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The Evolving Bassist...yes?...no?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by bassturtle, Apr 9, 2004.


  1. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Hey guys,
    I've been playing electric bass for years now and just recently picked up my first upright. I had a copy of Rufus Reid's "The Evolving Bassist" laying around...any thoughts on the book? Good book for the beginning upright player? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. frankosaurus

    frankosaurus

    Feb 27, 2002
    San Jose
    Are you focusing on jazz, mostly pizzicato? if so, I can relate, read on...

    I was in the same situation as you last summer, except I didn't yet have rufus' book. I didn't want to learn upright wrong, so I took lessons for about 6 months. That helped me get used to the physical aspect of playing upright which is a LOT different than fretted electric (for example, you usually play left hand with 3 fingers on upright -- no ring finger except in higher positions, and the way you pluck is a LOT different). Also I learned some typical jazz progressions. I would say getting a teacher to show you the proper technique is really useful.

    Also, in lessons, I got enough experience in transcription and sight-reading that I became reasonably able to read bass music (and relate it to positions on the upright)... which is necessary to use Rufus' book (no tab hehe).

    Now... with Rufus' book, I think it's great so far. I got it like a month ago. And it's a lot more useful now than it would have been at the beginning. I have been running through the walking exercises starting on page 78 and it's been great. I feel like I'm really starting to "hear" the jazz sounds and colors.

    --Frank


     
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Response #1: Get a teacher. You do not need to re-invent the wheel or hurt yourself. No book is a substitute for a teacher. It's a very common refrain around here.

    Response #2: The Evolving Bassist was a deep resource when I was starting out. Rufus has buried a lot of nuggets in there which are not lit up with neon signs. Repeated viewings will yield new pearls of wisdom.

    And welcome here, Mr. Turtle. C'mon back.
     
  4. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Great thanks for the warm welcome guys! I have a couple of buddies who are local upright players and they've met up with me a couple of times to get me stared right i.e. hand technique, proper stance, etc. Plus, they've already broken me of a handful of bad habits.

    So I figure I'll be throwing down Chambers lines in about a week or so...ummm...yeah....right.
     
  5. I second that. Evolving Upward is also worthwhile.
     
  6. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Just be careful/go slow with this book - I've noticed he'll jump into the deep end sometimes without telling you! Like, for instance, he will go into some standard (like Autumn Leaves, I've got Rhythm or even the blues) and say "here is a common standard" and then give you a intermediate set of changes with plenty of cool substitutions - in other words, he will give it to you the way he would play it. Which is great, because you can produce some really cool sounds on your instrument, but frustrating, because you need to stop yourself and say "but why". He doesn't necessarily explain to you "on bar 6 I am using a II/V as an approach to the tritone of the original chord" or whatever. So all I am saying is yes it is a great book but I don't think I truley started appreciating it until I had been playing DB for 3-4 years. But you might learn quicker than me....
     
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The latest edition of Evolving Bassist includes the Evolving Upwards material as well.

    I would agree with both Sam and lermgalieu...there is a lot of stuff in the book that may not make any sense or might be better explained as to WHY but if you simply religiously play through the whole thing you will still get a lot out of it. Using it in tandem with a teacher may help because he can "fill in the blanks".

    Too many jazz bass methods work you through lots of technical exercises and then wrap up by suggesting you listen to Ray Brown records and it will all make sense :rolleyes:
     
  8. frankosaurus

    frankosaurus

    Feb 27, 2002
    San Jose
    right... I would say a great companion book is Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book. That book has opened up worlds to me.

    I think either way, you need some background in theory to understand the technical exercises, and you need technical expertise with an instrument to relate theoretical concepts to real music... you need to learn both together.
     
  9. Picked up the Rufus Reid DVD this week, not bad... but very basic knowledge. Would be ideal for the guy starting out and looking for the basics! Interesting part of the DVD where Rufus plays with Mulgrew Miller on Piano and the LOOK on Mulgrew's face at what Rufus is playing is really strange!!!! It's as if Mulgrew doesn't think much of what Rufus is playing ...maybe I'm reading it wrong! :p