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geddy help -please

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fretbuzz, Oct 23, 2001.


  1. ok, maybe its a stretch, but one of you may be able to help. right now im working on "vital signs" off of moving pictures. my question is the riff at the first minute or so where geddy is rolling up and down. has anybody had success with playing this song fingerstyle? ive got the pattern down fairly well, but his speed is really giving me fits. i guess i just need some tips. thanks for any help.
     
  2. Practice it slower, and get it clean then build up the speed. This song is played finger style.
    Great bass line.
     
  3. Heh, I'm having the same problem with the intro riff to "The Analog Kid." Practice makes perfect--in my case, I've completely overhauled my fingerstyle technique just so I could get that one song down, and so far it's worked.
     
  4. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    One thing to keep in mind is that Geddy uses lots of hammer-ons. So on some of those riffs his RH is really only plucking just about every other note.
     
  5. I've noticed that. Developing hand strength isn't a problem--but my short fingers are. Geddy has huge hands, as the liner photos for Moving Pictures show. He can do a lot of very difficult open-position hammer/pull riffs that are simply impossible for someone with fingers as short as mine, especially on a 35" scale bass.

    OTOH, Geddy's got incredible fingerstyle speed, as "Animate" demonstrates. It's difficult to maintain proper rhythm for more than a few times through the opening riff, which is just 16th notes to a bar at 120 BPM.
     
  6. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, Animate sounds hard, but it's a different technique that allows him to hit that 16th note groove for virtually the entire song. What he does is to use his right-hand index finger nail in an up-and-down motion. The finger nail acts like a pick in this case. If you used a pick, you'd get a similar feel and sound. You might also notice the attack is similar;)
     
  7. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Uh...not on this song, dude. The intro section of Vital Signs is played by "raking" a lot. For example, the first 3 notes are C B D#. If you hold your left hand so that your index finger barres the 5th fret on the G and D strings, use your right hand finger to rake across those first two notes. The 3rd note, D#, can then be played by simply putting your middle finger on the 6th fret of the A string.

    All it is is 8th notes. Practice slowly and you'll get it.
     
  8. I was listening to the Tribute version of "Analog Kid" w/ Billy Sheehan. Is the riff you refer to the one that plays in unison with the guitar. Hmmm.... that doesn't help, does it? I tell you what, I'll record the clip and come back and post it here. Then you can tell me if that's what you're referring to. Be right back to edit this..

    (Later edited) Ok. Is THIS the riff?

    (And later yet) Yeeehaw! I can do it fingerstyle. HERE's my riff - all 11 seconds of it. (Please excuse the bad recording quality. The original one that I had to work with was bad to begin with)

    Anyhoo, I concur with everyone who has suggested practice, practice, and more practice, for the purpose of developing speed. But in addition, may I suggest you don't stick to practicing one particular riff over and over. In order to develop speed (on both fretting and plucking fingers) I suggest that you practice different scales, up and down the fretboard and in combination. You'll be amazed at the results, but you have to practice often.
     
  9. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Oops - sorry. I hadn't listened to Vital Signs for a while, and I was thinking of Analog Kid.

    However, working on VS just now, the LH part is more involved than that. The first three notes are actually C G D#(Eb). The sequence is:

    C G Eb G Ab G Bb Ab - C G Eb G Ab G F Eb

    Oh, that 6th note (G) should be another Eb, according to the Rush bass tab page (http://www.cygnusproductions.com/rtp/bass/bass.asp), that sounds right. Anyway, yeah no hammer-ons there I guess. He probably only uses his first finger on the RH too! :)

    The LH is also the tough one for me on TAK.
     
  10. Yep, that's what I'm talking about. Did you do it with nut/2nd-position hammer-ons and pull-offs, or at the 5th fret like I do? I don't have the reach to be able to do the former, so I can't do it Just Like Geddy.

    RAM: ah-ha! Well, when I get frustrated, I just use a pick on that tune anyway. Sounds a whole lot better :D
     
  11. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I sometimes screw around with that technique. It's not quite as hard as learning to alternate your index and middle fingers when you begin playing...I don't find it very useful, except when playing Rush tunes, however...
     
