Using ‘The Chicken’ to get some respect at your local music store…

Cool little video for you today.

If you’ve ever been to your local music store to test out a bass (or anywhere for that matter where you have a small audience) and your mind started drawing blanks for any cool grooves you could play on the spot…

…Here’s a nifty little jam that might be able to pull you out of a tight spot 🙂

It’s simple to learn, easy to put your own spin to, and if you pull if off right will certainly get you some dog-gone RESPECT from onlookers because it’s just so darn HIP… LOL

Hope you enjoy it.

Peace and chicken grease,


PS. The fretboard formula is about to return with a very cool surprise twist…

PPS. Please leave a quick comment below if you’re hip to the video, or I may have to talk smack about you to anyone who will listen 🙂


Published by

Alex Sampson

Alex is the founder and owner of BassGuitarTips.Com

124 thoughts on “Using ‘The Chicken’ to get some respect at your local music store…”

  1. Alex,
    Thanks for that. It shows that you don’t have to be Jaco to play really cool tunes…
    Once broken down it all makes sense. Keep up the awesome work.

    Thanks Again, for all you do.



    1. I will second what Todd said – you rock – thx for all your effort – you better hope all that good karma doesn’t come back all at once you you may find yourself ruling the world!

        1. Thank’s Alex for the Jaco. I always thought it was to over my head to break down. You make it look easy.

  2. I really like that Chicken, it’ll take me a month of Sundays to learn it though, I’m still a beginner!

    Many thanks

    1. Hey Alex,
      You are a great tacher. I have been playing bass for a little more than two years. I have a good teacher but I am learning from you by leaps and bound. Thanks man.

      1. Hey Alex,
        You are a great teacher, not a great tacher, as I stated in my first comment.
        Keep it up Dog!

  3. Hi! Great lesson, as usual :-). It’s so useful that you break down the chord progression as many beginner tend to play through a zillion notes on this one, rarely knowing what is underneath. Anyway, I have a question : in the slow down, you go from the Eb7 to the G7 without speaking about the D7 or have I missed/not understood something?

    Thanks again for all the materials you put online.


  4. Hey Alex, thanks for posting some good stuff for us! However, the mix in the video is off as your vocal instruction sound level is great, but I can hardly hear your bass mix… pump-up the bass track! 🙂

  5. Hi Alex, that is fantastic stuff, thank you. I am trying to learn so still about 1/2 way through the vid, though enjoying it immensely.
    Regards, Patrick.

  6. as a bass teacher i realize the time and energy you’ve put into developing this system and all i can say is thank you praise God for the giftings he’s blessed you with thanks again and God bless

  7. Nice little Groove is right. Yeah i am one of those who doesnt know what to play at the music store when trying out a bass. By the way i just picked up my first 5 string. not an expensive one it is a fender Jazz 5 string. Nice warm sound though and it takes some gettn use to after using a 4 string for 4 decades.


  8. Hi Alex,

    Congratulations!!! The video is very clear and well played.

    Greetings from Italy and keep it positive.

    My best,

  9. your demonstrations and explanations are real clear and to the point,keep up the good work brother,im about to purchase the entire home study course you put together for bass players.COOL

  10. Thanks Again Alex!!
    A pleasant surprise to see another video lesson in the mailbox first thing in the morning.. especially one as relevent as “The Chicken”.. a tune that all funky bassists are drawn to.. and more proof that Jaco is still with us. Great song choice for a lesson.

    I would like to tell you that “It’s Workin'”.. The Fretboard Formula that is…
    Somewhere along the line you had said something like “just keep repeating the practice sessions and eventually you’ll be able to incorporate the knowledge and technical ability into your everyday playing”. The Arpeggio Visualization Module has really kicked my ability to choose(the right) notes up a notch or two!

    I appreciate all your hard work “Pops”.. Congrats on becoming a Dad!


  11. Great lesson. I’m new to your site and you just hooked me. I’ll be a regular from now on. Thanks…

  12. this was great alex… thank for the video….i like the part when you said…. if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it just play the song……lol…. that was so funny to me….. I just wonna say this.. just by watching your fingers.. I was able to tell or know what degree you was going to or was at… and that comes from your lessons.. THANKS..!!!

  13. Alex,

    Great stuff man! It’s really fun to play with this stuff and I really enjoy the way you present the material-keep it comin!


  14. Alex
    I really like the video lessons and thank you for your time to do it for us. Ghost notes Fills and Tec neck open more doors. Keep them coming ..Thank you

  15. Thanks Alex. This is one of those tunes most players respect because it has great rhythm and a cool groove. Breaking it down in segments really helps to get a handle on it.


