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Bass Book Smorgasbord… Reviews by Raul Amador

Meet Raul Amador –

Here I am going to give you some brief bits about a few books. First we will look at another “Ultimate Bass Play Along…. “The Rolling Stones“ from Alfred publishing. I really like this format where you get two CD’s… One has the Bass lines and the other leaves them up to you; Neither CD has the actual “Stones” performing.

To make things interesting, you can play these on your computer and enjoy the “Tone and Tempo Changer” (TNT) feature. If you remember from a previous review this feature allows you to change the tempo without altering the pitch. Conversely you can change the pitch without altering the tempo! Pretty cool ehh?

The song list is:
Brown Sugar
Gimme Shelter
Honky Tonk Woman
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Let it Bleed
Paint it, Black
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Brief performance notes about each of these songs makes I this book and CD Set a must have for you Stones Fans!

Next on the menu we have “The Hofner Guitar, A History” by Gordon Giltrap and Neville Marten, published by Hal Leonard.

Now, most of this book is about the guitars but there is a small bit that covers their basses, specially the Famous “Beatle Bass”. There are some details about the bass itself but the most informative part comes from the two-page interview with Paul McCartney himself.

The pearls of this interview are:

  • Paul got his first Violin Bass in Hamburg at the shop in the town center.
  • “The original pickups were designed as oval shaped pendants of ebony, into which the coils and magnets were sunk” This would change on later models to metal-cased pickups and a couple of other redesigns. These bass were always crafted by hand.
  • Paul’s first bass was stolen, (I am sure it is worth a bundle now), and additional Hofners were purchased at the Steinway’s shop in Hamburg.
  • The main reason Paul chose this bass was because he is left-handed and the bass’s symmetry lent itself to not look “Stupid” when played upside down.
  • The lightweight and instruments tone made Paul look past the tuning inaccuracies and problems.

I will sum up the interview with this quote:
“You know, I think that Hofner were some of the first people with any decent instruments; Not only the violin- shaped bass but their guitars as well. Obviously my big influence was the bass, but a few of the lads had the guitars and, even though they weren’t quite as good as, say, Fender or Gibson instruments, they had a great sound. I think a lot of people liked that distinctive sound.”

Want to know more about Hofner guitars? Read the book!

Lastly, I will give honorable mention to “Gibson’s Fabulous Flat-Top Guitars, An Illustrated History & Guide” by Eldon Whitford, David Vinopal and Dan Erlewine, published by Hal Leonard.

The low down… there is not a single bass mentioned in the whole book, but if you double on guitar and it is a Gibson Flat top, you might enjoy this one

Available at:
www.Bassbooks.com
www.halleonard.com
www.Amazon.com

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