You could learn N.I.B. by rote, from a tab… or stick with me, and learn to jam your own metal bass solos just like Geezer Butler.
0:00 - Josh is a Geezer Fanboy
0:27 - Geezer’s Jamming Influences
1:14 - Minor Pentatonic Magic
3:30 - Groove It
4:58 - Add the Bendies
7:07 - Geezer’s Plucking Technique
8:52 - Dial in Your Gear & Tone
If you’re doing the Beginner to Badass course, the concepts of this lesson will click okay for you pretty early on, but the playing difficulty at full speed will probably feel most doable in the Module 14 realm.
Full N.I.B. Bass Solo Tab
Here’s the Noteflight link to my full N.I.B. solo transcription, have fun!
Building Your Own Metal Bass Solo like Geezer
Here’s a quick rundown on the 5 steps I walk you through in the video -
1 - Minor Pentatonic
Here’s the 2 octave E minor pentatonic scale that Geezer uses for the N.I.B. solo -
Which gives us step 1 of building the solo, just throwing some notes in order -
2 - Groove/Rhythm
Then we need some rhythm, so it doesn’t sound like music store noodles from hell. We’ll copy Geezer and just do a bunch of simple eighths and quarters -
3 - Bendies
We need way more flavor on those vanilla notes, so we’ll add some generous bends to get it rawking harder -
4 - Plucking Technique
To get your plucking to sound Geezer-y:
- Smack the strings downwards instead of pulling across, this makes more of that clack sound
- Pluck over the fingerboard to get some of those weird high fret noises you hear on the Black Sabbath record
5 - Gear & Tone
Finally, the expensive part, getting the right gear.
- Play a P bass, or use the neck pickup of whatever bass you’ve got. That growl is part of the rawk.
- For total N.I.B. purists, use some old dead strings covered in gunk… or just roll your tone knob down a hair.
- Get a wah pedal going! Anything will do. Even an envelope filter would probably be okay, although the manual action of a wah pedal has a signature sound that’s not quite the same.
Feeling brave? If you’ve tried out these ideas and are working on your Geezer Butler impersonation (without going snowblind ), please post video/audio below! Let me know if you’d like some constructive feedback. (please tag me @JoshFossgreen so I don’t miss it)