  16. Great lesson, very clear and broken down in honest and precise way. Thanks a million for ALL your great work Alex.

  17. classic groove.

    well done Alex.

    the stuff he plays over the Gm7 really stretches the ears a bit when played slowly!

  18. Alex, that was a great job. I actually hae a copy of the song and I will definatly work very hard on getting this lesson down pack. I’m also still trying to save up to get your complete lesson because I truly love the bass guitar and someday want to become one of the best so that I can play for my Church along with my Uncle who is a very accomplised keyboard and Organ player. I can’t wait to get home from work today. thanks again Alex and you ae the greatest!

  19. Alex,

    I just downloaded the course yesterday. Then I sat up until 2am reading the book. I am brand new to the bass. I played a sax 30 years ago.

    I have a friend who did the steve krenz course for guitar.

    This is just as great! It has everything I need to learn the bass clef; the chord structures; and how to build great lines.

    I am telling everyone who will listen how great your product is.

    I’m blown away to know that you put out treats like this for your students.


    Thanks for the awesome product and the extra value!

    You are the man.

  20. Alex,
    Keep up the good work! Nice groove,wish I could play it as easy as you make it look. I’ll just keep trying. But thanks for all that you do to try and make a bassist out of a hack like me.

  21. Hi Alex,
    great stuff again and well explained! This is really one of the hottest basslines. If you could add the melody above – so we could play the entire song with a looper, that would make us the “demi dieu de la basse” in the musicstore…:)

    Your video lessons always make my day and I am desperately waiting for the next ones.


  22. Hi Alex,

    Great instruction, but could not hear the bass at all … Remix required 😉

    Keep up the great grooves.

  23. Thanks, Alex…I am a beginner, but a Jaco fan and you have broken this one down pretty well as even I was able to pick up most of it…sometimes, it was a bit hard for me to start and stop and go back to follow exactly what you were doing, but practice makes for better and someday; perfect…cool!

  24. Alex, You are THE MAN!!! I so appreciate the time and effort you put into your teaching.
    Be Blessed, my brother
    Mark Butler

  25. Alex. Great video! I am now trying to think of rhythms instead of tab or a just a bunch of notes. I can hear the mix quite well on my computer. I bought a good sound system to be able to jam to music, and I guess it does make a difference.

    Keep up the good work. I plan to download your full course shortly.

    Peace Bro.

  26. Nice lesson. I won’t be able to get to that for a while since I am just a beginner and have only just begun your course. Hopefully soon though.


  27. Thanks again Alex:

    Your use of bass chords really comes together for me at the top of the explanation. Very nice groove / Breakdown of the Chicken. Another to add to my arsenal of licks.

    Peace, John

  28. I love your lessons soooo much. I have always learned something new by watching, even if I don’t try to learn the exact song or rif that you show. It puts more possibilities in my arsenal. What I mean is that when I watch your videos, especially the breakdowns, I am constantly looking for things (little snippets) that I’m already doing and try to figure out what gives yours the added spice. It is usually just something small like the “ghost” notes here and there, or a small slide. I can’t tell you how that’s changed the way I play. I don’t get bored anymore playing because I have learned that I can “come at it” (to the next main chord, etc.) from different angles. One thing really caught me in your BGS lessons, and that is using my space wisely. I know my place now I am able to share space with other band members. Silence is as much musical (sometimes more so ;0 ) than musical notes themselves. Thanks for everything.

  29. Thankx Alex
    I recently purchased your BGS Home study course. I can say that i have a great deal more understanding of music. I love music and i have always listened and learned to play songs. Never knowing the ins and outs of playing. Now im doing what i really want to do. Learn to play the instrument. and the songs are so much easier to learn now that i have been learning from your course.I wish i had the BGS course years ago. I never thought that i would be able to play anything by Jaco. Guess what,now that i understand more,(thankx to you) with practice its now possible.

  30. Hi! Thank you very much for the Chicken. It’s good stuff for having fun with the bass.
    I will sure try it.


  31. You’re El Matador. You hit well your bass lines, chop them into pieces and bwala, there goes the song in shreds. Jamming with you in video is a learning worth undertaking.

  32. Alex,
    this mini lesson is awesome,cant play very well yet…..but this encourages me to not give up!


  33. Alex. What you are doing is way cool. One day I will also be doing such stuff. By the way, is it possible for us to maybe download the video lessons because by the time I do the download thing and then start to learn, I usually have to go do other things (like work) and then, when I come back, the video has to be downloaded again. A real hassle, and a waste of good learning time. Also, tabs would be helpfull. Anyway, really great to watch you working. Many thanks.

