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Books and DVD's for Self-teachers?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by HeavyAxe, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. HeavyAxe


    Jul 16, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    Hey everyone. As you can probably guess I'm just looking for good books I can use to teach myself. I'd like to have a basic knowledge of music theory, at least enough to understand what others are saying in terms of music. Genre wise, I play doom/stoner metal or black/death metal. Metal bass books are always atrocious so I have no interest in them. Rather, I'd be interested in good books for blues bass playing and jazz bass playing. Also, I'd be open to books themed around progressive bass, etc.
    I know thats kinda vague so I'll just make a list of things I'd like to learn and know and you can throw me any suggestions you may have!
    -Basic Music Theory (A plus if it pertains to the bass guitar specifically but open to all good books)
    -Blues Bass
    -Jazz Bass
    -Progressive bass or anything else which may help me enhance my extreme metal playing

    I would consider myself a good bass player, but I lack any knowledge of music theory. I'd just like to know what would fit best into a piece of music when jamming etc. Know what notes to play and when etc. etc.

  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Can you read? If not, start learning and then get Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book. It is more for piano but it will take you from basics to advanced. If you want a bass specific book Mike Downes has a great book, I believe it is called walking jazz bass or jazz bass lines. It is more focused on playing jazz bass, however, and will not cover the basics, from what I remember. Hal Leonard books are always recommended.
  3. vishalicious


    Mar 31, 2011
    Yonkers, NY
    Bass Guitar for Dummies is a good read for theory. Patrick Pfeiffer explains a lot of stuff really well, with lots of examples.

    Although you don't seem to care for metal-specific books, Alex Webster's book, Extreme Metal Bass is also a great compliment to the Dummies book, if you're interested in metal.

    Also, I found a post on here on Talkbass about the role of bass in death metal, from someone who initially didn't care for death. I ended up blogging it here:

    Thoughts about playing bass in Death Metal (Stephen Brand)
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    "I would consider myself a good bass player, but I lack any knowledge of music theory. I'd just like to know what would fit best into a piece of music when jamming etc. Know what notes to play and when etc. etc."

    The above quote would tell me that you need to start from a fairly basic level. Some of the books mentioned so far, ( with the exception of "Bass Guitar for Dummies") great as they are, may be a bit too advanced for you right now. They can be tackled later.

    I would strongly recommend you get the "Complete Bass Method" book by Ed Friedland. There are three volumes in one spiral bound edition. Each has it's own CD. Hal Leonard Bass Method - Complete Edition: Books 1, 2 and 3 Bound Together in One Easy-to-Use Volume!: Ed Friedland: 9780793563838: Amazon.com: Books

    I know you did not ask about web sites, but I feel that StudyBass - Free Online Bass Lessons is well worth your while checking out. Start at the beginning of the lesson guide and work your way through.

    As for music theory itself...check out this free down load from the Talk bass sticky. Take it in small bite size pieces as it can become a bit over whelming if you dont. See post #1 in this link :

    Music Theory Book - Free Download | TalkBass.com[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
    Shorty105 and vishalicious like this.
  5. vishalicious


    Mar 31, 2011
    Yonkers, NY
    I'm actually working through the Hal Leonard Complete Bass Method right now. I love that it gets you reading right off the bat - even though I'm only a few days in and still on the E string. Ed Friedland is one of my favorite instructional writers.

    There are 3 complimentary books with songs that are geared to work with each of the 3 volumes in the bass method book as well - Easy Pop Bass Lines, More Easy Pop Bass Lines and Even More Easy Pop Bass Lines. They're meant to help you practice reading on the same level as each of the books in the method.
    Shorty105 likes this.
  6. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    Friedland's Blues bass book via HL is excellent as well.
    vishalicious likes this.
  7. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    You're off to a good start. I highly recommend Ed Friedland's books as well. His "Building Walking Basslines" books are very good. Walking lines are a fundamental aspect of bassplaying that has application across many different styles of music.
    vishalicious likes this.
  8. aggrokragg


    Dec 18, 2013
    As stated above, if you grab the HL titles by Friedland (the 1/2/3 + CD bound comp and the Blues Bass book + CD) you'll have a great foundation of info and exercises to work from. I can attest to both, along with Bass Guitar for Dummies, since I actually snagged all 3 of these books off Amazon last year when I decided to "re-teach" myself the bass to unlearn old habits and gain a better overall foundation.
    drumsnbass likes this.
  9. thabassmon


    Sep 26, 2013
    New Zealand
    Eartraining for guitar and bass by Gary Willis
  10. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    If you consider yourself somewhat technically proficient, I would suggest Tony Grey's "Bass Academy", Chuck Sher's "Improviser's Bass Method" and Garry Willis' "Fretboard Harmony".
  11. My 2 cents.

    As others have stated, basically everything by Ed Friedland is great.
    I have one of his Jazz / Walking books that I use with some of my slightly advanced students and it's really good.

    One of my favourite books:
    Alexis Sklarevski - Bass Playing Techniques.
    Covers different techniques as well as scales & theoretical stuff.

    I also have Mark Levine's Jazz Theory. Great, but it's pretty much focused on standard jazz material (if that's what you want).
  12. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    Once you get thru Ed's stuff I would suggest "Teach Me Bass Guitar" which I am now working thru. The first couple DVD's may be a real rehash, but past that you really move along.
    harleyman888 likes this.
  13. T-Funk


    Jul 2, 2005
  14. Shorty105


    Apr 16, 2015
    NC, USA
    Another vote for the HL complete 123 + cd's by Ed Freidland here! Working my way through the first right now and having a lot of fun. The play alongs are great and it makes otherwise boring notation fun. I've been playing other instruments for over 10 years and never took the time to do it right. With the bass and these books I'm already feeling a much more solid foundation.
    vishalicious likes this.

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