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Practicing; Hal Leonard's Bass Method: Complete Edition

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Murmaider, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Murmaider


    Oct 20, 2013
    So I was recommended this book in a previous thread to help me learn, along side Alex Webster's Extreme Metal Bass book. Looking through a bit (book one) it looks very very simple, I mean its talking about how to pluck and giving little 1-finger song examples that fit into the first 5 frets and whatnot.

    I don't want to sound like another one of *those* kids, but should I really be going through this? I mean I'm pretty sure I have a decent grasp of the extreme basics like that.

    If anybody else owns this book, can you tell me a good place to start?

    I've already learned a few scales from Webster's book and so far I've just gone up and down those scales and exercises and I even wrote a couple riffs in the hungarian minor scale from just messing around, so that's basically how I've been practicing so far haha, is this fine or should I be doing something vastly different?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Skip to the part of the Hal Leonard book that you don't know. And it wouldn't hurt you to brush up on the easy stuff, too ;)
  3. LordDog


    Jun 25, 2013
    Norwich UK
    I am currently going through this book, and I did start at the beginning. So far (book 1) the book is mainly about reading notation and therefore, concurrently, about timing and finger positioning etc. If you already know the stuff at the beginning, then skip it, but if you can't read bass clef already, I would recommend the rest of it; it's one of the best all round books overall for a beginner that I have seen.

    In terms of what else to do, I would say that scales, chord tones, arpeggios have been useful to me. I have been going through the Major (including modes), Minor, Pentatonic and Blues scales so far; no Hungarian Minor yet, so you are ahead of me there :)
  4. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    getting into the chords, scales and such is much easier at the beginning. The better you get without, the harder it gets to learn them. Sometimes it's this boring stuff that gets you there.
    i thumped through my first book as well, starting somewhere in the middle and then leaving it because it got too hard. The reason for that might have been that i skipped the beginning.

    More important: Try and get a few lessons to start. Books don't correct mistakes you do and once a wrong method is settled in, it's hard to get it out.
    I did mistakes with both my left and right hand in the beginning and it got hard for me
    to get rid of them after a year of playing when i found a punk that played mark king solos for warmup who agreed to teach me.
  5. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006


    OP, I think it was I who recommended the book to you. Naturally there is going to be some stuff at the start that you already know. Do as Jimmy suggests. Skim through the early stuff and see if there is something you did not already know. Then move on to newer lessons.

    I also recommended that to get the best out of the book, it would be best to work through it with a good teacher.

    You might be interested in this thread about others who are also working through that same book(s).


    Best of luck with it. :)
  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I would play the easy stuff for either a bassist who's better than you or a really good bass teacher. There will be something that they will point out that you could do better. I see that frequently in my teaching and have been on the other side as well. It will make the harder stuff more approachable too.
  7. Babaghanoush


    Jan 21, 2011
    Ohio, USA
    If you have the ability to record, start at the beginning and record every exercise with a backing track. Listen to each with critical ears. Listen for tone, dynamic balance, exact timing, etc. The elementary stuff will probably go fast and you'll quickly get to the point where you should be spending your time. You'll improve your recording chops at the same time. If you can't record, just play and listen critically although it's really not the same.

    Also practice the simple stuff checking your technique in a mirror. Easy & slow exercises are really where you can be super aware of what you are physically doing and make adjustments. This is the time to correct/prevent bad habits! If you haven't done this before, you may be very surprised what you see.

    Doing these things, you'll blaze through what you REALLY know and still improve. You'll also end up where you should be without skipping something you didn't know you needed.
    Low i Cue likes this.
  8. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Great lesson book w/ CDs! Keep in mind that Internet book sources (or auctions) market this set as individual books, or a complete set. Go complete!
  9. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I too am using this book. It was recommended to me by my instructor. When I started taking lessons I knew nothing about music, notation, notes, time or anything. I think it's a great book for beginners. I started at the beginning.
  10. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    I'm using Eds method books with an instructor and right in the middle of book 3. A few things I've noticed about his books worth mentioning here;
    -Each lesson of course is designed to build a starting foundation relevant to a particular element - It also has a clever way (especially evident in the cd pieces) of introducing elements for future foundational items - the student doesn't know it yet but each is preparing for another.
    Skipping items infers (to me) the assumption on the students part that each lesson is stand alone - when IMHO the books and lessons are not set up that way. They are sequenced and integrated.
    -For some reason both my instructor and I completely missed the fact that each volume of the method series has an accompany book that introduces popular songs aligned with the lessons in the method books (I rarely see them mentioned on TB)
    In hindsight I feel that was a huge miss. Combining the method books with the supplemental books and an instructor, I think would have been a fantastic beginner approach. I'm undecided as to redo the series adding the supplemental's this time.
    -Lastly, I'm playing stuff that I never imagined I'd be playing, It IS a BLAST.
  11. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I am sure you are among hundreds of others who have done the same. I have never come across anything about them. Perhaps you could post a link as to where to buy them ?
  12. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Yeah, I never knew about the accompanying books... Maybe the Ed himself could shed some light? ;)
  13. Babaghanoush


    Jan 21, 2011
    Ohio, USA
    I looked at the "Easy Pop Bass Lines" supplement series and can tell you that they are not Ed Friedland's work. Also there are different versions for each of the 3 volumes. One with a CD and one without. Having not played from them, I can't say anything about the content.
  14. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    They are titled;
    -Easy Pop Bass Lines
    For students in book 1
    -More Easy Pop Bass Lines
    book 2
    -Even More Easy Pop Bass Lines
    book 3

    All come in a book only or book/cd version

    They are all noted as available on the last page of each one of the method books as Hal Leonard publications.

    Combined it says 60 popular songs are provided.
  15. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    Thanks for that. :)
  16. edfriedland


    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    The Pop Bass Lines books were not written by me, but they are parallel to the method. They are simply written lines to various songs you know that are in line with the level of material you'll find in Books 1-3. It's good supplemental material to the method.
  17. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Thanks Ed. I have started working through your blues book and I am thoroughly enjoying it! You are the man!

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