“Walk This Way” is one of Aerosmith’s greatest hit songs from the album Toys in the Attic. There have been countless thousands of bass players who have covered this song. While there’s nothing wrong with that, many players tend to overcomplicate the song when covering it.
Why do bassists overcomplicate the song when playing it? Mainly because it’s very repetitive and that’s just the way the song was written, and because the original full studio mix is fairly dense.
The video is below where you can hear the isolated bass track, but first…
How do you get the sound Tom Hamilton had on Toys in the Attic?
It is said that what Tom Hamilton used on this track was either a Fender Precision Bass, Fender Jazz Bass or Gibson Thunderbird bass through a modified Ampeg B-15N. Some believe Tom used a Music Man Stingray, but at the time the song was recorded (the album was released in ’75), the Music Man Stingray did not exist yet (the first Music Man Stingray was in 1976).
Whatever bass Tom was using when “Walk This Way” was recorded, the sound you hear is decidedly big and punchy.
For that big sound, Delano answers the call here with pickups that have extra-big pole pieces for that huge, punchy tone. But obviously there are several offerings from Bartolini that will also deliver the big punch as well.
Do you need the Ampeg? For studio recording it’s not really required today because of the advances in DI recording technology. You can easily go small and get the job done in fine style (see Phil Jones offerings for examples of that).
Video with isolated bass track
(audio starts at 12 seconds)