It's a well established fact that bass players must have command of a broad range of styles to stand out, work steady and get the big gigs. Ask any top bass player and they’ll also tell you that contemporary jazz, rock, soul, R&B, gospel, country and all of their derivatives root back to the blues in one way or another. In short, bass players MUST have a deep bag of blues chops and that’s exactly what Andrew Ford will help you develop with this Blues Bass Survival Guide.
“Blues is that one style of music that every bass player should aspire to play well. Bass players need to know how to play shuffles, funky blues, rocking blues, New Orleans-style blues, jazz-style blues, waltzes, soulful blues and many, many other varieties. With the blues, bass players drive the truck — we’re not only holding down the groove rhythmically with the drummer, we’re also playing melody and harmony in our bass lines, especially in a trio setting.”
As Albert King said, "Start at the roots to develop the fruits.” Throughout the Blues Bass Survival Guide, Andrew guides your exploration of the rich heritage of blues grooves and bass lines that originated with artists like Son House, Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton followed by artists like Willie Dixon, B.B. King, Albert King, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker who in turn influenced today’s blues artists like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Robben Ford and many others.
Andrew organized Blues Bass Survival Guide into two sections. In SECTION 1, you’ll work through 30 essential concepts and techniques that are perquisite to mastering the blues: Basic 12 Bar Form, Triplet Rhythm, Shuffle Triplet Rhythm, Long & Short Shuffles, Simplified Notation, Simple Triad Patterns, Dominant 7th Chord, Mixolydian Mode, Basic Box Shape, Connecting the Dots, Adding the 6, Adding the b7, Walking Shuffle, Pentatonic Scales, Blues Scale, Muting, The Pivot, Chromatic Leading Tones, Double Stops, Alternate Forms, Intros, Breaks, Endings, Turnarounds, Straight 8th R&B Feel, Rock Feel, Jazz Progressions, Minor Blues, Rhumba Patterns, 12/8 Feel, 2 Beat Feel and the Funk Slap Style.
In SECTION 2, you’ll have a blast applying all 30 of those essential concepts and techniques across 19 Bass Studies covering the full spectrum of blues feels and grooves: Jig Saw #1 (Rumba feel with New Orleans vibe), Jig Saw #2 (Another Rumba with more syncopation), All Boxed Up (up-tempo SRV-type shuffle), Tee Boogie (straight 8th Texas-style feel), Rob’s Road (Crossroads riff-based groove), Cheap Thrill #1 (minor blues groove), Cheap Thrill #2 (minor blues with more syncopation), Ray’s Woman (two-beat blues), Scufflin’ Up (medium-tempo quarter-note shuffle), Satterday Night (12/8 blues), Stormin’ (Stormy Monday-type blues), Red’s Groove (medium jazz blues), Miss Molly (up-tempo boogie woogie), Slow Burn (12/8 blues), Blues for Willie (unison riff-style), Red White & Blues (funky 12/8 blues groove), It’s Not All Blues (blues in 3/4 time with a jazz waltz feel), Hop Skip Jump (up-tempo jump blues) and The Rev and Wine on the House (soulful blues).
For each of the 19 Bass Studies, Andrew first overviews the concepts and techniques that will be employed in the study, and then demonstrates the bass part over a rhythm track, which is designed to showcase those particular concepts and techniques in a real world musical context.
After the performance examples, Andrew breaks down the bass parts technique-by-technique, line-by-line. Use the performance video, breakdown and supplied tab/notation to learn the part as performed. Next step is playing the bass parts by yourself over the supplied rhythm tracks. The final step, and the mission of this learning experience, is to integrate Andrew’s key concepts, techniques and grooves into your playing.