Today we’ll be looking at Geddy Lee’s awesome bass solo in the song La Villa Strangiato by Rush. This solo caused me all kinds of problems when I first started out so I’ve got a few tips and tricks for getting through it!

La Villa Strangiato

Geddy Lee is a fantastic player and I get asked about his lines a lot. As ever, the trick is about understanding how the line is put together, how to get the best fingering positions, and finally how to build up accuracy and speed.

You’ll see different takes on the line across the many YouTube tutorials, but I think I’ve got the line just about right (having slowed down the original track to penetrate some of the noise on the recording).

One thing you’ll notice is that it has an unusual tonality – meaning you can’t just rely on your knowledge of scales to fudge it. This is one piece you just have to learn in full!

Watch out for the hammer on from C to C# and the questionable open D which almost appears as a ghost note – possibly even a minor slip of the finger. There are some really flavoursome chromatic runs towards the end of the line too. Juicy stuff – and a great showcase for what an inventive bassist like Geddy Lee brings to a song.

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