Although you can set the tone and bass settings as Steve Harris did on Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," much more goes into his sound than that. Not only must you set these two knobs appropriately, you must also use a similar style of playing bass guitar. If you do not, make sure to lower your bass frequencies, crank your tone knob and dig in hard with your fingers.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- P-Bass pickup
- Steve Harris Signature bass strings
Use a four-string bass guitar with a P-Bass pickup to get close to the tone used by Steve Harris, bass player for Iron Maiden. Harris uses Fender Precision basses solely and used one to record the bass line for "The Trooper." The P-Bass pickups are a split model, with one side capturing the sound of the two heavier strings while the other half picks up the higher strings.
Use Steve Harris Signature flatwound strings on the bass to get the tone right for "The Trooper." Harris uses his custom-made strings on all of his basses, helping to create his signature sound.
Set the tone knob at 10 to get the definition for your tone needed to play "The Trooper." Although Harris' bass has no tone knob, his setting is that of a tone knob set full on.
Set the bass knob on your amplifier to 12 o'clock. This is the middle setting and is perfect for playing "The Trooper." Harris boosts low-highs in his signal, and though his tone would be considered strong in the low end, bass frequencies are not boosted because they would muddy up the sound of his fingers on the strings, which is his trademark.
Raise the P-Bass pickups so that it is about a quarter of an inch from the strings. The famous bass tone heard on the "The Trooper" is a combination of several factors, all listed above and the sound of the strings brushing up against the pickup. Harris uses an aggressive finger-style attack and the clarity of the pickups for his signature sound.
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