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5 Bass Builders books from Hal Leonard are reviewed. Scroll page down to read all reviews.

Reggae Bass: The Complete Guide to Reggae and Jamaican Bass Styles, by Ed Friedland. Book/CD, 32 pages, $12.95.

Ed Friedland's long awaited Reggae Bass has hit the book stores. Although Friedland once claimed not to know much about the subject (until he started the book), it is clear he did his homework. Sample bass lines are thoroughly rooted with background and technical info, and the history sections are very informative. Styles covered include early ska, rock steady, reggae, dub, and dancehall. Priced right at $12.95 for the book/CD package, Reggae Bass will undoubtedly find it's way to many bass player's libraries.

Jerry Jemmott Blues and R&B Bass Techniques: The Mastery of Blues, Soul, and Funk styles, by Jerry Jemmott and Dave Rubin. Book/CD, 80 pages, $17.95.

In what seems to be a departure in the Bass Builders theme, legendary bass artist Jerry Jemmott is the focus of a retrospective that contains bio info, photos, and many transcribed bass lines. Jemmott himself narrates the book and CD, and offers a personal take on his music and experiences. Considering the value of this book to Jemmott fans (and blues/R&B fans), Hal Leonard should also add other bass artists to this series. A nice start would be separate books on Chuck Rainey, Carol Kaye, and Joe Osborn, among others.

Always On The Way MP3 1.044 mg (partial cut)

Dictionary of Bass Grooves: A Collection of Grooves and Styles For Bass Guitar, by Sean Malone. Book/CD, 72 pages, $14.95.

Rock Bass, by Jon Liebman. Book/CD, 96 pages, $17.95.

Rock Bass and the Dictionary of Bass Grooves have somewhat similar approaches as bass line reference manuals, both beginning with early 50's rock lines. Liebman's Rock Bass is a thick 96 page treatise that offers a cultural perspective, in addition to the notation and played examples. The book approaches rock in the traditional sense, as well as the other variations of the genre: Funk, swing/shuffles, techno-pop, metal, Motown, and power ballads. Dictionary takes a different approach by using a sample bass line, then citing the common features and prominent bassists of the style. Overall, Dictionary has a wider variety of styles than Rock Bass, but doesn't go quite as deep. Both make very handy reference books to keep in your bass case. Rock Bass also includes an extensive discography, and both have a CD. Rock Bass: Soloing Sect. Track 77 MP3 334k, Rock Bass: Soloing Section: Track 87 MP3 282k

Jump 'N' Blues Bass, by Keith Rosier. Book/CD, 56 pages, $14.95.

On the swingin' end of things, Keith Rosier has penned Jump 'N' Blues Bass. The book covers several of the great blues bassmen, including Keith Ferguson, Willie Dixon, and Donald Dunn. Rosier goes further than just transcriptions by adding bios, style elements, bass set-up, and recording techniques to the mix.

Keith Ferguson Style Blues Bass MP3 570k




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