  12. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Oops...my mistake. It was a typo.:D

    Anyway, I've learned that tabs are not always right. When I was younger and a little more fanatical about mimicking Geddy, I read the tabs for YYZ. I then watched his fingers through binoculars from the 12th row one year and saw that he was playing it slightly different from the tabs that had been printed.

    I don't use tabs, anyway. But, if you do, keep in mind that they shouldn't be taken as gospel.
     
  13. I think what's important is that you hit the right notes. I personally don't feel it matters where on the fretboard you play it, as long as you're comfortable with what you're playing. If you're covering "Analog Kid" at a gig, I seriously doubt the audience will walk out on you if you don't finger the frets just like GL (or BS) does. Sound is what matters. If you listened to my clip (above) and couldn't tell where I played it, that proves my point. (I did start at the 5th fret - A- but no hammer-ons. I plucked every note. I can do it at the nut, but i'ts less comfortable (for me - because of a wrist problem). I'm not sure where your reach problem applies - there's less finger stretching at the nut (starting w/ the open A string). I would think it easier to play there.
     
  14. wow, excellent resonses. ive been using my left index finger across the G and D and then alternate the pressure back and forth. unfortunatly, after a few times through, i lose it and get some buzzing on the G. i think if i can get more dexterity with the pinky, i will have less trouble with the buzzing G on the 5th fret. im also working on a few other rush songs at the same time. do you guys think its better to have a few songs in progress at the same time, or keep hammering out one at a time? AND while were talking about technique, how do i get good sound from a pull off? do you do anything that can be described or am i doomed to find a bass playing friend show me. (i dont know anybody else that plays bass)
     
  15. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I just noticed you're from Buffalo Grove...I grew up in Northbrook!

    Anyway, regarding how to learn songs: one-by-one or several at a time...That's a very personal decision. I learned most of the Rush songs that I know one at a time. There are a few that I learned by just playing along with the whole album, but for the most part, just one song at a time. That way, I could focus on learning some of the nuances of each song.

    When I was in high school, I wore out a lot of my vinyl as well as my family's patience listening carefully to EACH note Geddy played and woodshedding for hours trying to duplicate them to the best of my ability.

    That went on for years!:eek:

    Hammer-ons just come with muscle strength and that comes with practice. Try about 5 minutes a day, just practicing your hammer-ons and pull-offs. It'll probably take you a week or two to get to the point where they sound like they should.
     
  16. beermonkey

    beermonkey

    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    To address "Animate" again... that was always a goal for me to be able to play all the way through that song finger style (using 2 fingers instead of the up/down motion with just one ala Geddy). It's a really good stamina trainer... I would use it as part of my normal practice routine for a long time. I never thought I'd be able to play it all the way through, while keeping the spot-on accuracy that is required.

    It's amazing what playing a lot and practice will do for you. :)
     
  17. True, that. I can get through it once or so. The verses are a nice way to rest the fingers, because those choruses are hell.

    I find that my calluses aren't hard enough that I can get really good articulation on the notes when I play them that fast fingerstyle. I guess that'll just take more practice.
     
  18. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yup! I agree! Animate is a good song to get 16th note grooves practiced. Now...shoot me now for even mentioning his name in a serious thread, especially one by a bass hero...but, Michael Anthony's:eek: bass line in "Poundcake" off "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" is the same type of groove: 16th notes.

    Flame me if you're a big Michael Anthony fan, if you so desire. I may not even fight back.:p
     
  19. beermonkey

    beermonkey

    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    You all may be happy to know... or not.. that at my gig tonight I started playing "Analog Kid" because of this thread. Several people in the audience went crazy and demanded that the band play it. Damn the rest of those bastards for not knowing the song. :)
     
  20. How dare you do that to one of Geddy's songs.
    If he didn't use a pick, then NEITHER SHOULD YOU.
    :D
    Man I just impressed myself, I played that song down pat, finger style, after about 5 minutes. Man I didn't think I had it in me. Always good to suprise yourself I guess.

    Rock on Rush fans