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163 of 166 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
Format: Plastic CombVerified Purchase
I have been teaching individual bass and guitar lessons for 10 years now after having taught music (band and choir) in the public school system. I'm always on the lookout for better/more thorough/more complete method books to help my students achieve their goals. I have found this method to be very thorough without being boring. The cd accompaniment tracks are great and I use them as the "test"....the students must play along with the track successfully before moving on. If you are considering this book, you are making a good choice.
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138 of 146 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2005
Format: Plastic CombVerified Purchase
I enjoy playing drums, but when a nice bass showed up at the local pawn shop, i splurged. Afterwards, I checked out a few volumes by the "names" in bass, but found them either overly complex, or overly exhaustive in information. Ed Friedland put together the "just right" package.

First off, it does NOT depend on TAB. You start with notes. And even when TAB appears far into the book, it is not necessary as you can still play in notes. And as mentioned below, you get to play "tunes" early one, even if they are very simple. Thus, you get to build a base playing along with the band on the CD.

Everything progresses cleanly. You get pictures of fingerings, diagrams of fingerings, and (early on) numbering of the fingering of notes under the notes themselves. In other words...

This is the book you want if you don't have/can't have a teacher. It won't take you all the way there by itself, but you'll cross a few county lines on the way to the big time!
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2006
Format: Plastic CombVerified Purchase
I have used books to improve guitar and piano skills, but I'd never played bass. This book really started me off with a firm foundation. I'm in the third section of the book now and feeling like it's moving at a good pace. The CD examples cover a wide range of musical styles and are long enough that you can get into the tune before it's over. Well thought-out instructional design.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2011
Format: Plastic CombVerified Purchase
I didn't want to write a "straight out of the box" review. I wanted to actually use the book first. This book was bought back in Dec. 2010 and it is now the end of July 2011. This is by far the BEST beginner book I've seen. What I like most about the method is the fact that although it does teach you tabs, which come later in the book, it teaches you to read music. So, by the time you get to the tabs section, you really (I don't) use them. The 3 cd's that come with the book are invaluable. They really help you with your progress. I use them as a test to move on to the next level. As a side note, I'm in my early 50's and have no desire to be a rock star. I just took the bass up as a hobby. Be that as it may, whatever your goal, you can do a lot worse than this bass method book! I also HIGHLY recommend the use of stretching exercises before and after playing. You don't want to get carpal tunnel syndrome. There are some great exercises to be found on you tube. I hope this was helpful, enjoy.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2002
Format: Plastic Comb
I recently signed up for weekly bass lessons at my local music store, and they sold me this 1st book out of this composite. I was about 1/2 way through book one when I saw this composite version with Accompanying CDs, and I decided to buy it here on Amazon.
The lessons can't be extremely exciting when you're just learning an instrument, but they have done a good job of choosing lessons that actually have some pretty interesting tunes from various genres of music. They have also interspersed shorter 8 measure excercises with occasional longer numbers of 25 or so measures. This helps the lessons seem less like "drills" and more like you're actually making progress.
When I received this version with the CDs, it made everything even better. To be able to play along with the full instrumentation to the songs in the book really helps, especially in forcing you to keep regular time, since you can't d r a a a a a g out a measure when the fingering gets tough.
I'm a drummer, but one who can read music (yes, there are a few of us), so I can't vouch for whether there is enough material to teach the uninitiated how to read music notation for time value, but I have picked up a reasonable amount of knowledge of reading music for pitch.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2004
Format: Plastic Comb
I looked through several books before I chose this one. I chose this book because it was similar to the book I was given when I started learning the flute many years ago. The book teaches with short song exercises and focuses on learning notes instead of TAB. several reviews below say the opposite but I think they are referring to an earlier edition because the current Hal leonard electric bass method does not introduce tabulature almost the end of part 1 of the 3 part set, forcing you to learn the notes. Even after the introduction of tabs the book only includes them for part of the songs. For me, I think this book was the best choice as a beginner's bass method but I would not recommend this book to someone who is not already familiar with musical theory or prefers to learn by TAB. This is because the book does not spend much time explaining notation and, as I mentioned, does not use tabs all the time. This book probably would work best in combination with private lessons for students not familiar with theory. This book really heaps on the accidentals within the first half of book one which is very frustrating to true beginners (and even some of us that aren't).

I also recommend you get a supplementary book with songs that you actually enjoy playing. The songs in this method are original creations of the author and it gets tedious playing a bunch of melodies you don't know or care for.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2006
Format: Plastic Comb
3 and a half months after buying this book, along with the cheapest bass and amp I could find, I've finally worked through it all. At this point it is fairly easy for me to pick up a rock song, from Cream to Judas Priest to Ozzy. R&B (Jamerson) and Funk (JB and rock-like Chili Peppers) are still difficult but I find them at least approachable after this book. It was a great place to start for someone with a little bit of music background (20 years ago as a kid I took piano lessons) and a love for grooving. I highly recommend this book. Hint: After getting to the third section, find a teacher to help on the more cerebral parts of picking out a bass line just from from the chord progression.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2005
Format: Plastic Comb
How do you go from nothing to something? In learning an instrument, it's hard to replace a human teacher. While books can only compliment personalized feedback, this one is easily the best of it's genre. It provides a foundation of knowledge and technique, a logical progression, and allows for enough noodling to stay fun. There is enough variety in approach to accomodate many learning styles. In "about the author" I noticed that the Ed Friedland has a masters degree in education. Wow; a well organized musician that can teach. No wonder his book is the Shiz.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2005
Format: Plastic Comb
i started to play bass guitar 3 years ago but due to many problems i had to stop my lessons and start to learn on my own.

i found this bass method veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery useful and helpful.

i rated this method 5 stars cause i never found a bass method better than this, believe me.

surely, i'll buy others hal leonard books or methods, simply, clear complete, and good for beginners or intermediate level
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2005
Format: Plastic Comb
I bought this book with the CDs because it came highly recommended. I didn't know how to read regular music notation but knew I needed to learn - TAB can only get you so far.

This book breaks down the notation a little at a time while providing great little tunes from the CD to play with. Each tune is a full band track - very cool!

I tend to be a little impatient and skipped ahead to some more tunes on the CD. I couldn't figure out why I sounded off. I then went back to read all of the notes in the book to that point. I soon found what the natural sign does - it cancels the sharps and flats in a measure. It's the little details like this that make the book VERY useful - Ed Friedland doesn't assume you know everything(which is good).

The main reason I bought this book was because I couldn't keep going to a bass teacher at the moment, for financial reasons. This book is great when you are on your own. But, when I can resume lessons, I will surely ask about using this book in our lessons.
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