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Bass Grimoire

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by GLbass63, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. GLbass63


    May 15, 2010
    I'm new to the site, so if it was discussed already forgive me.I seen this book called "the Bass Grimoire" in the used section of a book store.($10.00 so I jumped on it) I started to work thru it, but am getting ABSOLUTELY overwelmed by all the info in it. Any words of wisdom on practice, or help memorizing would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Work through the first 5 pages first. Get them under your belt and it all unfolds when you do.

    I know it's oddball-looking - but in spite of the slams and diss I got from a few members here on TB - it really makes sense if you just let it sink in.

    If you have a keyboard handy - any cheap-o KB will work - it'll all jell a lot easier and faster.

    One ore great aid to understanding the Grimoire, was that I also play harmonica and can 'feel' the results very quickly.

    There IS a musical connection to all instruments and the Grimoire if you open your mind a little.

    Don't worry - but stay away from and resist opening the book past the first 9 pages - or you'll just faint in fear.
  3. chrisbass0013


    Apr 16, 2010
    go at your own pace music theory can be overwhelming. Start with simple stuff because it builds on itself also learn what you feel you'll actually use. Everyone needs to start somewhere. I own the book too and find it very useful. My advice learn the major scales, chords, and modes that go along with it. To remember that I Don't Pee Like My Aunt Linda thats for the modes. Ionian Dorian Phrygian Lydian Mixolidian Aeolian and Locrian
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    One of my first bass teachers swore by the Grimoire, and I picked it up... I did the same thing you did before coming back to it a year or two later, and took it a page at a time. Take it slow, it's worth it.
  5. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I do have a very strong regret regarding the Bass Grimoire. I should have spent more time on standards and chord tones than the modes and scales in that book. The book is ok, I'm certainly not trashing it, but getting through it, and I did, with the standard scale exercises through all the scales in it, was like reading the dictionary and memorizing the words.

    I did find it interesting to grab an arbitrary exotic mode for drone music. For most jazz playing the book is a total waste.
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Could anyone compare the Grimoire to working with a couple of the Jamie Abersolde books?
  7. Frankly - and like I said I am currently studying from the Grimoire - I don't see any real need to even LOOK at all those forms and fret-finger position charts.

    I am just concentrating on the first 22 pages and stopping there.

    Charts I can always read if and when I need them - but the theory is important and getting that digested is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
  8. GLbass63


    May 15, 2010
    Thanks for the input. I was starting to lose the faith on it.I don't know my modes inside and out,(like I should)and this has helped learning the fretboard also.I also picked up"Building Walking Bass Lines" by Ed Friedland. Winter is coming here in Indiana.A good time to stay inside and practice.(lol)
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    My advice: Ditch the Grimiore, stick with Friedland.
    Bass Grimiore = a bunch of scale diagrams without any explanation of how, when or why you would want to use them.

    Building Walking Bass Lines , I suspect, will teach more how, when & why.

    knowing the underlying reasoning and structure behind Chords and Chord progressions is far more useful than having 100+ scales form memorized.

    The only scales you really need to have down really well before moving on to learning harmony are Major, Minor, and Harmonic Minor.
    It's not that other scales are useless...just not as useful as Harmonic understanding.
  10. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    If you do the Aebersold books, Major and Minor, Dominant 7th Workout and Getting it Together you can pretty much forget the Grimoire. In fact that would be my advice.
    BassChuck likes this.
  11. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    It has helped me some.. but like any such tool it is only as usefull as the time you put into it.. This video by Adam Nitti really helped me to understand the whole modes thing.. For me the Grimoire is something that keeps unravelling itself as I go.
  12. Agree. There's a second "Building Walking Basslines" to. Check out "The Ray Brown Bass Method".
  13. All of the above. I leafed through a bass grimoire once and could honestly not see a whole lot of use for it. YMMV.
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    This is akin to buying a dictionary. Owning a dictionary is great when you need to find out what a word means. It's not so great if you're trying to write poetry. And that's in a language you speak and read.

    Now imagine trying to write poetry in Farsi by opening up your Farsi dictionary. Why doesn't it work, it's got any word you could ever conceive of using in a poem in there?

    It may be that, after getting to the point where you can express meaning and intent with the language with which you currently have the most nuanced control, work that you do to increase the depth of your vocabulary will pay off. But, my own long and bitter experience has been, speaking gibberish with longer and more complex words is still just speaking gibberish.
  15. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Well said, in fact perfect.

    Now if you call your gibberish post modernism... or avant garde...
  16. VonCakeman


    Sep 22, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    I have one, and I think I practiced it once. It's really more of a reference book. When I started learning jazz standards, it was good to use to look up scale patterns I was having trouble with. Now I hardly ever use it. I think the dictionary is a good analogy. Think back when you were learning to read books and you came across a word that you didn't know. Sometimes you had to look it up. If you really want to learn, I'd recomend private lessons. That way you have someone to explain the why. A good teacher will also give you direction as to what order to learn things in. Books don't always get this right, because that's something that con be different to everyone.

    If you need to do it alone, i'd recomend learning a few modes. I've found that if you know your major and minor and diminished modes like the back of your hand, the rest will fall into place. Think you know them? Here's a test. Pick up you bass cold (no warm up), start a click, and play the mode in every key up and down the neck. If you can do this in tempo, you're good. If you can nail your scales like that every time, dealing with modes is easy. You only have to think about the flat seventh, sharp 6th or whatever other outports there are. Keeping track of one, two, or maybe even three notes is way easier than remembering the scale, and usually it's written on the chart. Also this excersise is best done at slow tempos. When given the opportunity to overthink, you probably will. It's painful but this made my playing jump by leaps and bounds!
  17. I love mine. However the one that helped me the most is probably the chords and voicings book. The one that is the most intimidating is the progressions and improvisation book. There are some really great charts in there. It is important to think of the books as a reference, not a lesson. All of these books assume that you know a certain amount of basic theory.
    hieronymous likes this.
  18. I love my Bass Grimoire. It really opened a lot of doors to me.
  19. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Curiosity overwhelmed and I got a copy. Not a bad thing to own, but after 2 degrees in music and a life of using theory to compose and arrange, it's of little use other than to show some scale forms. As I mentioned in a post above, the Abersole books are of equal value and Jamie can get on one page what the entire Grimoire takes to show.
    That said, it is an clever and rather ingenious way of showing the content (but not the context) of many scales and modes. However, the cleverness is only useful if someone is determined to postpone the value of learning to read music. Learning from scale diagrams and TABs is only a small part of the picture.
  20. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    For a player who knows their fingerboard, understands the 12 notes, 12 intervals, and basic major scale construction
    you could encode the most of the Grimiore on on or two pages... might try that.

    I tend to poop on the Grimiore a lot, seeing it as a giant catalog of fingering charts, where effort might be better spent leaning why the charts are formed as they are.But looking over the table of contents, I think the first 20 pages are worth some time. Some of those explanatory charts might enlighten learners. That said, the most of same info can be found for free in the PDF linked in my signature, or the sticky atop this forum, or other places about the internet.
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