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on 4 January 2007
If you are looking at this page it is probably because you have an interest in playing, or learning how to play jazz on the Bass. However, those of you expecting the book to give a detailed analysis of the way that the great late Ray himself 'plays jazz' on the Double Bass will be greatly disappointed. He does not give samples of his own lyrical Bass lines, instead there are 5 or 6 pages dedicated to what he calls "Blues Patterns" - a series of very basic walking lines in the Blues. These are useful for a complete beginner but are unlikely to offer much even to the intermediate player. In terms of solos, he has written a series of exercises in all keys, which are certainly good for technique ( a point which I will return to later) but are most definitely not 'licks' from his own playing.

So is there a good reason for buying this book? There are many reasons why you should and many reasons why I have given it 5 stars. The title is 'Ray Brown's Bass Method'. And that's exactly what it is - a method for playing the Bass - not a method for playing Jazz. Invitably it leans towards the Jazz style (all exercises are pizzicato), and therefore the best way to describe the book is as a METHOD FOR JAZZ TECHNIQUE, and when viewed in this way it is truly a 5 star item. It starts with some very simple exercises (major scales) which are useful for a beginner, although I would recommmend a classical study book with it as well as the difficulty level rises sharply with some tricky exercises in tenths and extension exercises. The book covers almost all the techniques you need to have the facility to play Jazz - for example a C major scale played entirely on the A string tells you how thorough this book is. There are exercises in thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths and octaves, Ray leaves no element of technique untouched. I have been working my way through it and I have noticed my technique improve considerably as I seem to be able to get 'get around' around it so much easier.

In conclusion, if you want to boost your technique as a Bass player (this method could easily be used on electric as well) then you won't find a better book on the market to help you do it.
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on 5 February 2011
The two stars in no way reflect upon Ray Brown as a brilliant and influential bassist - however he's not up to much as a teacher. Most of the exercises in the book are purely mechanical and the average musician will be able to work them out for themselves having seen the first bar, indeed, should play them without notation as jazz bass players will largely be playing from chord symbols and improvising, so there is little merit in all this notation.

Fingering, which might be useful to the absolute beginner, tends to be added for the first line or two of some of the exercises, but this is the same kind of thing you would find in any beginner bass book - furthermore the exercises usually speedily progress into the extreme high register where suggestions of fingering would be very useful but that's where they're omitted. It simply doesn't hang together as a serious attempt to teach. The blues lines mentioned in other reviews would be useful if you're short of ideas on how to construct such.

I know nothing of how Ray Brown went about writing this book - somehow I doubt that he sat down and meticulously wrote out all of the exercises in every key himself (he would be able to play them straight off of course). He has revealed almost nothing of his own playing, which would be useful for advancing players, but also pitifully little of any use to bass players just learning the basic technique. Did he omit the useful stuff because he didn't really want to share his expertise with other bass players? Or did he simply not realise what people needed to be taught? Or was he simply lazy, sticking down a few ideas & letting a copyist at the publishing company write out reams of exercises that would be beneficial to play but pointless to print over many pages? I guess we'll never know.
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on 30 June 2008
This book is a must buy for anyone starting out learning to play the double bass. It has some superb exercises and gets you heading in the right direction. You do need to have a small understanding on how to read music but its very very good and will keep you busy for a while.
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on 28 May 2013
Wealth of information and a companion for life. Very comprehensive and will give you hours of pleasure . Will extend your knowlege and improve your playing and understanding of your instrument. Highly recommended
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on 18 December 2015
This is my second "Ray Brown Bass Method" -- wore the other one out. This "scale book" is much more than that. What I love is that the book "gravitates" around jazz and the blues idioms. Despite one's taste and ear for the art, they can both be daunting to master. From the beginning it gets into technique which is essential to building your chops. The material isn't just for beginners (although it's simple and clear, it's also challenging). What can you say? One could have worse taskmasters than the great Ray Brown -- since in the end, nothing substitutes for doing your scales...
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on 2 October 2010
I have been playing electric fretless bass now for six years, and have just got the bug for playing jazz. So off i went and bought myself an acoustic double bass (what a sound), and then thought to my self, right, O.K. how do i learn how to play this beast?
because, believe me it is nothing like the electric bass. So! after reading all the reviews of all the usual bass methods out there, this one came to interest me more than the others.
Today , it arrived, and i cant tell you how pleased i am with it! I am an Intermediate level player (honest) and this book is writen in my lingo!, no advanced level musical terms, or diagrams. All the exersises work you through in a logical manner in order to get you have mastered the basic foundation on the double bass. This is a bass method, so it is supposed to used in conjunction with a qualified/time served bass player, in order to get the most from it. This is the ulimate tool for the beginner of the double bass. Happy reading and practising.
Rob Hillman from devon, UK
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on 1 March 2013
This book is more like an exercise book with scales rather than method book. There is no method mentioned in this book.
Only excersices
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on 29 January 2014
This is a practical workbook starting with the basics. Having played fretless electric bass for many years it is great to work through this book as it instills in the reader the biomechanics of playing a double bass (which are notably different to electric bass) as one progresses through the exercises. Top notch!
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on 16 February 2016
Everything you will ever need to practice
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on 9 April 2016
Great teaching book.
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