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Reverse engineer Walk This Way

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by t77mackie, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    To my ear Aerosmith's Walk This Way sounds like a bass with P&J pups strung with flats.

    What would be a good set of strings to get his tone from that track? Any old set of flats or something more specific? Or am I just way off from the get go?

    Thanx in advance.
  2. It always sounded like flats to me too... I've come fairly close with LaBella 760FLs (43-104) on my Jazz with the pickups in series mode.

  3. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Thanx, squatch. WtW is not my favorite tune in the world but I always loved the old school tone he got on that track. Really nice round bottom and a cool mid range tone.

    I'm gonna be doing some recording soon and I wonder if anyone has any insight into what was done on that track.

    Keep 'em comming, please.
  4. I could be wrong but I also believe Tom used a pick on the song based on the attack.
  5. Low action would help, too... just gave it a listen again, and I'm hearing some grit and clank.
  6. I thought this too when I learned it.

    Then I saw him play it live with his fingers. Not that live = studio, but it made me think.

    I still play it with a pick and rounds. :) In fact, I go for a growly tone so it cuts through.

  7. Mikhail1


    Apr 8, 2008
    I heard several times that the track was done by Joe Perry. As busy as the line sounds and how it is total opposite of the other bass tracks on the album led me to believe that this may be possible. Guitarists playing bass usually play around the root or totally over the top IMO.
  8. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Well, I imagine back in '75 they didn't have the multitude of strings we have today. Probably Fender brand or Roto's, no? What would be the modern equivalent? Roto's are basically unchanged, no?
  9. LaBella and GHS were already around too, but I'm not sure how much of the market they commanded at the time.
  10. Interesting. Now you're making me want to put on my research hat.

    Tom Hamilton can write a complex, unconventional bass line; indeed, he's responsible for some of the most memorable hooks featured on Aerosmith tracks (i.e. "Sweet Emotion"). But it wouldn't surprise me if Perry stepped in.

    BTW, this one is worth learning correctly, and it is probably one of the most hacked bass lines ever. When I play it the way it is on the original, my band mates and sound techs are pretty stunned and impressed. Love those high register licks (that does sound like something a guitar player would do). Great line, worth the extra time and effort.
  11. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    Sounds like rounds with a pick to me.
  12. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    A little-known fact is that it's actually Steven Tyler playing drums on the track. The story was that at the time Joey Kramer said he thought the song was a steaming pile and wanted nothing to do with it so Steven played drums on it. The irony is it's arguably their biggest and most well known song and he's had to play it every night for the last 30 years.
  13. Tried it last night with a P-Bass strung with flats and a pick.

    Sounded good. Tamed it a bit, but in a nice way. It became a bit more articulate.
  14. c10


    Apr 10, 2005
    Naperville, IL
    I heard Back in the Saddle was a Fender VI, maybe this one is too?
  15. squirefan


    Nov 22, 2009
    Lansing, Ks.
    I read that, too. And it was Joe Perry playing it.
    I always thought Tom was playing a MusicMan on it (Walk This Way), as pictures around that time show him playing one.
  16. Album was released in '75, and I think I saw elsewhere here that the Stingray didn't come out until '76.

    Double Live Bootleg, '78/'79 has pics of him with a MM as well as a P with anodized PG.