LEGACY OF THE BEAST 2019

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Maiden would lose their sound by downtuning.

Maiden's average song is rooted in E and the bass is carrying most of the bottom end. Due to the way Harris sets it up, it is also very "trebly", "clonky", high on high end and percussive.

Average metal band you might compare them to, like Megadeth, Metallica (altho they didn't downtune AFAIK), etc. , have a ton of the bottom end power sourced from rhythm guitar. This is the key difference to Maiden.

So let's say they drop Trooper down a full tone. If Harris does not downtune, he will keep that percussive bass sound but bass will no longer carry the bottom end chug, because the lowest D note he has is down the fretboard. If Harris does downtune, percussive clonk is gone.

We're not talking about playing original songs in std. D, drop D, drop C, whatever. It's pretty much known that Bruce operates best around C/D.
 

Trevoire

Trooper
There's no reason that Steve can't keep a percussive bass tone while tuned down a half or whole step. He wouldn't stay in E while the rest of the band tune down. EVERYONE would tune down the same amount. The bass would still carry the bottom end.
 

phantomoftheicarus

Bleeding Freak
Average metal band you might compare them to, like Megadeth, Metallica (altho they didn't downtune AFAIK)
Metallica did downtune to D# for Load and Reload and now play all songs live in D# regardless of whether they were written in E or not. This includes new songs
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Maiden would lose their sound by downtuning.

Maiden's average song is rooted in E and the bass is carrying most of the bottom end. Due to the way Harris sets it up, it is also very "trebly", "clonky", high on high end and percussive.

Average metal band you might compare them to, like Megadeth, Metallica (altho they didn't downtune AFAIK), etc. , have a ton of the bottom end power sourced from rhythm guitar. This is the key difference to Maiden.

So let's say they drop Trooper down a full tone. If Harris does not downtune, he will keep that percussive bass sound but bass will no longer carry the bottom end chug, because the lowest D note he has is down the fretboard. If Harris does downtune, percussive clonk is gone.

We're not talking about playing original songs in std. D, drop D, drop C, whatever. It's pretty much known that Bruce operates best around C/D.
I'm sure Steve would be able to figure out a how to get a percussive tone if he down-tuned half a step. Any competent bassist can figure that out.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
I dont know near as much as you folks above but heres my take on Steve downtunin a half or full step and its a question more than an assertion; Steve has a tight, percussive style. Hes been playing that way for quite the while. If he down tunes then his strings will be looser. Or will they be noticeably so, thats my question.
If the strings were looser, would it not throw his whole style off kilter? I assume he could do it but would he want to? He picked up a bass and enjoyed it for a reason. I have no doubt that Harris could do it but surely looser, down tuned strings would change the feel for him.
Obviously we dont know his thinking but I can easily see why a man wouldn't want to alter his playing, 45 years down the line. Feel free to correct and educate me in terms of down tuning a bass a half or full step and its effect on the feel of the strings under a players fingers.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
I'm sure Steve would be able to figure out a how to get a percussive tone if he down-tuned half a step. Any competent bassist can figure that out.
It is not a matter of being competent or not (however limited is Steve's playing - which is not meant as criticism, just stating the obvious). It is just that (musical) conservatism is strong in Maiden. It would be like asking one of the guitar players to use a capo, or Nicko to use a double-bass drum (though in this case, he did try... and saw it was hardly worth the effort in his case).
 

Trevoire

Trooper
I dont know near as much as you folks above but heres my take on Steve downtunin a half or full step and its a question more than an assertion; Steve has a tight, percussive style. Hes been playing that way for quite the while. If he down tunes then his strings will be looser. Or will they be noticeably so, thats my question.
If the strings were looser, would it not throw his whole style off kilter? I assume he could do it but would he want to? He picked up a bass and enjoyed it for a reason. I have no doubt that Harris could do it but surely looser, down tuned strings would change the feel for him.
Obviously we dont know his thinking but I can easily see why a man wouldn't want to alter his playing, 45 years down the line. Feel free to correct and educate me in terms of down tuning a bass a half or full step and its effect on the feel of the strings under a players fingers.
You just use thicker guage strings as you tune down, so the feel stays the same.

I feel that most of the confusion with the whole down tuning thing is from people who are music fans but not necessarily musicians, so they don't really know what's involved in any of this. (like the downtuning thread where someone suggested Maiden tuning up to save Bruce's voice?)
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
I dont know near as much as you folks above but heres my take on Steve downtunin a half or full step and its a question more than an assertion; Steve has a tight, percussive style. Hes been playing that way for quite the while. If he down tunes then his strings will be looser. Or will they be noticeably so, thats my question.
If the strings were looser, would it not throw his whole style off kilter? I assume he could do it but would he want to? He picked up a bass and enjoyed it for a reason. I have no doubt that Harris could do it but surely looser, down tuned strings would change the feel for him.
Obviously we dont know his thinking but I can easily see why a man wouldn't want to alter his playing, 45 years down the line. Feel free to correct and educate me in terms of down tuning a bass a half or full step and its effect on the feel of the strings under a players fingers.
Downtuning half a step is unlikely to throw everything off.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
I'd agree. As a very casual bassist myself, I can and have been able to replicate my style perfectly when dropping to tunings lower than D. The strings getting looser barely has a noticeable impact dropping down a step
I have a 6 string bass, the strings tend to get more percussive the lower they go.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
You just use thicker guage strings as you tune down, so the feel stays the same.

I feel that most of the confusion with the whole down tuning thing is from people who are music fans but not necessarily musicians, so they don't really know what's involved in any of this. (like the downtuning thread where someone suggested Maiden tuning up to save Bruce's voice?)
Personally, I am happy with the gauge of my strings and playing different ones changes the feel, for me.

Downtuning half a step is unlikely to throw everything off.
Unlikely, but possible?

I'm not arguing for or against anything. I am just stating the fact that small changes and totally alter the feel for an artist, of any discipline.
And maybe the crux of the whole thing is that Bruce doesn't want to downtune. Personally, I think that Bruce would sound a damn sight better if he didn't strain so much. Oft times I find him atrocious. I know he has a great voice, he just uses it in a horrendous fashion, sometimes. Whether the band should tune down or he should just stop straining, I don't know but I do know that there is a better way. During many songs (live videos on youtube much more than in person or on record) I find myself thinking "oh, he sounds good there." These moments only stand to highlight the difficulty I have listening to him most of the time.
I am not saying that a 61 year old singer with a 40 year career behind him should be amazing every time but I know that when he is on form and singing lower, he sounds great. So, for me, it feels like a waste. Get Hansi in Maiden and let Bruce go solo, best for all concerned.
 

Black Abyss Babe

Ocean soul
He doesn't drink because he was drinking too much and Bruce was battling cancer. He stopped after that.
Correct (well actually Bruce had already beaten the cancer and Nicko felt he was being a bit of an idiot for potentially drinking himself into an early grave voluntarily). It had absolutely nothing to do with his religious beliefs. Furthermore, he said he won't necessarily never drink again.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
You just use thicker guage strings as you tune down, so the feel stays the same.

I feel that most of the confusion with the whole down tuning thing is from people who are music fans but not necessarily musicians, so they don't really know what's involved in any of this. (like the downtuning thread where someone suggested Maiden tuning up to save Bruce's voice?)
I asked that if it was an option to use a capo to play in a key that Bruce was comfortable in would people be happy with it. I didn't suggest it as a viable option.
 
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