There are many books out there on bass guitar, but not all of them are worth reading. We have compiled a list of the top 10 bass guitar books for you to consider. You will find that each book is different in its way, and they offer an array of information on various topics related to this instrument. In the end, we will provide you with some helpful tips on choosing what might be best for your needs.
Best Bass Guitar Books I Recommend
1. Music Theory for the Bass Player by Ariane Cap
This publication is the first of its kind, focusing on music theory for bass players. It contains everything you will need to know about this topic, including scales and modes, triads, seventh chords, arpeggios, ear training techniques, and much more. This book will help any bass player improve their knowledge of theory and apply it effectively through exercises included at the end of each chapter. An innovative feature of the book is its use of tablature and standard notation to show how these musical concepts can be applied to playing your instrument. The book starts with the basics and gradually builds up your knowledge over time to help you develop a deep understanding of these topics. It also contains written exercises to aid your progress if you are just starting out, along with numerous diagrams and graphics that break down complex music theory into simpler terms. Music Theory for the Bass Player is an excellent choice if your goal is to learn about this topic or take your current level of understanding to the next level.
2. Hal Leonard Bass Method by Ed Friedland
This is a must-have for any beginner looking to learn how to play the bass guitar. It contains books 1, 2, and 3 of the ‘Hal Leonard Bass Method. Book 1 includes all of the basics you will need to understand to get started on your journey. The topics are well organized into easy-to-follow chapters covering everything from tuning your instrument properly to reading music notation. The accompanying CD features recorded songs that you can listen to while practicing along with at home or even in different keys if you are having trouble following it in certain positions on your instrument. It also provides multiple tracks so that you can play along whenever you feel confident enough in your current skill level. This helps reinforce what you have learned in the book. Book 2 covers advanced topics such as improvisation, reading chord charts, music notation, playing with others in various musical settings, and more.
3. Music Theory for the Bass Player by Ariane Cap
This book is about music theory for bass players, including scales and modes, triads, seventh chords, arpeggios, ear training techniques, and much more. It will help any bass player improve their knowledge of theoretical concepts and apply them effectively through exercises. This publication focuses on extensive written content while providing figures and diagrams that break down the complex musical theory into simple terms. Music Theory for the Bass Player is an excellent choice if your goal is to learn about this topic or take your current understanding to the next level.
4. Bass For Beginners by Guitar Head
This is one of the easiest ways to learn how to play the bass guitar. The book breaks down everything you need to know about this instrument into simple steps that are easy to follow, resulting in fast progress. It starts with basics like reading music notation and scales before presenting essential techniques such as playing chords and moving around the fingerboard using arpeggios. Additional topics include musical theory concepts like bass harmony, scales, modes, and much more. The accompanying CD contains recorded tracks that help reinforce what’s learned in the book by enabling you to practice with them or even play with multiple tracks at once if that is comfortable for your skill level. This helps enhance your skills faster since you will be practicing these new things by yourself and with someone else. Best of all, it’s an affordable book on this topic that can be found easily on Amazon or even at your local music store.
5. Bass Fretboard by Guitar Head
This is a great reference for learning how to understand the fretboard better. It contains 35+ exercises so that you can start memorizing all of the different notes found on the bass guitar in under 24 hours. A great benefit of this book is that it’s based on a method designed specifically for this instrument, unlike other books that have been recycled from the concept used with other instruments. They replaced some notes and left out others altogether. This way, you will never run into a problem trying to find a particular note when applying what you’ve learned from this publication using your bass.
6. How to Play Bass Guitar in 14 Days by Michael Mueller
This book is specifically designed for people who want to start playing the bass guitar either by themselves or as part of a band. It comes with over 100 audio examples that are recorded along with explanations so you can better understand what’s being taught. Each chapter has an exercise for you to follow, making learning all the essential concepts like scales, chord progressions, and more through daily routine practice sessions. This publication ensures your success in learning how to play this instrument because it always keeps things interesting.
7. The Pattern System for the Bass Player by Ariane Cap
This publication is different from any other on this list because it gives you exercises to memorize the fretboard and teaches you ways to improve your musical creativity. This comes in handy for bass players who are looking to improve their technical ability and implement it into improvisation and composition projects. You will find everything from scale patterns, chord root movements, and bass chords in various positions, along with tips on how these concepts can be applied when improvising in a band. The accompanying CD contains recordings of over 50 examples so you can listen and practice the material at home or even when you’re away from your instrument.
8. How To Play Bass by James Jamerson
This is the first in a four-part series of books that contain exercises for bass guitar players to improve their playing. It comes with over 100 lessons, all focusing on the 80-20 principle, which is based on getting you to play what you need when you’re starting, then reviewing it before moving on to something even more challenging later. This ensures that your mind will be focused on what you need most to improve your playing while keeping things interesting, so boredom doesn’t set in! These examples come with notation and tab, so it’s easy to follow along. The most remarkable thing about this publication? It comes with an exclusive Jamerson CD, which contains some of his best performances from various albums.
9. How To Play Blues Rock Bass Volume by Paul Wolfe
This book is designed to teach you how to play bass guitar through various blues-rock grooves. You will learn 8 bar chord progressions, turnarounds, and patterns in a variety of positions which can be applied when playing songs by artists like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, U2, and many more. This way, your mind focuses on what’s most important for learning how to play this style while keeping things interesting by using example recordings in different keys so that it doesn’t become a chore just going over the same material again and again.
10. How To Play Blues Rock Bass Volume 2 by Paul Wolfe
This is the second in a series of books designed to get you playing blues rock bass guitar through 80-20. If you are unfamiliar with this principle, it involves learning what’s most important about playing bass in this style first, then expanding your knowledge later on when you’re comfortable enough to push yourself even further. The included CD contains examples along with backing tracks so that you can play along or simply use them for reference when practicing at home. This publication will help transform your musical creativity by showing you how to become an even more effective bass player.