Hooray! Happy Birthday Mio! About this time last year when I really got my teeth into K-ON, I'd been playing bass for a few months already, but I hadn't made any effort to actually learn any real technique. Listening to K-ON music, reading tabs, and just learning to do everything in a song that I wasn't familiar with helped me really lift my game. Mio was essentilaly my benchmark for the kind of skill I wanted to try to reach over a couple of years.
With that, here's a bunch of the best and my favourite of the basslines from K-ON.
HTT's Most Popular Songs: The songs everyone knows and loves
"Stapler" is such a joy to play. Even if it's a bit on the simpler side compared to some of the others further down, it has just enough cool tech, like all of those wicked slides. Special shoutout to Interlude, the one minute instrumental to Fuwa Fuwa Time.
HTT's Deep Cuts: Songs by HTT that hadn't quite reached mainstream appeal
"Curry" is another deceptively simple song to play but there's all these pockets throughout the song where the bass just cuts through everything else and is an absolute champ. The part that really strikes home is the bass playing underneath the main vocal line "KAREE CHOPPILI RAISU TAPPULI".
Theme Songs: Openings and Endings
Yep, three openings. Not to discredit the ending themes, but they go absolutely all out with the basslines in these tracks. To play these lines is to have your fingers fly everywhere, really really quickly. I can't play through any of these properly since I'm still learning to slap and I don't particulary like slapping since it feels like I'm hurting my bass. But eh whatever, these are tracks to revere.
B Side Tracks: The B Sides of the Theme Song CDs
Granted I don't have as much experience with these as I do most of the other categories, "Our MAGIC" has stuck with me as simply smooth and funky; just what a good bass line ought to be.
Season 1 Character Songs: Excluding Mio's
These aren't the strongest picks out of this entire list, but just listen to the bass in "Watashi" and be impressed.
Season 2 Character Songs: Once again, excluding Mio's
Season two trumps season one completely in terms of the quality of basslines. Although these songs have a focus on another instrument primarily (keys on "Diary, and guitars on the other two), the bass slices through everything and lifts these songs to insane heights.
Other Character Songs: Special mentions to some of the quieter tracks
With all of these high octane songs, it's a bit hard to really appreciate the softer tracks that K-ON provides. Here, the bass isn't fighting to take centre stage (not that it ever does), but rather really has to fill its niche as as the support instrument. As with every other bass line, these are excellent when you do pick up on them.
Mio's Character Songs
In my own playing, I'm a Yui. I can play some pretty neat stuff, but I don't know any of the terminology or theory behind it. "Seishun Vibration" is the song that really started getting me into scales that weren't the standard (minor blues scale in this case). I still can't land the bass solo in the bridge, but I've managed to bluff my own while playing it.
And now it's time for:
Stezie's top 5 favourite bass lines in K-ON
One special mention to my favourite K-ON song Ho-kago Tea Time. Though the bass line itself is pretty standard for the most part, I play it with a few variations here and there to feel like a total king, especially on the last chorus and solo.
Well that's a wrap. To think I was about to write this as a single comment on Mio's page... And if I missed anything, like one sick bass line I might've missed, let me know. Hope you guys all go get in touch with the deep end now!