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Beginning Slap Bass with MarloweDK {Review}

Beginning Slap Bass with MarloweDK-2iPhone/iPad App   Price: $9.99

If you’ve ever cruised the internet looking for cool bass riffs and/or lessons, then chances are quite good that you have run across Thomas Rissel – although you may not know him by that name.  Thomas has developed a comprehensive bass instruction website under the guise of MarloweDK – his instructional videos are extremely popular on YouTube.

Download and Setup

After borrowing my younger daughter’s iPad, I was able to easily download and setup the app for use.  This program is for beginners, as the title clearly states, and is divided into three sections:

  • Basic Tutorial
  • Choose a Lick
  • Technique Library

Beginning Slap Bass with MarloweDK-1Basic Tutorial

In this video MarlowDK provides instruction and insight on how to properly strike the bass with your thumb.  I really like the approach he takes as an instructor.  The presentation is relaxed, informative and full of practical advice you can actually use.  My only gripe, and it is quite minor, is that I think he could include some more material on plucking, popping, and how he gets that great tone.  I often think video instructors talk to much, but MarloweDK is one of the few that I would gladly spend the time to hear his advice!

Choose a Lick

This is a collection of 25 licks with names great names like “Thumpin’ Octave”s, “Hammer That Groove”, and “Pluck Duck”.  These licks cover a broad selection of different feels.  Each selection includes four video:  a real time video, a slow version,  a focus on the left hand and a focus on the right hand.    Several different options are also available within the Licks section.  Selecting the metronome icon accesses what appears to be a midi version of the lick, where the user can then change count-in parameters, add an accent to the 1st beat of the bar, adjust the tempo, and vary the volumes of the bass, drum and click tracks.  Selecting an eyeglasses icon allows the user to choose between standard musical notation, a fret board view or access to some written notes from MarloweDK.  Another cool feature for the beginning player is the addition of a scrolling “now” line that travels across the staff view while the lick is playing allowing a novice reader to readily follow the notation in time with the music.

Technique Library

This is a collection of 15 techniques that are demonstrated on video with separate views of the left and right hands and a written explanation and discussion of each technique.  Some of the techniques covered are: Muting, Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, Vibrato, and Shakes.

In Conclusion

In conclusion,  Beginning Slap Bass is a valuable learning tool for the beginning and possibly even the intermediate level slap bass player.  I am also impressed with MarloweDK’s musicianship and obvious talent as a music educator.  For more information check out  Play Bass Now or search for it on iTunes.

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