Although I’ve had the pleasure of studying with some of the greatest musicians in the world I am predominantly self taught (many years attending the prestigious ‘Bedroom School of Music’). This means that I have bought a lot of educational/method books of all varieties in the past (my shelves at home are full of them!). It was something I needed to do as they were the only educational resource I could get my hands on at the time.
So as you can guess, along with all the extremely helpful books I purchased there was also an equal proportion of terrible books. The list of reading materials below represent the books that really made a difference to me while studying.
Author: Ed Friedland
When I found the books written by Ed Friedland it was truly a breath of fresh air! Not only were they well written and humorous but they actually dealt with the correct material needed to get me functioning as a bass player. Whether your a novice or an advanced player, you will learn so much from these books.
These are the books of his I specifically recommend:
This book is fantastic at getting you ‘up and running’ with walking bass lines.
It does what is says on the tin! It expands on the first book and looks really deeply into the different methods on walking bass. One of the best books I bought!
This book gives you a fantastic overview of what you need to start playing jazz. It takes you through walking bass lines, soloing, latin type bass lines etc. An absolute must if your thinking about getting into jazz or improvised music.
This book focuses on soloing on the bass. Ed has a great teaching method and gets his concepts over extremely well. There’s also lots of recordings of him soloing over well known standards which is always great to listen too.
Author: Jerry Bergonzi
These books were originally recommended by a friend. These are not ‘bass specific’ so I hadn’t heard of them from fellow bass players. These books are written for all musicians and are based on expanding your improvisational tools. I can say hands down these are THE most thorough books that I have ever come across. There’s so much useful material within them that it could keep you going for years.
I wouldn’t recommend these books to a beginner but if you are an intermediate to advanced you will not find a better resource of material for learning to improvise.
This book covers EVERYTHING! It’s an absolute must!!
This ones really gets you playing round the changes of any tune thrown at you.
Probably one of my favorite books ever!…
Author: Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman is one of the most ferocious players and educators out there. An absolute genius! These two books really give you an insight of how to break out the ‘same old patterns’. When I discovered these books I felt like I’d opened pandoras box. So many new concepts that I had never thought of trying out… a real find!
These books are for the intermediate to advanced type bass player.