When Did Geddy Lee Buy His Fender Jazz Bass Guitar?: Step into the Mind of a Legend

Geddy Lee, the iconic bassist and frontman of Canadian rock band Rush, has long been synonymous with his legendary Fender Jazz Bass guitar. But when and how did this talented musician acquire his signature instrument? In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the history of Geddy Lee’s treasured Fender Jazz Bass, exploring its unique features and impact on music culture.

The History And Legacy Of Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar has been a staple of his sound and the rock music industry since its acquisition in the early years of Rush, influencing bass guitarists around the world with its high treble sound and unique style.

Early Years Of Rush And The Band’s Music Style

In the early years of Rush, the Canadian rock band delivered a unique blend of progressive and hard rock music that captivated audiences worldwide.

As a crucial member shaping Rush’s distinct sound and identity, Geddy Lee experimented with various bass guitar techniques while developing his iconic high-pitch vocal style.

Their first self-titled album released in 1974 showcased their strong influences from Led Zeppelin and Cream. Over time, Rush began incorporating more complex arrangements into their songs which can be heard in albums like “2112” (1976) and “A Farewell to Kings” (1977).

Acquisition Of The Fender Jazz Bass Guitar

Geddy Lee’s acquisition of his Fender Jazz Bass Guitar was a unique and chance encounter. The bass guitar had been produced by Fender in Kalamazoo, Michigan between 1961 to 1982.

In 1977, while on tour in Texas, Geddy stumbled upon the guitar at a local pawn shop. He immediately fell in love with its high treble sound and bought it for $200.

Geddy’s affinity towards this particular instrument has led to it being regarded as his signature bass guitar. With its tobacco sunburst finish and maple neck, Geddy used this guitar extensively throughout Rush’s music history – from “Moving Pictures” (1981) to their final album “Clockwork Angels” (2012).

Use Of The Guitar On Various Albums And Tours

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass guitar has been the backbone of Rush’s music since its acquisition. It was used extensively on classic albums like “Moving Pictures,” considered one of the greatest rock records of all time.

The bass is recognized for giving a high treble sound which can be heard clearly in iconic tracks such as “Tom Sawyer.” While Geddy did use other guitars on some songs, his signature instrument always came back into play during subsequent tours and recordings.

Influence On The Bass Guitar Community

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar has had a significant impact on the world of bass guitar playing. His unique high treble sound, achieved through his use of the bridge pickup and dialing down the tone controls, has become an iconic style that many bass players strive to emulate.

Moreover, Geddy Lee’s success in using such a signature instrument has helped to elevate the Fender Jazz Bass to legendary status. Many other musicians have followed suit in acquiring vintage or newer models of this type, particularly those looking for versatile instruments suitable for multiple genres.

In fact, some notable players who cite Geddy Lee as an influence include Justin Chancellor of Tool and Juan Alderete of The Mars Volta.

Iconic Sound And Style

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass guitar has an iconic sound and style, known for its high treble notes and distinct tone. Lee’s technique, combined with the features of his signature instrument, creates a unique sound that is easily recognizable to fans of Rush and bass enthusiasts alike.

His use of the hybrid bass made it stand out amongst other precision basses during concerts in classic tunes like “Tom Sawyer” or “YYZ.” He also used a combination of picks and fingers to create different sounds that added textures to their music.

Use In Popular Music And Media

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass has been a fixture in rock music for over four decades. Its unique sound and style have influenced countless bass players, from beginners to professionals.

Beyond Rush’s music, the Fender Jazz Bass has also made appearances in popular media throughout the years. For example, it was used in the theme song for the TV show Seinfeld and prominently featured in Flea’s bass solo during halftime of Super Bowl XLVIII.

The Features And Specifications Of Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar

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Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar boasts top-of-the-line features such as the classic tobacco sunburst finish, high treble sound, and a hybrid design that sets it apart from other bass guitars – click to discover more about this legendary instrument!

Body Materials And Design

The body of Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass is made from alder wood, which is known for its balanced tone and lightweight feel. The bass features a sleek and curvy offset waist design that has become iconic in the world of electric bass guitars.

Another notable aspect of the bass guitar’s design is its neck, which is made from maple and features a slim profile that allows for fast playing. Additionally, it has 20 medium-jumbo frets, white pearloid block inlays, and binding on both sides of the rosewood fingerboard.

Pickups And Electronics

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar boasts state-of-the-art pickups and electronics that contribute to its remarkable sound. The two single-coil pickups of this guitar are positioned strategically in such a way as to capture the mellow, full-bodied tones of the bass while still retaining its high treble signature sound.

The instrument also features active circuitry that enables Geddy to vary his tone and levels seamlessly.

Moreover, Geddy’s use of pedals like the Tech 21 SansAmp RBI has allowed him to further enhance his sound both live and in-studio recordings while staying true to his iconic style.

A prime example can be found on Rush’s seminal album Moving Pictures, where Geddy used a variety of techniques with his Jazz Bass – from palm-muted picking to tapping harmonics – all showcasing just how versatile this particular guitar can be.

Neck Materials And Dimensions

The neck of Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass guitar is a crucial element in creating his signature sound. The neck is made from maple wood and features a sleek, slim profile that allows for faster playing and improved control over the instrument.

The dimensions of the neck are also noteworthy, as it measures at 1.5 inches at its widest point and tapers down to just under an inch towards the nut. This unique design puts less strain on the player’s hand while allowing for quick and precise movements up and down the fretboard.

