Geezer Butler's tone on the album "Paranoid"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by decadence, Dec 22, 2000.

  1. I was just wondering if anyone knows how he acquired the tone he has on the Paranoid album, and on most of the other Black Sabbath stuff I've heard. Also, I would like to know if it is possible for me to come close to that tone with my current setup: Squier 4 string/Fender Frontman15B.
  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I can't swear by this, but the only time I've ever been able to hear that kind of tone was when using an SVT with an 8x10 cab. I would say that you're going to have a hard time finding that sound on a low wattage combo amp, since you're trying to compete with high-end recording gear (for the time) and more powerful amps.
  3. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    most of his tone is studio created...try finding some live stuff and match that tone.
  4. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    The key is to crank up the MIDDLE on your EQ. Geezer's "bouncy" sound is from high middle tones, such as 250s.
    AYC likes this.
  5. glover


    Jul 3, 2000
    He had the same tone live as he had in the studio in the early 70s. Check out the Live in Paris 1970 video. It RULES!
    oldrocker and getbent like this.
  6. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    I love that video. Any Sabbath fan who doesnt own it should go get it because its great classic Sabbath at their finest.
  7. slam

    slam Guest

    Mar 22, 2000
    Try using flatwound strings.
    gdriss likes this.
  8. I saw/heard Sabbath about the time "Paranoid" was released. Apparently, it was the studio, where all things are possible, not the Laneys he was using or some voodoo amp. However, sitting in front of the PA, his sound was overwhelming.
  9. Bass7755


    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    I AM 40ish...The reason I play now, twenty nine years later
    is because of the song "paranoid". It is the ONLY reason
    I wanted to play bass. I did not know what a bass was before
    that. Then there was Getty,JPJ,Jaco,Stanley and Victor~~!!
  10. I read he used a 69 P-bass on Paranoid. what's pretty cool is the DI'd clean bass sound panned centrally and the distorted amp sound panned off to the side on tracks like War Pigs.
  11. glover


    Jul 3, 2000
    Geezer used the ´69 P-bass, slightly distorted Laney tube amps and roundwound strings. (Between the live takes on the Sabbath in Paris video Geezer can be seen noodling around on his bass unplugged. It sounds like he has a set of roundwounds on. Probably rotos in those days...)

    The key to the early Geezer sound is to have a high action and play over the 15th fret of the neck. Not too much highs on the amp!
  12. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    and dont forget the Middle.
  13. moss


    Dec 24, 2000
    to get a lot of distortion out of an old svt you have to play it LOUD. that sound is awesome but not good if you don't play in airport hangers, etc. i hav an old laney lead/bass guitar head from the late 60's (what those guys had i am told) an althought it is similar to a marshall super lead, it is much bassier sounding, and it sounds good and overdriven loud; it isn't exactly the same as my svt real loud. try an overdrive pedal? maybe and play over the neck as other more knowledgeable people her have said. getting a feel like his would probably wow people more that the tone. he had such a driving sound. rock on!
  14. Bass2222


    Sep 22, 2000
    sorry decadence, not gonna happen
  15. Okay...I now have an Ampeg SVT-3 Pro, and an SVT 410HLF.
    Can you recommend any EQ settings, besides boosting the 300 Hz? Do I want higher or lower action? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Oh, and by the way....Geezer rocks :)
  16. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I saw Black Sabbath live in '76. Geezer Butler was using a Fender P-Bass, Laney amp, and was playing either over the pup or at the end of the neck. I also noticed that he was often high on the fretboard.
  17. kpaxonbass

    kpaxonbass Inactive

    May 2, 2006
    Use a p-bass, pluck with fingers up over the high frets (where neck meets body), tube amp (Marshall, Hiwatt, Laney, etc.), dial in some midrange, 4x12 cab ... GEEZ IT!
  18. didn't he double track his bass for the studio version of paranoid too?
  19. demolition

    demolition Guest

    Jul 5, 2003
    That he did Sabbath 1 with a blown Marshal Guitar amp,hence all the distortion,cant remember the exact interview but its his quote":meh:
    Ramonesfan59 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  20. Also, he stated that one of the speakers on his 4x10 was blown too, while recording BlacK Sabbath. That, and you just need to be...Geezer. I've been searching for his tone since I began playing, and have only come close, but he and his tone made me want to play bass!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 18, 2021

Share This Page