playin like steve harris

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by x15, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. x15


    Feb 4, 2003
    New Delhi, India
    i've actually searched all across the internet and i've found jack ,:meh: so here it is: how the hell do you get that rattling clickety-clackety sound.
    i can make the sound while playin, but the **** doesn't come across in the triplets, and its usually louder than the notes themselves-so i don't think im doing it right.
    help would be appreciated.

  2. He seems to have pretty low action, and he plucks the strings not too hard to avoid killing the note. You have to hammer the strings so they vibrate perpendicular to the fretboard rather than parallel to it. Hope this helps.
  3. How can you actually WANT that sound thats Steve Harris big weaknes and it has really got out of hand on BNW and DOD. Anyways you will have to lower your action and make sure you play harder on the strings. You wnat the strings slammin against the frettboard and pickups. Also turn down you low end and turn up your high end.
  4. Against the frets: yes, against the pickups: no! You'd get a loud, annoying "pop".

    Why turn down the lows? All you'd hear would be the clackitty. Keep the lows, turn down the mids.

    Why give advice on sounding like someone you don't even like?
  5. x15


    Feb 4, 2003
    New Delhi, India
    hey here's a fun thing to do,lets assume i'm a 16 year old, whose close to broke and when i talk about my "setup", i'm referring to a really cheap bass with practically no control over pickups (which i love to death), a Small practise amp and a zoom 506ii processor.
    lets help me Now.

  6. Actually Steve Harris is one of my favourite bassplayers, I just dont like the sound he has on maidens two latest albums but I think his playing is exellent.
  7. ryuujin


    Jun 1, 2003
    Delaware, OH
    ok I want to know how to play Run to the Hills correctly. I can't seem to get it right playing fingerstyle.
  8. I really can give you some information about playin´like harris, cause actually I decided topick up the bass as my instrument having his performance by greater inspiration (as many others did).
    At first, you should know he uses guitar amps, what gives him higher definition on all tunes to reach the tick-tick-tick sound. At second, yes , he uses a reeeeaaaally short space between the fingerboard and the strings (put your bridge down man!). Then, I think it´s about technique; you can´t only hit the string 3 times repeatedly; you will have to put a space (let´s say a ghost note)between these 3 notes, like you do when you groove. About the right hand (if you´re a right handed bassist obviously), you can´t only hit the string, you have to put more rythym; he uses the index finger only as an auxiliar, really hitting with the middle finger, cause at his case, it´s his stronger finger (but I bet it´s yours too).
    Well, think it´s enough, as I believe that as the time passes, your pizzicato will get faster and it will be easier for you. Up the Irons! :bassist:
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Also keep in mind that he uses flatwound strings, not roundwounds (at least he used to).
  10. miksu


    Sep 30, 2003
    If you want to sound like Steve Harris, you need to get the same equipment as he uses.

    1. Fender 72 P-bass, with a Badass bridge.
    2. flatwound strings.
  11. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    yeah, or to be more correct:

    Rotosound Jazz Bass SH 77 Steve Harris Signature Set (Monel)

    Gauged: 50 • 75 • 95 • 110

    Seymour Duncan Basslines Quarter Pound P-Bass

    Badass brigde

  12. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    That's not Steve... That's this guy:

  13. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    EDIT: Damn, i feel stupid for that answer
  14. I acquired my Steve Harris sound by practicing without an amp or one with the volume low. Trying to hear what you are playing will help you get that aggressive plucking that he does.
    That way, I can get that sound with just about any setup.

    I agree that you don't want the pickups to be hit by the strings. I lowered the pups on my p-bass along with the action. Although I also went through a long period between setups and the action got pretty high near the body, but I still got the clicky tone from my plucking attack. That's why I can't play Spectors.
  15. Steve has a low action flatwound strings and only uses two fingers . To play those gallops requires a lot of stamina and a light touch.
  16. Hey, guys, I've been confused about this for a long time, arent flatwounds supposwed to give you a smoother sound? so how come Steve gets that claking sound with flatwounds? I've never played flatwounds before.
  17. Well its his low action that gives the clunk.

    I hate that sound and much prefer the Killers NOTB sound. On Powerslave he got a great balance. After that I think he lost the plot.
  18. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    RS 77's are part of the trick. I've used them in the past, and though they're flatwounds, they're NOT made to thump on. I've found that they actually play more like an extremely stiff pressurewound set of strings with tons of sustain and a very distinct attack when you play them. They die pretty quickly, and I believe Steve could kill a set in the middle of a concert, so he always had a backup bass. I actually like the sound of them after they die off a little, but that's just me. Also, I believe he used his fingernails quite a bit, though I'm not completely sure on that much.
  19. sorry dude its a 1970
  20. (sigh)

    Yeah it would be great if we could all have a '70 P bass with a BAII bridge and quarter pounders but this guy's a teen who's just starting out and gimme a break, my first bass at that age was a Harmony from Sears back in the early 80s and I learned Maiden almost exclusively. The tone (clackity clack) is not in the bass, except the set up. It's almost entirely in his fingers and how he attacks the strings.

    If you watch Steve, his bass is kinda low so his right arm is *almost* completely extended when standing up. Partly because of this, when he plays, his right hand is almost parallel with the surface of his bass, so his fingers are almost completely extended as well. His finger attack is more straight down on the string, I mean down towards the surface of the bass not the floor, rather than pulling it up towards him. For example, if you played this way on the top string really hard, your fingers would slam against the body of the bass, rather than pull up towards the palm of your hand.

    His action is also fairly low with low tension strings. The clanking sound is the strings hitting the frets while they vibrate.

    Tone settings, I'd agree with the other poster, ease off on the mids and and maybe try the treble and bass flat or at least equal. It sure ain't no Motown sound!

    If you really want a work out, get the first two albums, self titled and Killers. These two albums are by far Steve's best bass work to date IMHO. I remember feeling like a real hero when I was able to play Phantom of the Opera to speed along with the record, then came Innocent Exile which I was never able to master completely. Run to the Hills is a piece of cake after those two!

    Also IMHO, don't worry so much about getting his clanking tone, although it is cool - focus more on getting the notes and the timing/speed. The clanking will come a lot easier when you get the important stuff.