So I'm learning Wolfmother's "Joker And The Thief" on bass for someone, and it sounds to me like the song is using a 5 string, yet all tabs say 4 string. It's not a song I couldn't figure out by ear, but to make things easier I looked at tabs first, and I don't own a 5 string.


Here's a link to the song, and I'm hearing a low D and C from a low B string at 4:02. After hearing that, it now sounds like the whole song is using notes an octave lower than what tabs from this site are saying, apart from the bridge.

Any help is much appreciated!
I take it none of the tabs say that they're in drop notes? No they don't. I'm presuming that your bass is tuned to standard and that you're not in drop anything or in flat tuning. I'll have to give the song a listen later and look at the tab since the audio on this computer refuses to work.

I'm pretty sure someone else will get in here and check it out before I can get back to you since I can't do anything for a few hours.
The bassist plays a 4-string as far as I remember, and I'm pretty sure that note is a low-E (but I did listen on laptop speakers).
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There's no bass guitar in that song, only guitar, drums and keys.
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Sorry for late reply, have gone on to record this for my mate anyway, playing it on the low notes, with my Bass tuned to CFDG. I can certainly hear a bass guitar in this song, the quiet bit at 4:02, there is definitely some low bass plucking going on there, doesn't sound like something a keyboard could replicate so well.
There aren't any really deep notes there, you are trying to play it an octave too deep. at 4.02 they use some sort of distortion on the bass which is what you are hearing as lower notes.

there are several already tabbed bass lines on UG including one very highly rated one http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/w/wolfmother/joker_and_the_thief_ver2_btab.htm if that doesn't help then search Wolfmother on UG and there are several Guitar Pro versions. Download Tux Guitar a bit of freeware which will play all these files. Highlight the bass line and you will have tab and if you want it a picture of the fretboard and where to fret. You can slow this down and speed it up as you wish and turn up the bass as high as you like.

FWIW unless you are in a tribute band trying to play an exact copy with a song like this you are probably better off moving on to working from the chords. Most of the bass line is the root note and the rest can safely be changed to give it your own spin so long as you stick to a few other notes from the chords you are in. Working this way means you can concentrate on what the rest of the band are doing and react to any changes they make.

Have fun.
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I can certainly hear a bass guitar in this song, the quiet bit at 4:02, there is definitely some low bass plucking going on there, doesn't sound like something a keyboard could replicate so well.

Yeah, because the bass-range of an organ from the 70's, with it's signal sent trough a cranked tube compressor, and two ampeg SVT stacks can definitely NOT replicate the sound of a overdriven bass

Seriously TS, check out around 4.02 in this video.


Chris is playing the entire song on his organ, and it pretty much sounds exactly like the sduio-recording.

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^ Sounds like the original but doesn't sound anything like an overdriven bass to my ear. Sounds more like an overdriven organ. Figures though, right?
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When I saw them (Original lineup many years ago) he played it all on organ, as above....studio trickery, nice effects and production, but certainly not played on a 5 string
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Again, sorry for the late replies guys. Been really busy recently. Anyway, the point of me recording the bass to this song for my friend was that he needed it to be as near perfectly close to the original as possible. It's for his A2 Music Tech coursework where he needs to replicate the song with others playing the instruments and has to mix it to sound as close to the original as possible, to a song of his choice of course.

I looked at all bass tabs for this song, including Guitar Pro, as I have that software on my mac, but I could definitely hear those really low notes. As far as live playing is concerned, they are a 3 piece and he can't play both keyboard and bass at the same time, so would make sense to play those low notes on the keyboard, but my ear is telling me that they are being played on a 5 string bass too. I'm no expert with the bass, so of course I may be wrong.

If there was no bass recorded to the studio version of this song, then my efforts to my friend would of been pointless, but it wouldn't make complete sense for Wolfmother to have not recorded any bass, even if it is really low in the mix, despite it being an organ playing these low notes too (or by itself).