David Ellefson bass rig – Megadeth – Know Your Bass Player (part 1/2)

Published by Jan Heaney on

David Ellefson bass rig – Megadeth – Know Your Bass Player (part 1/2)

David Ellefson is one of the nicest guys in
metal. It’s a wonder how such a charming man can endure and survive the burning passion of Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. Nonetheless, Ellfeson, 2nd in command in Megadeth has helped to solidify the band into one of the Big Four of Thrash metal. Let’s find what he used to do it. David Ellefson came from a well to do family who were located several miles outside of
Jackson Minnesota. He grew up and worked on a farm and lived
a pretty good all American life. Dave first became acquainted with music as
a child. Originally playing the piano and Wurlitzer
organ at his local church. It wasn’t meant to be for Dave after he
exclaimed it was “excruciatingly boring” By the age of 10 he took up the tenor saxophone
– mostly because it looked cool and Dave later
learned that “women love a sax man” . Dave soon became a huge fan of KISS
and after studying the back of the “Alive” album. It stated “KISS use Gibson guitars, because
they want the best”. On the back of the Kiss record it says Kiss use Gibson guitars and pearl drums because they want the best, and I’m like well if they use Gibson then I better use Gibson Following suit in the summer of 1976 , Dave
asked his parents for a Gibson bass. Proclaiming in an interview “I figured that
if KISS used it, it must be the only one to have.” Daves parents found a used Gibson EB-0 and
bought it for $150 dollars or nearly $700 dollars today. After taking the bass home Dave was disappointed to hear that “It sounded awful” “That combination of a Gibson EB-0,
with its single pickup at the neck, plus flatwound strings was terrible, especially at the volumes I wanted to play it I got home and plugged it in and I thought,
“What the heck is this? This doesn’t sound like Gene Simmons at
all!” and i plugged i in and i thought this doesn’t sound like kiss but alright ill get started so i bought my Mel Bay electric bass volume one, sat at home and because I had the wurlitzer organ experience I knew how to read bass clef and so I basically largely became self taught Nonetheless, Dave was committed to learning the bass. All he ever wanted was the life of a rockstar. So he taught himself how to play by using
the Mel Bay – Electric Bass Method Volumes 1 & 2 Dave’s father who was described as “not
having a musical bone in his body.“ Took interest in his sons new vocation. Buying him an Ampeg Dan Armstrong bass. Following this in 1979 came the addition of
a sunburst Rickenbacker 4001. The black pickguard was swapped out for a
mirror typed guard. On a family vacation one summer in 1980 Dave visited a music shop in Atlanta and saw
a BC Rich Mockingbird made of Koa wood. These were the “go to cool instrument”
at the time. According to Dave. Initially, worried about the price of the
Mockingbird, He considered buying a Peavey T40 instead. His father then pressed him asking “Is that
really the bass you want?” And continued “You know, it’s better to
spend more money and buy right the first time, than to buy something you don’t really want
…” He added, “If that’s what you really want,
I’ll help you get it” With excitement Dave proclaimed in an interview
“Once I got the B.C. Rich I finally felt like I was heading in the right direction.” At the age of 18, Dave decided to move out
to the big lights of Los Angeles. Citing “There were only a few places a budding
rock star could really make it big: New York, London, or Los Angeles. That and he was “repelled by farm work and being told what to do” Once in Tinseltown it didn’t take long for Ellefson to meet Mustaine. There was this guy living underneath me. and I was living right down below I hear this “Tap” on my door and it was these two kids. Gives me this condescending look – the infamous Mustaine snarl. They go “hey know where to get cigarettes?” He said yeah down the street at the liqor store and slammed the door in my face. *knocking* Hey know where to get some beer?I said now you’re talking. We hooked up bought a case of Heineken – and the rest is history thats how Dave got in the band. Mustaine, who you should know already
was kicked out of Metallica several weeks prior to their first encounter. He was currently plotting a path for all out revenge on Metallica and was absolutely dedicated to the creation of his new band. Soon to be called Megadeth. After some tribulations and a revolving door of musicians. Including brief appearances of Slayer’s Kerry King The line up then landed on Mustaine, Ellefson, Chris Poland on guitar and Gar Samuelson on drums Ellefson had originally taken his BC Rich
Mockingbird and Dan Armstrong bass with him to LA The former is seen in photos and live videos at this time. I’ll come back to the Dan Armstrong later
on. Megadeth’s debut appearance was on the 17th of February 1984. Dave himself states in an instagram post that on this show. He used a NJ series white BC Rich Eagle. Personalising the bass by throwing some red paint over the body to make it look like blood splatter Additionally he took it upon myself to carve
