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What Bass Guitar Does Geddy Lee Play

Geddy Lee primarily plays a Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar. He’s also known for his Fender Jazz Basses.

Renowned for his complex bass lines and distinct tone, Geddy Lee of the progressive rock band Rush has become an iconic figure in the world of bass guitarists. His preference for the Rickenbacker 4001, a model celebrated for its punchy sound, has influenced countless musicians.

Lee’s style, coupling virtuosic technique with a rich, melodic approach, showcases the versatility of the instrument. His endorsement and utilization of Fender Jazz Basses further highlight his quest for tonal diversity. Throughout his career, Geddy Lee’s choice in bass guitars has played a pivotal role in crafting the signature sound that makes Rush’s music unforgettable and inspiring for bass players across the globe.

Introduction To Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee, born Gary Lee Weinrib, is not just the voice that powers the iconic rock trio Rush, but also the mastermind behind the thunderous basslines that have been the backbone of the band’s sound for decades. Known for his high-pitched vocal style and his complex bass playing, Lee has cemented his place in the pantheon of rock music legends. His ability to juggle intricate bass parts while simultaneously delivering powerful vocals has amazed audiences since Rush’s inception in the early 1970s.

Geddy Lee: Frontman Of Rush

Geddy Lee’s impact on music goes beyond his technical prowess. As the frontman of Rush, he has become synonymous with the band’s identity, contributing both to its sound and to its lyrical direction. Alongside guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart, Lee propelled Rush into the limelight with a unique blend of progressive rock that features intricate musical passages and philosophical lyrics. The longevity of Rush’s career, spanning over four decades, is a testament to the tight-knit chemistry among its members and Geddy Lee’s standout performances on the bass guitar.

Evolution Of Geddy Lee’s Bass Style

The bass style of Geddy Lee has undergone a distinct evolution throughout his career with Rush. Initially influenced by the British rock of the 1960s and 1970s, Lee’s technique quickly evolved to become a benchmark in progressive rock bass playing. It’s characterized by powerful riffs, melodic fills, and meticulous timekeeping which are essential to the complex arrangements of Rush’s music.

Over the years, Lee has integrated a diverse range of techniques, including fingerstyle, slap bass, and even the use of synthesizers to expand the textures available in his basslines. This versatility has allowed Geddy to match the band’s continuous transformation while still maintaining a distinctive sound that is instantly recognizable to fans around the world.

What Bass Guitar Does Geddy Lee Play


Geddy Lee’s Iconic Bass Guitars

When discussing the formidable prowess of Geddy Lee, the legendary frontman and bassist of the rock band Rush, one cannot overlook the instruments that became extensions of his dynamic sound. Known for their distinctive tone and the virtuoso’s swift, complex playing style, Geddy’s bass guitars have attracted their own following. Dive into the legacy of the basses that have not only complemented Geddy Lee’s style but also carved out their own place in the annals of rock history.

Fender Jazz Bass: Geddy Lee’s Mainstay

The Fender Jazz Bass reigns supreme in Geddy’s arsenal. Often seen in his firm grip, the Fender has become synonymous with the Rush sound throughout decades of tours and recording sessions. His main workhorse on stage is a 1972 Fender Jazz Bass characterized by its slim neck and versatile sound. Esteemed for its bright, full tone and smooth playability, Lee’s Fender Jazz Basses have a customized black finish and white pickguard, making them easily identifiable amidst a sea of rock instruments.

  • Black Finish with White Pickguard
  • Slim Neck Profile for Fast Playing
  • Customized pickups and Geddy Lee signature models

Rickenbacker 4001: A Signature Sound

The Rickenbacker 4001 is another iconic piece of equipment defining Lee’s signature sound, particularly in the ’70s. This bass, famous for its growling treble and punchy midrange, can be heard providing the foundational tones on albums such as 2112 and A Farewell to Kings. Its instantly recognizable body shape and checkerboard binding showcase the flair Geddy brought to his onstage presence.

  1. Geddy’s go-to bass in the seventies.
  2. Unique growl and sustain.
  3. Signature checkerboard binding on a fire-glow finish.

Wal And Steinberger Basses: The Experimentation Phase

In a career hallmarked by innovation, several other basses also made significant appearances during Geddy’s periods of experimentation. Wal basses especially were prominent during the ’80s, providing a thick, rich sound on albums like Power Windows. Furthermore, Geddy ventured into the realms of headless basses with Steinberger. These compact, unique basses were notable for their cutting-edge design and materials, contributing to Rush’s futuristic sonic landscape at the time.

Bass ModelNotable FeaturesAlbums Used On
WalRich Sound, Custom ElectronicsPower Windows
SteinbergerHeadless Design, Innovative MaterialsGrace Under Pressure

Each bass guitar that Geddy has played over the years is more than just an instrument; they are witnesses to the evolution of a legendary sound. Whether it was the mainstream fame with his Fender Jazz Bass, the defining growl of his Rickenbacker, or the adventurous tones from his Wal and Steinberger basses, Geddy Lee’s eclectic choice in instruments has helped to innovate and push the boundaries of bass guitar playing in rock music.

