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Looking for good bass instruction book

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Knavery, May 30, 2012.

  1. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Hey all,
    I just got back into bass and am looking to progress really fast. I've been playing guitar for about 25 years, but I played bass in every band I was in. To be honest, I think bass comes easier to me than guitar, and I think it's due to a few reasons.

    Since I was young, I always tapped to drums with my fingers on the steering wheel in my car, etc. Finger picking feels more natural to me than playing a guitar with a pick. And I'm more of a percussive/rhythm type person. I always wanted to play drums, but never had the space. As a result, I feel more comfortable playing to a drummers beat. I also never got good at guitar solos. I can play bluesy stuff, but that's about it.

    With that said, I don't know a thing about theory. I've tried to memorize scales, but the positions (notes) never clicked and I just forgot about them. I know the major pentatonic and a couple blues scales and that's it. Perhaps it's never sunk in because I've never taken lessons.

    Sorry for blabbing... At any rate, I'm looking for a bass instruction book that pretty much has some good walks for each chord. Scales if you will... But something more along the lines of, "If the guitar player plays a C chord, you can play these five notes and they go together well." I need to learn how to walk around the bass and do it comfortably with each chord.

    I do have the Bass Grimoire, and Bass Logic, but meh... Not sure I really get those or not.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. bwoodman

    bwoodman Supporting Member

    Ed Friedland books
    Youtube will keep you busy for hours....
  3. germ_77


    Jul 16, 2011
    ^ Eds Bass method from Hal leonard, cant believe how much better I have gotten from those books, really easy to learn to read music and teaches you theory at a nice slow pace so you actually learn it.
  4. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Thanks guys. I think I might give it a shot. It doesn't "require" you to read notes right? I'm not really interested in learning notation necessarily. I'm comfortable with tablature.
  5. germ_77


    Jul 16, 2011
    Yeah it does, teaches you both but just uses tab in book 2 to show you hand positions and to explain what tab is but most of it does not have tab.

    Not sure what you will find for good books that are tab only, most of the ones I have try to teach theory and rhythm/timing together which tab kind of sucks for unless you add in some kind of description for each note for the timing.

    Some of the alfred bass method books are pretty good, they usually seem to have tab as well as the notation for majority of exercises.

    The bass grimoire that you have is good for a reference for all of the scales and modes and different patterns but not really something I find I can learn from.

    Fretboard roadmaps might be worth checking out, I believe its from hal leonard I can check later when I find it around here, it has a lot of good info on triads, arpeggios, scales, etc.

    I would recommend just learning to read while you go through the ed friedland books, as I have been learning theory it seems to stick and make a lot more sense for me know that I can read, once you relate it to the bass clef and see how the notes stack up it kind of clicks and your like oh ok that makes sense, where as before I would try learning theory and just be like ***.
  6. Then accompaniment bass should fit right in. Accompaniment bass will use chord tones played one note at a time. The learning curve from rhythm guitar to bass is a piece of cake. With rhythm you strummed, with the bass you play each note of the chord one note at a time. How many of those notes depend on the song.

    How about one pattern - the major scale box and then change one note for other things. The pattern and how to use it will be at the end of this post.
    Ed's Building walking bass lines is IMO the best book on the subject of composing a bass line. Most of the sheet music you probably will be using will not have a bass clef shown so..... we have to compose our own bass lines. Ed's book is a must. Then www.studybass.com is a good place to spend some time. Bass guitar for dummies is a great book for new bassists as it will have all the "gotta know stuff" like how to hold it, how to tune it, how to mute strings, all those gotta know things. I found Scott Devine's bass lessons (on the Internet) to be a great help. Google will find them for you. Scott and Ed both drop in every once in a while.

