Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by guitardefector, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Hello all. I recently put flats on my MIM Fender jazz and started using a pick in hopes of getting that unique Yes sound of Chris Squire. It still doesn't sound even close. Do I need to adjust my amp a certain way or just flat out get a Rickenbacker like his??Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks gents.

    BIGREDSIX Supporting Member

    I think you need Rotosounds to get Squire's sound. That and a bunch of pedals :D
  3. The flats are a big part of the problem. Squire uses roundwounds -- Rotosound Swingbass if I'm not mistaken. You should be able to imitate him reasonably well with a jazz bass and brand new roundwounds, plus boosting the treble on your amp a bit. The Ric would be closer, but not required unless you need to get his exact sound.

    EDIT: He uses on old effect called "tremelo" on several songs -- Starship Trooper is one example. I'm not sure where you'd find a tremelo pedal nowadays.
  4. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    You definitely need to get some rounds -- preferably stainless steel rounds. I like DR Fat Beams, but there are many fine choices available.
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    To make your jazz sound like Chris Squire ...

    -You will need a fresh set of round wound strings.
    -Turn the neck pickup volume to 10, the tone to 10 and roll off the bridge pickup volume to 5 or less.
    -Turn up the treble on your amp.
    -get a good distortion pedal.
    -Use a pick

    That will get you in the ballpark.
  6. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    And lower the action to get a bit of fret buzz.
    Or, do what I did and get one of these:
  7. Stickk


    Sep 2, 2008
    Cool! You've got one of the rare lefty ones!
  8. A flanger does a reasonable imitation of the tremolo effect...
  9. A few months ago he was on the cover of BP. In the article he talks about having the Ric stripped down and refinished several times. He said the process thinned the body of his bass, and that was one reason a new Ric with Rotos won't get the same tone. It also shows a pic of his rig, which is crazy. Apparently he mods and fiddles with his stuff too.
  10. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    Rounds and then take a 1/4" out of somewhere line level on your amp into a normal size
    (50 watt 1-12") guitar combo set on the crunch channel, cut some lows on said crunch
    channel and adjust balance to taste....use a thinner pick and really dig in.
    Tremble and Vibrate.

    Shindaleria Primataurus
  11. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    A nice Jazz through a Marshall JCM 800 or Vintage Modified will get you SCARY close
  12. BZadlo

    BZadlo Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Electro Hamonix makes a sick Tremolo called the "Pulsar."
  13. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    The bass is important,, but Squire would sound the same if he was playing a your bass.

    His picking technique,,, or the way he "encourages" that tone out of whatever bass he plays is what makes Chris Squire the man.

    That and the countless gigs with YES over the last 40 some odd years tends to help as well.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Rotosound Swingbass + Ric + strong overdrive + play with a pick.

    Not all of his playing sounds the same, either - but if you want the whole "Heart of the sunrise" sound, this should do it.

    One thing that threw me when I was young is how Rick Wakeman often doubled the bass parts with a clavinet (roundabout, for example) so I thought old Chris was pulling a fast one...
  15. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    I saw Chris with Yes about 4 years ago and he played a different bass for each song. They all sounded the same!

    It's in his technique, strings, & settings. He played with a pick right in front of the bridge, with his hand anchored on the bridge.
  16. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    He sounded somewhat different though different basses on the House of Blues concert, but he always sounded "Squireish". :D
  17. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009


  18. You'll get close if you have a real Rick, but try and replicate this one... :bassist:

  19. maxschrek

    maxschrek Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Chattanooga, TN.

    +1. In fact, I've read numerous interviews where he said the majority of the classic recordings from "Tales from Topographic Oceans" (1973) until around the "Drama" era (1980) were done on that blonde 72' (?) Jazz bass you see above.
    He also used a non-reverse T-bird to great effect. Always sounds like the same bass.

  20. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    This one's for you Dave: