Back to "basics" for me (Geddy Lee related)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Planet Boulder, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Pardon my self-indulgence, wanted to see if anyone else out there experienced something similar.

    Many moons ago, when I first started playing, I idolized, among others, geddy Lee. In fact, the first band i was in during middle and high school was essentially a Rush cover band (we actually performed side one of 2112 in its entirety at a gig once :eek: ).

    Anywho, as I grew older, and diversified, I got away from listening to and playing Rush because i wanted to "unlearn" everything I had learned from studying Geddy (technique-wise). I found that i was using too much speed, too many gallops, etc when playing music which didn't require or need it. So off I went and for years, I didn't even listen to Rush.

    Finally, a couple of weeks ago, the band I play in now was screwing around and we found ourselves eeking out pieces of "Spirit of Radio", "Freewill", etc. What I had found was that the memory remained in my mind, but not in my fingers as they had slowed noticeably. Sure, i could still play it, but not as "effortlessly" as I seem to remember doing back in the day. At this point, I decided that it was time to go back to bassics and study Geddy as well as some of the old fusion I used to play once again.

    My wife stumbled upon me tonight as I was playig "Camera's Eye" and gave me a sort of disgusted look, wondering where the hell I had dug that stuff up. Of course, i had to explain to her that there really was a lot of Geddy's technique that I had sadly gotten away from over the years and i felt like, if I wanted to continue to progress, i need to go "backwards" in order to go "back forwards", if that makes any sense.

    So, long story short (or not), I'm back studying Geddy again, but I would like to check out some of his newer stuff as well (like Vapor Trails, etc).

    Anyway, anyone else ever have anything remotely similar to this happen (you know, maybe you mimicked John Paul Jones' lines many moons ago and got away from Zep, only to fire up "Houses of the Holy" and be blown away all over again)?
  2. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Well I used to be able to play Atheist songs up to full speed but after leaving that stuff for slower but harder fusion stuff I found myself in a position where I now need to repractice lots of what I lost in terms of speed and stamina.
  3. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Praise BOB!
  4. FuturePrimitive

    FuturePrimitive Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Rochester, NY
    I'm still a noob (2 years) so Geddy/Rush is still pretty difficult for me to play. I find it amazing when people claim to "master" band X's music after only playing for 2-3 months. I'm not talking about you, it's just something I've noticed a lot around here. I still can't get the YYZ riff clean and fast, it's one or the other! :rolleyes: :( Oops, sorry, didn't mean to start my own little rant in your thread!

    I can't say I've experienced something similar to what you posted just because I can't ever see getting bored with Rush's music and "moving on". I've started to learn some other stuff since joining a cover band but most of that stuff is pretty boring to play. Same reason I don't play a lot of punk (which I like a lot), fun to listen to but boring to play. I'd like to learn some other styles and techniques but as far as "rock bass" goes, it's pretty hard to move beyond Rush.
  5. Totally... I used to play a lot of metal guitar and now I can't play most of it, it's quite frustrating. Doesn't matter that much though as my main instrument is definitely bass.

    As for bass, I find it's a constant slow decline in my skills during the school year compared to the summer, the practice time drops too much. I obviously have to stop going to school or something.
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i started playing bass 18 years ago purely because i liked rush. while i haven't played a cover song in over a decade, i still get inspired and excited everytime i hear a rush song. anyone who says they've gone "past" rush or "outgrew" it isn't listening properly, imo.
  7. I was in the same boat a few months ago except I didn't go back to playing Rush. Played it exclusively in high school but can't really bring myself to play it. Problem is that it feels like I'm practicing riffs and not learning to express myself on bass. Playing Rush never helped me play at a jam session.
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, jamming is all about finding your voice on your instrument, so there's probably a good reason why rush lines don't jive with your approach - they just aren't your voice. that's cool - finding your own voice is the point, right? :D besides, they're not a very "jam" oriented band, to be sure - the bass lines tend to reinforce by contrast with the guitar parts, instead of the more pure support roll like most jam sessions tend to gravitate towards.

