Reviews

Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines Book Reviews…… What people are saying.  

The Blues in 12 keys – Book I 

I am highly recommending Steven Mooney’s method for Constructing Walking Bass Lines Book I The Blues in 12 Keys, Book II Rhythm Changes in 12 Keys and Book III Standard lines which I purchased mid July and I am eagerly awaiting Book IV. If you can read music a little bit or read TAB, this is the Method for YOU. 

Steven’s approach is masterly crafted to ensure that you are playing strong Bass Lines right out of the Gate in all Twelve Keys with numerous exercises to reinforce each and every concept whether Theoretically and/or Harmonically in a very Comprehensive and Progressive approach including clearly written directions of the various concepts for the thoroughly written out exercises. 

As we all know, we all learn by doing. Steven’s method provides numerous exercises to keep each and every aspiring Bassist enthuse about Learning and Creating Walking Bass Lines.

I have worked with literally over twenty different method books and Steven Mooney’s approach is definitely the best of the best that I have worked with. It is very player friendly throughout and it is masterfully crafted! In addition to a lifetime’s work going into creating these books more importantly is the willingness to patiently share this knowledge with others that makes all the difference and Steven should be very, very proud of that accomplishment.

In addition I am truly having the time of my life with these books and I have only just begun!!! So many varied exercises to reinforce the concepts, techniques and sight reading among others! “

Jahrah

“Recommending both Book 1 (The Blues in 12 Keys) and Book 2 (Rhythm Changes in 12 Keys) 

as a pair for building a firm foundation in learning how to play Jazz bass lines: 

The 12-bar blues and “Rhythm” changes (coming from “I Got Rhythm”) are two of the fundamental building-block progressions in Jazz. Together, they form a basis for understanding much of Jazz. These progressions, or portions of them, are used again-and-again throughout the Jazz repertoire. Yet, it is nice that so many variations are given on the basic A-part of the Rhythm Changes progression, since that is the way it really gets played: not just the same lines repeated over-and-over. 

 

I am particularly pleased that all the examples are completely written-out note-for-note; whereas in many books by other authors, an example will be given in one key with the other keys being left up to the student to figure-out! I always found that to be extremely frustrating. 

Writing-out all the bass lines instead of just the chord symbols lets the student learn the actual melodic motion of bass lines in the way that they are really used. The use of scale-type phrases, chromatic lines, occasional wide interval leaps, and rhythmic variations (such as quarter-note triplets and dotted-eighth/sixteenth notes) …in full context… really puts it all in proper perspective. It shows how those devices are actually used! That’s the stuff people learn-from through specific examples! 

Then once the student becomes familiar with it all and gets the hang of it, he or she should be able to call on these ideas in increasingly improvisational and hence musical ways. 

The books will be very useful in learning these specifically important Jazz progressions in every key, which practically every Jazz teacher tells me I should do! Many years of Jazz music-theory training gives me enough insight to recognize that the given examples will be very useful tools in gaining a good grasp of the melodic nature of walking bass lines. Additionally, the appearance and lay-out are comfortable to look-at, which makes it all easier to read; and I like the Jazz fonts!”

The Jazzer

First of all, the title is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, there are transcriptions of Blues in all twelve keys. The transcriptions are 3 to 5 pages each. But what the beginning to intermediate bassist will find most usefull are the 33 pages, at the beginning of the book, demonstrating the various devices that Jazz Bassists use to construct effective bass lines. The Advanced player will welcome the books interesting exercises to use for keeping the chops up. 

Steven Moody, the author, guides the reader through exercises including Chromatic Approaches, Dominant 7th Chords, Harmonic anticipation, Voice leading tones, and Tri-Tone Substitution. Mr. Moody’s book gives clearly written directions of the various techniques,followed by bass clef progressions that detail the examples. All the examples are interesting and go beyond the usual straight 4 beats to the bar that unfortunately fill up many of the books that I’ve purchased. I can see that this book will end up as dog-eared and ragged as my copy of Simandl, from repeated use.

Richard

 

I should take you a picture of the
stack of bass books I have, but I have never been able to retain or
understand how lines are constructed, how modes work, etc.  The progression
of information you are presenting has made very clear what has been a fog to
me for years, and I am excited to be opening the door I have been standing
in front of since I was a teenager
. ” 

Jon

 

I recently purchased Book I , it is the one I wanted.  So I

 am looking forward to being the Book II will be available.

” I understand Book II will be released soon.  Since I live in Japan, I hope

 Book II will be available on Amazon.co.jp soon.

 ” I recently purchased book II from amazom.co.jp, and it is also good book for me.

Hideo  Japan 

Excellent book to get you grounded in walking bass lines. Clear technical explanations, good examples.
Recommended
. “

Stinkfoot

“This book had a lot more information and was way more advanced than I expected. It’s the most comprehensive jazz bass book I’ve found to date. I’ve been working out of several books for the last year or so, but this is going to be my focus for the foreseeable future. I will definitely be getting the others in the series”.

S Price

“After deciding last year to focus on jazz as my main genre, I ordered Steven’s books after reading the preview pages. Though walking basics and theory aren’t new to me, book 1 lays a solid foundation. For those who have gone through other walking books such as Ed Friedland’s. Many of the concepts will be familiar to you, Steven goes into a little more detail.

