Piece of Mind album - on Bass

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Here are my bass covers of the Piece of Mind album for anyone interested

Four albums down....only another 12 albums to decipher and learn!

Please feel free to comment..... all feedback welcome :)





  1. Where Eagles Dare


2. Revelations



3. Flight of Icarus



4. Die with your Boots on



5. The Trooper
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Very nice! I specifically watched Quest to show my son how Steve changes his pattern during the harmony. That's such a cool part, when he first plays along with the guitars and then does his "own" bass line.
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Very nice! I specifically watched Quest to show my son how Steve changes his pattern during the harmony. That's such a cool part, when he first plays along with the guitars and then does his "own" bass line.
Thanks Foro ;)

Never understood how this song is considered filler just because the lyrics are not factual.....so many songs by Maiden are fiction also!
 

farren

Prowler
Your videos are very inspiring. I signed up here to ask a favor of you...

I'm a long-time guitarist who just started playing bass a few weeks ago. I want to work on one player at a time... I started with David Ellefson with the reasoning that, well, I'm already familiar with fretting technique and picking technique, so in learning all of Rust in Peace I could focus solely on getting used to the extended scale and wider string spacing of the bass guitar and not have to worry about left or right hand technique much--just orientation. That worked out well, and now I'm ready to move onto something new in plucking.

Could you list the songs from Piece of Mind in order of ascending difficulty? I can learn anything by ear, but would really appreciate if you could give me an order in which to tackle them so I don't inadvertently start with the hardest song and become discouraged. I know Steve isn't the easiest player to hone my two-finger plucking with, but my fretting hand is already at a high level so I think I'll be advantaged in only really having to focus on my right hand.

To be honest, my favorite Maiden albums are Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son, but since you're not there yet it might not be wise to ask you to order the songs from those albums, unless the difficulty level is obvious to you as an experienced bassist even if you haven't learned all the songs yet. If that's the case, it would be great if you could list some of those songs too. :)

Anyway, I'd really appreciate if you could give me a sort of song order to work on. I just want to replicate some of my favorite bassists before I branch out on my own and I think this is a decent place to go next--I know learning a couple dozen '80s Maiden songs on guitar as a kid was beneficial to my development.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Welsh Phantom might have a different take on this, but I'd say:

Revelations, Flight of Icarus, Still Life, Where Eagles Dare, Die with Your Boots On, The Trooper, Quest for Fire, Sun and Steel, To Tame a Land

Revelations, Icarus and Still Life all have moderate tempos, easier to keep up. They also don't have triplets in them. Eagles has the middle part with lots of stoppages, but other than that pretty easy. DWYBO is easy from an endurance standpoint but has a couple of fills thrown onto it. Trooper is full on galloping, but the song structure is simple. QFF has a more complex rhythm to its gallop. Sun and Steel is absolutely rapid, even though it's short takes a bit of endurance. TTaL has the most difficult part on the album to get right: The mid section.
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Thank you! I'll start with Revelations.
Yes, I would start with Revelations or Icarus. I would probably say Boots on is not so hard and would rate it before Eagles (fast right hand at times) and Still LIfe (some quick 'across strings' parts)

If you want to learn Somewhere in Time songs (at some stage) I would recommend nailing The Trooper also, as the gallop is deceptively difficult with 2 fingers, and the Trooper is a slower example of this. Caught Somewhere in Time is FAST for 2 fingers, so I had to do The Trooper, then Run to the Hills, then Sun and Steel. Now I can play CSIT with 2 fingers after a warm up, but I could not even get close until I had built up speed and stamina with Trooper, RTTH and SAS.

