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Bass Gym 101 – Essential Plectrum Grooves

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Bass Gym 101 - Essential Plectrum Grooves

Bass Gym 101 – Essential Plectrum Grooves by Marek Bero

Bass Gym 101 – Essential Plectrum Grooves is the ninth in a series of books written by UK bassist Marek Bero. In this book, you will find 101 exercises which will help you to master the plectrum technique on the bass guitar.

All the exercises in this book include tablature and recommended fingerings. MP3 files are available to download from Free Stuff page on this website.

Marek shares more on the inspiration behind Bass Gym 101 – Essential Plectrum Grooves…

Personally, this is quite a special ninth book from the Bass Gym 101 series. It took me many years and countless hours of playing experience to realise the potential of the plectrum for the evolution of bass playing. Frankly, I have to admit that I was one of those bassists who considered playing bass with a pick a misdemeanour and sacrilege. ‘Real bassists use fingers!’ was my mantra. Playing with a pick was in my opinion reserved only for ex-guitarists, metal-style players or worst of them all, fake and lazy aspiring bass players who wanted to cut corners by not working on their ‘proper’ finger techniques.

On one hand, now I regret my rather limited view, however, on the other hand, this strong opinion brought me a great deal of motivation in an effort to achieve the most consistent finger plucking and slap techniques. Basically, after tens of thousands of hours of practising, I found out that I was trying to imitate the efficiency and tone of the plectrum. And thanks to this approach, I managed to gain exceptional finger techniques with a precise tone and articulation even at a very fast pace and rhythm divisions.

However, let’s forward swiftly to the present time. I am very proud to present to you this book which will guide you through all the essential techniques and advantages of the small triangular plastic called plectrum which is so precious to all guitarists.

The concept of the book is more progressive this time, ie. You start with elementary strokes only from the top (downstrokes) and then you consequently move in a series of ten exercises one level higher and higher during different aspects of pick playing. You will practise the effective alternation of strokes from above and below (down & up strokes); combinations with percussive notes; how to play melodic string skipping and larger intervals for smooth all-around movements; utilising palm-muting techniques for a distinctive sound effect so popular with guitarists; rhythm studies will give you many interesting challenges with wild rhythmic patterns so frequent in modern rock and metal styles, but also in funk, soul or fusion; you’ll learn how to play double stops and chords in practical stylistic studies and in the final sections of the book you will play great sounding bass lines in various musical styles and also in the spirit of legendary players who used plectrum as their main playing technique.

Bass Gym 101 – Essential Plectrum Grooves is available online at basslinepublishing.com

Bass Books

Music Book: 365 Days of Practice

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Music Book: 365 Days of Practice
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365 Days of Practice…

365 Days of Practice is a unique guide on how to deepen your practice routine from one of the masters of contemporary jazz! This book is the result of a project by Rick Margitza in which he posted an idea online every day during the year 2020.

The exercises cover a broad spectrum of musical ideas that range from basic bebop language to its transformation into contemporary jazz. See sample pages below.

The lines are often totally unique and will enlarge your melodic pallette considerably!

Includes an extensive introductory chapter outlining Rick’s practice method, learned from Gary Campbell, who was also Michael Brecker’s teacher.

The book also includes access to audio files for each example that Rick created and plays along with. Very helpful for ingraining the sounds of these exercises in your musical memory!

365 Days of Practice can be used by musicians of all levels, on any instrument. 171 pages. Spiral-bound. Don’t miss it!

“Rick Margitza’s 365 Days of Practice is a masterpiece! It lays out the fundamentals in such a clear fashion and adds a little spice to it as well. If you are looking for concepts and music to practice to expand your horizons as well as your vocabulary, this book will be your friend for life. Thank You, Rick!”— Jerry Bergonzi

“His new book: 365 Days of Practice by the great saxophonist Rick Margitza, explains in depth his methodology for expanding one’s Jazz Vocabulary. There are not only 365 audio play-along examples, but also the clearest, most concise and to the point explanation of this daily method of practice, and it’s genesis, that I’ve yet seen. So please avail yourself this unique learning opportunity, and check out this book!”— Randy Brecker

