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“Complete Bass Guitar by Ear” and “Bass Guitar DVD #1 Beginner Basics and Beyond” by Mark John Sternal

The phrase “A starting Point” is the best description I can give for these educational materials.

The 2 CD relative pitch training course is perfect if you haven’t ever played the bass before by ear.

The exercises are well structured and will help build manual dexterity as well as improve pitch recognition. The pace is nice and slow and a beginner won’t feel overwhelmed. As there are no visual hints you must use your ear to match Marks notes.

My warning, if you have already been lifting tunes, this course may feel redundant.

Now, moving on to Bass Guitar DVD #1. This DVD is loaded with great features including a Bass Tuner, a metronome, sheet music and an introduction into Bass music theory.

Loaded with the fundamentals, this DVD can help the novice get off on the right foot. The exercises increase in difficulty but never really get too complicated or frustrating.  The “songs” portion is graded into three levels of increasing difficulty. They are a little “generic” but functional.

I applaud Mark for not succumbing to the temptation to “Show Off” and play riffs that go way beyond the skill of his beginner target audience.

For you visual learners out there, a DVD of this nature may be more productive than a book and a CD.

will add that I still haven’t found any educational system that substitutes a real live teacher but these materials are a good compliment to regular classes. (Let’s keep those Bass educators employed!)

I am looking forward to reviewing Marks latest: “Bass Guitar Total Scales, Techniques and Applications” DVD in an upcoming issue of Bass Musician Magazine…..  I will let you know what I think!

Available online at bassbooks.com.

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