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Study/books/DVD suggestions for

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Drew617, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Drew617


    Mar 9, 2014
    Watertown, MA

    I'm new here - second post. I've lurked and gleaned a bunch (thanks!) and finally decided to register.

    I'm looking for suggestions for study material. Have ordered a couple DVDs that have been a little too basic. "Here's the A string! Now, pound 8th notes on it!"

    Quick history: I've played guitar (noodly lead electric and flatpicked acoustic) for about 15 years but haven't been terribly focused or disciplined about it. Was self-taught and absolutely have bad habits. Have limited experience in band situations and have done local jams more frequently.

    I owned a few basses about a decade ago but didn't stick with it at the time.

    Recently picked the instrument back up… feel I've hit a wall with the six-string. I'd like to take in some theory/technique instruction early in the learning process before settling into stupid habits.

    The bassists I like to hear most are Jack Casady, Harvey Brooks, Jamerson, McCartney.

    When I pick up the bass now, I'm playing way too much like a guitar player. Way up and down the neck in pentatonic, like Phil Lesh minus brains and talent. That entertains me just fine in my study, but it's not going to fly with other musicians.

    Can anyone recommend an instructional [book, DVD, whatever] for someone in my situation?

  2. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    First, put the pick down. Not because using a pick us wrong at all. Only because it's too easy for you yo fall I to guitar bits from years of playing that way. Dropping the pick will break up the patterns.

    The go buy a copy of the books "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" and Ed Freidlands book on building walking basslines. Use those two books.

  3. Drew617


    Mar 9, 2014
    Watertown, MA
    Hey, how'd you know? Thanks for the advice, it's noted. I'm comfortable enough (comfortable, not necessarily good) with fingerstyle but that's something I hadn't thought of - whatever RH technique bleeds over probably also influences phrasing.

    Both books are on the way - thanks for the recommends.

  4. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Yep those are good, and once you decide (if, that is) to consider, depending on what you're looking for. Being that you seem to need some steering into the "bass way of thinking" I'd say Norm Stockton's DVD are good, but his website (artogfroove.com) is even better, being that at $10 a month it offers two full courses PLUS all of his instructional DVDs (four of them).
  5. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    I came over from 6 string rhythm guitar. Yep we guitar guys do fill our bass lines too full. Ed's books will teach you about playing chord tones one note at a time.

    IMO we play accompaniment until asked to take a lead break, so chord tones with the root on one is what we do 90% of the time. That means we have to know the notes that are in a chord, not what finger pattern needs to be strummed. What you know from your guitar will flow right into the bass, but, the bass is played differently. We are a harmony and rhythm instrument. The foundation of the song, the guys look to us for the beat and the chord change.

    This helped me.
    Copy and paste this somewhere. Sooner or later it'll come in handy.

    Welcome back.
    BrianMarc likes this.
  6. I wouldn't worry too much about sticking with a pick

    But if fingers is what you want to commit to then fair enough

    There are heaps of good books out there and I would start out with something in the style of music you can relate to

    That will at least start you off and you can then branch out to other styles

    The books mentioned by op are good but they a somewhat advanced

    Start with something easy and build it up

  7. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Seattle WA area
    SBassman likes this.
  8. Yep and I have the mel bay complete blues, it's an excellent compilation of work
  9. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    Don't have an opinion about the pick however, these books are very good - you'll need to be able to read notation with both as there is no tab in either.
    Also Roy Vogt's TMBG is a great series as well.
  10. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Thanks for your support!:)
    I would also recommend the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Electric Bass series by David Overthrow and the Jon Liebman Bass Builders Series.
  11. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Another vote for this book. Really excellent.

    And - you don't have to read to use it. While it is in standard notation, Jay stresses Intervals, and he writes most of those out.
    You can absolutely do the book without reading standard notion.
  12. timalexwar


    Jun 25, 2014
    memphis tn
    I started playing Bass in about 1963/64, because everyone else was playing guitar in the bands I was in, and somebody had to do it.. I had a Kay hollow-body and modified a Heathkit HiFi unit,which I had built with my Dad's help. For a cabinet I had a Big old Box with a 15" Jensen in it. Played mostly "British Invasion" covers in the band. More Beatles than Stones; more Buffalo Springfield than three chord stuff. We also did a ton of originals. We were all in high school, a garage band with steady gigs every weekend throughout the South Bay area (No California). I played in a very lyrical style, and thought McCartney was a brilliant, creative bassist. Then I progressed to Jaco Pastorius through his work with Pat Matheny and Joni Mitchell. Talk about lyrical (in those days)! He pretty much opened up the bass possibilities. However at that time, I stopped playing Bass (mid to late 70s), and stuck with six string acoustic until this past year.

