What Song Do These Bass Notes Belong To?

Sorry for the new thread, but I figured it was time to pump a little new bass blood into this forum…

So,… I was working on another cover the past couple days, then suddenly I got a wild hair up my A$$ (happens quite frequently - but hell, I’m an old retired dude,… so who cares…)… Anyway, instead of posting a new cover this time I decided to try something new…

One of the things I wanted to get back into when I started the B2B course back in July was to not only learn to play bass (I’ve played guitar for 60 years, but that don’t count here…), but to also get back into writing music again. It’s been YEARS, and I’m very VERY rusty, but with the help of “Transcribe” (the app that I use to slow music down and EQ out frequencies), and “Songworks” (the app I use to write music notation), I thought to myself,… Why post another cover when I can post bass notes that I heard on “Transcribe” and put that to notation using “Songworks” and share it with Y’all in kind of a “What Song Do These Bass Notes Belong To” thread…

It kinda gives me the practice I need to work at using my “Ear”, and also helps me get back to writing music notation again - only now, for a bass line… The cool thing though is that what I’ve put together is in pure music notation without tabs… I will however provide "tabs’, but in the same way I provide them to my college grandson who stole one of my guitars and wants to learn how to play it… Tabs will be at the end of this post…

Anyway, to make things interesting, for anyone who wants to take the challenge, check out the attached PDF… Here’s a couple of hints about the song:

  1. The song was released in June, 1985

  2. Pop Rock

  3. Won Grammy Award for "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1989 at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards.

  4. The Bassist for the song now owns a pub and is also an artistic painter

  5. The song has known to be “Censored” for specific content

  6. The band disbanded in 1995

  7. The Bass Line doesn’t start until about 1:40 or so into the song

Download the Notation Here

If you know the song, simply post “I KNOW IT!” along with what ever you want to add to your post so that others can have a go at figuring it out on their own without the “Spoiler”… Since I think it would be a great cover for someone (and I’m not gonna post mine here), I challenge any and all B2B’rs to post their version on the “Cover Thread” that @terb started…

Now, as for my notations on the PDF, take what you can from the notes, use what you feel works in your own bass lines - fill in and use the base foundation notes to your imagination. HAVE FUN!! (I know I have with this one!)… This is how we all learn…

Now for those who want tab…

Intro: E-3,3,3,3; A-3; E-0,1,2,3,3,3; A-1,1,3,3,5; E-3,3,1,3,3; A-5,3,1; E-3,3,3,1,3; D-5,3; A-5,3

Verse: E-3,3,1,3,3; A-3,1; E-1,2,3,3,3; A-1,1,3,3,5; E-3,3,1,3,3; A-5,3,1; E-3,3,3,1,3; D-5,3; A-5,3; E-3,3,1,3; A-3,1; E-1,2,3,3,3; A-1,1,3,3,5; E-2,3,3,3; A-3,3,1,0; E-3,3,3,1,3,3,1,3

Chorus: D-1,1,1; E-6,6,6,6,6,6; A-6,6,6,6; D-3; E-1,1,1,1,3,3,3,3,1,3,3,3; A-3,3,3,3,3,5,5,5,5,5,5; E-7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7,7

Please understand that I have already had a couple Single Malt Scotch’s (my favorite libation) so my notation and tabs may not be “Spot on Perfect”, but this is suppose to be a learning thing, and for me,… I’m still learning…

Have Fun!! Maybe I’ll post a cover on this song on @terb’s thread, but I think it would be better if someone else did… I’m feeling the Scotch right now…:crazy_face::crazy_face::crazy_face:


I don’t have a bass in my hand, and I cannot ‘play’ notes in my head (yet), but from the clues I think I know it. I’ll be back a little later after having picked up a few strings and tried it out.

(I’m not sure if I should be ashamed or proud for getting it with the clue about the pub owning bassist)

This is like a game of Name That Tune, only we have to play the tune.


