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Concepts for Bass Soloing by Chuck Sher and Marc Johnson

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by ClassicalDB, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    Hey everyone,
    Has anyone used this book personally? I have searched the threads but didn't really find the answer I was looking for. It seems like an excellent jazz reference but does it also apply to contemporary soloing? Also, on a note of personal opinion, what do you think of the book in terms of its effectiveness in teaching soloing concepts and its methods of teaching it? Thank you!
  2. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    This book blows my mind. It's such an informal, yet powerful collection of ideas. Marc Johnson is incredible.

    There are lots of "standard" progressions with straight-forward written exercises. The cool thing, Marc "goes off" after the transcribed ideas and develops them further.

    I have certainly not even begun to master many of the "licks" and solos in the book -- but I love listening to the recording from time to time to get inspired about what is possible on the DB.

    Only drag, I have the old cassette version -- would love to upgrade to the CD version someday.
  3. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    This book is certainly a data dump, there are lots of transcribed licks from Marc and permututations of these licks and then a few explanations about these licks and musical examples containing those licks, and a word or two about how to make better licks.

    The CD's are neat.

    It's Pretty rhythmically advanced too, and gives you some rhythmic licks to practice as well.

    Most of it is well over my head, but I am not really a lick kind of guy.

    If you are, you will love this book, because the licks are really cool.
  4. ClassicalDB

    ClassicalDB Guest

    Apr 9, 2005
    Beverly Hills
    sounds great! thanks
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Great book for "rut-busting".
    Pat Harris likes this.
  6. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1 on Jason's, Alex's and Marcus' thoughts...

    It's totally different in all respects from any other book I own and use - a great change of pace and direction for when I need that.

    Most of it is way over my head, but dipping into it here and there and toying with some of the ideas is fun in itself, and seems to be paying off a little on the bandstand.
  7. +1 This is a book that lends itself to dipping in and out of and borrowing ideas. It is not so much a book that you start at the begining and work through to the end although there is structure within each section.
  8. Rabb


    Mar 2, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    It sounds like he is practicing and soloing. I have a tough time reading the transcriptions, but for ear training it is worth checking out.
  9. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    I got that book in 1995 and used it regularly for about 5 years. It improved my playing immensely. I learned some of the Marc Johnson licks, but mostly I would just solo the piano track and play to it. It was WAY more fun than the Aebersold play alongs. It really helps with intonation also.
  10. I love the way it gives you ideas, then bassically says "you take it from here". I definitely do not think it's a book to start with, but for developing your chops, it's a gem.
  11. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Sorry to dig up this topic. But I am playing again from this book now. Did the same thing some years ago but now I seem to get it more. There are some challenging parts in this book. All examples are advanced and make you play all over the neck. Problem is that the written examples don't sound like the the CD. Transcriptions are correct but you miss the articulations and the legato stuff. He use a lots of slides and hammer-ons and those are not transcribed. But if you listen closely to the CD you will hear it. I just wished that he had written out some of the fingerings. Many possibilities to play the same line and it would be nice to know exactly how he played it. Especially how he jumps between heel position and thumb position and so. I can find out myself but for educational value and to get more insight in Marc Johnson's playing it would have been be nice.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  12. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    I've used this book a little bit, and didn't get much out of it. On first glance I thought wow, this is great, but it really didn't lead anywhere. If you're looking for a book to kickstart some new stuff, I've found Longo's"The Improvised Melodic Line" and Galper's "Forward Motion" very helpful and inspiring.
  13. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I think it depends on how you approach the book. It certainly is a challenge, both musically and technically. Only playing through the first ten pages can keep you busy for months. I never played through the whole book but occasionally take something from it. Even for the technical challenge alone it is worth playing through some of the examples.

    What struck me the most when I first listened to the cd is how he played so legato. Even with the simple scales on the bottom op page 1. There are a lots of slides en hammer-ons involved and not much right hand attacks. I wish he would have explained some more about that because that's not something every player is doing in that manner. But that might not be the goal of this book.