#1



To talk about Chris Squire is to talk about a genius not for his technique is for his innovation on the bass, using effects and sounds that were common on a guitar or keyboard during the 70s, effects like distortion, wah-wah were the signature of his sound during all these years of musical career in Yes.

He was born in Kingsbury, a suburb of northwest London, in England, and was trained in the church choir as a young boy, beginning his musical career in the church's basement, along with his friend Andrew Jackman. In 1964, he was suspended from school for "having long hair", and given money to get a haircut. Instead he went home, used the money for other things, and never returned to school.

Squire was fond of experimenting with LSD in the 1960s, until an incident where he had a bad acid trip. He recalls that he spent months inside his girlfriend's apartment, afraid to leave, and it was during this time that he developed his style in the bass. He recovered and never used LSD again.

Squire's early influences were diverse, ranging from church and choral music to the Merseybeat sounds of the early 1960s. Squire's first musical groups The Selfs, The Syn (both including Jackman), and later, Mabel Greer's Toyshop, would introduce him to his early Yes collaborators Peter Banks and Jon Anderson.

During the band's formative years Squire was frequently known for his tardiness, a habit that drummer Bill Bruford often complained about. Because of this, Squire would frequently drive at unsafe speeds to get to gigs on time, once causing a horrific accident on the way to a gig in West Germany after he fell asleep at the wheel, although miraculously nobody was injured.

As Squire, along with Alan White and Steve Howe, co-owned the "Yes" name at the time, the 1989 ABWH lineup without him (which contained Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe) could not record under that name.

Squire has concentrated overwhelmingly on Yes' music over the years, and his solo works have been few and far between. His first and only true solo record was 1975's Fish Out of Water, featuring Yes alumni Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on keyboards and The Syn/The Selfs alumnus Andrew Jackman also on keyboards. Squire was later a member of the short-lived XYZ (eX-Yes/Zeppelin) in 1981, a group composed of Alan White (Yes) on drums and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) on guitar. XYZ recorded several demo tracks at Squire's home studio in Virginia Water, but never produced anything formal (ostensibly because vocalist Robert Plant, still mourning for John Bonham, failed to get interested). XYZ never officially released any material, though two of the demos provided the bases for two later Yes tracks, "Mind Drive" and "Can You Imagine?". Squire also played a role in bringing Trevor Rabin into the Cinema band project, which became the 90125 lineup. Later, Squire would join with Yes guitarist Billy Sherwood in a side project called Conspiracy. This band's self-titled debut album contained the nuclei of several songs that had appeared on Yes' recent albums. Conspiracy's second album, The Unknown, was released in 2003.

In late 2004, Squire joined a reunion of The Syn, subsequently leaving the band in May 2006. He is now working on two solo projects with other former Syn collaborators Gerard Johnson, Jeremy Stacey and Paul Stacey. A Christmas album, Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, was released in 2007 (with Johnson, J. Stacey and Steve Hackett), while a second solo album is expected in 2009.

Technique

"I’ve developed a technique over the years where I hold the pick very close to my thumb. I hit the string with the pick, but then a millisecond later, I hit it with my thumb as well. That way I get the attack from the pick, but sustain from my thumb. Sometimes I just play with my fingers, but I’ve never been as proficient as someone like John Entwistle." Chris Squire

Due to its distinct high/mid tone it allowed the bass to take on a more "lead" role which suited Squire perfectly. Unlike the grooving low end thump established by James Jamerson and imitated throughout the world of rock and R&B, Squire constructed contrapuntal lines reminiscent of a "Bach/Baroque" style where the bass played a separate melody from the main theme.

Rig

Squire's main instrument is a Rickenbacker bass (model RM1999, serial number DC127), which he has owned and played since 1965 -- the year it was first introduced.This instrument, with its warmth and distortion, is a significant part of Squire's unique sound.




Besides the Rick he uses ’70s Fender Jazz Bass, Lakland Bob Glaub.

On amps he uses Mouradian CS-74 Rig Marshall Super Bass, SWR Bass 350, and Ampeg SVT-2 PRO heads.



Also Squire is famous for his Bi-amping technique, Squire obtained his distinctive tone at the time by rewiring his RM1999 into stereo and sending the bass and treble pickups each into a separate amplifier. By splitting the signal from his bass into dual high and low frequency outputs and then sending the low frequency output to a conventional bass amplifier and the high-frequency output to a separate lead guitar amplifier, Squire produced a tonal 'sandwich' that added a growling, overdrive edge to the sound while retaining the Rickenbacker's powerful bass response. This gave his bass sound bright, growling higher frequencies and clean, solid bass frequencies. This technique allowed Squire to utilize harmonic distortion on his bass while avoiding the flat, fuzzy sound, loss of power and poor bass response that typically occurs when bass guitars are overdriven through an amplifier or put through a fuzz box. He also plays with a pick which contributes to the sharp attack as well as using fresh Rotosound Swing Bass strings for every show.

