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Megadeth Ellefson on his musical education

Bassist says his formal training makes life in metal band a breeze

Dave Ellefson reckons his "formal training" in music helps with his work in Megadeth.

The bassist says his musical education not only helps when it comes to songwriting, but also saves time – and therefore money – in the studio.

He tells Maricopa Edu: "I started to be formally trained, though church organ lessons and then through the tenor saxophones. So by the time I got my hands on a bass, I could read music. But I think getting some formal education really helps.

"Being able to talk in a little bit more proper musical language, I think it only helps your experience. It helps you be less frustrated, it helps you be more economical with your time, especially in the studios, where time really is money."

Ellefson adds that having a grounding in formal music training helps make Megadeth's loud and fast-paced songs easier to work on.

He says: "Even in a group like Megadeth, we play with a lot of dynamics. With everything loud all the time, nothing seems loud anymore. If everything is fast all the time, you sort of get numb to the impact of accelerated tempo.

"So I think understanding things on a musical level helps you be a much better composer and definitely a much better performer."

Megadeth brought in drummer Chris Adler and guitarist Kiko Loureiro after Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover quit suddenly. The pair make they live debuts next month in Canada. The band are working on their 15th album.

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