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Hal Leonard Bass Method - Complete Edition: Books 1, 2 and 3 Bound Together in One Easy-to-Use Volume!

4.6 out of 5 stars 244 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A performing bassist and former columnist for Bass Player magazine Ed Friedland has written numerous instructional books, including Building Walking Bass Lines. He lives in Tucson, AZ.
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard; 2nd Revised ed. edition (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793563836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793563838
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound Verified 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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Format: Spiral-bound Verified 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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Format: Spiral-bound Verified 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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Format: Spiral-bound Verified 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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Format: Spiral-bound
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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Format: Spiral-bound
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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