Bass Lesson – The Trooper, Part I


Not exactly what Steve Harris is playing on this song, but I think going through the original recording and picking up some of the things I left out might make for a good ear training exercise 😉

This was actually the first song that I ever played in a band, so it has a special place in my heart -- I knew it would have to be the first song I posted on my blog. It’s also a great way to work on your technique, as I mentioned in the video. Hopefully you can find a drummer and guitar player to keep up with you once you get it down.


  1. Hi Michael – thanks for the great lessons. I’m one of those dreaded beasts – a guitarist trying to learn bass – just stsrting. Looking at right handed technique – I’m working on the two finger alternating style but find that when descending to a lower string when using the 1st finger I want to use it again on the next string (rather than strictly alternating).I think this comes from my guitar fingerpicking style. Is this bad technique on the bass? I’m trying to persist with the strict alternating meanwhile though. Anyway keep up the good work. I’m looking at Ramble On at the moment. Anything else in the rock/blues style would be great.

  2. Dave,

    I have a few guitarist buddies who steal gigs from us bassist. I’ve learned to accept it as part of the natural order of things. 🙂

    The technique you’re describing is called “raking.” It’s perfectly fine and you’ll find it’s a great way to play fast, descending lines. Ideally, you would want to practice both alternate picking and raking so you can play quickly and smoothly even if you’re ascending (eg, playing on the A-string then the D-string), as raking won’t help you in this situation.

    Hope this helps!

    Oh, and welcome to the world of bass. I’m sure you’ll find playing bass to be a humbling experience. 😀

    – Michael

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