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Muse’s “Hysteria” features one of the more memorable rock basslines of the last 10 years. By Brad Cheeseman

Muse’s “Hysteria” features one of the more memorable rock basslines of the last 10 years. Originally featured on the band’s 2003 album Absolution, the song has become a staple of Muse’s live show and is a great song for all bass players to check out. Bassist Christopher Wolstenholme’s tone is huge here with a great use of distortion and I feel that this sound really helps to drive the song forward.

The perpetual 16th-notes are played fingerstyle throughout and the line itself provides some challenges to take note of. First of all, the rapid 16th notes should be practiced slowly with a metronome to make the notes feel consistent and groove. Remember: as a bass player, groove is your middle name! Second, the line really forces players to get around the fingerboard, rather than playing in one position. This takes advantage of the unique, consistent quality of each string and makes it a little easier for the right hand. Third, the chorus introduces some string skipping and hammer-ons, and is a good exercise in taking one idea and moving it around to fit the chords which I have written above the tab.
Overall, while “Hysteria” may seem like a daunting challenge at first, I think you will find that it just takes a bit of quality time with the metronome to start getting things in shape. Begin at a slower tempo and gradually boost the metronome until you’re able to comfortably play along with the original recording. Also, be sure to check out the isolated bass (CLICK HERE) track on Youtube.
Happy practicing!
by Brad Cheeseman
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