  34. Hello Alex,

    Thank you for an other fantastic lesson.
    Since studying fretboard formula I am finding it a lot easier to see the scale forms and I have a better undstanding of how to move from one cord to the next a lot more smoothly.
    Best invesment I have ever made.


  35. Hey, Alex! I am still slow but getting there, in a recent lesson “The Chicken” by the JBs in the basses loaded volume 4 by Rod Goelz, I found that finding the mental approach to how to practice made alot more sense when I played your blog, especially how to re-enter the grove and on hearing your recommend adding your own personality to a grove help a hect of alot. I am not confident enough to explode on Saturday, but I will quitely be in the mix, I am excited and learning. Great timing! I have the upmost respect for your ability and from the few classes I have taken, I will be there.

  36. Hi Alex
    Great mini lessons i’ve been playing for a number of years now, when I’m half as good as you I will be happy.

  37. Yeah, I’m a slow learner. I’ve started back through BGS 3 times now. Each time it was “slow down, you are missing the foundation.”

    the story of my music life, I’m afraid.

    But, Alex, you sent me one of those eye opener emails about BGS two years ago, and I fell for the idea of finally learning music instead of just memorizing 4 sets of songs for gigs.

    Anyhoo, I hadn’t looked at more of your new stuff until now. But, a groovy thing to play in a music store hit another chord in me.

    Well, surprise, surprise I actually understood what you were talking about. I found myself nodding and thinking, “OK, Dom Chords, Mixo mode, I got that.” Then I said WOW! This WORKS!



  38. Hi Alex,

    I’m very much excited about your bass lessons, over the years I have been playing,
    my nephews, little cousins and daughter have sat in church and watch me play, now they’re playing and have surpassed me. Your lesson has given me the desire to play again at the ripe old age of 52.

    Thanks I’m beginning to roll back the years here in London.



  39. I play the bass part-time and I am a fan of yours however; Im still having lots of problems.I can pick up on songs but Im not understanding why Im playing notes. Any advice. I would like to better take advantage of your lessons and blogs……… Your hair is growing it looks nice.

  40. Hi Alex,

    Well done again (as usuall…), Always been a Chicken lover. Thanks for breaking it down and explaining it so well. Will try to give it my own twist with ghost notes and other rhythmic fun [when I’m on my own ;.)]. Sure will draw more attention when testing gear if properly played than messin about with Locrian scale/Min7b5 arpeg.

    This comes at a perfect time for me since I’m testing amps for the moment, (need a decent one for upcoming band)

    Thanks man,


  41. Alex,

    Really enjoyed the CHICKEN Video. I spend most of my time watching HOW you play!

    Take Care,


  42. Awesome job Alex.I read that Jaco was a lover of fried chicken and every time I hear the chicken I think about that. Thank You for taking time out of your busy schedule to break this Bass line for me and thousand other Bass players. The chicken is one of my favorite Bass line. God bless you man and keep on doing what you do.

  43. Hi Alex, just watched the Chicken video and I can’t wait to get to grips with it. You are a blessing to mere mortals like myself, keep them coming.

  44. Alex, this is awesome stuff. I’m going to dedicate some quality time to learning the Chicken so I’ll finally impress some friends. Thanks very much!

  45. I enjoy watching all your video blogs. I just started to learn how to play the bass, and I like how you break down on what ever it is your giving a lesson on.

  46. Really liked the Chicken Video, Can’t wait to learn it. More stuff to practice, keep up the

    good work. Cheers and Good Vibes man, Really Cool Stuff.

  47. great leson dude, some reallly good info here im gonna work on..keep jammin man and keep it funky,, peace

  48. Great lesson man, really interesting info im gonna work on,, keep jammin and keep it funky, peace

  49. thanks for the lessons that you send its a big hellp for me im in to it all funk ,R&B gospel ,jazz ,rock but mostly gospel and i use the things you send to me in most of the songs that i play now and i get alot comments on how i play now i only been playing for 1yr1/2 now thank you and keep it up by the way i just got my 6string and im doing a lot of work so keep it up ok

  50. When I get half the rhythm you have I’ll be styling, I’m almost there. What I have learned with your lessons over the past two years is invaluable, but I’m still waiting for the rhythmic break through. I can follow you musically (note for note and chord for chord) but I keep hearing you say “Never play your bass without drums or a click. I know what you mean by that because the past couple of years I’ve been playing an acoustic bass because I could just pick it up and start playing it. But there was a huge cost to doing that…I have no rhythm with the bass guitar! But every time I would picked up my electric bass and played with your training cd, a drum machine, a song, or even with a drummer I would feel how much more I could do. I love playing.

