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Book Review: Hip-Hop Bass by J. des Pres

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Daniel L., Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Daniel L.

    Daniel L. Guest

    Aug 30, 2002
    When you think of hip hop, what bassists come to mind? ...Yeah...Josquin de Pres wasn't on my list either. :D I'm not sure how much credibility he has on this subject. However, the books available for this style are few.

    Preface: This book provides the learner with '101 grooves, riffs, loops, and beats' in various hip hop styles. It is geared towards beginner to intermediate players, though anyone with an interest in hip hop bass may find the book enjoyable.

    Format: Standard notation with TAB underneath is standard (so even the notationally challenged can enjoy the book). As I've said before, I really wish publishers would put the TAB separately. Having it directly underneath the standard notation makes it impossible to sight read. It's just too easy to look at the TAB.

    Audio: The included cd has all 101 examples played. The audio quality is moderate. It sounds somewhat distorted. Also, there is no click or count-off. Each example abruptly starts, making it difficult to play along.

    Overview: Hip hop is somewhat of a broad term, musically. The grooves in this book directly relate to rap music and sampled bass lines. The author covers 3 different styles: East Coast, West Coast, and Down (Dirty) South. All three have their own distinct sound.

    Most of the examples are two bar phrases that are repeated or looped. Many of the grooves are fun to play. Some are challenging, providing a good workout for fingerstyle playing. The downside of this book, as with many of the '101 riff' type books, is that the majority of the examples are instantly forgotten. With 101 different short patterns, and no context to use them in, retention is nearly impossible. Including some play along tracks would have been tremendous in retaining some of these grooves.

    Final Thoughts: Overall, I can't fault this book. It provides exactly what it states. It's not a very long book and the price is right. If you have an interest in hip hop bass it may be worth your time to check out.

  2. ryla


    Jun 17, 2004
    auckland new zealand
    i agree its a good workout, great for beginnera as 2 bar vamps dont take much concentration and it stresses 'feel'. I play along to the cd without the book and see how quickly i can cop the riff (without stopping the cd), this gives me next to no time to nail it before the next track plays (if i dont nail it , too bad i try the next one), this is good for quickening my 'ears', as well, i play along to it with the lights out for navigation practise - good book.

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