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How to Play Bass Guitar – 5 Beginner Books to Learn Bass

16 March 2016

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Learn to Play Bass Guitar

--

BASS METHOD BOOK 1
See our Beginning Bass category here.

Learning to play the bass guitar can bring joy, just like mastering any instrument can. And yet the bass is NOT any instrument. Deep bass guitar notes create a critical foundation that both carries the rhythm and defines the tonality of a song. Indeed, the bass guitar is as much a percussion instrument as it is a melodic one. Bands and groups from rock to reggae, Motown to metal, Latin, blues and jazz rely on their bass player to hold everything together.

So studying bass not only provides a great introduction to the world of music, it opens the door to a unique role of support and leadership. You can certainly express yourself creatively, but the nature of the instrument means when you play bass lines or bass chords, you will be the rock your bandmates lean on.

You Can Learn the Bass Guitar

Does that mean learning how to play bass guitar is somehow different from learning other instruments? Yes. It's more important! The processes of practicing, listening and learning may be similar, but the critical role you are preparing for makes all the work more rewarding. It isn't just about memorizing notes on the bass neck or playing loud bass guitar chords. You are propping up all your pals and making the music really work.

To guide you in this quest, here are some books BassBooks.com recommends that focus on bass guitar for beginners. If you want to learn bass guitar, and learn how to LEARN bass guitar, these will be valuable resources.

Bass Guitar for Beginners

At BassBooks.com, we have a large selection of books and DVDs dedicated to the early stages of learning how to play bass guitar. You can browse our entire Beginner category here. Following are five books we especially suggest you consider.

BASS FOR BEGINNERS

by Glenn Letsch

All the tools for a solid start in playing bass are here, provided by pro player Glenn Letsch. From proper left- and right-hand technique to reading standard notation and tablature, plus some music theory, isometric exercises and ear training – it’s all here. 78 pages, written in both standard notation and TAB, 99 audio tracks on included CD. $19.95

Click here for more details and to order BASS FOR BEGINNERS.


BASS FOR BEGINNERS
BASS METHOD BOOK 1

by Ed Friedland

Aimed at those literally picking up a bass for the first time, this book covers everything from tuning the instrument and proper playing position to basic music notation and common bass lines and rhythms. You’ll find over 100 great songs and riffs, plus a CD with 44 audio tracks. 47 pages. $9.95

Click here for more details and to order BASS METHOD BOOK 1.


BASS METHOD BOOK 1
BASSES LOADED PRIMER: QUICKSTART

by Rod Goelz

Here are the essential skills for “gettin' it done” on the electric bass. You’ll learn basic technique in both pick-playing and finger-style, basic rhythms, classic lines and the basic blues form. There is lots about the fundamentals of making good bass sounds. Written in standard notation and TAB. 46 pages. Audio tracks on included CD. $14.95

Click here for more details and to order BASSES LOADED PRIMER: QUICKSTART.


BASSES LOADED PRIMER: QUICKSTART
LEARN ROCK BASS: BEGINNER – DVD

by Chris McCarvill

You begin with the roots of rock and then move into essential techniques, including scales, octaves, alternating and muting. Learning how to hold the beat gets special attention. Drum and guitar backing tracks make you feel like you’re in your own band. You also get membership and full online lesson support at RockHouseMethod.com. 90 minutes running time. $12.99

Click here for more details and to order LEARN ROCK BASS: BEGINNER – DVD.


LEARN ROCK BASS: BEGINNER – DVD
DIY ELECTRIC BASS

by Ron Manus and L.C. Harnsberger

Want to learn how to play a bass guitar? And want to do it at your own pace, in your own way? This true do-it-yourself approach gives easy-to-follow guidance with accompanying video lessons and audio tracks. No musical knowledge is necessary. Written in standard notation and TAB. 48 pages. Instructional audio/video to stream or download. $9.99

Click here for more details and to order DIY ELECTRIC BASS.


