Home Entertainment General Entertainment How To: Play "Wooly Bully" on the Electric Bass.

How To: Play "Wooly Bully" on the Electric Bass.

(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by veryatlantic‚ĄĘ   



How To: Play "Wooly Bully" on the Electric Bass.

Tabbed for live stage presentation by Da Bassguy. Available for hire to write or customize your bass music.

Skill Level: Medium to Difficult. Best viewed in Courier New Font.

Inspired by : ‚ÄúWooly Bully‚ÄĚ by Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs, 1965.

INTRO:
G|--------|--------|--------|
D|5---5---|5-5-5-5-|5-5-5-34|
A|--------|--------|-----5--|
E|--------|--------|--------|
L:

BASIC RIFF
G|--------|--------|--------|--------|>
D|5553--34|5553--34|5543--34|5553--34|>
A|----55--|----55--|----55--|----55--|>
E|--------|--------|--------|--------|>
L: Mattie told Hattie . . .

. . . continued
G<|......34|5553--34|5553----|--------|>
D<|--------|----55--|----5534|5553--34|>
A<|--------|--------|--------|----55--|>
E<|--------|--------|--------|--------|>
L:        Wooly Bully . . .

TURNAROUND
G<|......56|7775--56|5553----|--------| This is the correct
D<|--------|----77--|----5534|5553--34| bass line, listen to
A<|--------|--------|--------|----55--| it until you get it.
E<|--------|--------|--------|--------|
L:          Woolly Bully, Wooly Bully . . .

 

BASS STRUCTURE

1. INTRO

2. VERSE

3. VERSE

4. REPEAT INTRO

5. VERSE

6. REPEAT INTRO - note ending or last note is very abrupt.

OTHER INFORMATION:

This tune is all technique, which I'll try to describe, but this technique is the difficult part.  The original bass line is a simple rock-style pattern reminiscent of the Ventures' guitar in "Wipeout".  Listen closely and you can hear  that the notes are not stacatto but they are definitely chopped, giving a shuffling sound to the music.  This does NOT apply to the intro, which is played in a regular fashion.  I shall explain this same technique in three different ways, see which one or which combination works for you:

A) Fret each note and releasing it separately.  This is all done very rapidly, so that the pattern is played as a series of single notes instead of as a flowing pattern.

B) Press down each note as you pluck it, then release the note so it does not ring.  Do the same for each note.  If you do this correctly, your left hand will seem like it is always fluttering over the fretboard.  This will emulate the "chunky" bass sound and is a wild attention-grabber, should you make it so.

C) "Hammer on" each note from the open string to the fret position of the note.  Do this for each note separately.  You are trying to imitate the sound on the original recording.

It is this fretboard technique that earned this tune my rating of "medium to difficult", as the notes are extremely easy.  Also, my experience is that if you play this bass riff correctly, it is very difficult for the bassist to sing the melody line, but it is a noteworthy accomplishment if you can do it.

This tune is played as shown above, you cannot move it down an octave unless you have a 5-string bass.  I don't, I stick with the original sound that made the hits.

Usually taken for a one-hit wonder, the group had several hits, including "Little Red Riding Hood".  This song was originally called something like "Hurdy Gurdy", but the record producers thought it would be mistaken for other music with a similar title.  So Sam (Domingo Samudio) changed it to his cat's name, "Wooly Bully".  Is this an urban legend?

Did you know this song was almost banned because if its lyrics.  "Matty told Hatty 'bout a thing she saw" was too suggestive for 1965 ears.  I'd laugh, but I know people who still think like that today.  They have a lingering suspicion other people might be having a good time.

EXAMPLE OF THE WRONG BASS LINE
G|--------|--------|
D|5533--34|5533--34|
A|----55--|----55--| listen to the
E|--------|--------| original!
L:

veryatlantic‚ĄĘ does not publish full versions of copyrighted lyrics. My bass tabs are NOT the same as heard in the original and are enhanced for a more modern stage sound. They are distinct from the original works and intended to be memorized rather than read as score sheets. They can be played along with the original should you, for educational purposes, take it upon yourself to do so. This means you can perform this bass tab live all you want, but not copy, publish, or record it for profit.

Source: Tales From The Trailer Court‚ĄĘ .


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Disclaimer: All my work is sufficiently original as to avoid copyright infringement issues of the electric bass portion ONLY. It is my bass lines that are unique, not the tunes they fit with. If you seek note-for-note covers, please purchase the music and get permission from the owner.

This article written May 10, 2010.






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