Jason Raso’s book, Improvising On Electric Bass, A Chord Tone Approach, is truly designed to, “help improve your chord spelling and fingerboard knowledge.
Mastering chord tones will help you build more interesting bass lines. In addition, greater harmonic awareness will help you become a stronger writer, improviser, and soloist.”
The first part of the book is very clear, and focuses on the bottom 5 frets of the electric bass guitar. In this section of the book, the use of “open” strings is suggested and the lessons are concise as you begin playing a I – IV – VII(dim) – iiim – VIm – iim – V – I progression across all 12 keys. Beginning with Triads, Jason focuses on Roots, then 3rds, and then 5ths, It’s really fun, and I plan to begin taking my beginner acoustic bass students through this opening segment! The pages are big, and the notation is large enough to read with no potential for confusion. This book is truly written for the newly reading bassist!
Next, the book begins to explore Diatonic and Chromatic neighbor tones and a series of transitions through the “7th Chord” studies, and finally note groupings per string! Really impressive and incredibly user-friendly! Overall, this is a fun book that is easy to read and Jason explains each lesson as well as anyone I have ever read!
Section 5, the final section of the book, covers four very musical Etudes that also include tablature. Three of the four Etudes can be heard at Jason’s YouTube channel!
Music For Mercer:
Etude For Elizabeth:
Jason is a wonderful instructor, and this is a “must buy” book for anyone who is trying to get their ear and basic reading together!