a huge hole in the top of the Eagle and install a Kahler tremolo bridge. Dave then admitted, “it didn’t really
work and ruined the bass. He also recalls that Mustaine wrote the intro riff to Peace Sells on this bass. And then continues that he’s “Not sure
what happened to the bass after that.” Adding insult to injury, he tried his hand
at modding again. By ripping the frets of his koa Mockingbird
in an attempt to make it fetless. This bass too was ruined. The first album Killing is my business and business is good. Was released in June 1985 During this time you’ll see quite a few
BC Rich basses appear. As Mustaine would admit “Ellefson and I
were in the habit of buying guitars from B.C. Rich, and we had a lot of them”
Drummer Gar Samuelson was a general manager in the local BC Rich factory
and no doubt helped Chris, David and Dave with acquiring a few BC rich guitars. Or at least some discounts. Pictures have emerged of Ellefson with a 30” Rich Bich 8 string A black Ironbird
A rare headless stealth model A Striped mocking bird in blue in the style
of Eddie Van Halen’s stripes a Mockingbird painted in the style ofa WW2 fighter. A red Mockingbird was used to record Peace Sells in 1986 |And was seen in the music video of the same name. The following video release was Wake Up Dead which saw the Ironbird. It was used in a few shows before going missing. It was during the Peace sells tour in May 1986. that Dave had his first run in with a Jackson bass In his autobiography Life After Deth he then
went on to place an order with the Jackson custom shop As far as I can tell he was primarily using
the fighter jet bass up until Winter 1986 Whilst his new bass was being built. Depending on the manufacturer of course you could be waiting several months for a build. The custom shop quicksilver concert bass appears on tour early 1987. It was fitted with Jackson made precision
jazz pickups A neck through maple body and active electronics. It was this bass that began Dave’s love
affair with Jackson basses.” According to Dave, at a show in Miami, May 1987. He threw this bass into the air – all in the
name of good fun of course. Only to have it come tumbling down and cracking the neck at the headstock. Lucky for Dave, a replacement was shipped
in overnight. The replacement bass came in a cracked egg shell yellow which was quickly masked with stickers. Notably, this afro typed dude? and … some
sort of mutant chicken foot. God it’s like some sort of ink blot test. A year or two after this incident the bass
was then painted gunmetal gray. Dave states while it sounded good live it
didn’t work as well in the studio. And was “relegated to a live back up bass
during the So Far So Good So What tour. He lost track of this bass too. Ya’know a lot of basses in Megadeth seem
to go missing. Dave reports that there are a handful of basses that he doesn’t know what happened to. Like the EB-0, Rickenbacker 4001, the white
BC Rich Eagle and the very first quicksilver Jackson concert. Additionally The Dan Armstrong was reported to be stolen by Gar Samuelson for dope money. The Mockingbird fighter used during Peace
sells video was purchased by a fan at a Megadeth auction. This was then donated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In one of Daves’ Facebook posts, he mentions that the quicksilver was quickly repaired
and went on to record 1988’s So Far So Good So What. In some of the shows during 1988 you’ll
also see the gunmetal gray concert bass performed on the shows encore “Anarchy in the UK”. As previously mentioned, this was once the
cracked egg shell Jackson. During that summer Megadeth played the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington. Possibly their biggest show to date. On this performance Dave busts out a candy red Jackson concert bass. During the US tours however, Megadeth toured with Dio. Dave and Dio’s bassist Jimmy Bain then became friends and Jimmy invited Dave over. Dave Recalls “ I went over, and he loaned
me an eight string bass. I took it home and started playing it, and
immediately wrote the song ‘Dawn Patrol,’ which ended up going on the Rust In Peace
record.” I’ve been unable to find any record of an
8 string Yamaha bass. In my opinion this must have been a custom bass. As Dave also says “He had this amazing Yamaha endorsement. He had all kinds of basses, “ Ellefson also mentions that the candy red
concert bass was used to record “a large portion of “Rust In Peace ` Praising its ebony fingerboard that had a bright “snap”. Which can be clearly heard on songs like “Five Magics”. This bass was later painted black and appeared on the video for Holy Wars as well as the Rust In Peace tour of 1990-91 He switches between this bass and a 5 string concert bass. The 5 string was featured in the video for
Hangar 18. Originally the song was written on a four
string in drop D. It was also the first 5 string designed by
jackson. Towards the end of the tour in summer 1991 A white concert bass is played a few times. Rolling into 1992 came the release of Countdown to extinction It’s not said been specifically which basses
were used to record it. Dave mentions in one of his “every bass
