Machine Head’s debut album is rightly celebrated as one of the all time great debut albums.
Full of rage and political anger, groove and swagger, a punk aggression with a mix of old school thrashing and a slight lean towards what was to become Nu-Metal, Robb, Adam, Logan and Kris crafted a bludgeoning yet catchy collection of anthemic riffs and lyrics that stands tall today.
“I’m Your God Now” is a classic of Machine Head’s; it starts with a winding and spiky bass intro before unleashing some crushing riffs.
This is a quick look at the bass intro because, as we’ve seen with a lot of transcriptions, the most commonly available version is, well, wrong…
This bass intro slithers out of your speakers/headphones like the snake in the Garden of Eden, buttering you up before kicking you in the soft bits.
We’re drop tuned. The UG tab has this in Dropped D standard but it’s actually in Dropped C# Standard and the Key position of A minor.
It’s at a very leisurely 63bpm but this is kind of a loose average as things ebb and flow quite a bit.
A quick look over this and you could be excused for thinking it’s right. It’s only when you play it (or hear it) that you know it’s wrong!
Here’s how their version sounds:
It’s close, and you could likely bluff your way through a cover using this, but it’s not right…
Here’s the JTR tab.
Now, there’s some interesting stuff going on here.
Firstly there’s an open, rung out note that beds under the riff. It’s the open A string so you don’t have to do anything complicated to make this happen, just hit it!
This note naturally stops ringing when you hit the F (8th fret, A string).
When you hit this note you need to slide up from the 5th to the 7th fret on the D string (positionally G to A) and you’re off!
There are also NO pull-offs. I originally thought that the 10th fret G to 7th fret G was a pull-off but listening carefully it’s a pair of picked notes.
There’s some naturally occurring emphasis in there too; some notes are naturally struck a little harder or softer than others but not so much that it really requires the use of accent marks to indicate. Just feel it and play it and it will sound right.
But the proof is in the hearing! Here’s the audio for the JTR tab. I think you’ll agree that it’s right when you hear it.
Read and listen along…
This was a quick look at a classic bass intro from a legendary band.
I’ve been a Machine Head fan since day one, seeing them on the Burn My Eyes tour at Brixton Academy in London and having my face melted by the crushing riffs and the fercoity of the guitars!
Adam Duce’s bass playing has always been a major part of my love for their early albums. There’s melody in there, finesse at times but it’s all played with an intent and muscularity that exmplifies Machine Head and metal bass playing in general.
I hope that you agree with my transcription and that it can help you play it correctly now you know!