How To Recreate The Tony Levin SLEDGEHAMMER Bass Tone

The bass line from Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel is one of the best of all time. It was played by one of my favourite bassists, the great Tony Levin.

If you're a fan of his, check out this lesson:

How To Play Don’t Give Up, TONY LEVIN (Breakdown & Lesson)

In this bass tutorial, I show you how to play Sledgehammer plus how to get really close to the original bass tone.


Sledgehammer Bass Tone

You need:

  1. A fretless bass
  2. Octave pedal or plugin. I used Logic's Dr. Octave. The industry standard is the Boss OC2.
  3. Plectrum
  4. Compressor

This is Tony talking about it during a documentary interview.

And here's the original line in all it's glory.

Here are more bass gear and tone tips for you.

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  • I like this Dan.First and foremost Tony’s tone is incredible as is his technique.And it’s a great song.
    Most things pertaining to fretless grab my attention and I just happened to have a new Octave pedal, The 85′ from the Laney Black Country Customs series and it is so sweet! I’ll grab a pick and see what happens.Thanks!

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