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Carmine Rojas - "Let's Dance"

As featured on Let's Dance by David Bowie
EMI, 1983

Let's Dance

"Let's Dance," the title track of David Bowie's seminal 1983 album, features another classy outing by session-ace Carmine Rojas (see here for a transcription of "China Girl.")

Like "China Girl," this track is built on a rock-solid bass-and-drum lock that never palls in the hearing. Carmine keeps it simple throughout -- occasional tiny fills notwithstanding -- but there's never any sense of a loss of momentum. On the contrary, the primal repetitions help drive the song forward like a rhino on steroids.

Another notable feature of "Let's Dance" is the way Rojas provides contrast between the main groove and the bridge-like sections at letters B and E. By taking his foot off the pedal and falling back on whole and half notes, he imbues the song with natural breathing points that give it shape and interest. (The long percussion break at section I provides a similar function.)

According to the January 1988 issue of Guitar Player, Carmine tracked his parts on Let's Dance using an early-'70s Fender Jazz Bass with a '68 Tele Bass maple neck, a natural finish and DiMarzio P-J style pickups.

I don't normally do tab versions of songs, but these Bowie transcriptions came about for teaching purposes, so there you are. ;-)

Transcription © Stevie Glasgow 2011