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Greg Christian (Testament)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Hamlet7768, Oct 16, 2013.


  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I haven't found many threads in search about this guy, probably because Testament wasn't as big as the Big Four of Thrash, but man oh man is he a beast. Not only are Testament's albums quite well produced to let the bass be heard, but he also has a nice round bass tone that doesn't cut through so much as it slips right through. Testament might be the best example of how to produce metal to let bass and guitar have their sonic space.

    On top of it all...he's got some serious chops. Fingerstyle chops at that. Not judging pickers, but it's certainly unusual in 80s thrash metal to be a plucker if your name isn't Frank Bello or Cliff Burton.

    Some examples of Greg's prowess:

    Eerie Inhabitants

    Trial by Fire

    Practice What you Preach

    And anything else off these albums.

    I've heard varying things on how to get his bass tone. I know JimmyM has claimed the SVT capable of nailing it, but I'll reopen the discussion. I've seen pictures of him using Jazz Basses and pictures of him using a MM Bongo, and both are probably capable of creating that great tone. Strings are apparently DR Black Beauties.

    Other thoughts?
     
    DistortedBass and Tnavis like this.
  2. ebonalley

    ebonalley

    May 17, 2010
    Respect.
     
  3. Bass_Thumper

    Bass_Thumper

    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    Love Testament, probably my favorite thrash band. BTW - they've got a new live album coming out on the 29th and I'm really looking forward to it.

    For your viewing pleasure:
     
  4. Loved Testament back in the day, going to find my CDs and rip them! Good stuff and will watch for the live album
     
  5. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Live album? They have a couple already. Or is there a new one in the works?
     
  6. hodgy

    hodgy

    May 5, 2004
    Bothell, WA
    Customer Support- Ampeg/ Line 6
    New one called 'The Dark Roots of Thrash'. Hoglan!
     
  7. almost human

    almost human

    Sep 30, 2010
    NYC
    The new live album will also have a DVD of the show. Looks like it will kick some serious ass!
     
  8. Metalbasspro

    Metalbasspro

    Feb 9, 2009
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    NJ
    I think I like his funky little intro on "souls of black" the best.
     
    Bozendoka, BrBss and deernaes like this.
  10. Metalbasspro

    Metalbasspro

    Feb 9, 2009
    He has a youtube video where he demo's the lick. But gave credit to Alex for writing it.
     
  11. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
  12. Always liked how Greg sounds & now that I'm reviewing his rig it seems he used a Jazz & a SVT Pro. I'm also reading Black Beauties, but that almost cannot be, unless it was just for a few songs.
     
  13. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie

    Mar 24, 2006
    NoVA
    I had every Testament album up until the Low album. After that, I kind of fell out of the thrash/metal scene. But yeah, he’s an awesome bassist...
     
  14. Tnavis

    Tnavis

    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    The "Practice What You Preach" album was a huge influence on me as a young bassist. It's too bad that Greg isn't playing with Testament anymore (Steve Di Giorgio is playing with them again, who is also an amazing bassist), as I felt he was a better fit overall.
     
    deernaes likes this.
  15. ScottsTheLimit

    ScottsTheLimit SUSPENDED

    Sep 3, 2018
    Greg started that whole smiley face all-high-treble springy sound in 80s metal. No real mids or hearty clank like old Geddy Lee, but Greg had a ton of high mids and what sounded like brand new stainless strings with both pickups on for that standard scooped sound...but somehow Greg wasn't invisible. Always sounded like a springy frog hopping around under the guitars. Even though he was scooped, you COULD always hear him for better or for worse. Little springy boing-y sound going on under the guitars. His bass sound always sounded like a Jaw Harp or a Jew's Harp.

    Here's a perfect example:

     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  16. I think this is a better example of his boing sound:

     
  17. ScottsTheLimit

    ScottsTheLimit SUSPENDED

    Sep 3, 2018
    LOL yeah that does sound more like his boing sound. It almost sounds like he sets up a big old 70s 3-way home stereo speaker in a bathroom, disconnects the midrange in the speaker, cranks the bass and treble at a loud volume, and mics the bathroom with an SM-57 behind the toilet.
     
  18. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I love me some Testament. I think the first two tracks on The Gathering are one of the hardest “one-two” punches in the history of thrash metal.
     
  19. The reason I bumped this thread was because of an amp I came across on my bass-shopping spree on Monday.
    A tube hybrid that even with the knobs at noon it sounded like it was begging for some Testament to be played on it. That boing was definitely there, even with the cheapest Ibanez new Ibanez, a GSR105EXMOL:

    [​IMG]

    They had a copy of the amp I use daily as well, so I tried to get that sound on it & it was possible, but only with extreme EQ and aggressive playing.
    I almost started a thread about how I really loved that amp, but didn't like it's lack of high-gain. It simply will not break up.

    I would reveal what it is, but I'm half in my mind to go back there & buy it tomorrow.
    I bought that model of bass at a pawnshop two days ago, now all I need is that amp, LOL!
    Lightest 5-string, solid-body I've ever seen, under 6-3/4 lbs..

    Disclaimer: I'm not going to buy a tube hybrid & drop a SS pedal in front of it for o/d.
     
    ScottsTheLimit likes this.
  20. ScottsTheLimit

    ScottsTheLimit SUSPENDED

    Sep 3, 2018
    I think it's cool someone out there is still searching for that 80s tone. I used to go for it...but my strings would die in a few minutes of tinkering with my amps and cabs. I'd clean my strings with 91% alcohol, get all excited, start having fun with the amps, checking out different settings and racks, and then the damn strings would start to die ruining it all. You can't get that type of sound with slightly dead strings. Playing a gig...forget it. That sound disappeared two songs in for me.

    I changed to an all thick midrange super distorted but clear and defined Moog-ish synthy overdriven tone that has absolutely no clank from the bass itself. I use 30 year old dead strings, the tone knob down, and use the preamp distortion/compression and subsequent pre and post distortion eq to add the upper end harmonics. It cuts, sounds like the 70s, and the best part is the deader the strings the thicker and more mwah-like the overdrive is! :)
     

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