Close to the Edge (i – The Solid Time of Change, ii – Total Mass Retain)

Dear friends, I decided to have a try to cover one of the most incredible songs by Yes, and also one of the most beautiful basslines created by Chris Squire.

I must say that this sole bassline can be a matter of lengthy study. From the chaotic intro to the most subtle note choices and rhythmic interplaying, there is a lot to contemplate. The most important, I feel, is to just listen to the music.

Besides the technical difficulties of the bass playing, there is also the sound. It’s really hard to recreate a similar tone as in the recording. Even more difficult cause the original tone changes a lot in different sections of the song, either by effects added or simply because all settings (accidentally or not) were changed. Some of you may know already how Yes would leave a song unfinished in the studio and take all their gear to do a gig, coming back later to finish the track, so that all settings were never quite the same. Nevertheless I tried to stay as close as possible (and reasonable), namely using my Malekko b:assmaster to play the “fuzzy” middle section. I did have an old plugin (used on the Siberian Khatru audio transcription) which was pleasantly close to the kind of tone present on the Close to the Edge album, but I really have lost it and I don’t remember its name :)

I hope you will enjoy this video, and for those who are still not familiar to Yes, I suggest to take the chance to listen to the original recording – the magnificent “Close to the Edge”. This title track, especially, will be a whole musical experience for you! Thank you for reading and watching!


Published by Miguel Falcão


8 thoughts on “Close to the Edge (i – The Solid Time of Change, ii – Total Mass Retain)

  1. Miguel – this is one of my favorite bass lines… I love Close to the Edge. Thanks so much for showing us how it’s done. You sound great – I can’t wait to hear/see what you try next! How about “Safe (Canon Song)”?

  2. Outstanding Miguel!
    Another fine performance that demonstrates all of your hard work. Despite the difficulties you had mastering Chris’s tone, you did a magnificent job. CTTE is one of my favorite Yessongs of all time. I guess now I’ll have to pull out my ES-345 and get to work on Howe’s parts!
    All the best,

  3. Awesome work as usual. I have referenced your videos often when I am trying to nail down on of Chris Squire’s bassline. I especially appreciate the perfect transcriptions you’ve done. Any chance of a transcription of Close to the Egde? Thanks to your help I have pretty much nailed down all but the “chaotic” early part that starts around 1:05. As much as I try, I can’t seem to figure it out and your fingers are moving too fast in the video for me to see which one’s I am wrong on! Even a short transcription of just that one riff would make you my hero, lol!

    1. I too am looking for a transcription to the weird 6/8 riff in the first section. All the bass tabs I found online are wrong. :'(

  4. That’s quite an amazing transcribing and performance you have displayed. My compliments. If you transcribe the other parts and put them in score form, I’ll happily buy it from you.

    1. Hello Bennett, thank you very much! I do the transcriptions quite un-regularly. For now I really have no plans to make more transcriptions, at least in the near future. For now I have some transcriptions I made by myself from fellow collaborators that you can download for free here on the site. All the best!

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