Well hope you liked this BPOTM see ya !
#3
i met him at london guitar show last year.
he seemed a pretty nice guy.
very fat these days though
#4
Finally, a BpOTM on a real bass player!

Anyway, good job. Some significant Wiki-ness there, but still informative. Anyone want to post more Squire pics? Especially now that he looks like a grizzly bear?

I gotta say, I saw Yes in November and they were great. A 3-hour concert, and his tone sounded exactly like it did on the records. None of that Keys of Ascension chorus/fuzz/clean tone that he and John Entwistle made all the rage in the mid/late 90's. He also sang lead on a new, unreleased song.

I love the dude not only for his bass playing, but his fantastic voice. I really wish I had the tone of voice he had - and somehow, he sounds nicest now. I much prefer his current singing voice than his voice when he was young. Listen to Onward from Keys of Ascension I for a good example of it.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#7
He also uses a Gibson double neck- one neck bass, the other guitar, and he used a Gibson to double the rick on a few tracks. I think Roundabout may have been one of them. He details this in the interview he did in the Rickenbacker special of either Bass Guitar or Bass Player magazine,
#8
Chris Squire's tone =
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#9
I love Chris Squire, and agree that his basslines and tone are wonderful. They are one of the bands I never got to see back in the 70s and regret it. I can remember being in middle school and listening to Fragile and Tales from Topographical Oceans and being just completely blown away.
#10
Relayer is the most underrated album EVER. Going For The One is close.

Edit: The Mouradian CS-74 is a friggin' bass, not an amp...
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
Last edited by thefitz at Feb 2, 2009,
#11
Roundabout was just one of those songs that totally helped shape my outlook on bass. Good BPOTM!
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#13
Squire is a win bassist. I love that guys tone, helped me realize that subsonic isn't the greatest choice.
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#14
Great BPOTM! Ive just gotten into this guy. I absolutly love his lines.
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#15
Very good. I grew up on my parents Yes collection, and they were the first band that I became aware of the bass. And Squire's ability to continue playing well and producing is just amazing. He's been a pro for about 40 years now?!?
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#17
where can i find old bpotm?
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Forgive the bluntness, but what in the chucklefucking hell is this?
#18
Quote by PluckU
where can i find old bpotm?


Bass Forum archives
Quote by thefitz
That's because you're a 13 year old who only focuses on guitars. I bet most people can't tell the difference between your voice and your mother's.
#19
Quote by CBurtonIsKing
Bass Forum archives


zomg good idea
Quote by Azgirio
Yeah, you definitely raped his churches and burned his women.

Quote by LordBishek
Forgive the bluntness, but what in the chucklefucking hell is this?
#20
Quote by PluckU
zomg good idea


You wont find all of them unfortunatly - i think Tam or Delirium has to put it in the archive, and some of the old ones might not be there. But the Timmy C and Chris Wolsten-thingy ones should be there.
Quote by thefitz
That's because you're a 13 year old who only focuses on guitars. I bet most people can't tell the difference between your voice and your mother's.
#21
Quote by CBurtonIsKing
You wont find all of them unfortunatly - i think Tam or Delirium has to put it in the archive, and some of the old ones might not be there. But the Timmy C and Chris Wolsten-thingy ones should be there.


Lol, I was wanting to read the Pete Wentz one =\
I wanted to hear some FoB bashing =(
Quote by Azgirio
Yeah, you definitely raped his churches and burned his women.

Quote by LordBishek
Forgive the bluntness, but what in the chucklefucking hell is this?
#22
The remainder of the Yes tour has been cancelled.

Chris Squire is in-hospital for an undisclosed reason. I've also heard that he needed an emergency surgery.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#23
^that's a shame.

On the BOTM, BPOTM and UROTM threads--I've been trying to find them in the forum and moving them to the Archives when I can. Most of the recent ones are there however.
#24
Its what will happen to all fat men, i suppose i should just book a bed in the hospital while i can.
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#25
I'm gonna state the obvious and say that it seems getting a miraculously awesome tone such as Squire's requires exorbant amounts of money and gear tweaking. If only those of us without thousands of dollars could achieve revolutionary sound from our bass....
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