This is awesome. I don’t think I can resist this challenge. I think you need the sheet music here to work out the rhythm. And I’m not great at sheet music on the bass clef yet, so I’ll need to work it out note by note. I can’t play my bass yet (too early and no headphones). Might give it a go on the Perfect Piano app in a bit. My suspicion is that playing the chorus is the easiest way to work this out, but not all songs are like that!


Had to look it up, but after looking it up, #5 surprises me.


Apparently his pub is also highly regarded. When you start playing the through, you will certainly be able to put the notes to music - especially when you get to the chorus portion.


Yes. Which is why I’m not a fan of “tabs”. This is one of those songs that have numerous tabs available online that are all different. Once you get the basic rhythm down, the original piece was recorded at 134 bpm. It is SUCH a fun song to jam to! This is how we all learn…


Very interesting challenge, @Lanny - if nothing else, it forced me to read the sheet music and get better at reading in bass clef!

Still, I drew a blank - I guess it is just not the music I listen to and am very familiar with. However, even reverting to Mr Google didn’t entirely solve the mystery… something is not quite adding up for me :thinking:

Anyway, nice tasks for a quiet Saturday :smile:


Yes. The writer also refused to really change anything in the song, but did substitute the original word with something similar when playing live at several performances. Actually, he was pretty stubborn and head-strung which resulted in the beginnings of a breakup in the band.


LOL. I looked that up too, and realized that I have only ever heard the censored version. Well, that explains that. Not surprised it was censored at all now :slight_smile:

BTW, this one won the '86 grammys, not '89.


@joergkutter - One of those 1980’s MTV era pop-rock songs…


1985, anyone???


Yes, my bad @howard - you know the song! It’s really fun to jam to and a refreshing break from Motown for me. Gets my heart to pumpin’ - especially during the chorus, and I love the very long “Outro” where I can pretty much ‘ad-lib’ my bass lines to fit the mood I might be in at the time. At 134 bpm, it does have a nice quick tempo…


Ah, I think the penny has dropped… :grin:

I was waaaaaaaaay off…:blush:


There is still a lot of controversy as to what key the song was actually written in… That’s why I didn’t include that signature in the bass clef. Some say G, some say D, some say Gm, some say F, some even say Bb…


Quite some clues out now…

How about this one: Sting was providing some background vocals…


Aaaaaah, you made it hard for us, @Lanny, really hard… in bars 4 and 7 (etc) of your score, it should have been a Bb and NOT a B!! Should’ve read your “tabs” instead… :grin:

It’s using the G dorian (F major) scale, as far as I can hear…


You got it @joergkutter! You know the song! Time to play it!!:grinning: I’ve been working on transcribing it for a few days now and it’s been a real learning experience for me - both in relearning a little about writing notation AND in getting some much needed “ear” training. The cool thing about it all though is that the exercise actually helped me become more “in tune” with the song in a mental sort of way that makes it a real joy to play.


Dude, I like the idea a lot, anything with practicing reading notes, transcribing, and things is probably good for us all! I’m not even gonna read the replies yet, in case there are spoilers in them! Or the tabs (squinting so I don’t see them, lol). Feeling lazy today, but downloaded the sheet music, and will try to give it a try here soon :slight_smile:


At 134 bpm, this one should make you feel a little at home @Vik:slightly_smiling_face: Have Fun and Keep on Thumpin’ dude!

2-14 Here’s my rendition…
“Money For Nothing” Lanny Bass Cover Video

Warning: This is the original 8+ minute recording that contains the original lyrics - why I posted directly to my personal website.


I just got around to trying your challenge. I wasn’t getting it, but good practice with reading the bass clef. Then, face-palm moment, :man_facepalming: didn’t I just hear this yesterday?? LOL! It was sort of hard matching that bassline to the song though, I have to say. Some basslines “jump out”, others are almost more “behind the scenes”.