Having fully written lines, you’re able to see and analysis how and why the lines work. Which goes a long way when writing out your own lines or using chord charts. I also appreciate that the first section is centred around one key. It has helped me adjust to my fret-less again. The use of different rhythmic variation is a good touch as well.

Part 2 of the book and working through all twelve keys can be quite a task. It has helped me brush up on my sight reading, something I haven’t actively done for many years. If you can’t read standard notation, TAB versions are also available, which sets the book apart. The available MP3 backing tracks are also a great tool. I like the fact they quite long, allowing you to more easily put things into practice.

Overall I’m very impressed with the series so far. I would highly recommend book 1 to anyone who’s interested in jazz. For those like me who have used Friedland’s book. I feel Steve’s are an excellent continuation of knowledge. For absolute beginners or those without basic music theory. Things may be a little more challenging at first. The official website has a forum, where you can sign up and get help from Steven himself and the other members.

I can foresee using the book for years to come. Keep up the good work Steve.. looking forward to the release of book V.”

R. Blythin

“Book one of Constructing Walking Bass Lines focuses on the blues. It’s a great starting place for the beginning jazz bassist. The first chapter covers over a dozen ways to approach a walking bass line. Numerous examples of these devices are given throughout the chapter while incorporating basic jazz theory and examples of smooth voice leading on the instrument. 

The second chapter simply makes practical use of all of these techniques combined within the blues in every key ascending chromatically. 

The bassist will not only build endurance and facility in every key from these exercises, but will also develop their own sound on the instrument. This book demonstrates many ideas and techniques that could be an impetus for developing ones own sound. 

It is unrestricted, leaving the player to his or her own creativity while providing a basis of support to the soloist. I would recommend this book to any bassist interested in jazz. It is the perfect tool for the advancing bass player or for music educators with talented young bassists in their band”.

NHM

” An “Absolute must have” Hands down!! The series delivers on how to walk the walk and talk the talk -Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines, Book 1: Walking Bass Lines- The Blues in 12 Keys Upright Bass and Electric Bass Method [Paperback], and all of Mr Mooneys Series. Prepares any bassist to compete in the highly competitive music business as a Jazz Bassist. My hat goes off to you Sir, your text should be reguired reading for any aspiring bassist “

“A Masterpiece, ” A Must Have” for any aspiring Jazz Bassist or Jazz Pianist. Once again ,Mr Mooney delivers!! Clearly outlines the language of our jazz harmonic foundation. Demonstrates how to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk”.

Danny

 

Rhythm Changes in 12 Keys - Book II

It’s nice that you covered so many variations on the  basic A part progression of Rhythm Changes, since that’s the way the the song  really gets played… and to write-out all the bass lines instead of just the  chord symbols.  This lets the student learn the actual melodic motion of  bass lines in the way that they are really used.  

The use of scale-type  phrases, chromatic lines, occasional wide interval leaps, and rhythmic  variations (such as quarter-note triplets and dotted-eighth/sixteenth notes)  …all in context… really puts it all in proper perspective.  It shows  how those devices are actually used!  That’s the stuff people learn-from  through specific examples!  Then once the student gets the hang of it,  one should be able to call on these ideas in increasingly improvisational and  hence musical ways.” 

Doug

Standard Lines - Book III

” I bought three of Steven’s books – this one, “Blues in 12 Keys”, and “Rhythm Changes” – and they are all excellent. The theory of bass line construction is clearly presented, but more importantly (to me) there are enough examples to put the theory in a musical context. Getting from one chord to the next is only the beginning; a really good bass line has a theme that is developed over the whole form of the song. The examples in these books are really good for that. I feel like my vocabulary has gotten bigger and my lines are sounding much better already, and I’m barely halfway through the book. 

If you are an absolute beginner this book might be too challenging, ~  for an intermediate player (or a brave beginner) there is a lot here that will really help you get to the next level. For less than the price of one private lesson, it’s a no-brainer. Buy it. “

David

Standard Lines 

is the 3rd installment of Steven Mooney’s “Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines” series. Here’s hoping it is far from the last. The book details many techniques that are a revelation to the aspiring bassist, and a good review for the advanced musician. For example Part 1 starts, innoculously enough, with the subject “How to Construct the Triads off the 
major scale”. Mr Mooney walks the reader through that subject detailing both the notes for the triads used and a nicely done example.

Mr Mooney also goes into depth here by explaining chromatic approaches walks up and down. In the next section, we find the Scalar approach, which details the technique for the bassists usage of using scales as a foundation as opposed to triads. 
Part 2 outlines the use of Symmetric and Melodic Minor scales.

Diminished and Whole tone scales are covered for the avid reader. Part 3 covers Be Bop Scales. Is Hip Hop the grandchild of Be Bop? Someone should answer that burning question, but I don’t expect Mr. Mooney to do so. He applies himself quite well to the serious subjects at hand. Part 4 is Jazz Bass line examples over Standard Jazz Chord Construction. In this section we find exercises for the bassist that are both challenging and therefore interesting for all bassists. 
Mr. Mooney’s latest book is a must read for all of us who ply the “Dark Strings”. I keep opening all three of his books for education and fun playing. I’m sure you will also.”

Richard

“This is by far the most concise and exhaustive series of its kind. I highly recommend this and the other four books as well. Steven was very quick to respond to my email requesting the backing tracks.”

Kevin

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