Growth as a bass player.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by count_funkula, Apr 2, 2001.

  1. Hello everyone.

    I am at a place in my playing where I'm not sure what to do next. I'm not all that good as far as fancy licks and really impressive fretboard wizardry but I decent at holding down the low end and providing a tranition between chords in the song.

    I have no decent instructors in my area so I'm really on my own. What do you guys consider to be the best all around bass instructional book available? I'm not very good at reading music but maybe I should be. Standard notation would be fine as long as the first part of the book is on reading.

    Lets hear some opinions.
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    this site has an excellent section on reading music...

    and it's free to boot! can't beat that. :D
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I encourage you to also continue your search for a teacher. While it can be very difficult and time consuming, the ends justify the means. Check at local high schools and colleges. Speak to the instructors there and see if they know anybody. I would guess that they would be happy to help you try and find someone. Maybe even check JCs for a teacher or another experienced bassist. It is worth the effort. A teacher can point out things in your style of playing, and in your technique that a book simply can't. Books can be frustrating in that respect, while a good teacher will bring out your best. You say that there are no "decent" instructors, but I encourage you to continue looking. Good luck.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Or you could look over some of the posts in the Jeff Berlin/Ed Fuqua forum. There's some good stuff there, in terms of progressing as a bass player.
  5. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Originally posted by count_funkula
    I have no decent instructors in my area so I'm really on my own. What do you guys consider to be the best all around bass instructional book available?

    I like Ray Brown's Bass Method, it's simple and straight to the point and will apply to any style of music. There isn't much "how to" kind of info but as you go through this book you get theoretical knowledge that will allow you stretch out more than it sounds like you do now. Unlike most books it doesn't try to coerce you to play a certain way.

    As for no decent instructors you may want to consider going to the nearest good one even if it seems like a long way. I recently took four lessons that involved a six+ hour drive each way.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Hey, how come Ed's name isn't on the marquee like Jeff's? It hardly seems fair...
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Just remembered, in terms of books, (which is what you asked for in the first place :rolleyes: ), try The Evolving Bassist by Rufus Reid. I have a copy and have been using it for a long time. It helps with reading, learning the scales/keys and chord structure and just about everything else. It's mainly written for upright bassists, but everything still applies to electric bass.
  8. A teacher does not necessarily have to be a bass player! If you can play the physical aspect of the bass, then a music teacher (piano, horns etc) will teach you MUSIC. Jeff Berlin studied for years, maybe still does, with a guy called Charlie Banacos, who is not a bass player. He is learning MUSIC, bass is just his chosen instrument of expression.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with Marty on that - quite often piano player can teach you nore about bass lines than bass players! In Cuban music the bass fits very closely with the piano and I have found that the best way to learn about this is by playing with a good piano player, who can show you how everything "fits".

    I also feel like I owe a lot in terms of musical development to my Jazz tutor - Geoff Simkins, who is an Alto Sax Player. A lot of the pro Jazz musicians I meet know about all aspects of music - so can tell you about chords, harmony, rhythms etc. They are "aware" of what the bass should be doing in all this and can help you a lot. I have often felt I learnt more from trumpet players, alto players or trombonists, than some bassists!