“We mic’d one of Steve Howe’s old Gibson guitars and mixed it with the bass. That’s what gave it such a bright sound”: Listen to Chris Squire’s isolated bassline on Roundabout

Bassist Chris Squire (1948 - 2015) performing with English progressive rock band Yes, at Madison Square Garden, New York, 5th August 1977
(Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

For countless bassists, there’s nothing better than the late Chris Squire’s hard-driving, sixteenths-heavy bassline on the 1972 Yes classic, Roundabout. It’s a showcase bass riff that flies by so fast, many are content to just listen in awe. For the rest of us, it’s time to get warmed up with one of progressive rock’s most challenging bass guitar riffs. 

From the start, Squire sets himself apart from the masses with the searing sounds he coaxed from a combination of Rickenbacker bass, Rotosound strings and his fluent and expressive plectrum technique. 

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.