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Scott (Inst. of Contemporary Music Performance, London) has written an informative, practical, and visually attractive how-to guide for learning to play the bass guitar. Beginning with bass parts, the history of the bass, tuning, warming up, and music tablature, Scott methodically introduces the bassist-reader to his or her instrument. Every page includes illustrative color photographs, and each section offers a "Must Know" or "Want To Know More" sidebar. The accompanying music CD, with 99 play-along exercises, is particularly useful and includes percussion. Scott covers a variety of musical styles and rhythms from rock 'n' roll, doo-wop, and country to jazz, swing, and reggae. He concludes with riffs in the style of bass legends like Paul McCartney, Sting, John Entwistle, Charles Mingus, and Carol Kaye.
Chiavaro, a New York City-based musician, has worked as a session musician for several famous producers, including Phil Ramone (Billy Joel), Jack Douglas (Aerosmith), and Brian Harding (Jennifer Lopez). Here, he provides a more thorough, technical approach than Scott and delves deeper into proper technique, position, the fundamentals of music tablature, music theory, scales, and special techniques. Using a private music lesson as his format, Chiavaro instructs his bassists to read each chapter and then follow along with his instructional DVD to practice. Both Scott and Chiavaro encourage their readers to find a good instructor to help them advance. Scott's highly readable guide will appeal to a wider audience, including music aficionados who want to learn more about the bass, while Chiavaro's book is best suited to the serious music student who wants to devote time to thefundamentals. Both titles are highly recommended.
—Elizabeth M. Wavle