“He’d pull off bass riffs that were just amazing – he doesn’t just follow the roots”: Listen to Geddy Lee’s “flamenco” strumming technique on Rush’s Snakes & Arrows

Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart of Rush performs on stage during the R40 LIVE Tour at KeyArena on July 19, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Blessed with an incredibly versatile singing voice in addition to his superlative bass guitar skills, Gary Lee Weinrib – nicknamed Geddy Lee after the way his grandmother used to pronounce his name – was among the first electric players to combine funk with progressive-rock elements (quirky time signatures and key changes, a flurry of different musical styles, intoxicating dexterity... you know the drill) and make it big while doing so. 

Complemented by his virtuoso band-mates in Rush – guitarist Alex Lifeson and the late drummer Neil Peart – Lee's bass playing veered from the subtle, to the atmospheric, to an all-out riff storm.

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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.