Freewill is hard!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tupac, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    My band is going to be playing this song. For the past two weeks I've worked out the whole thing up until the solo/bridge part, and we'll rehearse tomorrow on that first half of the song. Man, this song is hard! I'm a Chili Pepper kinda guy who never learned any Rush tunes before and this song is killing me. My Flea technique of strict alternation when crossing strings really isn't working here. Just by playing the notes I can easily tell why Geddy's primarily one finger technique is the most efficient for this stuff, there's a lot of odd fingering that will leave you starting on the opposite finger at the beginning of a riff if you don't rake or play with the same finger twice.

    Do you guys have any technical tips for this song? Those D power chord arpegiation fills are not only really hard to remember because the rhythms are so wonky, but the technique to execute them is hard as well! Like at 1:14 and 2:23. Also, what is being played at 2:38? I might have to copy a fill from a live song instead.

    PS: Please see my signature inspired by this song.
  2. Right_Butterscotch64


    Oct 18, 2012
    This was one of the first songs I learned, just play a little of it everyday. It's a little weird at first but you will start to get it. Everything up to and including the bass solo isn't too hard. Now the guitar solo.....that's a monster of a section for the bass.
  3. jeffgnr90


    Aug 4, 2011
    Can't really say I "learned" the song, b/c I only learned the solo:D One thing that will vastly help you with any Rush song is learning double stops, the main riff in YYZ being a good example. That and time, just keep chugging away.

    I believe the two points in the song you mentioned employ double stops. I know the bass solo does as well, especially at 3:23 (love ittt).
  4. PJSim


    Jan 16, 2011
  5. EXILE03


    Jan 19, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Once you've memorized it, the solo isn't very difficult at all for the fretting hand. Now the right hand is a completely different story, with all those insane, seemingly random 32nd's thrown in quite frequently.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah nailing Geddy's right hand is the hard part in the beginning. Nothing amazing going on fret side. The right hand is where the action is.
  7. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    One thing to keep in mind is whenever Geddy is doing fast triplet figures, he's usually incorporating a sweep to a lower string. For example, he'll play the first two notes of the triplet figure on the G string plucking with his second finger and his first finger, and then sweep the first finger down to the D string to get the third note of the triplet. He usually follows that on the next beat with his second finger on the G string again. You get this down and you can play YYZ, Freewill, and most of Geddy's fast bass lines.
    alrubin likes this.
  8. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Welp, I've now got halfway through the solo section. Holy cow, what a doozy. Not technically wise, but playing as clean as Geddy is tough. The hardest part is remembering everything. 24 bars of soloing to remember. Also, fun fact that I realized: The solo section begins at exactly 3 minutes and ends at exactly 4.
  9. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    The thing I noticed about playing Rush stuff is that it is really helpful to have text-book right hand posture. Fingers parallel with the frets and thumb on the skunk stripe.

    GL is a monster! Good luck!
  10. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Are you a lefty?
  11. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    no he talks about not putting your thumb on top of the neck in a choking the neck position that too many people use ...

    Your thumb close to the center of the back of the neck so you don't hinder your dexterity
  12. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    For right handed players that would be the left hand, not the right.

    So basically, don't do it how Geddy does it? :ninja:
  13. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    My default left hand position is 124 fingering with the thumb in the back of the neck. It's funny you should say that, because not only does Geddy that kind of technique you talk about. It looks poor just viewing him, he uses almost never uses his pinky and has his thumb wrapped firmly around. I actually adopted that technique for some parts of this song, it's a lot more comfortable to me (and Geddy as well). At some parts during the solo where things are too crazy to mute with moveable anchor, having the thumb there to mute the E and possible A string is a big help.
  14. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    It may just be a simple mistake because he obviously talks about the hand on the neck
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    But I think it has more to do with the way he holds his bass. Most of people who choke the neck have the bass almost perfectly horizontal which make it almost impossible to plya with your thumb around the center of the back of the neck.

    I also think that parroting someone else technic isn't always a good idea because you may parroting not-so-great technic and in the end hurting yourself more.

    When I play a cover, I cover the notes, not the instrument, not the technic because I find them most of the time wrong and an hinder.
  16. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    THIS. Geddy actually has pretty bad technique when it comes to his fretting hand. A great player, but you don't want to emulate his technique.
  17. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Well, his technique:

    -let's him have enough chops to play all he wants to play
    -proper muting
    -good articulation
    -no injuries in about 40 years of nonstop playing

    Sounds like all the criteria for "good technique" to me. People place way too much emphasis on left hand technique. If it works, it works.
  18. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    - yep he still has "headroom" in his technic, he seems to not have any problems but at the same time ( and this is valid for any original band ) they have a tendancy to play/write music that come up naturally so of course the music won't be more challenging that what he could already do.
    - hum hard to tell on a recording where we don't know all the processing.
    - Again with all the stuff used to record the original unaffected bass record may be all over the place but after going throught many effects and others studio magics who knows
    - We can't tell for sure that either ... and the weird thing in that is, what weird technic may work for him, may be deadly for your hands. I know that if I start to play finger style exacly like Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller do ... I would be in deep trouble in less than a week. They have a very sharp angle that I can't play with.
    This is a wonderful performance by Jeff Schmidt and the effects sound kind of simple, reverb and probably a delay, right ? well it is way more complex than that
    he explain everything he did in the second video

    I just post that because it is very complex a recording and we don't really know if the track is as perfect as it may seem.
  19. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    This is the deal though, what Geddy can play is very limited. If you adopted his left-hand technique and wanted to play some Jaco or something, you would be screwed.