Only take this lesson if you're learning "Midnight Special."
Also, there's new stuff in the Jam Track Player and Downloads tabs.
Here are your first jam tracksJam tracks make practice more fun, and you learn valuable skills you don't learn by playing solo. From now on, every lesson teaching you how to play the song you chose will have jam track players here. At the top, I'll usually give you a couple I recommend for that particular lesson. And below those, you can find all the jam tracks available for that song.
Why so many tracks?It's easier to play along with a track that features a guitar doing the same thing you're doing. And it's also easier to play slow, obviously. So for this lesson, I recommend you start with "Bass Line Quarter Notes (Slow)" track, which means one of the instruments is a guitar playing the same bass line you're playing, with its volume cranked up louder than the other instruments. Once you get good at the slow version of a track, crank up the difficulty and play with the "Full Speed" version. And for the greatest challenge (and greatest rewards), play along with a "Main Jam Track". On those tracks, you'll be the only one playing your part, like in a real band.
All Slow Tracks
All Full-Speed Tracks
Here’s the bass line to Midnight Special. Learning the bass line will teach you when the chords in the song change, without being distracted by complicated guitar parts. This is what it’s going to sound like. I’ll just play the first verse.
Feel free to print the PDF file of the chord chart linked to on this page, or bring it up on your screen next to this video, or just follow along with the tablature in the video. Like the two other songs I teach in this course, there are just three notes in the bass line of Midnight Special, and they’re all on the 6th string. Let’s find them first. The first note is on the 10th fret, 6th string. This is a “D” note. Play that along with me, make sure it sounds like mine. Next is an “A” note, which is on the 5th fret, 6th string. And finally, the “E” note is the open 6th string.
The song starts with two measures of D. So grab that 10th fret, and play along with me, playing quarter notes. Next is two measures of A, so slide down to the 5th fret, and play along with me. Now you play two of E, which is an open note, but before you pull a “look ma, no hands” and reach for your beverage of choice, notice that you’re going to be returning to A in just a moment, so keep your hand here at the 5th fret and just lift your finger to play the E. I call this hovering. Play E for two measures--Ready, go--then we’re back to A for two measures and the beginning of the first verse. Just plop that finger back down where it was a moment before. Ready, go.
Except for the very ending, the whole song follows this pattern: D, A, E, A, D, A, E, A.
Try playing the whole pattern with me four times. I’ll call out the count and the changes between notes to help you along.
Now I want you to practice by playing along with the bass line jam track you’ll find on this page, and keep the chord chart in front of you while you do this so that you can get used to following along or at least referring to it if you get lost. Start with the slow jam track, then graduate to the one at full tempo once the slow one’s easy. Full tempo means full speed. You’ll know you’ve practiced enough when you have a good feel for when the notes in the bass line change. Have fun!
How's it going?
Are you loving the lesson? Confused? Have a suggestion? I'd love to hear from you.