has a story” posts. That he had 2 main 4 strings on tour. One of which was white concert bass. It can also be seen in a few shows at the
tail of the previous tour and on the symphony of destruction video The second bass was a precursor to what would be called the Kelly bird. Designed and released by Dave many years later – which we’ll get to. He had Jackson paint this one battleship gray – stating ““it’s the same color as my Panasonic
answering machine at home.” A new 5 string bass was spotted during the
Count down tour. The Jackson pictured here was based on a Kip Winger signature model made for Dave. Note the diamond shaped knob placement. Unfortunately, he goes on to describe the
bass “too thin for my stage uses”. It was used for a few photoshoots and was
subsequently retired. From what I can tell he stuck with his original Hangar 18 5 string during this time During the Countdown tour he also mentions that he was “on the hunt for some new and unique guitars”. Finding a Spector NS2 in the local classified ads. The bass was picked up for $1100 in 1993
Towards the end of the tour. the video for Angry Again was released and
we see the white Kelly bird again Not long after the tour was finished. Megadeth prepared for their 6th album Youthanasia. Youthanasia saw quite a big change in Dave’s usual style. A friend of mine named Ron sent me this letter that he received from David himself during the Youthanasia tour in 1995. In this letter it states “I recorded Youth with a 78 Fender Precision for the 4 string songs And the blue 5 string modulus for all the the 5 string songs” The letter continues with amplifiers which we’ll talk about in a little while. A big thank you to Ron from New Jersey for sharing that awesome letter with me, thank you, dude I really appreciate it. This change came about because Dave wanted to “expand his tones”. When it comes to the ‘78 Fender. Pictured here with a maple neck
Some artists find that older instruments have a unique tone, – that can’t be recreated with modern instruments. It’s a very personal and subjective thing. There are also reports of a second vintage
Fender Precision from 1976 with a Rosewood fingerboard. I have yet to see any pictures of it in the
wild. In the making of the album video
we also see Dave pull out a Fender Jazz, Steinberger Q2 and a natural BC Rich Eagle. The extent of their use has not been confirmed. In this program Dave mainly plays the Modulus, Stienberger and the Precision. The Modulus basses on the other hand were quite unique at the time. They’re built with carbon fiber necks
and are virtually unaffected by changes in temperature, humidity, and altitude. They also produce a very specific tone compared to traditional wooden necks. Dave praises these basses stating
“its 35” scale length, EMG pickups and maple tops made this an exquisite instrument to handle the duties for the album and tour. Its graphite neck provides an incredibly stable support and also a terrific “snap” to the brilliance of the notes.” Dave further explains his choice in an article with Bass Player Magazine. “On Countdown to Extinction, we realized
as we were playing bigger venues and the tempos needed to slow down so people could actually hear the music— so we wrote differently. That continued through Youthanasia, which
is when I started using the Modulus 5-string to get deeper and punchier for the new, slower songs. Ellefson quickly became a Modulus aficionado and actively engaged in trading modulus basses within his local community. Originally, an employee at The Bass Place
in Scottsdale Arizona loaned him a swamp ash quantum 5 model. This was soon followed by the purchase of
the blue quilt maple top mentioned in Daves’ letter Two singles were released from the album,
Train of Consequences which coincidentally is inconsequential in this video and Tout
Le Monde. In the latter video, Dave plays an emerald
green quantum 5 The Youthanasia tour started in October 1994 and Dave originally used the blue quilt modulus. A quilted maple or trans orange modulus – depending how you look at it – was purchased as a backup for the tour. However it was soon played as the main bass instead. This bass is now retired from the road and
Dave only uses it to record. Megadeth then took time off to record Cryptic Writings Released in June 1997 and followed up with a world tour. The Spector NS2 now took the helm to record
the album. Dave also adds “I used my Modulus Quantum
five string bass for a few songs, but overall the Spector did the job for everything
else.” For the tour, Dave shares this picture with
the following caption. ”This black Modulus Quantum five string
bass – was my go-to axe on this tour. It MAY also be one which later sported the
pearlescent white pickguard, Released in 1999, “Risk” received a mixed response from critics. Alienating hardcore Megadeth fans
due to its departure from the band’s heavy thrash metal roots
to a more commercial, pop rock sound. The general theme of the album was – as you
guessed, taking Risks. A lot of these changes stemmed from a comment
made from Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Mustaine remarked –
“Last album, Lars said something to me through the press. He said he thinks I am talented but that I
