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Learning from your Bass influences

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

  1. the_hook


    Apr 9, 2008
    This is more of a curiosity thing, but maybe people have arrived at the same conclusion.

    I've played Rush songs for a few years now, mostly learning from the music books and tab/guitar pro, and sometimes by ear. So I have a good idea how to play the songs and I've developed skills and technique along the way. I love their early stuff like the Trees, Farewell to Kings, Xanadu, Natural Science, etc.

    But is Geddy really doing anything bass specific with his playing? Does he play the notes to move the chords that Alex is playing along?

    We know rythmically with Neil Peart they're all sync'd up, but is Geddy just playing what feels right and going off in his own direction like in Freewill, where he's ripping into some amazing bass work while Alex is off doing something else?

    I'm now learning some Dream Theater songs, and I get a different sense playing Myung's lines, I can sense more of a 'studied' approach with his choice of notes, so you know he's studied bass and theory and knows where and when to place his notes with Petrucci's guitar parts.

    From all the articles I've read I'm pretty sure Geddy does not have vast theory knowledge, but plays with his gut and whatever ear sense he's developed from playing thousands of shows.

    So what I'm saying is; If you take apart Geddy's playing what will it reveal? I love a lot of his bass parts, but is he really playing as a bassist would be taught to play, or has he developed a style that's just functional within the context of Rush? He's mentioned that as a Trio he has more space to fill up, so is he like a 2nd guitarist and bass player?

    Does Chris Squire fall into this category as well?
  2. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I'm not sure how to begin to answer this question...

    We've never heard him outside of Rush (or I haven't, at least), so there's no way of telling what he'd choose to play in a different context. He might fail miserably at playing with Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson... or he might not.

    He's a creative guy who's seemingly followed his own imagination and heart, and found two other guys with similar taste. The three compliment each other very well. This is a common scenario with bands comprised of guys who have basically grown up together (other examples: the Beatles or U2). (And no one in the Beatles nor U2 studied music theory, either.)

    As far as what he's doing... he plays composed parts, but intersperses them with improvisation. I don't really know what else to say...

    From what I've read, Chris Squire was big inspiration for him, and yes, I would say that Squire has a similar approach to the bass role.

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