James Jamerson (January 29, 1938 - August 2, 1983) was an American musician. He was the uncredited bass guitarist on most of Motown Records’ hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list credits on their releases until 1971), and he has become regarded as one of the most influential bass guitar players in modern music history. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Jamerson was known for his unique RH technique for playing the electric bass. Adapted from his time as an upright player during his early career, he played using only the index finger on his RH which he dubbed “the hook”. The other fingers rested on the pickup guard of his stock 1962 Fender Precision Bass (P-Bass). He was also one of the first bass players in popular music to incorporate the use of a lot of open string passing tones (notes that do not fall within the chord structure), This is another “trick” used by upright bass players, to facilitate easier movement around the large neck and fingerboard of the upright instrument. This lead him to have a sound easily distinguished amongst his peers.

Edited by JamersonBass33 on 11 Feb 2009, 23:59

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Formed in
  • 1938
Split in
  • 1983
Founded in
  • American

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