    Thanks for this lesson.

  51. alex, you must have read my mind! i’ve wanted to play bass since high school. i always had some funky six string hangin’ around, but didn’t cut it. so i finally put together enough cash to get want i really wanted. so i walk into a guitar store, pick out the bass of my dreams. the guy says ‘here,check it out for a while’ so smilin’ all the way i sit ,crank it up and realize i don’t know how to play a damn thing! thatsucked. so when i go to pick it up i’ll be ready with your chicken thing[ i hope]that’s still today’s my 51th birthday and it’s a perfect complement to my new ax .never too old to rockand roll. i bought your kit with the books and cd’s so my bass and i will be happy for some time.keep those videos comin’ tho, theyre a great help.thanks tom c

  52. Hello Alex,

    It’s my first time writing in. I’ve just finished watching the instructional video on ‘The Chicken’ as well as the Genius Exercise (the book from which, I have already purchased). They are both very good and actually very demanding, but equally rewarding when one has come close to feeling significant progress has been made.

    For me, the quintessential aspect of the ‘Chicken’ tutorial is the development and use of ghost notes; their use distinguishes a mature bassist from a developing one. Their use on such a funky and popular tune (alas, fallen in to the realm of ‘the-jam-tune’) will, as you have rightly pointed out, raise one’s level of kudos among fellow musicians while improving one’s musicianship.

    Again, both very use videos that I can take a great deal from. Thank you and all the best.



  53. Thanks Alex! All of your lesson are great and it’s encouraging me not to quit. I’m still waiting to hear from you about when you are going to get somemore material to be shipped out. I need all your stuff! It’s GREAT and I believe I’ll stay in the game @ holding down the bottom. It’s what I want to do and I believe you can help me. I’m ready, so let me have it. Sincerely ROBERT

  54. Great stuff. As always, every time I see something new here it is almost unbelievable. You are taking some great end results and giving them to relative novices and making them much better much faster than a normal human being should be allowed. I thank you.


  55. Alex,
    This is one of those things that turned on the desire to pick up my bass
    and get the blood pumping! Thanks for the inspiration.
    Bill K.
    Long Island New York

  56. Man this thing is awesome I always play into scales wondering what can I do with this but now you open my eyes. Thank you so much.And please keep doing this for us

  57. Alex,
    Thank you for your lessons. I have been playing bass for about 5 years now in my church. I do know how to read sheet music a little bit, and chord charts. I also understand modes the lidyan, mixalidyan , the dorean etc, but I have never been able to apply them to make really cool rifs. These mini lessons have been very benafical , again thanks so much.

  58. Alex- first of all, thank you for all the give-aways, for your patient and detailed explanations of what is goin’ down, and for bringing Jaco on the scene. At 64 it’s taking me a little longer to grab anything, but grab I will.
    Again, thanks for giving and bless you. Chas

  59. This a great lesson the advice is really sound. I only wish the tabs were posted somewhere or maybe I missed them . I really enjoy the guidance Thanks!!


  60. Cheers! That was really cool and patiently spelt out for beginners like myself. Keep ’em coming Alex.
    Go well, Andrew

  61. You’re playing a jaco Number and sounding like James Jamerson… How cool is that. I will havbe to learn this one.

  62. Thanks Alex, I just ordered the bass chopz after about a year of watching your vids. I appreciate your way of identifying with bass players everywhere. I thought I was the only one who didn;t like shopping for Basses because I could never think of anything cool to play.

  63. Thanks Al. This is great for people like me who cant read music. Nice break down.
    You one badd motha brotha

  64. Hi Alex
    Thank you once again for taking the time to help those who are trying hard but never seem to get that cool grove quite yet. This gives me more focus and determination to want to improve on my style.
    Look forward to seeing more of you with groovy numbers that I can learn and show my friends I am getting somewhere with the Bass


  65. Hey Alex,
    I’ve watched old video’s of Jaco and it always looked to complicated to figure out. Thanks for taking the time to make it simple. I just got it under my fingers and some of the guys I hang with couldn’t believe I had that “hidden” talent.
    You give so much away… thanks man. I’m glad I bought your materials. Looking forward to getting my set of ‘Fret Board Genius’ when it comes out.

