Aerosmith "Walk This Way" isolated bass track

“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)

11 thoughts on “Aerosmith "Walk This Way" isolated bass track

  1. Ok, i’ve been playing it 95+% correct since the 70’s, but what i didn’t know is how sloppy it’s played on the record. Producers were normally a little pickier, i thought.

  2. One very important point not mentioned here that also impacts the tone is that is was almost certainly played with a pick.

  3. It just shows that you don’t need precise chops or high end gear to make a song groove. One could easily pick apart the bass line, and play it more precisely, and would probably change the character of the song. Practice hard, search for the tone you hear in your head, get on stage and let it rip.

  4. Sorry but I have a hard time believing that is actually Tom Hamilton’s part considering how truly sloppy it is. I could be wrong. If it is authentic I am disappointed.

  5. I don’t think it sounds sloppy it’s probably the result of the engineers saying that’s good enough? We bass players know nobody’s spending extra money to get the bass part perfect as long as the final mix sounds good.

  6. Wow, who are you people? This is not sloppy playing at all! What you are mistaking for slop is pick and fret noise all of which gets buried in the mix not to mention any treatment of the track before final master etc. I only heard one “missed” note and he covered it well like a good bass player should. Good job Tom!

  7. If someone doesn’t hear the sloppiness in the rhythms, they just don’t have the ear for detail. It is alarmingly sloppy, as could be expected if playing live with a rock group at loud volume.

    But in the end, we all love the final track, so who cares!!?

  8. Sloppy…sloppy, but a classic performance after all. Me too find it difficult to believe is the actual track on the record. Who cares after all, it’s only the Bass.

  9. Yeah, I wanna know who authenticated this as the actual isolated track from the studio recording. I can pretty much guarantee that this rendition was done by some hack, not only because it’s sloppy, but because of how the line is being played. He goes faster then slower and then faster again, not keeping the tempo solid and there are also quite a few variances in him playing hard then soft then hard again. An experienced bass player knows how to lock down the timing and to keep the variances in moderation.

Leave a Comment