I reviewed the Bass Tab White Pages recently- a good relatively inexpensive source of pretty accurate bassline transcriptions.
As well as the White Pages, Hal Leonard also publish a series of 5 ‘bibles’ – each book is genre specific. This is the second book of those 5 bibles that I’ve looked at.
I purchased this book a year or so ago at the same time as I got the R’n’B Bass Bible – and for a similar reason, namely it’s got some great tunes that all the dance bands in the UK play as part of their repertoire. Additionally it’s got some funk/fusions tunes in too, so if you’re working on your slapping chops you can take them for a spin on some great slap tunes!
The Funk Bass Bible is 260 pages or so and feature’s the following 32 tunes: Brick House, Can You Handle It, Car Wash, Cissy Strut, Cold Sweat, Dazz, Do It, Dr Funkenstein, Fantastic Voyage, Fight the Power, Fire, Funk 9, Get Off, Give It Away, Higher Ground, I Wish, Le Freak, Let’s Groove, Lopsy Lu, Love Games, Love Rollercoaster, Low Rider, Mr Big Stuff, Pick Up The Pieces, Power, Run for Cover, Sex in a Pan, Stay, Stay With Me Tonight, Sumthin’ Sumthin’, Super Freak, Word Up.
Unlike the Pop Rock Bass Bible, the focus here is much tighter. Nearly all the tunes are mid to late 60s classics. The majority of them are easy to intermediate standard, but there are 3 or 4 advanced tunes (Bernadette anyone?) – as I stated earlier in the review
Unlike the Bass Tab White Pages, Hal Leonard’s Bass Bible series are all printed on decent quality paper. But like the White Pages, the book doesn’t come in a spiral bound form – which means it’s utterly useless on a music stand so you’ve either got to break the spine of the book to make it stand on a music stand, or break the spine to photocopy the pages you want to put them on a music stand.
WHEN WILL MUSIC PUBLISHERS LEARN THAT THICK MUSIC BOOKS NEED TO BE SPIRAL BOUND? (Uh, probably never dude. )
The tunes covered in the book range from easy to some freaking hard tunes – plus some of those slapping tunes are hard to pick up and get all the nuances down. Those take a lot of work. The Funk Bass Bible is $19.95 – so it’s a couple of bucks more expensive than its little brothers – for me it’s a book that if I’d not bought I probably wouldn’t have missed owning (if that makes sense?). But if you’re got the funk – or think you’re coming down with it – it’s a pretty good introduction to a wide cross section of styles from James Brown right up to Marcus, Stanley and Victor (no Rocco though!).