Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Subway To Venus’ bass playalong

I don’t know what it was that gave me the urge to revisit my teenage years – maybe it was the recent news that John Frusciante is re-joining the Chili Peppers for the third time – whatever it was, I found myself literally dusting off my Stingray bass and thinking about a song I recall learning for the first time at around 17-years old. I think it was around 2005 – Myspace was at its peak, I was in sixth form and my RHCP-fandom was out of control. I was on a mission to learn every Flea bassline I could.

I have barely given the band a thought in about 14 years now, but Flea’s influence on my bass playing can’t be ignored. When I listen to the 1989 album Mother’s Milk now, what stands out to me is the great musicianship. The production is horrendously dated, and the songwriting quality is patchy, but Flea’s skill and energy is always there.

Bass nerd stuff: I recorded this with my mid-90s Musicman Stingray, running into my Cali76 compressor and Noble preamp. In Ableton I put a touch of Vulf Compressor on the bass track too. It seems to be my standard recording chain these days!

Video nerd stuff: I shot this with my GoPro, edited in Final Cut and then ruined my hard work by putting a VHS filter on it. I used an iPhone app called RarevisionVHS and it’s completely OTT. I had to make it look like 1989 somehow, right?

I’m trying to get into the habit of transcribing every cover I put on YouTube. This one is no exception! You can find the transcription in tab and notation below:

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any thoughts or requests in the comments section below.



  1. Man ive been following you for a couple of years now and let me tell you, your skills are impeccable, superb and just down right outstanding. You can play any style of music and it sounds so original. Man I swear I wish had a 10th of the skillz that you. I used to try to play but could never get my pinky finger to cooperate.
    I have shown your videos to bass buddies of mine and they are very impressed with your style.
    Huw, players like Nathan East, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten and Nate Watts would be proud of you. Please keep up the good work and keep the vids coming.
    Sincerely a fan of yours,
    Gene Bradford