Is Geezer Butler really this hard?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Slaphound, Jun 20, 2008.

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  1. I'm having a hell of a time learning Iron Man and War Pigs. This guy doesn't play like Jaco but its still hard to learn. Pretty quick riffs. Any body have any advise on learning how to play early Sabbath?
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  2. Jmassie

    Jmassie Guest

    Jan 7, 2008
    If your just starting out then Its gonna be hard, geezer does quite the fret stretching. But hey man, i learned alot of early sabbath when i started out, Great stuff butler can play his ass off ( BTW hes also known to tune to f#) alls i can say is practice, and play along with the records

  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Those songs make me laugh ... they are sooo old and sooo corny ... it is like an old Beavis and Butthead rerun ...

    Do bands still do that material?
  4. laboitenoire


    Jul 5, 2006
    Yeah, War Pigs is freaking hard once you get to the solo. Iron Man isn't bad until you reach the end, when you just have to go as fast as you can for the most part.
  5. grooVWy


    Apr 9, 2005
    Geezer plays with feeling. Check out some old Sab VHS/DVD´s and look the man on fire(though they don´t show him much). I had the same problems as you until I just kept playing and playing those songs and finally realized the geniousity of Geezer. That guy seriously has A personal approach to bass guitar.
    Jaco is just purely techical and thus for me, easier to learn.

    EDIT: learn to play octave and fifts flawlessly.
  6. As grooVWy said Geezer is all about feeling, some of his lines are very easy to play E.G Paranoid, Never Say die, those are straight 8's root notes and fifths, but they are in tone with the need of the song.
    He also has lines like Sweet Leaf, Fairies wear boots which involve more movement hence more concentration, is there where you have to get into the feeling of the song that way you'll master Geezer's way of playing.
    Black Sabbath is one of my favourite bands and GB is one of the reasons I picked up bass guitar, he is an amazing bass player who improved his playing with every record sabbath put out.
  7. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Good advice.
  8. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Question, if your bashing Sabbath for being "old and corny," why are your supposed bass influences are: McCartney, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, John Entwistle, John Wetton. All old, and all (arguably) corny, in spite of the fact that they are all awesome.

    I mean, do I honestly need to post the lyrics to "The Trees?" How about owner of a lonely heart?

    Lyrical content of those two songs (which are not Sabbath's best at all), they are one of the most influential bands ever, so...
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  9. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Nicely put, Matt.
  10. magickbass

    magickbass Guest

    May 24, 2008
    "( BTW hes also known to tune to f#)"

    I'm sure you meant to say he drop tunes to C# on Master of Reality and every album after. The first two songs on MoR(Sweet Leaf and After Forever) are standard E tuning and then the rest are tuned 1 and 1/2 steps down to C# to match Toni Iommi's guitar tuning. Hence, the badassness that is Children of the Grave and Into the Void. 8)
  11. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Geezer is a badass. He is very blues based. More than one would think. Check out some of that stuff to see where he came from.
  12. LumpyGravy

    LumpyGravy Guest

    May 8, 2002
    I first learned playing Sabbath. Almost every song from their Debut to Mob Rules. Are you trying to learn note for note??? Just keep at it. When I play to those cds, I put my own feel into it. I do a lot of different things. Maybe boredom from playing them over 20 yrs, but I make it fun. I have been learning Bill Ward stuff. He's a pretty slick drummer. I get hung up on some of his beats, but I have only been playing drums for 3 months. Lots of Jazz in his playing. Sabbath RULES!
  13. atlnikko

    atlnikko Guest

    Jun 13, 2007
    I grew up not listening to this music at all when I was in high school because only "stoners" listened to them. After I began playing music (clarinet, piano, then bass), I grew up musically, I realized that I must listen to all types of music.

    Geezer is someone that all bassists should listen too and respect. He does things that everyone can learn from. I am a blues and jazz player and Symptom Of The Universe is the best collection of early Black Sabbath music. You can learn from his approach and improve your choices.
  14. staindbass

    staindbass Guest

    Jun 9, 2008
    ** this short sighted person fails to realise they will not be playing beavis and butthead on tv 35 years from now. he cannot tell art from a fart. some guys asks a question, and this guy just wants to make wisecracks. if your that bored, maybe you should practice your instrument if you have nothing constructive to add. lets hear YOUR songs, lol. johnny a
  15. rrr_o_bbb

    rrr_o_bbb Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    East Lansing, MI
    OK...I'm an old black sabbath fan, and a B&B fan...I demand that you post a youtube clip of yourself playing. Don't judge lest being open to being judged :eyebrow: I'm being totally serial,
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    This is great advice! A lot of Geezer's playing is based on a lot of bluesy licks, once you get a feel for it, it's much easier to figure out what he was doing. I know I rip off Geezer constantly, I think I studied his stuff TOO closely.
  17. magickbass

    magickbass Guest

    May 24, 2008
    Glad to see those speaking out for Geez. I really wanted to but I know it would end up derogatory so I thought better of it. Didn't want this board turning into a youtube flaming either, I am getting REALLY sick of that.

    +1 for all those who kept it clean and tactful, more than I could do on said topic.
  18. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    see avatar for opinion
  19. MrBorisSpider

    MrBorisSpider Inactive

    May 8, 2008
    You do know you people fell hook, line and sinker for a troll, right? Not the OP, I mean.

    Anyway, the trick with Geezer is that he plays a lot of different fills. I assume he screwed up in the recordings, but he kept playing as they couldn't punch in fixes back then. Genius often seems to come from mistakes (the microwave, for example). There is also the fact that Sabbath is a very jam-based band, hence all the new stuff he throws out there.

    Remember, most of us can't play the same fill or riff exactly the same every time, contrary to what modern recordings would have you believe; not even our own songs. Even Geezer doesn't play 100% of what he did before (and that's not just due to the drug use, age etc).

    Just get the gist of what he's playing (tons of 1-5-8 stuff as well as pentatonics and blues scales) and use that. If you find a variation on a fill you like, fit it into the song. For example, in Children of the Grave, I can't quite make out the second part of the fill off the main riff, so I just put in my own stuff and it works.
  20. Bassbasixx

    Bassbasixx Guest

    Feb 3, 2008
    Dana Point Ca
    First record I ever bought was Black Sabbath Master Of Reality. I saw the Heaven and Hell tour the first one 2x then Mob Rules 2x and there 20 year reunion with Ozzy "was outstanding" then again last summer Heaven and Hell reunion all of them kicked. "You have not been to a good concert until your ears ring for two days"
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