I only know CSIT and Wasted Years from SIT album. Wasted years is pretty easy (although my older cover on youtube is not 100% perfect (only after hearing the 'isolated bass' tracks available on youtube) so I will redo that when I tackle the whole album,

Thanks for watching my covers! ;)
 

farren

Prowler
Thanks, looks like I have a good lesson plan now. :p Caught Somewhere in Time is actually my favorite Maiden song (first I heard that stood out to me as a kid), so it may be an ultimate goal for me. Looking forward to Powerslave.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
Welsh, you are indeed an accomplished bassist. Even relatively simple songs like "The Trooper" are hard to play at full Harris speed and in time.
No doubt. Plus, Steve's also running around on stage and has pyrotechnics, lights and all that other stuff going on on top of that.
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Welsh, you are indeed an accomplished bassist. Even relatively simple songs like "The Trooper" are hard to play at full Harris speed and in time.

No Maiden song is that difficult (if you know diatonic scales) on bass slowed down in my opinion but playing note perfect at their tempo like you can is a true talent.
Thank you mate ;)
 
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Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
No doubt. Plus, Steve's also running around on stage and has pyrotechnics, lights and all that other stuff going on on top of that.
Yeah, sometimes I wish he would run less and play more though. If you listen to some of the isolated bass tracks available on youtube his playing can get very sloppy on the more recent live versions, with a lot of parts simplified to the studio versions, or quite a few errors. His playing live in the earlier decades was definitely more accurate before he had football stadium size stages to run around on!
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
But have you heard isolated tracks from earlier decades? Perhaps he often sounds sloppy without a drummer? ;)
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
But have you heard isolated tracks from earlier decades? Perhaps he often sounds sloppy without a drummer? ;)
Yeah I hear what you are saying, but he never used to be like this.

In this example (Aces High), as soon as the singing would start in the verse he just stays on the 'E', rather than putting in the 'D' ghost note (D E EE EE , D E EE EE etc). And the bit around 50s is just SO sloppy. I have some good sounding bootlegs from the earlier days and he clearly played the parts as written, not simplified versions.


Another example would be the 'bass solo' part after the solos in NOTB. There is an isolated bass version on youtube (album version) and there are plenty of ghost notes, but live these days he just plays the main 4 or 5 notes (you can see it clearly in the various dvds out there). Maybe Harry feels they got lost anyway in an arena setting, but his style live has changed.

He is still my favourite bass player though.....just saying ;)
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
Yeah, when I started to poke around on some of the isolated tracks, I realized that he's human. You're right that he doesn't seem to be play as many ghost notes and runs as he used to. That's a good example above that you posted.

Having said all of that, in a live arena setting, most of these are inaudible for the super majority of people (myself included). The one thing I love about Harris (and Geddy) is that I can actually hear him in an arena...unlike 90% of other rock/metal bass players.
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Another thought is maybe the isolated bass track just dialed in the low middle range and cut some trebly bits/grace notes out. That could also account for the choppiness of the isolated track (but not that 50 second mark).

When I hear the full mix, the song sounds good. And the bass isn't overtly buried. Software that can isolate bass tracks cleanly from a live performance with crowd noise, etc, are rare I'd imagine (heard plenty of clean studio track isolations, though). The drum track's well isolated but you can still faintly hear the rest of the mix along with it.

In any case, variance at least shows they play their instruments live unlike acts that fall back on prerecorded tracks.
Oh there is no doubt they always play live - 100%.

Not so sure about a mid to low range cut though. You can hear the same notes clearly in the chorus parts, plus on the dvd of Flight 666 you can see he makes no attempt to play ghost notes.

I just think on smaller stages, for Harry it was all about the Bass. Now it is all about the show and the energy.

As a bassist I prefer the former, but that is just my subjective opinion. :)
 
WP, thanks for sharing these. I've seen your videos on YouTube but didn't realize you post here.

I'm learning how to play all of "Piece of Mind" on bass too. At this point I can play the first eight songs confidently. I still struggle with "To Tame A Land", which (for me) is probably the toughest Maiden song. I can't play the riff at 4:05, and I always lose steam during the section starting at 4:38. So I can play the first 42 minutes of the album and then fall apart during the last three.
 
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