G, and after 2 of those, back to the Gb.

Sorry if I misunderstood your question - otherwise, hope this helps…

Good song - there’s a few Clash songs I’d like to be able to play along with someday…

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Thanks for the tip. Yeah, it’s all down to just practice and remembering the different phrases.

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Just a quick warning about Songster tabs, quite a few are far from accurate.it’s best if you can looking at a few versions and seeing which is nearer the real deal

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True of all tabs really. Found some obviously wrong ones on ultimate-guitar recently too.

But since sheet music availability seems a barren wasteland for some styles…

(the real answer is to get better at transcribing, need to put time into that myself :slight_smile:)

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Best thing is to learn to read and transcribe. Tab sucks. Tab is fine when you’re first starting out and can’t wait to actually play something, but eventually you get to a point where you need to remove those “training wheels”. The sooner the better IMO.
I vaguely recall at some point early on in the B2B course, Josh introduces musical notation in addition to the tablature. I think this is his subtle way of telling his students to start learning to read, and not to just rely on tab.

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Good to bear in mind that not all sheet music is accurate either. It’s just one person’s transcription, exactly like tabs are.

It’s also often a different arrangement than what you will want, especially for bass.

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That’s why I like to write my own sheet music when I’m learning a song. I listen in Transcribe, identify each tone, and enter it on the ledger (I use Crescendo). By the time I’m done creating the sheet, I’ve practically got the song memorized.
It makes for great ear training too!

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Yeah, in the end, getting better at transcription seems the best path. But it’s a lot of work. Something I have been meaning to put time into but haven’t.

I am doing it a lot more lately though, working on a few covers. Mostly in correcting tabs but still it’s a start.

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