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What was Greg Lake's set-up on "From The Begining?"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by SullyB, Dec 30, 2005.


  1. SullyB

    SullyB

    Nov 22, 2005
    Hello friends,

    What set-up did Greg Lake use when he played "From The Beginning?" I love the round, warm tone that is present on the track, and even though I shouldn't try to cop it bit for bit, I would like to know how he achieved it. Thanks in advance for the tips.

    SullyB
     
  2. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Don't know.
    I do know I usually play this tune whenever one of my high school buddies throws his annual 'old fart' jams.
    I have used P-style, P-J & Jazz-style basses with round wound strings through my G-K 200MB combo & can approximate Lake's tone by plucking nearer the neck than I usually do.

    I'm assuming Lake used a Fender Jazz...maybe with the bridge pickup cut a bit?
     
  3. SullyB

    SullyB

    Nov 22, 2005
    Thanks. In hindsight it looks like a stupid question to ask, seeing as I am quite aware that tone is indeed in the fingers. I am a big gear geek though, so there was a bit of "gear trivia geek" in the question. I need a life! :) :rolleyes:
     
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Greg Lake! Now there's one of the finest under-rated players to ever come out of the British prog scene...

    I first caught an ELP concert in 1978 at a hockey arena in Kalamazoo Michigan, named Wings Stadium. Greg played a Rickenbacker 4001 throughout most of the show - a most excellent show, in fact...

    I was seated at the opposite end of the room from the band, at about eye level with the stage. I'll never forget the way the bass tone swelled up, got into my chest cavity, rattled my frame from top to bottom, and filled up the entire building, during the first few measures of "Take A Pebble": :eek: Simply awesome sound reproduction - and awesome musicianship...

    MM
     
  5. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    It's cool. FWIW, I am not a gear geek...I am, though, playing with a guitarist that is & he's pretty funny(in the past 4 months, he has gone from a Top Hat amp to a Matchless amp to a Victoria(?) amp(repro of an old Fender tweed Twin).
    My G-K 200MB, mentioned above, is now 20 years old.

    Have you seen the ELP DVD Beyond The Beginning?
     
  6. PhR

    PhR

    Dec 13, 2005
    Finland
    That is very unlikely, unless you got the year wrong. At that time Greg played Alembic basses (4- and 8-string). 1972 or so he briefly used a 4001.

    I think he played a Fender Jazz on "From The Beginning", the bass he used the most (since King Crimson days) until he switched to a Gibson Ripper.
     
  7. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    Sounds like its actually a synth/keys track and no bass-guitar.
     
  8. SullyB

    SullyB

    Nov 22, 2005
    No, I haven't seen that DVD. But then again...The music store I shop at now plays musci DVDs all the time and one of them is an ELP DVD, so that may be the one. I have to check it out.
     
  9. SullyB

    SullyB

    Nov 22, 2005
    You could be right. They were a three piece after all. Bu tto my ears it sounds like a bass guitar track. Oh well.

    I played with a drummer a couple of years ago who had the fortune of seeing an ELP concert in the 70s that featured 'quadrophonic sound', or four sets of speakers set up at the four corners of the venue. He said it sounded awesome! :bassist:
     
  10. PhR

    PhR

    Dec 13, 2005
    Finland
    It has a bass guitar.
     
  11. SullyB

    SullyB

    Nov 22, 2005
    Yeah, I thought it had a bass track. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for acoustic guitar/bass duos, or trios if you throw in some precussion. I think that Greg Lake is definitely under rated. While super flashy slap and tap chops are admirable (I persevere but still sound crap.), I think that a strong sense of melody, harmony, and counterpoint are often overlooked by many and that bass part has all three of those qualities, in spades!
     

  12. I thought so too until I noticed that through headphones you can hear his fingers rubbing the strings on the vibrato parts.
     
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Unlikely or not, a Rickenbacker is what he was playing - of that I am certain. I am equally certain of the year - 1978 it was...

    Although he's undoubtedly used a number of different makes & models throughout the years - including the Tune basses he played a lot during the '90s - surely there's nothing to inhibit him from selecting any of his basses he wanted to play, for any of his shows, at any point in his career, if he simply wanted to play it. Is there? :rolleyes:

    MM
     
  14. PhR

    PhR

    Dec 13, 2005
    Finland
    Of course not. He has just said that he didn't like his Rickenbacker and only played it briefly.
     
  15. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    His vibrato is damn perfect given that...
    damn perfect...
    Something like at 3 min through the song he does this one note staccato thing that makes me want to say keys...that and his damn perfect vibrato...
    But fingers don't squeak on keys like they do on strings...
     
  16. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    The version on Trilogy is obviously a bass guitar.
    Lake's tone on "From The Beginning", IMO, is very similar to what is heard on "Lucky Man".

    IIRC, live versions of "From The Beginning" were pretty much part of Lake's 'solo' acoustic guitar segment during ELP concerts.
     

  17. Well c'mon , he's Greg Lake, you gotta be damn perfect if you can hold your ground with guys like Palmer and Emerson.
     
  18. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.

    >>> According to Greg Lake's website, the only gig in Michigan in 1978 was at a place called Olympia Stadium. Maybe it's the same place??? I also read an interview with Greg from 1974 stating that he got rid of his Rickenbacker because the neck warped. I have photos of him playing a heavily modified 4001 with full crushed pearl inlays and altered tone controls and what appears to be a Gibson bridge cover. This photo is from about '72, maybe '73. March of 1978 would have been one of the very last shows from the "Works" tour; he played 2 basses for that tour: a Series 2 Alembic 8 string, and a 4 string. I saw this show in August of 77 at the Long Beach Arena. I suppose anything is possible though. A couple of people who saw that 1978 concert states the weather was terrible; perhaps it delayed the arrival of some of the band's equipment and they
    had to make do with whatever they could find, including this mystery 4001 Rick.

    Slug
     
  19. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> And yes, there is bass on that track, most surely his trusty Jazz which can be heard on just about everything he played on up until 1973's Brain Salad Surgery.

    Slug