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FINGERBOARD HARMONY FOR BASS, By Gary Willis, Hal Leonard Publishing $17.95

Well known and respected bassist Gary Willis has finally given us a definitive look at his concept for traversing the neck. Included with this book is a CD featuring 99 examples and exercises. He calls his concept a "linear" approach accessible with 4, 5 & 6 string basses. Gary discusses the geometry of the fingerboard in a variety of symmetric shapes that will solidify your theory conception in relation to chords and their arpeggios.

Beginning with triads, Gary shows you "fingerboard forms" that will work through all of the inversions in all keys. His "linear approach" helps you to articulate the harmony of a chord one note at a time. He illustrates passing tones, extensions, hand positions, choosing a key center, and more! dimb588.mp3 194k (Ex. of Dmin7(b5) chord played by Gary Willis)

This approach takes some getting used to but the benefits certainly outweigh the struggle. I find his ideas to be helpful and when incorporated into your personal style, it adds a new source of possibilities.


Bassist David C Gross is the author of 6 books, "Teach Yourself Rock Bass," "Teach Yourself Fretless Bass," "Heavy Metal Riffs for Bass," and "Improvising Rock Bass," all published by Music Sales Corp. His brand new releases are entitled "The Harmonic Colours for Bass," published by Warner Bros., and "Mastering the 6 String Bass," published by Hal Leonard. He also writes for Bassics, Bass Frontiers, Downbeat, and Musician magazines.

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