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Review: Hal Leonard Bass Method Complete Edition

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Daniel L., Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Daniel L.

    Daniel L. Guest

    Aug 30, 2002
    This will be the first in what will, hopefully, be a number of book reviews I'm planning on doing. I'm going to try and keep them concise but if you have any questions I will be happy to try and answer them.

    The Hal Leonard Bass Method Complete Edition is actually 3 books in one. Taking you from complete beginner, to being able to form your own lines. You start off learning to read music, slowly adding different techniques and theory, continually building on what you have learned. It integrates each new concept into exercises and play along songs. This is the most valuable aspect of these books. Putting into practice what you are learning. How many times have you learned a scale or technique only to not know how to use it? Ed Friedland has made sure that this will not happen.

    Some of the things covered in these books include: Major/Minor Scales, Pentatonic Scales, Raking, Hammer Ons/Pull Offs, Slap Technique, 7th chords, Playing Off Chord Symbols, and the list goes on. The play alongs included are both challenging and fun. Ranging in style from rock, to jazz, to reggae, to country.

    I had been playing bass for 3 years before I bought this book. Still, I knew my basics were weak (even though I had studied both bass and guitar privately). I had a lot of holes in my playing and didn't understand many aspects of applying basic theory. I knew I needed to start over to build the strong foundation that I would need to become a great bassist. These books give you that strong foundation.

    Overall, Ed Friedland has done an amazing job rewriting these books and you will not find another beginner method that is better. I highly recommend these books for anyone. Whether your a complete beginner or a seasoned veteran that's looking to strengthen his foundation.

    The Talkbass rating scale:
    :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
    5 out of 5

  2. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Once one dude. Keep them coming.

    I like reading stuff like.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ed Friedland is a terrific guy. Very helpful, writes great columns and books, and loves Mexican Fenders! He spends a lot of time at the Dudepit if you ever want to talk to him.
  4. seanlava


    Apr 14, 2005
    And with those play-along CDs? Fuggedaboudit!!!! It's the only method book I use for my students. +1!
  5. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    +another 1! I use the Guitar Method for my guitar students as well by will Schmid and Greg Koch.
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    It's the only method book I use. I love the pace, examples and fingering! 1,2,4 not one finger per fret which I hate and think causes problems - until the upper range.

    I also use his Building Walking Bass Lines, Slapping, etc. He is a great player, writer, editor and guy.
  7. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Well, I myself prefer the one finger per fret, and encourage my students to choose which one works better for them...the younger students prefer the 124 while my older students usually try the 1234.

    I also use de Pres's Bass Fitness (for building strength and dexterity, not as a method,) so they pretty much have to use 1234 for those excercises.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  8. Daniel L.

    Daniel L. Guest

    Aug 30, 2002
    He covers using both the 1-2-4 and OFPF system. I prefer the OFPF myself.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  9. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    +1 for the book. I have it and think is great.
  10. endorka


    Oct 15, 2004
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Nah, with a bit of thought they can be adapted for the 1-2-4 method. I'm writing down the fingerings as I go through the book... when I get to the end I'll post them somewhere :)

  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I just started going through Ed's Building Walking Bass Lines again. Good stuff in there. I had some questions about a DVD of his a couple years ago and he promptly responded to my emails and kindly answered my questions in great detail.
  12. schaef


    Aug 11, 2004
    just got the book in the mail today.looks like a lot of good stuff.only one problem no cds. :crying: does anybody know if they sell the cds by themself. thanks
  13. edfriedland


    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Hey, thanks for all the great comments and the smokin' review of the HL Method! I put a lot of work into that series, and I guess it paid off.

    I DO get into the 1234 or One-finger-per-fret system later on, book 2 I believe. I've just noticed that most new players, especially younger ones have a hard time with 1-2-3-4, especially down low where you typically start learning. Also, that's how I play a good 70% of the time, especially down low. It reduces strain on the hand. Then, there is the confusion with octaves - if you teach 1-2-3-4, then the tendency will be to play octaves 1-3 which puts a LOT of starin on the left hand.

