Geddy observation

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Raymeous, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Hey there...

    For a weekend jam party I dusted off my Rush "Replay x3" DVD set (among others) for background noise in the house, while we took breaks from jamming in the garage to grab something to nibble or grab a drink.

    While watching it again for the first time in years, I realized something funny:

    Whether he was playing his old Ric "way back in the day" or his Steinberger headless during the '80s or even his signature J's today, his sound has been pretty much the same throughout. Sure there are a few slight differences but generally speaking regardless of the gear being used it still sounds like Geddy.

    I thought I'd bring this up as a reminder that it isn't about gear so much as how you play it. So I guess the point is not to worry about gear too much as it doesn't make that much of a difference in the long run.

    Keep jammin' :bassist: and have a great day.
  2. Pinta


    Aug 26, 2011
    It's really interesting to borrow someone else's gear or to let someone play yours.

    The other day a band friend stopped by the rehearsel and asked me if he could jam with my bass for a while. He didn't change anything at the amp or the general settings and he sounded REALLY different.

    It's all in the fingers.

    That being said, you still have to be concious about your gear equipment that best suits the sound in your head.

    Besides, Geddy may have changed the basses, but the rig is still the same I think! Those settings come from years of searching for his tone and hard work.
  3. 68Goldfish

    68Goldfish Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Port Orchard WA
    Personal technique. I think a lot of it is how hard he hits the strings. The clank of the frets and so forth.
  4. I can totally relate. While my basses are pretty different from each other, I tend to get pretty close to the same tone no matter which I play.

    At least the basic tone is the same. I may add some bridge pickup depending on the bass. But for the most part, I sound like me no matter what I'm playing.
  5. All valid points. I believe the key to a bassist's sound is 80% the person, 10% the bass and 10% the amp/gear. I am willing to suggest that Geddy Lee could pick up an unmodded SX & a small practice amp, and still deliver his personalized sound.
  6. PazzoBasso


    Jan 21, 2011
    I agree a little bit...

    Listening to different tracks on Moving Pictures, hard to tell if it's the ric or the J... But a song like Working Man is lightyears (tonewise) from Big Money - and there are likely better examples, I just pulled that one out of the air...

    Geddy always sounds like Geddy - but there are many shades of Geddy...

    Just my observation...
  7. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I think that the tone is comprised of 80% amp and effects, 15% player and 5% bass.

    But that's just me!
  8. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Remember - Live tone and studio recording tone can be quite different
  9. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    Not sure about you, but no way my pbass is gonna sound like my warwick no matter who is playing it
  10. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I think we often use the word tone when we mean nuance (playing style).
    I like to think that I can get my tone out of any amp, but I do think I need a certain level of gear to get "my tone".
  11. PazzoBasso


    Jan 21, 2011
    Dare I say...

    It seems the tone of this thread has changed...
  12. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    The "all in the fingers" gets me everytime. I can't stay away from those discussions!:D
  13. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Inactive Supporting Member

    I like that !!

    I agree. There is a video of some 10 year old at the NAMM show (I am 44 and STILL haven't been !!!). He plays a Fodera, then a completely different bass - I don't remember what kind and sounded nearly identical on both !

    I LOVE Geddy's signature tone. I've been chasing it all of my life. I know a lot of his sound comes from Trace Elliot power amps and SansAmp RBI preamp.

    To me, Geddy's "best" ( in other words MY favorite) is his WAL bass tone on Hold Your Fire and Power Windows, especially Hold Your Fire. To me, it's PERFECT bass tone.

    Ahhhhh.... Geddy
  14. SilGarzaJr

    SilGarzaJr SilGarzaJr

    Mar 28, 2012
    North Texas

  15. jmooda


    Apr 3, 2012

    I concur. I thought the Wahl had a very unique sound, but not something I would call the PERFECT tone. I have been listening to Geddy for about 33 years now (I'm 46) and I would have to say that for a tone that is heavier on the top end, the Ric really made the TONE statement on Moving Pictures.
  16. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS Inactive Supporting Member

    I am 44 so we both were in high school in the 80's.

    Yes, his Ric tone was so signature, too !

    Geddy is the bar where tone is set for me along with Stanley, and Mark King (on True Colors)
  17. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    He's changed setups over the years but I think his current setup is all DI - SansAmp RPM for grit, Avalon U5 for clean tone, and Orange 2000 (i think that's the correct model) into a Palmer speaker sim for tubeyness.
    Engineer mixes the 3 signals to taste.
    I think he uses that setup live as well.

    His playing style is consistent on every recording though no matter what bass or rig he's using.