should take more risks, which I took as good advice. As this new record evolved, it became more
and more appropriate to call it Risk. And after all, the band is called Megadeth
– we aren’t afraid to take chances.” A Sadowsky 5 string and the 76 Fender Precision
was used on the record . The music videos released soon after show
a 5 string American Jazz bass in Crush’em. And a 5 string quantum with a pearlescent
pickguard on the video for Breadline. Whilst on tour, Dave also goes on to say the
he used a pair of four and a pair of five string Fender American P-Bass Deluxe basses. The 76 Precision was also used during the
encore and put through an Aguliar preamp to match the modulus output . The world needs a hero was released in May
2001 and much like the last 2 albums. Fender Precision deluxes were used throughout
this period. Dave would go on to praise their active electronics. The World Needs a Hero tour began in mid-2001, but was cut short due to the attacks of September
11th The band instead played two shows in Arizona
that November which were filmed and released as Megadeth’s first live release, Rude Awakening. On this DVD you can also get a good look at
these basses. That following January 2002, Mustaine was hospitalized for the removal
of a kidney stone and was administered pain medication which
triggered a relapse of his drug addiction. Whilst in treatment at rehab. Mustaine fell asleep with his left arm over
the back of a chair, causing a compression of the radial nerve. He was then subsequently diagnosed with radial
neuropathy, which left him unable to grasp or make a fist
with his left hand. On April 3 2002, Mustaine announced in a press
release that he was exiting Megadeth, as his arm injury rendered him unable to play
guitar. After a one year of physiotherapy. Mustaine began work on a solo album, which
would be called “The System has Failed”. Unfortunately due to contractual obligations,
the record company was still expecting one more Megadeth album. Long story short, this album had to be released
under the Megadeth name. Regardless of who was in the band. Mustaine invited back members of the Rust
in Peace lineup. Unfortunately Ellefson and Marty Friedman
could not come to an agreement for the production. Drummer Nick Menza agreed but was effectively
fired by Mustaine due to being “insufficiently prepared for
the physical demands of a US tour”. Mustaine picked a bunch of session musicians
to create the record and play live. Moving back the star of this show David Ellefson. A life without Megadeth came as a relief to
Dave. As he states in his autobiography
that he was tired of being in a rock band and sacrificing time away from his family. With that said, his main income stream had
suddenly dried up and he was in need of an actual job. So he started looking. Dave would be out of Megadeth for 8 years
between 2002 and 2010. During this period a lot of opportunities
presented themselves to him. If you want the full details, head to the
show notes linked above or down below. In the interests of time for this video I’m
going to streamline it a little bit. Early in this period Dave worked with Peavey
Electronics and prepared artists to endorse their products. Mainly to help build a higher profile for
their amplifiers and guitars in conjunction with artist endorsements. Some notable artists called into the fold
was the late Paul Gray from Slipknot and Nicklbacks Mike Kroeger. He also had the opportunity to design amplifiers
and basses for Peavey. One bass in particular was the Zodiac series
which we’ll come back to shortly. A few months into his new life and Dave was approached by a friend from Phoenix named
Steve Small. The two jammed together and a couple of weeks
later the band F5 was formed. While Dave did mention he was tired of being
in a rock band he stated that “The good Lord intended me
to have a bass in my hand. It was really the first time that I felt validated
for my musical ideas too” but it was still a labour of love. F5 released their first album “A drug for
all seasons” in 2005 and a follow up “The Reckoning” in 2008. Dave was seen using a 5 string silver modulus
when recording as well as a signature Peavey Zodiac Scorpio
and a Fender Precision Deluxe on stage. The Zodiac Dave plays is one of a kind and
built in 2006. It was fitted with Seymour Duncan PJ pickups and had unique active electronics that Peavey designed Apart from these bands Dave also had the chance
to produce and play on several albums. He had considered a life as a music producer
but soon realised that sitting in a studio all day wasn’t as great as he first thought. Notable production credits include Temple
of Brutality, Killing Machine and Avian. He also attended an audition for the band
Soulfly but admits “it wasn’t the right time to join full
time” He did however help to record the Prophecy
album, music video and stood in for for a few shows
Using the 5 string concert bass and trans orange modulus. By 2009 a heavy metal super group was formed and named Hail! Featuring members from Judas Priest, Alice
Cooper and Megadeth. Dave describes the band as
“A cool opportunity for us to perform some of our favorite songs together
