Theory Book for bass

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by NYBassMan, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. NYBassMan


    Oct 19, 2003
    Levittown, NY
    I don’t know if this is the right place to post this. Can anyone recommend a good bass theory book that contains chord tones, modes, scales and the like under one roof? Or do I have to grab multiple books? Thanks in advance for your help
  2. EarnestTBass


    Feb 3, 2015
    I think it is good to have multiple points of view and multiple references. Don't be afraid to buy more than one book.

    But if I had to choose only one reference to keep it would be Mel Bay's Complete Book of Bass Essentials by Bunny Brunel. The book meets all of your requirements. 250 pages. Large type, easy to read. Modes are mapped on fret board diagrams. The exercises are written in standard notation. There is no tab, so you gotta be able to read standard notation to use the book effectively.

    The book is technical, but an excellent reference. I bought my well worn copy 30 years ago for $20.
    MonetBass and NYBassMan like this.
  3. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    Serious Electric Bass - Joel Di Bartolo.

    Later on have a go at the Jazz Theory Book - Mark Levine
    Leo Smith likes this.
  4. Seanmo


    Jul 26, 2015
    Semi Actuated and tonym like this.
  5. NYBassMan


    Oct 19, 2003
    Levittown, NY
    @Seanmo That's actually the book I ended up buying. @foal30 Joel's book will be next and then I will pick up the Janek series as well. They are all chock full of information it seems.
    Seanmo likes this.
  6. lark_z

    lark_z Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2020
    Georgetown, TX
    +1 on Ari's book.
    Seanmo likes this.
  7. Fragile Thunder

    Fragile Thunder Bassist - Equilux

    Jan 2, 2014
    Central NY
    Fret Farm is a great, comprehensive layout of the bass fretboard. I'm constantly going back to look up chords. Modes, scales, chords, all in one document and easy to read.

    I'm not paid by Fret Fram, lol. I'm just a happy customer.
  8. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith

    Oct 21, 2009
    yes to both of these. The DiBartolo book first, so you can learn the whole fingerboard of the bass. Te Levine book second, so you can get a broader context of the theory material presented by DiBartolo
    foal30 likes this.
  9. gtmalone


    Sep 30, 2015
    Allen, TX
    Leo Smith likes this.
  10. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Theory is theory no bass theory or trumpet theory they are just theory books. So any book on theory will get you started. Also best way to learn theory get yourself a keyboard theory is very visual on a keyboard. Get a small MIDI controller you can plug into your computer like around 48 keys. You don't have to take piano lessons just to use a piano to learn theory. Plus seeing music from a different instruments point of view is very enlightening. Last theory IS NOT a set of rules, it labels for sounds. All music is sound so work on your ear training while your at it and guess what the keyboard is a good instrument for working on ear training.
  11. gtmalone


    Sep 30, 2015
    Allen, TX
    This is good for ear training such as recognizing intervals, chord structure, and progressions. It worked well for me. Product Details
  12. vanderbe

    vanderbe Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Jimmy Haslip’s Melodic Bass Library.
  13. LetItGrowTone

    LetItGrowTone Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2019
    Question was about bass specifically, but for *music theory*, not specific to bass, here is my 2¢ in support of @DocBop: a keyboard is a good place to be. For composition too, later.

    Thanks everyone for the bass book suggestions.