    I decided to start back with bass just this year (40 years later!), about five months ago. I bought a couple of acoustic/electric basses, a Breedlove fretted and a Michael Kelly fretless. I love playing them both. I play along with the jazz radio station and endless YouTube videos, as well as some jazz CDs I've bought online (like Rippingtons. Acoustic Alchemy, Pat Matheny). I've also invested in a couple of inexpensive electric basses, a Cort B4 fretted and an Ibanez SGR4 fretless. They are both in transit and not in my house yet.

    So, I want to do this right at this time in my life. My tastes run towards classical Jazz like Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley,Bill Evans, Coletrane and so forth, as well as newer stuff like Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and pretty much any ensemble with which they affiliate themselves. Not into so called contemporary rock or fusion or funk. Maybe the "lighter" stuff.

    I know I'll never be a "rock star" at this point and this age -64-, but I want to be the best I can be. I am completely addicted to playing endlessly which I can do as I live in a house,and I live alone.

    What I want from this site is to connect with other bassists/musicians ( I've also played years of piano, years of clarinet, bass clarinet, as well as acoustic guitar.)

    And I also want to actually LEARN how to play bass. I've thought about taking lessons... and also about getting some DVDs. I also would like to play with other mature - not necessarily older -musicians.

    So this is an intro but also a request for counsel and advice for how to learn to play Bass. Also, my biggest question is," what is the purpose, the "mission" of a bassist in a small ensemble or group?".

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  13. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    First off, welcome to Talkbass and welcome back to the Bass Life. There's lots of information around here in Theory, Technique and all the Forums. If you feel an Affinity for Jazz check out the Double Bass side. Those guys are good sources. As in any Internet Forum, there are some knuckleheads here but the Mods do a good job of keeping things civil and everyone on their best behavior.
    As to your question, that's pretty broad. I think my gig as a bassist in an ensemble is twofold. 1. Tell everyone where the time is. 2 Tell everyone where the chords are. How you do that can change from style to style but that's my read of the essence of what I do.
  14. timalexwar


    Jun 25, 2014
    memphis tn
    Thanks Roy. I really like your sites. I tried to join the forum on Thunderrow but it kept rejecting me because of a ""referrer" error. Oh well. I am interested in your dvd series but will have to think through the financial commitment. Otherwise, there seems to be a huge amount of necessary info which you generously pass on to guys like me. Thank you very much!
  15. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Teach Me Bass Guitar should be launching a Streaming Monthly Subscription Service in early September for a monthly fee. Stay tuned, I'll keep everybody updated.
  16. deckard


    Apr 4, 2003
    I would recommend getting 6-string bassist Todd Johnson's DVD/book combo called "Technique Builders". It is pretty much all about bass guitar technique, and although Todd is a 6-string bassist, he uses a 4-string to demo everything on the DVD. I've had it for years and still refer back to it to further refine my technique - can't say enough good things about it, and it is mostly responsible for me switching years ago to full-time use of "floating-thumb" re: my right hand (I'm 64 too) when carpal tunnel started to rear it's ugly head - using floating-thumb made the the carpal tunnel thing go away permanently. :)

    Just remember that this DVD and book are strictly about technique only - but that's plenty IMHO. You can get this on Amazon, but make sure you get the DVD *and* book combo, because I also see the book alone (w/o the DVD) listed separately...

    As far as the mission of the bassist in a small ensemble or group, this from Rufus Reid: "To propel the music forward." ;)
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
    Roy Vogt likes this.
  17. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Jack has a terrific video called "The Bass Guitar of Jack Casady." He and Jorma play a half-dozen tunes, and after each they go back through it, section by section, with Jack explaining what he was doing and thinking at the time (with Jorma chiming in with his two-cents-worth from time to time). If you're a fan of Jack's playing you really want to get your hands on a copy of this.