DIY ELECTRIC BASS


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

PLAY LIKE JACO PASTORIUS
PLAY LIKE
JACO PASTORIUS

The trademark songs, licks, tones and techniques of the world's greatest jazz fusion bassist.

SEE OUR MANY JACO PASTORIUS TITLES HERE

BOOKSELLER'S CHOICE

GROOVING WITH HYBRID TECHNIQUES
GROOVING
WITH HYBRID
TECHNIQUES

THE FOUR-FRET CONCEPT
THE FOUR-FRET
CONCEPT

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

SLAP IT!
SLAP IT!
Also:
-ONLINE COURSE-
THE BASSIST's GUIDE TO INJURY MANAGEMENT
THE BASSIST'S GUIDE
TO INJURY
MANAGEMENT
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

BASS ENCYCLOMEDIA
BASS
ENCYCLOMEDIA
BASS TAB WHITE PAGES
BASS TAB
WHITE PAGES
(200 songs!)



CHUCK RAINEY'S
COMPLETE
ELECTRIC
BASS PLAYER


LEFT-HANDED
BASS TAB
METHOD

SANTANA'S
GREATEST HITS
2+2=5
A STUDY IN
ODD TIMES

THE LATIN
BASS BOOK


THE REAL EASY
EAR TRAINING
BOOK

ADVANCED
STUDIES FOR
BASS GUITAR

CLASSIC FUNK
AND R&B
GROOVES
FOR BASS

BASS
FRETBOARD
FACTS

BEST OF
MARCUS MILLER


ARPEGGIO
WOODSHEDDING
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

PINO PALLADINO:
BASS TRANSCRIPTIONS
-EBOOK/PDF-
THE BEST OF
YES FOR BASS
JAMES BROWN:
BASS PLAY-ALONG

MILES DAVIS:
KIND OF BLUE
STEVE BAILEY'S
FRETLESS BASS

THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL HYMNS
-EBOOK/PDF-


DIY ELECTRIC
BASS
THE JOHN ENTWISTLE BASS BOOK
THE
JOHN ENTWISTLE
BASS BOOK
THE EVOLVING BASSIST
THE EVOLVING
BASSIST:
MILLENIUM
EDITION

EADG 4
EADG 4
BACH CELLO SUITES FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR
BACH CELLO
SUITES FOR
ELECTRIC BASS

FRETBOARD ARCANUM
FRETBOARD
ARCANUM
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

JACO: THE DOCUMENTARY
JACO: THE
DOCUMENTARY
-DVD-

-BLU-RAY-
BERRY OAKLEY
BASS
TRANSCRIPTIONS
-EBOOK/PDF-


HEARING
BASS LINES,
COMPLETE
BUNDLE
-EBOOK/PDF-

RICKENBACKER
ELECTRIC BASS


HOFNER VIOLIN
BEATLE BASS
BASS
BIBLE
THE SWING OF
THE LATIN BASS

EXPOSED:
SOLO MUSIC
FOR BASS
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

THE BEST OF
MEGADETH
TODD JOHNSON
ELECTRIC BASS
TECHNIQUE
BUILDERS


THE COUCH
POTATO BASS
WORKOUT
ABBEY ROAD
TO
ZIGGY STARDUST
NATHAN EAST:
THE BUSINESS
OF BASS
-DVD-


GUNS N' ROSES
FOR BASS

CHARLIE PARKER
FOR BASS

CRACKING THE
DETROIT CODE
-ONLINE COURSE-


SIGHT READING
FOR THE BASS
25 ESSENTIAL
ROCK BASS
CLASSICS


NIRVANA:
THE BASS GUITAR
COLLECTION

BASS PLAYER:
THE
FRETLESS BASS


THE REAL BOOK
VOL. 1
BASS CLEF
JACO
PASTORIUS
THE BEST OF
VICTOR WOOTEN

WALKING BASSLINES
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
BEYOND
BASSLINES: FROM
BACH TO BRAHMS
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