And for the fans and pay homage to the movement as a whole.” The Peavey Zodiac was used on all of the HAIL
and the Montrose shows that followed. He commented that the bass has a “deep punchy
tone that works well in almost any setting” There were a few phone conversations with Mustaine over the years with the aim of starting
up Megadeth again. None of which came to fruition. Around 2009 a booking agent named John Jackson
was preparing to launch his second Sonisphere festival. That December he announced that the Big Four
thrash bands would be playing the festival. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. If that wasn’t enough, news was soon announced
that Megadeth will be touring and celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rust In Peace. Upon hearing the news Dave said he felt like
“he’d been kicked in the gut”. Also saying “I need to be there for this. I knew it was the right thing to do for our
legacy “ As if by divine intervention, Dave received
a message from Mustaine’s guitar tech Willie Gee. and in turn spoke to then current Megadeth
drummer Shawn Drover. Drover explained that current bassist James
Lo-Menzo would be leaving the band. Ending with -“Dude if there’s ever a time
for you to reach out to Mustaine, it is right now Over the course of the next few days Dave
met with Mustaine and Drover to jam. Dave mentions “The first song we played
was symphony of destruction which sounded great “We looked at each other and we knew right
away it was going to work”. Mustaine then asked Ellfeson “Are we going
to do this?” Ellfeson nervously replied “yes”. “He went home thrilled and I thought to
myself,” What did I just commit to? Coincidentally, Peavey were making cutbacks
and Dave’s job there was now redundant I suppose it all works out in the end. He initially signed up for one month of the
Rust In Peace tour to ease himself back onto the horse. But of course that would eventually turn into
a permanent position. Dave officially rejoined Megadeth early February 2010 With one of his first appearances in the music
video “The Right To go Insane” The Rust in Peace 20th anniversary tour kicked
off that March. The band were so well received that they continued
touring End Game well into the next year. During the first half of the shows Dave was
on stage with his silver custom 5 string Peavey Zodiac and the black 4 string model. For the Rust In Peace portion of the set. Dave went back to his original gear that he
used during Rust in Peace and had Jackson make him a new custom concert
bass. The first one was a black 5 string concert
bass and had 3 control knobs just like the old days Followed by a second 5 string in quicksilver
that Dave is synonymous for these days. This bass joined his rig in summer 2010. A brand new BC Mockingbird was also used in
the encore to perform Peace Sells. All 3 were were fitted with EMG pickups. From here on out Dave would rekindle his relationship
with Jackson. And due to much public demand,
Jackson released a U.S.A. Custom Shop David Ellefson Signature Model in January 2011 A friend of mine named Rodney over at Rodney
McG has also made a video about Daves sound. He has this to say about the return to Jackson. Dave then collects a handful of new Jacksons
from 2011 to present day 2019. Which I’ll point out as we go through the
albums. Right in the middle of the Endgame tour. The band recorded their 13th album. Thirteen
No specifics about the recording process was released. We do know it was recorded in just 10 weeks
between May and June 2011. The only gear we do see is in performances
at this time. The 13 tour mainly saw Dave using his custom quicksilver and a black 5 string custom bass for the encore Some clips were released that summer with Dave going through his gear at that time All of which were variants of his concert
bass custom signatures. His rig now consisted of 2 Jackson five strings
quicksilver and red, 2 four strings; quicksilver and a blue kellybird. On this occasion a 5th bass was added just
for fun. A 5 string signature with artwork by Craig
Christy. The kellybird, a fusion of the Jackson Kelly
guitar and Gibson Thunderbird bass. Was designed by Dave in 1992. Apart from a prototype or two nothing really
came of it. Then in 2010 Dave and Jackson took another
shot at the design. “It’s sort of the classic, slung low,
rock & roll bass with the Jackson Kelly guitar horn on the bottom … We sort of integrated
some Jackson-ism into a nice traditional, rock & roll bass.” The album 13 was released November 1st 2011 with a tour commencing that December right through 2012. The tail end of that tour then became the
20th anniversary of Countdown to Extinction. Of which a live DVD was released and showed
the basses already mentioned and puts a clear spotlight on the red Jackson 5 string. The band ended up touring nonstop between
the years 2011 and 2013. Taking a short break over the Christmas holidays
before recording Super Collider. Dave states in an article with gear gods he used one of the stock Jackson X series basses
to record Super Collider. “We went to market with a much less expensive
bolt on version last year. I actually recorded the latest Megadeth record
Super Collider with that exact bass. Megadeth put on their own festival that year