    Anyway, thanks again, it's nice to knnow I have the TB stamp of approval.

    As far as not getting any CDs with the book, check your original order, they do print a version without CDs, you may have ordered that by mistake.
  14. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Ed, thanks for writing this method, it's awesome!

    I haven't taught out of book two yet, looking forward to it...and what you say makes sense; a beginner wouldn't have the natural "instinct" to go 1-4 when playing the octave. I think I'll be adjusting my teaching style for my incoming students...thanks again!
  15. Jbroad572


    Oct 5, 2005
    Are these 2 the same books?

    I need to buy a book to learn and it is between this and "Bass for Dummies". I checked this book out at a local guitar center and it had a different cover than the OP posted. It didn't look that great for a beginner, at least compared to the others that were there. So, I thought I would come home and just double check that I'm looking at the right book.
  16. Cthulhu


    Sep 24, 2005
    Madison, WI
    The second Amazon link looks like the edition that I have. That's the one to order.

    As far as choosing between this and the Bass for Dummies book, I'm sure that Bass for Dummies is a good text. The reviews here and on Amazon certainly look good. That being said, after comparing the 2 I went with the Complete method that was reviewed in this thread.

    What I like in particular is that you are forced to learn notation. You'll want to know how to read music at some point, and it is a lot easier doing it from the outset rather than promising yourself that you'll learn it later... :)
  17. Jbroad572


    Oct 5, 2005
    Thanks I went with the Hal Leonard. I took a look at the Bass for dummies and didn't like the layout and the pages that felt like a normal book. Not to say the content wasn't good, but I preferred the layout of the Hal Leonard book.

    The version at guitar center was a completely differnt book it was by a Don someone (forget last name). That one looked terrible, but I got the right one today, locally.
  18. tobodestroyer


    Nov 11, 2005
    Essex, UK

    This is my first post here as I'm new to bass playing. I was a professional french horn players for years and have turned to bass playing as I've always loved the instrument. I too have got this Ed Friedland book and I'm really enjoying it, especially regarding the playing techniques 1-2-4 etc etc. I just have a few questions....

    Should I ALWAYS use alternate fingers in the R.H or just do what is comfortable. For example, I find myself using alternate fingers about 80% of the time and I really have to concentrate to get this up to 100%. Is this OK or should I really persevere here as I'm determined to get off to a good start and avoid bad habits at this stage. Also, should I ALWAYS rake between two strings when possible?

    Maybe this is the wrong place to ask questions about technique so I'll limit myself to these two for now.
  19. Daniel L.

    Daniel L. Guest

    Aug 30, 2002
    First, let me say that these questions will be answered differently by different players. Everyone has their own way of playing and their own ideas about playing. These answers represent my opinions only.

    I'd continue learning to alternate fingers. It gives you economy of motion and greater speed. Don't get discouraged. My fingers wouldn't alternate 100% of the time either at first. Keep practicing and it will become comfortable for you.

    Again, raking gives you economy of motion. I'd practice it where ever possible. Some players choose to rake or not to rake based on certain grooves they are playing. This is more of an advanced concept though.
  20. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    I did some research on my own because of my own confusion. It seems that the major book retailers like Amazon and Barnes&Nobles have the same problems listing this particular book.

    What I found is this...

    Between 1st and 2nd editions, the ISBN did not change. However, there is an ISBN for the book w/CDs, and there is an ISBN for the book alone.

    0793563828 - Book only.
    0793563836 - Book w/CDs.

    The problem is that it has confused the book retailers also. They tend to mention Dan Dean and Ed Friedland interchangeably in the description. To make matters worse, Amazon has excerpts from the 1st edition while showing the 2nd edition cover. But, for clarity...

    Dan Dean - 1st Edition

    Ed Friedland - 2nd Edition

    I hope this helps somebody - be careful when buying this book so that you get the 2nd edition.