Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
The clue is in the title
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.