    Here is that major scale box I talked about.
    [CENTER][b]Bass Patterns based upon the Major Scale box.[/b]
    [b]Major Scale Box. 
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
    Place the R and play the pattern.  See a
    C7 chord.  Place the R on the 4th string
    8th fret (a C note) then play the R-3-5-b7
    scale degrees in the box and you
    have played the notes that will harmonize
    with that C7 chord.  Below is the rest of the story.[/b]
    Root on 1,5 on 3 and then if you have room for more the 8, and correct 3 & 7 on beat 2 & 4 will be friends.
    There are a zillion chords, however, only three chord tones patterns will get you started, the major R-3-5-X. the minor R-b3-5-X and the diminished R-b3-b5-X. What's X? I bet most of what you do will be in 4/4 time, so you need four beats, R-3-5-3 or R-3-5-8, or just R-R-R-R, it's your bass line.....

    See what you can do with this just using roots.

    Have fun.
    hopwheels likes this.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I would recommend a good teacher to start off.
    Proper fingering is a thing I missed out on when I was self taught.
    One year with a classical method book (Edouard Nanny) turned
    my playing around 50 %.
  8. mbeall


    Jun 25, 2003
    Right, because if your looking to "looking to progress really fast" why would you want to learn anything that might help. :bag:

    Seriously though. Get the Friedland/Hal Leanord books and stop being a wuss about learning to read. All the stuff you want to know is written down in books.
  9. JlbassPlayer


    May 24, 2012
    Complete bass method by David overthrow it has everything you needs to know
  10. Low_Ryder


    Feb 13, 2012
    I'm in the same boat as the OP. Been thinking of trying the Ed Friedland books. I have Bass Logic and it's not bad, but it just doesn't seem to tie it together fir me. One thing that has helped me is the studybass website. It has 21 or so lesson blocks. The first bunch were quite easy, and it slowly got harder, especially since I am trying to learn to read. And it's free with absolutely nothing to sign up for. Just go to the site and start.
  11. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    I know, I know. The problem is it doesn't sink in. I have a hard time understanding how all of the notes, scales, and chords come together. You'd think I'd know this stuff having played in bands for 10-15 years. In cover bands, I'd always just learn the 40 or songs by ear or tab. If I was writing my own, I'd just stay in key with the guitarist, but never knew what in the hell I was doing necessarily.
  12. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Thanks man! That's quite a find. I think I'll start there.
  13. mbeall


    Jun 25, 2003
    Your hands know it and you ears know it, you just haven't connected all the dots for the big picture yet. :) The trick is to connect the sound, fingerboard geometry, and the harmonic relationships of the bass lines, melodies, chords, etc... To hear something and know what it is, how to play it, play with it, or support it. This is our goal as musicians. Learning to build walking bass lines based on chord and scale tones is a pillar in the temple of bass and provides essential skills to begin to connect these harmonic dots so to speak.
  14. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    I totally agree. I went ahead and ordered the Friedland books. I found the complete addition on Amazon. I also bought a bass scales poster so I could get the free shipping. :)

    Let the games begin. You know... I never took bass seriously, but I'm going to start now. I'm almost 40 and am mediocre in everything I do because of so many hobbies. That needs to stop. Maybe I can become good in the next couple of decades and die a happy, skilled, and hopefully talented bass player.
  15. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    Just take it SLOW, read and try to comprehend everything in Ed's books. It might not click at first, BUT, keep with it. After a while, you will have a "light bulb moment" and it will get easier. Then another, then another, etc.......

    Once you get to a point, and after asking question on this forum and searching, more of the theory will start to come together. You can't get it all at once. Little bites........
  16. ahdowns


    Feb 25, 2012
    I am a newbie and bought Ed's books and really like them. If I spent as much time practicing as I spend on tb, I'd probably be able to play more. LOL
  17. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I have a lot books that I would be willing to sell you, if you're interested. A lot of the books are from when I was learning how to play... this was 10 years ago, mind you. All the books I have are in excellent condition. If you're interested let me know and I can give you a list of all the books I would be willing to sell.

  18. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Sure I'd love to hear what you have. There's never anything wrong with buying books. :)

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