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How to get geddy lee jazz bass sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chadwmit, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. chadwmit


    Nov 23, 2012
    i just got a 70s model jazz bass and i want to try to get the sound that geddy has on their clockwork angels album.
  2. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Brand new Rotosound stainless steel strings, an Orange amp and head (mids and treble boosted), and a heavy right hand.
  3. One thing people don't often mention is to play over the neck pickup. My natural tendency is to play over the bridge pickup, so I have to make an effort to play over the neck pickup to get his sound. If you have a tube amp, you will want to turn up the gain to get a little grit.
  4. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Try to find the August issue of Bass Player in which Geddy describes his recording setup in detail. It's quite complex, using four seperate routes simultaneously. The Orange head is one channel.
  5. tjnkoo


    Apr 19, 2011
    Metro Atlanta
    I managed to cop and pretty great fake with my 1977 Fender Jazz. It think its got more to do with the 70's pickup spacing of course than the age. It had some 80's EMGs in it as well. I tried a couple strings, and actually some Ken Smith roundwounds got me the best and closest sound. Then I roll off the neck p/u a bit so its at 70-80%. Tone totally open. And pluck HARD.

    Mind you, this gets more of a pr-snakes and arrows tone. It can do a lot of 80's pretty well, and I've gotten great fakes of all the 70's tones (oddly enough, being he's using a Ric and all).

    This is the only video I have on the youtube of my 77' Jazz so far (and luckily a Rush cover!), so let me know what you think:

  6. Here are a couple of Soundcloud tracks of me playing my 2001 Jazz (Ash/Maple Board) through my GK MB200 over a couple of Rush tunes. Just played over the neck pickup and really dug in.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  7. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    there is some heavy eq magic on clockwork angels. second the recommendation for new stainless strings, low action, heavy attack.

    his tone almost reminds me of Paul d'amour's (old Tool bassist) Rick tone on Undertow.
  8. [​IMG]

    The Sansamp has a lot to do with his sound!

    and to be honest i much prefer his Ric tone on earlier recordings
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I recommend you do not try to get Geddy's sound. Get your own. Your Jazz bass is equipped to make some really great sounds, and you do not want to emulate Geddy's playing style. I'm not saying you don't want some similar growl, but find a tone that makes people think of YOU.

    (just wanted to be a different voice - of course you can feel free to do whatever you want!)
  10. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Unless that said person is in a Rush cover band, then I can see why someone would (try to) emulate that sound. But I agree, getting your own personal sound (that fits in with the band) is good for creating your own identity with songs/performances. But trying to emulate the tone of someone else (can) provide(s) a decent template to start on.

    @GrooveWarrior: Dude, what the f-ck? You're playing is awesome! :eek:
  11. Roger Haworth

    Roger Haworth

    Mar 31, 2005
    Find your own way, get your own sound. If you watch Geddy Lee in action, his right hand flies all over the place, from playing over one pickup to the other, back and forth.

    Don't think too hard about your technique, just play naturally. I saw a you tube video recently of someone playing along to the Rush song Animate, which features one-fingered almost flamenco playing, and the players approach was very accurate, but incredibly dry and stilted. Watch Geddy Lee playing it and again he's all over the place, sloppy and relaxed and it sounds so much better for it.
  12. Thanks. As someone said before, it's all about relaxing and letting it fly with Geddys stuff.