Hal Leonard

Essential Elements Bass Book Set with Audio and Video Tracks

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  • Essential Elements Bass Book Set with Audio and Video Tracks, covers
  • Essential Elements Bass Book Set with Audio and Video Tracks, example page
  • Essential Elements Bass Book Set with Audio and Video Tracks, example page
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If you ask, I will always suggest that you start your upright bass adventures by studying with an experienced and schooled teacher. However, I recognize that both geography and cost can get in the way of that method, as quality teachers are not so easy to find in every nook and cranny of the world. I've been looking for a competent, thorough method for String Bass for quite some time. At long last, I am very happy to say I have found a very special package — and at a ridiculously low price.

These three books are an excellent series with all the elements needed for a new player, as well as someone who started to learn the bass on their own. It's extremely important to get the fundamentals down right, because "winging it" can result in poor habits that will limit your ability to advance. Learning the proper techniques can make an awesome difference in the quality of your sound! Finally, instead of the usual method books seemingly aimed at eight year olds, this series is intelligently written, well-illustrated, thorough, detailed, and does not talk down to you!

Essential Elements now includes Essential Elements Interactive (EEi), the ultimate online music education resource. EEi introduces the first-ever, easy set of technology tools for online teaching, learning, assessment, and communication. The included online content clearly illustrates some the basics to get you on the right road for success. The Music Studio lets you play along with the audio tracks — the same selections that are in the book — so you can learn by listening as well as playing.

Learning to read music is not brain surgery, and the best way to advance in music is to understand it. These books use standard notation, not tab, and you will be able to learn or enhance your ability to play by reading music. It's painless and surprisingly easy; the authors of this series have done a very nice job IMHO. The include fingering charts to coordinate with the music, which also includes fingering when appropriate. Of course, they eventually get into keys, rhythms, special techniques, musical terminology, and more! And if you are also a bass guitarist, most of what you learn here for upright bass will apply since both instruments are notated the same way.

But before I go, let me repeat my original comment: if you can get a qualified, schooled teacher to work with you with these books (or materials of their own selection), please do so.

The complete set includes Books 1, 2 and 3 - each book is 48 pages, with photos, illustrations, index, music exercises, songs, tips, and more. But it now also features FREE access to "EEI" (Essential Elements Interactive) which includes the following:

  • Lots of Downloadable Content and Resources
    • Newly updated HD Videos with extensive pedagogical lessons
    • Individual Studies for all instruments
    • Music Theory lessons and worksheets
    • Instrument Training Worksheets
    • Additional Music including songs, duets, and trios
  • Music Studio
    • Professional Soloists demonstrating each exercise in the book
    • Multiple Accompaniment Styles for each exercise, performed by professional musicians
    • Recording Feature to share music with teachers, friends, and relatives
    • Tempo Control for more effective learning and practice
    • EEi Practice Tools including built-in metronome, tuner, and fingering charts
    • Easy-to-use Interface to make playing, recording, and sharing simple and fun

More information about EEI can be found here: Essential Elements Interactive (link goes to the publisher's site)

Images from Video:

The images here are actual screen captures from an instructional video; it provides visual reinforcement on simple (but important!) matters such as holding the bass, posture, finger positioning, hand shaping, and pizzicato and arco technique. It's well lit, with multiple angles and well-done menu features for ease of navigating the DVD.

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