  66. This is a great piece, but I’m having a lot of trouble following it. Does anyone have tab they can post.

  67. Alex.

    Thanks man. Love the “short” lesson format, break downs, chord connection, a great
    way to learn. Keep it up, please. I appreciate when you say “now try to find your own rythem with this one”. Love all the fills, ghost notes, double stops, etc. Will apply to other stuff i am working on. Thanks again.

    P. Brennan

  68. Love It, Will you ever do anything on say the style and playing technique of Jaco or other bassists. Like a series of lessons on just that one player??
    Thanks for the music !!

  69. Alex this is real interesting. I never thought I could play the bass, so I never tried until I started experimenting with the things you are doing.
    Real good job man. Keep doing it.

  70. Hi,

    This sounds great, but I was wondering if there is something for the absolute beginner to help to staty to lean this ?

    I’m not native English speaking so some of the stuff used is unknown to me (like what’s B flat dominant 7 ? I know what B flat is but what’s the dominant 7 ?).

    I actually bought your BGS course a while ago (more then a year I guess) but never got around to start it until recently.

    Anyway, I agree with Mister Bill McGarry a TAB for that would be nice.


  71. Great lesson! I came up against a wall half way through the books and I felt that I wasn’t getting anywhere. Learning this made me realise that I’d picked up much more than I thought and I understood what I was playing, (still struggling with the gost notes though!). Keep it up

  72. Excellent detail, Alex. I appreciate the way you took the time to break down each phrase and transition.

    Just a few weeks ago, I would never have believed that I could understand and play a “Jaco” style progression. Your lessons are fantastic! You can even teach an old dog new tricks. Bless you!


  73. Thanks for the CHICKEN. I can’t wait to break that out at the music store. I expect to get offered a gig by somebody.

  74. just watched the entire chicken,really dug it. yeah, i am one of those mindblank guys as soon as i pick up a bass to test drive. i appreciate the lesson, way cool.

  75. Thanks man. This was quite simple once broken down, Will take the time to learn it right. I’m off now to buy the whole package after the sample lesson i got. Cheers

    Peace an Love

  76. Hi Alex
    Great stuff! I have only just discovered you on the web. Thanks for the inspiration to start improving my playing again. I think your fretboard formula sounds very interesting and might be just what I need to help me move up a few notches.


  77. Alex your the best ! I really appreciate your work and your programs. I need help with a program for vista that can speed up the downloads …if there is one. The buffering takes hours. Maybe you or someone can help. ??? Thanks and keep up the good work Alex

  78. alex keep up the good work i like you video “chicken” i need to learn more bass. the bass playing i know gets boring. my favorite bass player is victor bailey but i like your style. can learn a lot from you. thanks!!!!!

  79. Ah man, this song brings up some fond memories! I remember playing the drums in this new upcoming blues band and we had a guest bassist jamming with us so of course we played the chicken back then (roughly 20 years ago), together with some Porgy’s Summertime. Good times!

    I always loved the song and especially the relation between the drummer and bass on this particular song – now I have a chance to play them both! (though not at the same time heh) :p

  80. I’m really glad I stumbled onto your site, Alex. I have been playing Bass for over 20 years now and have always been looking for some way to make my playing better and I think I have found that way. I have been stuck in a rut for a long time now. Playing in different bands and only being an ‘adequate’ performer. Now I have something to look forward to. I play in a Rock band and this will make all my playing better.

    Thanks Brother

  81. alex; i’m just finding out about your website and i’m very happy i did. i’ts very interesting and informative. you have a new student.

  82. Alex,

    I have been at the bass for a couple years now, self taught, book and net. I was seriously contemplating hanging it. My God led me directly onto your blog. I have tried many, many+++ sites, nothing close to what you are doing. The tut from chicken alone, is an artillery on my new found arsenal. I,m already in the process of purchasing the BGS pcakage. Hope in reaches me in good time. I,wll be sending some interesting unfamiliar stuff from Botswana to look at.

    God loves you and your family.

  83. This stuff absolutely blow’s me away. I’ve been bassin for 15 year’s and thought I was pretty decent… then I ran across these blog’s. I’ve decided I’m a 15 year rookie. Thank you Alex for sharing your indelible insight with those who accept it. I know I will.

  84. Hi Alex,

    Totally enjoyed the breakdown of The Chicken. I heard a band playing that song not long ago and wondered what it was. Still in the beginning stages of learning. Will talk to you soon. Thanks so very much. I appreciate you tremendously.


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