Geddy Lee Signature Equipment

Geddy Lee, the frontman and bass virtuoso of the iconic rock band Rush, has a distinctive style that resonates through his choice of instruments. The Geddy Lee Signature Equipment is a symbol of excellence and precision in the world of bass guitars. This section delves into the specifics of Lee’s gear, from his revered signature bass to his personalized sound rig.

Geddy Lee Fender Jazz Bass: The Signature Model

The Geddy Lee Fender Jazz Bass stands as a monument to his sonic legacy. Designed in collaboration with Fender, it encompasses the unique features and sounds that Geddy has tailored over decades. This model features a slim “C”-shaped neck profile, reminiscent of the original Jazz Bass, and custom-voiced pickups to match Geddy’s tone.

Feature Specification
Body Material Alder
Neck Maple, Slim “C” Shape
Fingerboard Maple with Black Block Inlays
Pickups Two Vintage Jazz Bass Single-Coils
Hardware High Mass Bridge, Vintage Style Tuning Machines

Amplification And Effects: Geddy Lee’s Live Rig

Lee’s live rig is as dynamic as his playing. Known for his rich and growling tone, Geddy harnesses a bespoke setup of amplifiers and effects units. He has prominently used the Tech 21 SansAmp RBI preamps and the Orange AD200B amplifiers, which shape the foundation of his onstage sound. His array of effects includes:

  • Chorus
  • Flangers
  • Delay
  • Pitch shifters
  • Envelope filters

The Customizations: Tailoring The Sound

Customizing the sound to his liking, Geddy Lee has made subtle yet significant modifications to his equipment. His technical prowess is evident in his setup. For instance, he replaces the standard bridges with high-mass versions for better sustain and resonance. Additionally, a custom wiring setup in his Jazz Bass gives him the ability to control each pickup’s volume independently, offering unparalleled tonal versatility.

  1. High-mass bridge replacement
  2. Dual-volume control wiring
  3. Custom-voiced single-coil pickups
What Bass Guitar Does Geddy Lee Play


Geddy Lee’s Influence On Bass Playing

When discussing icons who’ve revolutionized the way we hear and play bass guitar, Geddy Lee of Rush stands among the legends. His intricate playing style and his choice of bass guitars have not just shaped the sound of progressive rock but have also left a lasting impact on the instrument’s design and the aspirations of countless emerging bassists.

Impact On Progressive Rock And Beyond

Lee’s mastery of the bass guitar has defined the backbone of Rush’s complex compositions, which often involve odd time signatures and intricate passages. His aggressive yet melodic approach, wielding his signature Fender Jazz Bass, elevated the role of the bass as a lead, rather than just a rhythm instrument. This innovation did not stay confined within the realms of progressive rock; it inspired a variety of genres to explore new dimensions in bass playing.

Legacy In Bass Guitar Design

The very instruments that Geddy Lee chose to play have become iconic in their own right. His penchant for the Fender Jazz Bass led to a collaboration that birthed the Geddy Lee Signature Jazz Bass. This model offers players a slice of his unique sound, featuring a thin neck and high-output pickups. This partnership showcases how Lee’s preferences have been instrumental in shaping modern bass guitar design.

Inspiring Future Generations Of Bassists

Beyond the technical realms, Geddy Lee’s influence resonates in the hearts and minds of bass players around the world. From his early albums with Rush to his work on solo projects, Lee has inspired musicians to push the boundaries of their creativity and technique. Many successful bassists cite Lee as a fundamental influence, a testament to his role in sculpting the evolution of bass playing.

What Bass Guitar Does Geddy Lee Play


Frequently Asked Questions For What Bass Guitar Does Geddy Lee Play

What Bass Guitar Did Geddy Lee Play?

Geddy Lee predominantly played Rickenbacker 4001 and Fender Jazz Bass guitars. His iconic sound often is associated with these models.

What Bass Did Geddy Lee Use On Fly By Night?

Geddy Lee played a Rickenbacker 4001 bass on Rush’s album “Fly by Night. ” This iconic instrument contributed to the album’s distinctive sound.

What Rickenbacker Bass Did Geddy Lee Play?

Geddy Lee, the iconic bassist of Rush, primarily played a Rickenbacker 4001 bass. This instrument contributed to his distinct, punchy sound on many of the band’s classic recordings.

Where Is The Geddy Lee Signature Bass Made?

The Geddy Lee signature bass is crafted in Japan by Fender’s skilled luthiers.


Discovering the bass magic that powers Rush’s iconic sound shines a spotlight on Geddy Lee’s choice of instruments. His renowned Fender Jazz Bass has become a part of rock legend, much like Lee himself. Aspiring bassists and fans alike can draw inspiration from Geddy’s seamless integration of skill and equipment.

Dive into his musical legacy, and you may find the bass line to your own rock journey.

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