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For learning the blues?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tsal, Apr 6, 2002.


  1. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    After seeing couple blues and blues rock bands in last week, I have been inspired by them to pick up my bass for the blues. Or blues rock, which would float my boat bit more.

    Could anyone recommend me any sites, bass books, instructional videos etc in this area?

    I think local store has some Roscoe Beck book, I have to check that one out.
     
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Roscoe Beck is an excellent teacher for blues style bass. He has two videos that I know of about playing blues bass. There two other books that I have found very useful and helpful.

    Mark Hiland--"Mel Bay's Blues Bass" with CD

    "101 Licks for Bass Guitar" with CD

    ALso check this web site. There are a couple other books on playing blues bass.

    www.bassbooks.com
     
  3. Check out "JUMP 'N' BLUES BASS" by Keith Rosier. There's some good stuff there.

    But really the only way to learn to play the blues is to listen to the blues. You need to get a hold of all the recordings you can a immerse yourself. For the most part blues bass is about feel, not a bunch of fancy licks.
     
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Listening to blues CDs is most definitely a productive way to learn how to play blues basslines. Indeed listening to blues CDS and live bands would be essential. However, I would like to defend my suggestion about the book and CD "101 Blues Licks."

    The book is an excellent tool for helping to identify typical basslines used in blues music. They are the most fundamental. They help a beginner in blues learn to identify the lines in music being listened to. Plus the book gives intros, turnarounds and outros that are frequently used. Once a beginner in blues has that foundation, he can certainly add fills or alter the basic patterns as he sees fit for the music.

    Also the book explains the twelve bar blues structure and shows common variations. All this should be very helpful to the novice blues bassist.

    Of course blues isn't about licks. In fact, I feel the name of the book does itself a bit of an injustice. What it contains isn't so much "licks" as typical blues bass lines, ones that occupy one bar then repeat and ones that occupy two bars. I feel the book is a very good start for a novice. The book certainly helped me. That's why I suggested it.
     
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Here are a couple more blues bass books I found in my collection.

    "Beginning Blues Bass" by Matt Scharfglass. Includes a CD. This book has exercises on shuffles, swing, rockabilly, hard rock and funk, but does concentrate on blues. It also has a chapter on soloing.

    "Classic Blues Bass Jam with Songbook" and CD. I lost my CD. Dang it! This has the sheet music in both tab and standard notation to six of the best known blues classics including "Stormy Monday" and "Hideaway."

    "Progressive Blues Bass" and "Progressive Blues Bass Licks" each with a CD. Both are by Steven Richter. These books cover much the same material as the others mentioned here.

    My favorite remains the Mark Hiland book I mentioned in my first post, "Mel Bay's Complete Blues Bass Book" with CD. It is the most thorough and gives an interesting history and evolution of blues and its cousins rock and jazz.

    You might also like this book, "The Definitive Blues Collection" which as the sheet music to 96 of the best known blues "standards."