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looking for "the bass guitar bible!"

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by freddy dupree, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. freddy dupree

    freddy dupree

    Nov 21, 2008
    hi. quick history: I'm a music degree holder in brass playing (trumpet). I switched to playing bass guitar a few years ago, but I'm missing my bible! In the trumpet world all serious players have "Arban's" method book. This is a great book of exercises, etudes, and tunes to last a life time. Does anyone know if there is a book like this for bass guitar!? thanks for any input.... FD
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Probably not. There's the Simandal method for upright bass, but the electric bass is such a new instrument that the pedagogy for it isn't defined. There's a lot of good stuff out there, but not any one that's great in all respects to cover everyone.

    For people playing popular music I'd suggest a copy of the bood/DVD set of "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" by Alan Slutsky a/k/a "Dr. Licks". Another good resource is "What Duck Dunn". But those are really transcriptions of specific bass lines, which while being great learning tools, aren't really geared to being progressive etudes. So, I'd also suggest Rufus Reid's "The Evolving Bassist" or Ray Brown's bass method. Carol Kaye has some great educational material too, as does Jeff Berlin. BTW, Berlin has recommended trombone books for bassists, including a Berklee book on chords and arpeggios.

  3. At the moment none exist, not in the form you propose(Simandl, for example). Reportedly Stanley Clarke and others are working on putting one together for electric. Remember, the instrument has existed for less than 60 years in it's current form.
  4. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I think Ed Friedland's Hal Leonard Bass Method Books 1-3 is the closest anybody has gotten to creating a definitive "method" for electric bass. It's by far the clearest and easiest to follow IMO, and gets you up to speed with most things technique related.
    Huxleigh kiriye likes this.
  5. Quap


    Oct 14, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    I wonder if the Simandl could be reworked and tweaked for Electric Bass.

    Heck as a band nerd, I am still waiting for a composer to write a Concerto for Electric Bass. So tired of clarinets :bag:
  6. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Since it hasn't come out yet, I don't know how good it is, but how about this?

  7. JFace


    Apr 17, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Bass Guitar for Dummies is the closest thing I can think of. It's pretty useful IMO. The author, Patrick Pfeiffer is a great guy, too.
  8. bottomzone


    Oct 21, 2005
    +1000000!!!!!!!! This is a great book/CD and is extremely well written and organized by Mr. Pfeiffer!

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    go to amazon and check out Bass Bible
    by Paul Westwood

    I have it and recommend it highly, esp if you can read notation. Why? because it has a broad catalog of stylistic examples: rock, jazz, latin, soul, afropop, and obscure world music. He even has specific sections for playing "in the style of" some of the great players. there's also the usual stuff about modes, chord progressions, and many basic grooves, plus a 2 CD audio component.

    I've never seen a book with more comprehensive, practical examples in one volume. If I were suddenly tapped to play a genre I have no familiarity with, I'd pick up that book first.

    That said, Standing In the Shadows of Motown may be more "biblical" - it was certainly a divine revelation to me!
  10. Kindofblue


    Oct 13, 2008
    Depends what you want to go into. For just technique related stuff and all that id say Ed Friedlands series like HAVIC posted. For writing bass lines I would check out Mike Downs "The Jazz Bassline Book" I use that for reference and when I find something that just isn't making sense. Also a book that has never ending tunes...I'd say grab a real book.
  11. John Webb

    John Webb

    Apr 20, 2006
    Myrtle Beach,SC
    Did you know that Stanley Clark and Steve Bailey are working on one together?
    Not sue how long it will take before it is published though.
  12. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Yeah, that book by Mike Downs is incredible, definitely one of my all time favs.
  13. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    As far as I've understood it, "The Evolving Bassist" by Rufus Reid has always been one of the top-shelf books for bass. I would recommend it to anyone.
  14. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1 Rufus' good has a lot of good exercises and the other books like Simandl and SITSOM are good books too. I would add Chord Studies for the Electric Bass from Berklee press is good one too. I would say look for the trombone equivalent of your Arbans book. Why not use your Arban's book just transpose. I even do the Hanon piano book playing the left hand since it mainly just mirrors the right in the exercises.
  15. Vetchking

    Vetchking Banned

    Mar 17, 2008
    President G.P.G. Co. "acoustic" USA
    Vetchking here: Since you have a music degree, Look out side the box.

    Buy a couple of early beatle albums, learn Pauls parts, Throw in a few Zeppelin albums,

    Get a couple of Tower Of Power albums........... Add Weather Report, Pre- Jaco is important.......

    You'll be a smokin Bass player............. OOPS.......Forgot .... James Brown.

    You'll have it all. Not only will the records give you the knowledge, they will give you the grooves......... The interplay with the other musicians, etc.

    There is a time to leave the books......... Later............
  16. jonster


    Nov 12, 2008

    I just want to let you know that I've written five bass books for Hal Leonard, which you might find helpful.

    Funk Bass, my first book, devoted to the slapping technique.
    Funk/Fusion Bass, my second book, focuses on finger-style funk.
    Rock Bass is my third book.
    Blues Bass is my fourth book.

    My BRAND NEW BOOK, scheduled for release at the January 2009 NAMM Show, is called BASS GROOVES: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION. It covers just about every style you'll ever need, including blues, jazz, rock, funk/R&B, reggae, country, latin and much more.

    Will Lee, who wrote the foreword, called it "the most important book since Standing in the Shadows of Motown!" It's also endorsed by Stuart Hamm, Brian Bromberg, Bob Babbitt, Steve Bailey, Alexis Sklarevsky and many others.

    If anyone has any of my other books, let me (and everyone else) know what you think. I'm happy to answer any questions. Thanks!

    Jon Liebman
    Huxleigh kiriye likes this.
  17. In a former life I was a trombonist, so I'm a Simandl fan also. (And I have tried playing some of it on bass - now that's a challenge!) The closest to a bible I can recommend is the often mentioned Rufus Reid book. It's not the same thing, but it does have some good exercises that you can go back to time and again. He also did a second book, Evolving Upwards, which covers the higher range of the neck.
  18. just a note..if you are looking

    it is Mike Downes, not Mike Downs

    and it is a great book

    i was lucky enough to study with Mike at Humber College for a couple years.... great guy too.

    i believe it is published through Advance Music.
  19. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I'm kinda surprised that nobody mentioned "Improviser's Bass Method" by Chuck Sher!?
    The "Serious Electric Bass" by Joel DiBartolo is also excellent, although it does not cover any stylistic approach to playing. However, as a technical/theoretical reference it is formidable.
  20. The Improvisor's Bass Method: For Electric & Acoustic Bass - Chuck Sher

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