Bridge And Hardware

Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass guitar is renowned for its exceptional tone and versatile sound. The unique bridge and hardware of the Fender Jazz Bass play a significant role in shaping its distinct sound.

The vintage-style bridge on the bass features four adjustable saddles that allow players to adjust the string height and intonation for optimal tuning accuracy.

One interesting fact about Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass is that he has experimented with different bridges over the years. In one iteration of his signature model, he added a Badass II bridge, which provided even more sustain than the standard vintage-style bridge.

This attention to detail showcases how dedicated Lee is when it comes to perfecting his signature sound.

Geddy Lee’s Bass Guitars And Gear List

Explore Geddy Lee’s impressive collection of bass guitars and gear, including his iconic black 1972 Fender Jazz Bass also known as “Number One,” his preference for the Fender Jazz Bass since 1993, and his preferred bass amp setup and string choices.

His Black 1972 Fender Jazz Bass, Also Known As “Number One”

One of Geddy Lee’s most prized possessions is his black 1972 Fender Jazz Bass, also known as “Number One.” This bass guitar played a crucial role in many of Rush’s hits and has become synonymous with the band’s music style.

The instrument was acquired by Lee during Rush’s early years when he found it at a pawn shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Lee has used the Fender Jazz Bass almost exclusively since 1993, making it an essential part of his arsenal on various albums and tours. With its tobacco sunburst finish, this vintage instrument has influenced countless musicians in rock music and beyond.

His Use Of The Fender Jazz Bass Almost Exclusively Since 1993

Since 1993, Geddy Lee has almost exclusively used his beloved Fender Jazz Bass guitar. The black 1972 bass, famously known as “Number One,” has been a staple in his bass collection and is his signature instrument.

With its hybrid design of a Precision Bass body and Jazz Bass neck, the guitar provides an iconic sound that is synonymous with Rush’s music.

Lee’s amp setup also plays a crucial role in producing the high treble sound that defines their music. He typically uses two triple rectifier amplifiers with eight 10-inch speakers each to achieve maximum volume and clarity during live performances.

Lee prefers Ernie Ball Slinky strings for their durability and tonal quality.

His Preferred Bass Amp Setup And String Choices

Geddy Lee has always been very particular about his bass amp setup and string choices. He prefers using a combination of Ampeg SVT-2 Pro head and Ampeg 8×10 cabinet for that classic rock sound, while also incorporating SansAmp Bass Driver DI pedal to enhance the high treble sound.

As for strings, he typically uses Rotosound Swing Bass strings with gauges ranging from .045-.105. His unique hybrid bass style requires a balance between brightness and warmth in the tone, allowing him to play both fast-paced melodies and smooth chord progressions effortlessly.

The Timeline Of Geddy Lee’s Purchase Of His Fender Jazz Bass

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Discover the details of when Geddy Lee acquired his iconic Fender Jazz Bass and how that momentous purchase changed the course of music history.

Details Of When The Guitar Was Purchased

Geddy Lee’s iconic Fender Jazz Bass guitar was acquired by him in the 1970s. According to interviews, he found it by chance at a local pawn shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The specific date of purchase is unknown, but what is certain is that since then, the instrument has become his signature bass throughout his music career with Rush and beyond.

Its distinct tobacco sunburst finish and high treble sound have made it immediately recognizable among fans and fellow musicians alike.

The Significance Of The Purchase In The History Of The Band

Geddy Lee’s purchase of his Fender Jazz Bass guitar is a crucial moment in the history of Rush. It marked the beginning of a new era for the band, as Geddy began incorporating more intricate bass lines into their music.

The sound and style of this signature instrument became synonymous with Rush’s unique brand of progressive rock, influencing countless musicians to follow in their footsteps.

This bass guitar played an essential role in albums such as Moving Pictures and signals Geddy’s true mastery of his craft.


In conclusion, the acquisition of Geddy Lee’s Fender Jazz Bass Guitar marks a significant milestone in the history of Rush and his personal music career.

After scouring pawn shops across Kalamazoo for vintage instruments, Geddy Lee finally stumbled upon his hybrid tobacco sunburst bass guitar, which has since become known as “Number One.” Since then, he has used it almost exclusively on all albums and tours since 1993.

The high treble sound of this Fender Jazz Bass is further enhanced by Lee’s preferred amp setup and string choices.

In essence, while discussing famous Canadian musicians or diving into rock music’s history, one cannot help but mention Geddy Lee’s notable contributions to the industry through his beloved Fender Jazz Bass Guitar.


1. When did Geddy Lee first start using the Fender Jazz Bass Guitar?

Geddy Lee began using the Fender Jazz Bass Guitar in 1972, when he purchased his first white maple-neck model.

2. What modifications has Geddy Lee made to his Fender Jazz Bass Guitar over time?

Over the years, Geddy Lee has made a number of modifications to his bass guitar including adding a Badass bridge, removing the rear pickup cover and installing custom EMG pickups, as well as changing out various parts such as electronics and tuners.

3. How many Fender Jazz Bass Guitars does Geddy Lee own?

Geddy Lee owns several different Fender Jazz Bass Guitars that have been customized for his preferences and playing style.

4. Why is Geddy Lee’s use of the Fender Jazz Bass Guitar significant in music history?

Geddy Lee’s use of the Fender Jazz Bass Guitar has become legendary throughout music history due to his unique approach to playing and pioneering innovative techniques such as “slapping” which have influenced countless other bass players since then. Additionally, he is widely regarded as one of rock music’s greatest bassists and musicians ever!

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