    that being said, there's a lot to learn about playing cool, non-elitist or esoteric, approachable rock parts on bass that are interesting and also advanced at the same time. after all, rush has sold a lot of albums - mostly to non-musicians - and are still respsected even by other "elitist" musicians for their musicianship. there aren't too many "musician" bands that have their wide "civilian" appeal and it's because of the strength of their music and composition skills, imo.

    i guess my point is that there's a lot of good theory evident in their work, stuff that can enlighten while still reinforcing a more "populist" approach to music. at least, i think so.
  9. I'm not saying that Rush isn't a good band - Geddy Lee is the reason why I picked up the bass in the first place. In my case, I tried to get back into Rush but just couldn't do it. I don't know anyone who knows the songs. Even if I could find musicians, I'm not good enough to really improvise on Geddy's lines - ha ha, I suck...that's why I lost interest. (I still listen to it though...I have all of their albums.)
  10. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    When I was younger, me and my friends would jam to YYZ. I couldn't play it perfectly through but pretty darn good.

    I don't think I could play it all if my life depended on it

    Now you've done it Planet Boulder, now I want to re-learn some Rush.
    Actuall I've been wanting to get back into Rush and stuff like Iron Mainden.
    I've never really stopped listening to Rush or Maiden but haven't been into playing rock or metal, mostly been getting into jamming on my own music and more jazz and classical type music.
  11. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    y'know, i just started reading this thread and about 90% hits home for me. i played clarinet, sax, even some oboe and bassoon, in school bands through high school, and with the lack of large instruments i always had to listen hard for the tuba, trombones, etc. sometime in jr high my older brother had permanent waves and i found myself listening to the bass during all the guitar solos. and was hooked.

    i bought my first bass freshman year of college and figured if i could just learn yyz i'd end up being pretty good. but gee, a tough place to start, so i learned working man instead. and instead of yyz i worked really hard and learned red barchetta within that first few months.

    then i learned to at least play through every album of theirs up to signals (showing my age, aren't i?) by now i've forgotten more than i remember. so i know just what you're talking about, i've told myself that i should go back and play through all those tunes, and rediscover the feeling of nailing those great bass lines.

    oh, and it's 17 years later, and i still can't play yyz.
  12. I've always told myself that the day I learn the bass solo in "Freewill" is the day my life on this earth can end and I will gladly move to the next. I've yet to try (I don't think my kids would be happy with my decision to "move on").

    I find Geddy's playing a constant motivating factor. In addition to all the classic songs, "Counterparts" and "Vapor Trails" are really good albums. Especially "Vapor Trails" - I like the layering of basslines. I love listening to Rush before a gig and then seeing how that inspires me to play - the best part is the music we play is nothing like Rush, so it's cool to sneak in bits and pieces where I can. For example, the drummer and I sneak the intro to Red Barchetta into Van Morrison's version of "Have I Told You Lately." No one else noices, but it amuses us.

    I wish I had more free time to try to learn some of his basslines. I also must join the group who have yet to learn YYZ.
  13. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    This one feels like it is aimed at me. My drummer from my last real band and I went to high school together. We were friends but didn't play together because we were in separate bands. Then I discovered he was a Neil Peart worshipper. We started a second band going. I taught his little brother to play guitar. It was obviously meant to be because the little brother was better at it than me inside of a year. We did a lot of Rush covers and not so many other tunes for a long time.

    When I got out of the Navy several years later and wanted to get a band going I went to those two brothers and we added a keyboardist. That basic lineup stayed to gether for nine years and I still jam occasionally with the brothers.

    We did mostly originals that sounded like what would have happened if Stevie Ray Vaughan had joined Pink Floyd. But sometimes if the party went long we would pull out La Villa Strangiato, or Spirit of Radio, or Free Will, or Circumstances. or YYZ, or Trees, get the idea.