3 Killer Louis Johnson Licks – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

Hey bass fans! In this lesson we are going to look three super funky bass licks courtesy of Louis Johnson from the song ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’. You can find a link to the full transcription for this tune at the bottom of the post.

This track has a killer groove and uses a combination of synth bass (possibly played by Louis Johnson – leave me a comment and let me know!!) and Louis’ signature Musicman funk tone. The song is in B major and the main body of the tune only uses two chords, A/B and B.

A note about slash chords… 

Slash chords are usually a short hand way of writing other chords, usually if a specific voicing is required by the composer, A/B can also be thought of as B7sus.

A/B = B7sus

B (R)  C# (9) E (4) A (b7)

What scale to use?

This track is in the key of B Major, so what scale are we going to use to build these funky licks with? B Major, right?! Wrong!

Check out the string melody to the tune below.

Note the use of the Bebop Scale, using both the major 7th and flat 7th. A G natural, or b13, is also used and although it functions as a chromatic approach note, it’s fairly safe to say that both chords in this tune are being treated as dominants and that means we can give them all kinds of tasty alterations.

Check out the licks below, notice that all three make use of the b3 (D) and the b7 (A).

1. This lick makes use of the B Minor Pentatonic scale with the first grouping of sixteenth notes accenting the sus (E) quality of the chord and the second grouping outlining a B-7 arpeggio. Minor scales are commonly used over dominant chords when playing the blues and the same concept works great for funky fills!

2. This cheeky lick targets the b3 and b7 with some funky articulations, again from the B Minor Pentatonic scale.

3. The final lick begins with octaves on the root and b7 before descending the A Major Scale, implying a ii minor sound or B Dorian.


The full transcription to this tune is available to my Patreon subscribers from $1 per month!

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