Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin [Bass Breakdown Ep.5]

I've played this song a hundred times or more but never realised how amazing Chuck Rainey's bass line was until this lesson.

Check out his isolated bass with Bernard Purdie's drum beat:


In this bass lesson, I'll teach you the main groove as well as some of the theory and stylistic points you need to know to nail it.

There are two bass lines: one over Am7 and then a four bar break on D7. It's a classic funk chord progression although the music borrows from soul, RnB, and Motown.

(If you like those styles, check out my course RnB, Soul & Motown Bass).

Scroll down for the PDF and backing track for this lesson.



Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin Bass TAB/Notation & Backing Track


Listen to the original and figure out all the little intricacies of Chuck Rainey's bass line. However, when playing this song live, you can stick to the basic groove and play classic licks over the D7 section.

The following lesson will help you with that section:

If you're into soul, RnB, and Motown bass genres and would like to learn the techniques, theory, tone, and styles from that era, you will enjoy my RnB, Soul & Motown Bass course.


Related Bass Guitar Lessons


Want to hear about my next free bass lessons? 

  • Stay up to date with one bass lesson every day: sign up to my free newsletter (form below)
  • I'll send you The Bass Guitar Resource Book for free which contains tons of important and useful bass information
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel to improve your bass playing
Online Bass Courses Dan Hawkins Bass Store


If you get any value from my lessons and would like to help keep this site running and the weekly lessons flowing, click the button below for a small donation. Even something small really helps me cover running costs!

  • The Purdie Rainey rythm track is a rythmic masterpiece, and your lesson is a masterclass. The track deserves a headphone for detailed hearing, the lessons deserves both ears, hands and time to be fully valorized.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    >