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How to get Geddy's tone on Tom Sawyer?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Myrriad, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Myrriad

    Myrriad Banned

    Oct 11, 2012
    I'm playing through a Squier VM Jazz, so it's close enough(issshhh) there. Just wondering how hard of an attack, where to play, and what bass/amp settings to use?
  2. You need some overdrive and and you need to dig in. His tone (especially with the Jazz Bass on MP) is easier to try to attain than is his Ric tone. Have fun.
  3. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    low action. newish strings. overdrive. don't worry about a little fret buzz. run everything wide open. hit hard with the right hand. bang those strings!
  4. iTunes and $1.29
  5. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    On your jazz turn both volumes to max, tone wide open. A new set of Roto's or other bright round wound. A bit of overdrive. Low action on the bass. Play pretty hard with your right close to the bridge pickup. EQ is dependent on your gear.
  6. RaginRog

    RaginRog Last guy you want to see is Employee Relations guy

    Nov 29, 2009
    Formerly Staten Island
  7. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    gonna need some compression too.
  8. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
    All good advice above.

    I just dropped into this thread to see how long it would take for someone drop the obligatory "Tone-is-ALL-in-the-hands-and-you're-not-Geddy-Lee!" comment.

    So far, so good.
    Robert B likes this.
  9. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    EQ is important. Roll off gradually below 75 hz (trust me) and cut about 1db in a wide swath from 300 to 3000 hz. Narrow boost about 2db at 120 hz and also at 4000 hz. Gradually roll off above 5000 hz.

    As mentioned already, some overdrive is required. Start with the SansAmp bddi, I've found a fairly close Geddy tone using it with most of the controls set close to their middle position- some tweaking required.

    Finally, it helps to play directly over the bridge pickup. You'll lose some volume this way (just boost the gain a little bit to compensate) but you'll find some more harmonics.

    That said, exactly duplicating a bass sound on a professionally recrded studio album like Moving Pictures with a hobbyist's live rig is an impossible task.
  10. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    Geddy is a good player, and pretty unique. In my opinion he is also a bit sloppy due to his very agressive right hand. If you have heard some of the solo bass tracks from Moving Pictures you would know of what I speak. He also plays more notes than is sometimes obvious thruogh the recordings. I think if you were to totally dupe his playing on a lot of songs and play it in a cover band many guys, including the ones in the band, might ask you what the hell you were playing.
  11. Kingbreaker


    Feb 12, 2013
    I still don't understand how he can play what he does using only his index finger for most of the notes. . . . You will get a long way towards the "tone from fingers" part of the equation if you can figure that out.
  12. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    Geddy threw the opening pitch at the Toronto Blue Jay's home opener tonight!
  13. Tim Commerford in RATM plays like this, too.
  14. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bridge pickup is how mortals do it. If you want to be authentic Geddy, do it over the neck pickup. You will get some added warmth that is an important layer of the Tom Sawyer onion.
    Wookieeboy likes this.
  15. Shrek: Geddy's like an onion
    Donkey: He stinks?
    Shrek: Yes...NO!
  16. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    It cannot be stated enough: Geddy is not kind to his strings. As Palpatine once said: "Use your aggressive feelings, boy!"
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well the way I see it, you have two choices...either pretend it's not true and continue to live with the delusion that you can buy your way into a particular sound, or you can take the word of nearly every single professional musician in the world.
    Flad likes this.
  18. loxjet


    Feb 25, 2013
    Billings MT
    Ain't THAT the truth.
  19. It is.
  20. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    You're on the wrong track pal, just found out what synth he used on the song and you're done. Trying to synth out your jazz bass is just a waste of time :smug::D;)

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