called the Gigantour. Through these shows Dave was using this 5
string neck-through USA Custom Shop Jackson Kelly Bird. Stating “it was a “one-off instrument
I played for a short period In 2013 “ “Moving forward now, I play the bolt-on
neck 4 and 5 string models, usually for “Peace Sells”
as this bass was intended to imitate the protruding neck
that was inherent on the BC Rich Mockingbirds That I use to record that song with in 1986. During 2014 Dave took part in the Metal Allegiance. Another supergroup with the core line up comprising
of Mark Menghi, Alex Skol -nick, Mike Port- noy and Dave on bass. The group is routinely joined by many, many
other musicians on the road. Their debut album Metal Allegiance was released
in 2015 and Dave was snapped playing his 5 string
custom shop and 76 Fender precision . The follow up album Dystopia was released in January 2016. In an interview with bass player magazine
Dave talks about the recording process. While he talks about his amplifiers -it’
is coming up, I promise. He fails to mention the basses used specifically. The article however lists the equipment he
used at the time. Which is pretty much every Jackson guitar
he has on the market at that date. Not exactly narrowing it down. Jacksons in 2016 signature concert reissue
Also in 2016, Jackson re-released Daves’ signature concert bass
While his are custom shops, the retail versions share the same changes. The biggest changes here include ergonomic
cut aways as well as a new placement for the knob controls. Dave mentioned that when strumming, the controls
were kind of in the way. This model now changes that by putting the
controls around the edge of the bass. Stepping back a little bit to 2011. Dave and Frank Bello – Bass player for Anthrax. Were performing at bass clinics in support
of Hartke amplifiers. They began writing music together on and off
while traveling the world during their clinics known as “Metal Masters” The result of this partnership was the formation
of the band Altitude and Attitude . . By 2014 the pair had released a 3 track EP. Only recently in January 2019 did they finally
release a full length record. Dave explains the dynamic of the duo. It’s fun because as bass players we’re holding
down the lower end of the spectrum and the rhythmic groove section. I think there’s always this yearning for us
bass players to wanna be melodic players. Where these songs are coming from they’re
written from a guitar player’s perspective not from a bass player’s perspective.” Both Dave and Frank write guitar and bass
parts whilst Frank does the singing. The interesting part of this duo is that Frank
tends to play an 8 string bass and Dave a 10 string Jackson bass. Speaking in our current year 2019. Dave has a few extra basses added to his collection
A beautiful navy blue rickenbacker and a Steve Harris signature Precision
A double Jackson guitar bass A cream coloured Stingray SUB and a couple
of acoustic basses. Jackson guitars also had a new release which
came in July 2019, The CBX2 is an interesting release. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a Jackson! Yes it is. It has a newly designed headstock and Dave
wanted to create something traditional that would appeal to a general audience. It has a few quality of life features too
like the string tree, high mass bridge and a pickguard. A maple fingerboard for reasons unknown and
PJ pickups just like the old days. The interesting thing here is that the precision
pickup is flipped. Dave explains there’s a certain midrange
tone he dislikes from this position and flipping the pickup alleviates that. At the time of writing , Autumn 2019. Megadeth are currently in the studio recording
their 16th album. Photos have emerged of Dave using a beautiful
looking velvet black cherry modulus You can just make out the trans orange model
in the background. As well as some usage of his red Jackson 5
string. This specific bass bass was a one off build
for Dave’s signature line. The increased scale length of 35” inches
adds a piano like tone to the B string However Dave admits
that it also adds fatigue to his left hand and shoulder
Its appearance is limited on tour and mostly used in studio. The latest bass to be seen is a Dingwall combustion. Which Dave has borrowed to record with And finally. Dave has released a solo album this year named
Sleeping Giants. He’s joined by a huge collaboration of musicians
from track to track. The album is presented as a soundtrack piece
to Ellefson’s recent sequel memoir, More Life With Deth. In the debut video Dave is playing one of
the original concert basses with stickers reminiscent of his very first Jackson quicksilver
bass. Take a look at the show notes for a list of
all of David Ellefsons bassses used over the years. Join me in part two where we continue to talk
about Daves amplifiers, effects pedals and pickups. I’d like to thank Ron again for sharing
his letter and Big T on twitter for helping me bug Hartke. Additionally my thanks goes to Rodney over
at Rodney McG for sharing his David Ellefson knowledge. A link to his channel is down below, go and
say Hi to him. Thank you very much for watching and we’ll
conclude Ellefsons gear in part 2