“Rick Margitza is a wonderful saxophonist with a unique sound and approach. He has laid out a year’s worth of daily practice exercises that pinpoint various areas of focus in the art of compositional improvising. This is a fascinating book. I look forward to absorbing the contents!”— Bob Mintzer

365 Days of Practice is available at Amazon.com

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Bass Books

Bass Book: Walking Bass Line Construction – F Blues

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Bass Book: Walking Bass Line Construction - F Blues
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Walking Bass Line Construction – F Blues by Bob Sinicrope

The most helpful beginner’s guide to walking bass lines ever published! A ‘must’ for teachers and students!

Each exercise introduces one new advancement to help you learn how to create your own bass lines. The book progresses step-by-step from simply playing roots, all the way up to complete blues choruses in the style of 18 bass legends – from ‘Pops’ Foster to Ron Carter!

Choose from four different, professionally recorded backing tracks: 1 — piano, drums; 2 — guitar, drums; 3 — B3, drums; 4 — drums only

Exercises include concepts of approach notes, enclosures, passing tones, and forward motion.

Access to detailed explanations of each concept, plus how to practice, playing with spirit, how to deepen your groove and much more!

TAB included for beginning electric bassists. Range limited to high C (1st 5 frets for electric players).

“An amazing book for anyone learning to walk jazz bass lines. A very simple but unique approach!”— Victor Wooten

”Teaches what the bassist needs to do to be musically successful. It is quite thorough and will teach the user to be an excellent bassist/musician/listener.”— Rufus Reid

”Bob Sinicrope presented this unique and effective teaching approach to creating walking bass lines many times at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Workshop. The ideas presented herein will help bassists create their own functional bass lines. I highly recommend this book.”— Lynn Seaton

Walking Bass Line Construction – F Blues is available at Amazon.com

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Bass Books

20 Salsa Basslines for Electric Bass Guitar

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20 Salsa Basslines for Electric Bass Guitar
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20 Salsa Basslines for Electric Bass Guitar by Alvaro M. Gómez A…

If you like salsa and also play the electric bass guitar, then 20 Salsa Basslines is for you. Whether you have no experience in the genre or are a dedicated salsa bassist, there’s a lot to discover here. The content printed in this book will show you in detail what the bassists who contributed to immortalizing the pieces chosen to make up this music material decided at the moment of capturing their performance in the recording studio. Total attention and meticulousness have been put into the creation of these transcriptions, written down with both bassists with formal musical training (standard notation) and bassists who play strictly or mostly by ear (tablature) in mind. Certainly, in general terms the only things that an expert bassist needs to play these pieces while reading a piece of sheet music are the harmonic guide (chords) and the obbligato parts. But the intention here has been to write down with the highest possible accuracy what was left for posterity in the recordings, which, among other things, is a good way to know the style of the scrutinized bassist in-depth and eventually find playing options that may not have been thought of.

If the seasoned bassist may find this book useful to enrich his/her arsenal, the material contained here will undoubtedly constitute one of the main bases for building vocabulary and style as a salsa bassist for anyone who’s just starting to approach this genre, either out of pleasure or curiosity.

20 Salsa Basslines for Electric Bass Guitar is available at Amazon.com

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Bass Books

Bass Gym – 101 Chords & Harmonic Accompaniments

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Bass Gym - 101 Chords & Harmonic Accompaniments

Bass Gym – 101 Chords & Harmonic Accompaniments…

We all know that the bass guitar is primarily a melodic and rhythmic instrument. We can
play fat huge bass notes on it with any finger technique, slapping, picking or tapping. In
most cases, however, we will play single notes that build on each other to form a bass line.
The guitarist or keyboardist is in charge of playing the chords, right? So there’s no point in
playing chords on the bass, because we’ll just be wasting our time.

Wrong! Playing chords gives us a tremendous amount of insight. We learn to hear and also ‘see’ chords. In many cases we will have to adjust our fingering and voicing (the way the chords can be interpreted).

