I was parousing bassically.net today and found a good Gary Willis interview. I'm a big fan, and I've had his Fingerboard Harmony book for a while. His learning method seems to involve fingerboard pattern memorization over more traditionsl theory aspects that I've heard of. Here are a couple of excerpts: "When you are analyzing a chord chart, what are you thinking? Do you assign scales to chords? Scales, never. The chords come from the fingerboard harmony concept. Group chords that are in the same key. Put your hand in the right place and you're playing what you already know, assuming you've done the homework of learning what happens in a key. You have to be able to analyze chords for key centers. That tells you where to put your hand so you can "see" the key all the way across the fingerboard. Even if the chord is only for a couple of beats, with my system you're never more than a 1/2-step shift to the next key center. Eventually, the neck stops being a mystery. And in describing his book: Fingerboard Harmony For Bass - The fingerboard harmony book is the hardest one. It addresses the geometry of the fingerboard. It exploits the symmetry of the bass so that you only have to learn to see what happens in a key from two positions. Learn that and anywhere you go on the neck, within a fret, you can use a combination of those two positions to see the neck wherever your hand is located. We don't have to learn everything in all twelve keys, unlike other instruments. It's a misconception that it's bad to play patterns on the bass. Most people's problem is that their view of patterns isn't complete enough. Actually, the bass neck is one (or two) infinitely connected patterns. They continue by shifting five frets in either direction. It applies to fretless as well. The idea is you can choose where to locate your hand when you're playing harmony. Teach yourself what happens in a key thoroughly, and if you put your hand in the right place, you're playing what you already know. It will look exactly the same. Part of it puts demands on your ability to analyze harmony for key centers, but that's a pretty straightforward process. It takes the mystery out of the fingerboard." I've always looked at how to play the fingerboard in visual patterns that simply move with key changes rather than as indivdual notes, and I've never really learned to play a piece in more than one key, as it always seemed redundant as the finger placement was exactly the same, just at a different starting point on the neck, unless you need the use of open strings. The only time this has caused much problem for me was when trying to go out of key to attempt more hornlike solos. What do you guys think of this? Agree or disagree with certain points?