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Bass Fitness - An Exercising Handbook (Guitar School) Paperback – May 1, 1991


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Bass Fitness - An Exercising Handbook (Guitar School) + Hal Leonard Bass Method - Complete Edition: Books 1, 2 and 3 Bound Together in One Easy-to-Use Volume! + Building Walking Bass Lines (Bass Builders)
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Product Details

  • Series: Guitar School
  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard; 1 edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793502489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793502486
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This is a must buy for anyone beginning on bass, or probably many more advanced players.
Sean Waite
I can't guarantee you'll improve your dexterity, accuracy, and speed, but daily practice with this book easily doubled my dexterity and accuracy.
M. Rogers
Between this and the book "Fretboard Roadmaps Bass Guitar" you'll develop great bass skills.
Doron Avizov

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Paredez on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
Aight, here's the thing. This book is boring. yup. boring. And you're thinking, "Well, if it's boring, then why'd you give it 5 stars?". Because as a musician you have some choices to make. Playing exciting material poorely, or... play boring material well so that you can play exciting material well.

When I purchased this book I had recently made the decision to switch to a fluid 4 finger right hand method. And this book, although written for left hand method, has the potential to help you mentally seperate all 8 of your primary usable digits. I wrote out opposable right hand patterns to play the written left hand exercises, and I must tell you it has been a journey. But then again I think I've probly doubled in ability in the last year and I attribute much of that to this text. If you purchase this book and practice one of these a day, starting at 60bpm and working to 180, while using at least 12 positions for 20 or so minutes... I guarentee you, you will be a stronger bassists. But then again thats a lot of commitment. If your looking for simple chop builders this might not be for you. Although these exersices are relativly simple, they still require a strength of will.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. Rogers on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I can't guarantee you'll improve your dexterity, accuracy, and speed, but daily practice with this book easily doubled my dexterity and accuracy. If you buy it, you have to use it as part of your ongoing practice routine. When I stopped using it, my technique started to fall off again. It was hard for me at first, especially the exercises later in the book, so I used a pick. I was amazed how fast I improved and was soon doing the exercises fingerstyle. I was trying to see how fast I could go initially, but then realized that much of the benefit from doing the exercises came from doing them accurately, with each note sounding clear and strong. The exercises aren't melodic sounding at all; that can affect your ability to do them if you let it. Josquin des Pres doesn't have a lot of verbal instruction in the book (nor does he in his Slap bass book) which is a shame, because he seems very bright and could offer a lot in the way of hints etc. A must have book for bassists of all styles, especially for those that have hit a plateau and can't seem to move forward.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Doron Avizov on July 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a 4 string bass book but I don't see why you couldn't use it for 6 string guitar - or any other fretted instrument. This book does not contain any songs, scales or music theory. It's just pages of left hand finger exercises. Of course doing them will also exercise your right hand as you pick. This isn't a book that you master from cover to cover before moving onto your next book. Rather it's a book that you can use 15-20 minutes a day every day as a warm up before moving onto the book you use to learn songs or theory from. Unlike song and theory/technique books which don't serve much purpose once you know the material, this book is something you can use every day for years to come.

After just 15 minutes of doing the exercises on the first page I was able to play a middle eastern pattern that I had been struggling with for weeks. If you play with a metronome as the author suggests, much sooner than later you will be physically able to play any song you want. How to read that song, however, is not what this book is about. This book will also help you develop a fluid wrist. The more fluid my left wrist the more solid my tone and the less buzz I get no matter how many frets my fingers are spread across. Between this and the book "Fretboard Roadmaps Bass Guitar" you'll develop great bass skills.

Skills aside, I'm looking forward to trying a book that will help develop the feel of a bass player and get how a bass player fits in and interacts with a band. That's where Ed Friedland's "Bass Grooves: Develop Your Groove and Play Like the Pros in Any Style," comes in. Friedland writes out the drum machine parts for you to program into your drum machine to accompany the bass.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Wintertiger on April 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I wish this had been out when I started. Great at improving speed, accuracy, tone and endurance. Be warned: this is a hard-work resource for people who are serious about playing bass.

I will add a few notes, for the author's instructions are minimal (though certainly enough to sort it out yourself). If you play one exercise at 60, 120, and 180 bpm, it will take you 12 minutes to complete with no breaks. Absolutely do it to a metronome, as the exercises will double as some good tempo training. Be ruthless about emphasizing the precision and clarity of tone; otherwise, you will sound like those Saturday afternoon guitar store show-offs who blaze away and sound terrible.

When I am done, I also add five minutes on plucking hand only at the fastest speed I can go (with metronome, moving randomly up and down the strings) to get song-length endurace and accuracy at high speed. This seems to even out the workout on both hands in a practical manner.

Set the actual BPM count to end at the highest you can do accurately, which is probably not 180 at first. Then work the numbers up. Do start with the 60 bpm suggested, as it helps teach you how to hold down slow grooves.

This is not musical training, so make it only a small part of your daily routine, no more than a quarter of the total time. Do not shorten your other practice. If you have a limited amount of time for everything (welcome to the real world), then you must work out some abbreviated version.

Do NOT start doing these two days before a gig, because your hands are going to be a bit stiff and sore for a while, and your accuracy and speed will temporarily suffer.

Great resource for the serious bassist. Lousy resource if you want to look at pretty pictures and fantasize about being a rock star.
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