In a nod to his interest in music education, Bryan Beller has just released Thanks In Advance: The Official Bass Transcription Book. The 140-page self-published book contains complete transcriptions of all 11 songs on Beller’s acclaimed 2008 studio album “Thanks In Advance” in both music notation and tablature.
Geared towards intermediate and advanced bassists, the book also comes with access to downloads of special bass-and-drums-only mixes of each song, as well as music-minus-bass mixes so bassists can play along with the actual studio tracks once they’ve mastered each tune. “I really wanted the bassists interested in this to have the best possible learning experience,” Beller explains. “Even when an album is mixed favorably for a bassist, it’s still not always possible to hear every single little nuance of what the bassist did when laying down the track. With the bass/drums only mixes, it’s all there for everyone to hear, and then they can play along with the minus-bass tracks to see what it feels like to play with the track for real.”
An experienced freelance writer and Contributing Editor for Bass Player Magazine, Beller collaborated with fellow Bass Player contributor and master transcriber Stevie Glasgow on the transcriptions themselves. “Stevie was amazing. He’d get 95% of it or more by ears alone, and then I’d do a final edit on the notes, detail some of the quirky fingerings I used for the tab, and we’d end up with something that was 100% accurate in terms of what I played.”
Having Glasgow work up the initial transcriptions freed Beller up to write a proper introduction to each song, containing insider tips and tricks on how to pull off some of the tougher sections, as well as the compositional inspirations for many of the tunes. Beller also penned a general introduction to the book, explaining why he took on the lengthy project in the first place. “I remember being a teenager and learning Led Zeppelin and Rush tunes by ear with cassettes and vinyl. I could get most of the way there, but it was maddening trying to go back and isolate the most difficult parts. Then I’d go buy an official transcription book of something, and that helped…but as I got older and my ears matured, I realized that even the “official” books weren’t always accurate. This is my attempt to rectify that issue for anyone who’s up for learning my own tunes. Hopefully bassists will get something more out of it as well, something that might enhance their playing in unexpected ways.”
Thanks In Advance: The Official Bass Transcription Book is available for purchase through Beller’s own website store at www.bryanbeller.com.