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GUEST,Songster Bob Guitar - Bass Riffs as a 'Lead' (33) RE: Guitar - Bass Riffs as a 'Lead' 21 Nov 04

The first thing that comes to my mind is the bluegrassers' favorite "Lester Flatt G run," an octave run that starts on the low G and goes:

G-A-Bb-B-D-E-D-G (the timing is not one count per note, and is hard to reproduce in text alone). If you've heard a bluegrass song, you've heard this run, or a permutation of it in another key.

There are blues riffs that are bass motifs, like Leadbelly's opening to "Mr. Tom Hughes' Town," a riff he uses in other songs as well. I can't bring many others to mind, but I'm sure there are a bunch.

And Maybelle Carter tended to play whole tunes in the bass notes, though these don't "count" as "riffs," to be honest.

Bob Clayton

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