Chris Squire is the influential bassist for the British based band, Yes.
This band has been around for over 40 years, having started in 1969. Chris
Squire's sound and playing style are very distinctive. His sound has given
the manufacture "Rickenbacker" a distinctive place in the world of bass guitars.
He purchased his bass in 1965, Model RM1999, and rewired it to produce a
bi-amplified (stereo) output signal. (The RM1999 was a monophonic budget
version of the 4001 stereo bass.) His sound was then sent to two different
amplifiers, each pickup going to different amplifiers. He utilized a
guitar amplifier for the high frequencies, and conventional bass amplifier for
the low end. This splitting of the signal allowed him to process parts of
the signal and still maintain a very tight bass sound. Chris plays with a
pick and partially utilizes the tip of his thumb when playing, thus, each note
has a sort of naturally delayed or flanged effect. His sound is unique,
and it has lots of treble, with a powerful low end.
His style of playing is aggressive, melodic, and definitely "outside of the
box". He is personally fond of playing in odd meter time signatures (i.e.
7/4, 5/4, 15/4) as their music reveals. Songs like "The Fish" are in 7/4;
"Sound Chaser" has a mix of time signatures including, 5/4, 4/4, 7/4; "Our Song"
has parts of it in 7/4; "Perpetual Change" and "And You and I" both have 7/4
figures; "Siberian Khatru" has the main theme in 15/4 (or 4/4 + 4/4 + 4/4 +3/4).
Many bass players have been enamored with the sound of Squire's bass on the
"Roundabout" track from the Fragile album. They have tried in vain to
replicate this sound. However, in a video interview, Chris revealed that
he actually double tracked this bass line in real time. The first track
was with the Rickenbacker, the second was with his Photon bass, which is tuned
one octave higher. This explains the brightness and snappiness of the
sound which is heard on that track. It also reveals his propensity to
think outside of the box--who would have dreamed that he had laid down two
identical tracks with different instruments!
My favorite bass track of Chris Squire is his bass line for Cinema.
His bass part again shows his prowess and "out of the box" genius. He is
often playing a pseudo-harmony to Trevor Rabin's guitar lines in this piece.
Below are some videos of some of his classic bass lines.
As for albums that you might want to consider, I recommend the following in
regard to Chris Squire: Fragile, Close to the Edge, Relayer, Yes Songs,
Going For the One, 90215, and Fish Out of Water (his solo record).
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JACO PASTORIUS Not rated yet I first picked up the electric bass in September of 1975. Although I loved music, it was more of a social thing than anything else. It did not take …