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Geddy Lee / Bass Lines

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by bigBASS1, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. bigBASS1


    Jul 3, 2012
    My favorite bassist is Geddy Lee.
    I know I'm not the only one here I'm sure of that.

    The only problem with having such an accomplished bassist as an influence is his ability is much greater than mine.

    I am looking for input on Rush songs with bass lines that are manageable for a moderately skilled bassist.

    I've got Ghost Rider and Everyday Glory down but am looking for more. I'd like to be proficient at 10 Rush songs. Just for playing along to and learning from in my spare time.

    Any input or suggested songs would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    The Pass
    Tom Sawyer
    In the End
  3. MiJaKo


    Oct 27, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Closer to the Heart is good for starters.
  4. Some bass lines may actually sound harder to play than they really are. I would give these a try. They shouldn't be that difficult with some practicing:

    Red Barchetta
  5. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Let's add

    Distant Early Warning
  6. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Animate is fast, but pretty basic.
  7. bigBASS1


    Jul 3, 2012
    Thanks for all the input so far. I will give those songs a try. Not yet ready to play Tom Sawyer yet... solo is just a bit too fast for me. Then I get angry and have to calm down. I am close though.
  8. Bradass


    Oct 17, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Limelight was my first Rush song and it was a lot easier than I expected it to be. There's some really excellent sheet music and tabs for it out there too.
  9. Dantreige


    Oct 22, 2009
    Get a metronome and slow the part down until you can do it well. (Well = acurate and without unwanted buzzing or unwanted overtones or noise.) Then slowly speed it up (over several days or weeks) until you can do it at the recorded speed.

    Lots of metronomes online for free use if you do a search.

    I'll add Free Will and Working Man to the list.

    Have fun. :bassist:
  10. freewill is a great one to learn
  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    +1 to Closer to the Heart. I never thought I'd be able to manage a Geddy bass line at my present skill level till I joined a band and it was on the list. I don't play it note-for-note like he does but found that I can pull off a pretty close fake. Limelight's in the same category; except for some of the crazy fills he throws in, the main line is pretty simple.
  12. Moloch666


    Apr 22, 2012
    Working Man. Simple enough but you can play around with it a lot.
  13. bigBASS1


    Jul 3, 2012
    Thanks for everyone's input.

    As the original poster I figured it's my responsibility to return with a progress update.

    I did it. 10 Rush songs.

    In no particular order:
    Enemy Within
    Everyday Glory
    Ghost Rider
    In The End
    Jacob's Ladder
    Red Sector A
    The Speed Of Love
    Tom Sawyer

    Everyone's advice was well appreciated.
    So thanks to the board.
  14. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Distant Early Warning- and personally I play this line with a pick, and I beleive this may be one that Geddy actually recorded with a pick as well.

    Good eight note workout with some cool riffs/ideas.
  15. Even YYZ is not as hard as it sounds, but getting the feel and the pace is trickier than the actual notes when going at speed. I'm not there yet myself.

    Tom Sawyer, Limelight and Red Barchetta are the ones I play when I want to feel more competent with a Rush song.
  16. bigBASS1


    Jul 3, 2012
    Distant Early Warning has been a good work out. I switched to the live Show Of Hands version. Helps me stay fit on the driving-lock-in-with-the-drums type bass lines.
  17. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Start at the beginning. Learn the first CD and get inside Geddy's (Gary's) head. When you get to Caress of steel You'll start to become familiar with his style. You can sort of Evolve with him that way. At least that's how I did it. Of course I didn't have Tom Sawyer to Jam to in the '70's.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Since the thread has been zombified, I've noticed something similar; a lot of Rush songs have an interesting but not terribly difficult main bass riff, but then there are a couple of moments where he adds in some sort of blisteringly fast fill.

    99% of Spirit of Radio, for instance, has a perfectly simple bass line; but in the introduction, and again in a breakdown about 2/3 through, there are these sudden lightning-fast runs. And what's challenging is not only playing them, which you can learn to do by practicing them very slowly at first and gradually working up to speed; but that in a band setting, you need to have the drummer and guitarist playing their equally lightning-fast runs in perfect synch with you. THAT's what actually sets Rush apart from most other bands, in my opinion.
  19. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    You are quite right.

    I've been playing Spirit of Radio in my band for a year now. I still don't do those runs perfect every time, but they are the only really challenging parts of the song.

    I had the hardest time with learning that bit - I guess my brain doesn't really want to go that fast.

    My Rush nemesis is La Villa Stangiato.. those solos just do not compute. :help:

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