I Can’t Help Myself

Sugar Pie Honey Bunch

Playing bass to: I Can’t Help Myself “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”

Sugar Pie Honey Bunch (I Can’t Help Myself) was originally recorded by the Four Tops in 1965 for the Motown label. The bass line it true James Jamerson and brings out front the melodic bass style that he was so well known for.

This was a real “Finger Flyer” and “Neck Polisher” (at least that’s What I’ve always called it when I played guitar). The fairly simple riff repeats, but the bass line is all about tone and timing with intermingled rests in the middle of each bar that accentuate the eighth note rhythm. After playing this song several times on all of my bass’s, I settled on playing this song using “Big Red”, my 304 Yamaha since the half round strings on it gave me that deep yet precise bass tone that I was looking for without all of the ‘scratch’ that I got when I used my 500 Ibanez with coated round wounds.

Currently there is an Applebee’s commercial playing a portion of the song on TV that caught my Connie’s attention to which she made a comment something to the effect of, “Damnit old man, why don’t you just quit pestering me and go hide out in your room and learn THAT damn song!”… Actually, my wife is always picking out songs for me to learn to play so that I don’t pester her so much… (Hey, it’s an “ART” that has always worked for me… professional pestering that is…)

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