The Greenman · October 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm

Outstanding video & I'm happy I was able to contribute a tiny part! The work you put into these things is unbelievable. I love your level of dedication of wanting to get every detail correct πŸ‘πŸ˜€

SixSentSoldiers · October 9, 2019 at 8:01 am

I hate that Cake girl. Had to suffer through 5 or 6 seconds to get to this.

Imam Valak Hudin · October 9, 2019 at 8:28 am

I like how he play bass

ZapRockSkull · October 9, 2019 at 9:18 am

Man, Jimmi Bain is my next vote for the show!

Max Matson · October 9, 2019 at 9:32 am

Glad to hear from you again bro!βœ‹πŸ‘ squarepusher guy here.πŸ˜… Thank youπŸ™ for doing a video on "David" he's one of my favorites too!✌

Max Matson · October 9, 2019 at 9:54 am

Holyshit! I didn't know Dave got lessons from Ray Riendeau. He was the studio and live bass player for one of my favorite bands "Machines of Loving Grace" on their last album "guilt" and was also live bass player for Rob Halford's industrial band "Two". Is bass playing on the machines song "Solar Temple", "Tryst", or that whole album! for that matter? is just absolutely sick!!!πŸŽΈπŸŽ§πŸ’«πŸ˜΅πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜ŽπŸ‘

TheZooropaBaby · October 9, 2019 at 10:13 am

It’s so funny that everyone in the 90s seemed to use basses with active electronics and extra string, regardless of genre

apakep · October 9, 2019 at 10:23 am

I already hit the subscribe button, the bell icon, the "help Alfie in his research" thing-y, what am I supposed to do now [except enjoy each video with a passion, which I already do] ?
Great video Alfie, and very nice pacing on this way from the way I feel

Ludher666 · October 9, 2019 at 11:02 am


submissivelover · October 9, 2019 at 11:47 am

fuck dude, you just refuse to do Peter Steele……..

Alexander Denchev · October 9, 2019 at 12:17 pm

To this day he's my biggest influence in terms of bass playing, sound and technique. Back in the day when most bassists sounded like a sloppy mess, he delivered immence precission and tightness and brought the instrument to a whole new level.

Vanni Ancillotti · October 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Bravo Alfie πŸ€“πŸ€ŸπŸ€ŸπŸ€Ÿ

ronnoco jason · October 9, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Yes finally!

Andrew Pappas · October 9, 2019 at 1:18 pm

This was awesome, I’ve always loved David’s playing on songs like Peace Sells, Holy Wars and Dawn Patrol. How about Roger Waters for a future video, I’d love to learn how he first got his iconic black P-Bass (and his other gear as well) or John Deacon from Queen?

Which Bass · October 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Part 2 will be released in about 2ish weeks. Subscribe so you don't miss it!
Show notes can be found at http://www.whichbass.co.uk/DavidEllefson

Francisco Sarmiento · October 9, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Megadeth aguante MEGADETH

Jordan Stec · October 9, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Seriously nicest guy, my band was direct support for him in august. Chuck Behler came on stage with them and played a bunch off songs of So Far So Good So What. Got to meet him and he signed my Jackson bass

Gabriel Josephsson · October 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm

I've been waiting for this, thanks.

Justin Tyler Jimenez · October 9, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Noice, I play bass and love Dave Ellefson. He’s amazing. Megadeth is awesome. Other than that, cool:).

cyko phor · October 9, 2019 at 2:32 pm

I've been away for a bit but I'm back and your videos never disappoint! Anyhoo. A video on Byron Stroud
From Fear Factory and strapping young lad would be awesome I'm not 100 %sure what bass he played in the Love? Video but it's pretty lol!

Rodney McG · October 9, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Excellent Episode, thanks for having me in for a bit!

SmeefMemes · October 9, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for this I'm a die hard Deth fan and dave is among my favourite bassists ever I'm not asking for you to do a video on him because your list is probably massive but check out Roger glover from deep purple for nothing but your own enjoyment he's one of the greats

Mark B · October 9, 2019 at 4:02 pm

wow Alfie this is a excellent video and WOW David went thru a lot of nice basses.