On the bass, we very often play double stops (two notes at once) and power chords (either as a double stops with a root and a fifth or as a triple stops with a root, a fifth and an octave). These are the simplest chords that we can incorporate into our bass lines right away.
For example, Lemmy Kilmister was a master at playing power chords! And the likes of Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten and Justin Chancellor of Tool have many grooves or riffs built around playing double or triple stops.

Purely from the point of view of music theory, a chord is a chord if it consists of at least three notes – a root, a fifth and a third. It is a constellation of the simplest major and minor chords. If we proceed further in the chord hierarchy, all chords with a number seven in their name consist of four notes (the three notes mentioned above plus a major or minor seventh), ninth chords of five notes (we add the so-called ninth note, which is a second played an octave higher), eleventh chords of six notes, and finally thirteenth chords of seven notes. So suddenly you realise that you are actually using all the notes of a scale that consists of exactly seven notes (not including the octave).

Yes, the composition of chords and their whole system is closely related to intervals and scales. It is such a great building block for any playful musician.

So, let’s summarize why it’s good to master playing chords on the bass:

1) Understanding the connection between intervals, scales, and chords
2) Improving the visualization of the fingerboard
3) Expanding the register with new techniques for playing
4) Challenging left hand finger coordination
5) Understanding chord formation and note hierarchy aka voicing
6) Insight into the mindset of guitarists or pianists
7) Understanding the harmonic aspects and structure of a given piece of music

As in all the books in the Bass Gym 101 series, we have a total of 101 exercises
targeting all important aspects of the topic. In our case, chord playing and harmonic
accompaniments. Each exercise is briefly described in the title and consists of a notation and tablature that shows you where and how best to play the exercise.

I recommend being particularly consistent in the way you play the exercises. Begin with small sections – one bar at a time, slowing down and looping. Gradually add more bars and also increase the tempo.

I was especially careful to write each exercise in a practical, musical way. These are not just boring etudes or purely mechanical practice. You can take the exercises and use them straightway in a song or jam session with a drummer or other musician. Or use them in your own original composition. There are no limits to your imagination and creativity.

The main focus is on musicality, challenging progressions, fingerings and combinations which will enhace your playing skills while keeping it real and practical. Often exercises are written as passages in songs – a verse, a bridge or a chorus.

I hope this musical approach will motivate you even more to incorporate chordal playing into your bass lines. Personally, I always immediately think of a new song when playing chords and often end up playing it with the band. You never know, maybe chord playing will inspire you enough to become a songwriter and bring not just grooves or bass lines to the table, but also complete songs and arrangements.

Exercise methodology:

1-10 – practicing double stops
11-20 – practicing double stops and open strings
21-29 – tenth chords
30-39 – chords with three notes – triple stops
40-49 – grooves with double stops and chords
50-60 – seventh chords
61-65 – ninth chords
66-70 – sus4 chords
71-75 – chords using all four strings
76-80 – flamenco style chords
81-90 – voice leading
91-101 – etudes and grooves in different musical styles

Bass Gym – 101 Chords & Harmonic Accompaniments is available online at Amazon.com

All exercises are available as mp3 downloads at basslinepublishing.com/free-stuff

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Bass Books

Review: Hal Leonard’s The Bassist Fake Book

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Review: Hal Leonard’s The Bassist Fake Book

The Bassist’s Fake Book…

In one word…WOW!!! The Hal Leonard’s The Bassist Fake Book is truly remarkable, covering 250 songs from a variety of genres, complete with notation, tab, chord symbols, and lyric cues! The notation and tabs are spot-on and accurate.

If you just have one fake book for bass, this is the one! Covering just a few of the tunes included:

  • All Along the Watchtower
  • American Girl
  • Are You Gonna Go My Way
  • Beat It
  • Billie Jean
  • Brick House
  • Carry On My Wayward Son
  • China Grove
  • Cissy Strut
  • Detroit Rock City
  • Drift Away
  • Hey Jealously
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Lady Marmalade
  • Limelight
  • Oh Pretty Woman
  • Play That Funky Music
  • And the list goes on!

Hal Leonard’s The Bassist Fake Book would be the perfect gift for any bassist and it is available in both soft cover and as a digital book.

Available online at halleonard.com and amazon.com

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