THE BEATLES:
1967-1970


STANLEY CLARKE
COLLECTION

101 BASS TIPS
SLAP BASS LINES

RED HOT
CHILI PEPPERS:
GREATEST HITS


BUNNY BRUNEL'S
POWER BASS:
SOLOING SECRETS
100 BLUES
LESSONS
100 JAZZ
LESSONS

100 ROCK
LESSONS


100 FUNK/R&B
LESSONS
AFRO-CUBAN
SLAP BASS LINES
BEST OF
TOWER OF POWER
FOR BASS

BASS
STANDARDS
BERKLEE PRACTICE
METHOD: BASS

THE SCOTT
LAFARO BOOK


HOW THE
FENDER BASS
CHANGED
THE WORLD


KEITH
FERGUSON:
TEXAS BLUES
BASS
EDLY'S MUSIC
THEORY FOR
PRACTICAL
PEOPLE


ESSSENTIAL
STYLES FOR
THE DRUMMER
AND BASSIST,
BOOK ONE
ESSENTIAL
STYLES FOR
THE DRUMMER
AND BASSIST,
BOOK TWO

MOTOWN
BASS CLASSICS
OTEIL
BURBRIDGE
-DVD-


SIGHT READING FUNK RYTHMNS FOR BASS
SIGHT READING
FUNK RHYTHMS
STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN
STANDING IN
THE SHADOWS
OF MOTOWN


CLASSICAL MASTERPIECES FOR ELECTRIC BASS, VOL. 1
CLASSICAL
MASTERPIECES
FOR
ELECTRIC BASS
VOL. I
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
CLASSICAL MASTERPIECES FOR ELECTRIC BASS, VOL. 2
CLASSICAL
MASTERPIECES
FOR
ELECTRIC BASS
VOL. II
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

STEVE HARRIS: THE BEAST OF THE BASS
STEVE HARRIS:
THE BEAST OF
THE BASS
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
FRETBOARD ALCHEMY
FRETBOARD
ALCHEMY
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

SEARCH

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

HARMONIC ANALYSIS
HARMONIC ANALYSIS
-EBOOK/PDF-

This massive, detailed course enables you to analyze any chord progression, giving you tremendous power to write and improvise music. Downloadable HD videos and 72-page PDF book.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

BASS METHOD BOOK 1
BASS METHOD
BOOK ONE
A classic of bass instruction presenting notes, patterns, rhythms and over 100 songs and riffs. Includes audio CD.

BASS FOR BEGINNERS
BASS FOR
BEGINNERS
This fine book/CD package provides the basic tools for solid, fundamental electric bass playing.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

CHORDS AND CHORD SHAPES FOR BASS GUITAR
CHORDS AND
CHORD SHAPES
FOR
BASS GUITAR
-EBOOK/PDF-
A highly ambitious ebook of fretboard charts, showing chords in all keys and forms. Indispensable!

GIVE THE GIFT OF MUSIC

A Gift Certificate from BassBooks.com is easy and thoughtful. Let friends and family pick the titles they want, while you help them grow as musicians.

Click here for Gift Certificates

QUOTE -- UNQUOTE

"Music is in the air. It's my job to pull it out."
--Jaco Pastorius

"I try to make sure my part is notable -- that it's not only right for the song, but also represents the bass in the highest light."
--Nathan East

"The art of music is governed by the laws of harmony, theory and rhythm. These laws and theories must be studied in order to attain and maintain precious, unforseen rewards."
--Chuck Rainey

"Even when playing the simplest song with just whole notes, make sure that they're very good whole notes!"
--Larry Paxton

"It's the bass that makes them dance."
--Darcy Wright

"Guitar is for the head, drums are for the chest, but bass gets you in the groin."
--Suzi Quatro

EBOOKS

Save time and money (and reduce your carbon footprint!). Order books and transcriptions in easy-to-download PDF form. Read them on a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, and print out pages as you wish.

Click here to check out our full list of EBOOKS (over 160 titles)

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