A.D Fairhurst · October 9, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Damn, I always learn something new from your videos. I always thought Peace Sells was recorded with the WW2 Mockingbird, not the red one!

Watkinzie Robertson · October 9, 2019 at 5:03 pm

Dave Jr. is the most "metallist" bassist of all time. Thank you for this!

Fivos · October 9, 2019 at 6:44 pm

I just wanna correct ya buddy but its hangar 18 and not hanger 18.
Thanks for making a video for one of my favourite bassist!

Trance 9 · October 9, 2019 at 8:11 pm

An EB O does not get the sound of the Ripper hence why it didn't sound like KISS

Trance 9 · October 9, 2019 at 8:13 pm

Hey…how about covering Bob Daisley

Zach Webb · October 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Can I nominate Bootsy Collins from Parliament for one of these videos please

Scott Stevenson · October 10, 2019 at 12:48 am

Another solid installment Alfie. Loving your work. Well done Lad.

Naes Seyer · October 10, 2019 at 2:29 am

Once again delivering great content good sir! Can't wait for part two of David's rig.

great carrot4484 · October 10, 2019 at 2:48 am

These are very professional videos for such a small Channel

pensnut08 · October 10, 2019 at 4:28 am

He is a MONSTER on bass!! Never gets the recognition he should. Thank you!!

Paul Sweeper · October 10, 2019 at 7:12 am


I've recently completed my collection of Megadeth tourbooks (the band tourbooks though, not the festival ones) and could try to look for some specific basses.
On a side note – Youthanasia was released in 1994 and Th1rt3en in 2011. But I totally understand your little mistakes because as I've mentioned in my previous comment on Timmy C video – I feel what it's like to totally kill your time and work with such a vast array of different informational bits and pieces.

Miki Ryann · October 10, 2019 at 7:37 am

Peace sells was recorded with a mockingbird but it sounds like a Rickenbacker that's something I've contradicted myself with for years

Nathaniel Andrews · October 10, 2019 at 11:06 am

My co workers dad grew up with Ellefson and was in a garage band with him

John Loughner · October 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm

The white one is a firebird not a kelly

John Loughner · October 10, 2019 at 12:36 pm

But still great video

fcamelbourne · October 10, 2019 at 1:11 pm

I think since rejoining Megadeth, Ellefson is basically a "hired gun" rather than having any control of the band's direction.

Luis roberto · October 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm

excellent video

Im A Very Bad Virus · October 10, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Damn youtube notifications for making me miss this, but excellent video once again.

I wish David kept that Fighter Plane Mocking Bird and had it as a signature, that thing was my dream when I first started learning till I found out how much real mocking birds (original ones I found) and how much of a risk it would be to paint the original finish.

John Hetherington · October 10, 2019 at 3:56 pm

Get your haircut properly…lame music lover

sski · October 10, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Outstanding! I can't wait for Part 2. My Jackson Concert 5 bass is my #1 bass I use live with my band. It's perfect for what we do in the progressive doom metal realm. I still enjoy my P-Basses and use them for recording, but live requires more and the Jackson delivers.

Oskar Toledo · October 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm

He is just great πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Matt Lewis · October 10, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Peter Steele needs to be a subject of your channel! His tones and style were great and, as a fan and bass player, i would love to know how he got that signature sound! Keep up the good work!

you're aren't · October 10, 2019 at 5:50 pm

dude holy shit is that a foreign objects shirt

Brenner Purdy · October 10, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Foreign objects 🀘🏻I love Dave, he’s a very solid bass player. I’d like to see a vid about the bass/singer of thin lizzy

RickyboyH · October 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Dave is one of my favorite metal bassists of all time, thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

Cameron Lanier · October 10, 2019 at 10:02 pm

this is the video i've been waiting for

Rigo’s Vlogs · October 11, 2019 at 1:53 am

I love these videos man !

diabeticmonkey · October 11, 2019 at 5:45 am

And just when I don’t think I could love your channel more, you show up wearing a Foreign Objects shirt.

You are the ultimate dude.

Robert Does Wrestling Reviews · October 11, 2019 at 7:25 am

Aguante Megadeth!

George Ash · October 11, 2019 at 9:28 am

Dave did a masterclass at my university last year and it's one of my highlights of being there, I managed to sneak in because the event sold out and the place was packed, afterwards we were all able to say hello, he signed stuff and took pictures with everyone, really humble and friendly guy.

Jack Torrance · October 11, 2019 at 10:07 am

Thank goodness for his Dad and his support!!!

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