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It started with a … book?

A while ago, I signed up with bass education site Scott’s Bass Lessons. There’s a wealth of learning material on there, which tends to go further and have more structure than random videos picked off the internet. It also has a discussion forum, which has become my go to place for general gabbling with bass players.

I recently started a thread with the same title as this post, inviting people to remember the books they got started on. Getting started on bass playing with a book is probably in itself a marker of age and it is probably not surprising to discover one or two other people who use the same manuals. Bass Guitar by Jim Gregory and Harvey Vinson was the one that kicked things off for me – when I found it on sale in a music shop, I couldn’t pretend to be a musician but, by the middle of that evening I’d used it to make a start on the bass.

There are plenty of books I’ve forgotten but a fair number I can recall (and often still have). It has been fun looking back and reflecting on what I took from each one. From Bass Guitar, it was playing riff based lines to blues rock tracks. From Deluxe Jazz and Rock Bass Method by Vincent Bredice it was modes of the major scale. Clive Harrison (Teach Yourself Advanced Bass) gave me different patterns for playing up and down scales and Laurence Canty (who I initially misremembered as a different bass playing Laurence) had How to Play Bass Guitar, which turned me onto the idea of playing classical pieces like Bach cello preludes.

For those who know my bibliophile tendencies, it probably isn’t surprising that my bassophile side started with a book.

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