How do I know which Book I need?

Which Book to get? Are they the same?

A reader asked:

I am looking at getting your new Pattern System book on Amazon. Would I also want to get the “Music Theory for the Bass Player” book? Or does the Pattern System book encompass everything in the previous book and more?

This question makes a lot of sense and I am happy to answer. After all, in Music Theory for the Bass Player I promise confidence and freedom when understanding theory as fretboard shapes. So why another book on patterns?

Because understanding theory and the patterns that music makes, and how it is put together is step one.

The next step is to practice it

  • systematically
  • in all keys
  • all over the fretboard
  • using improvisation to make it yours
  • using mental practice to make it stick

I wish I could tell you that this precise practice is not needed. Or that just by knowing a scale from the root to the root means you know how to use it creatively in a band situation. But that is not the case. Most books and methods stop right there, maybe with an admonishment to “go practice this in all keys now”. I had to take it much further. There is a systematic way that illuminates the shapes of music that I call the Five Magic Patterns (and the patterns within those patterns). I show you exactly what to practice and how.

I can promise you an amazing ride.

The Pattern System is the book I always wanted to write. And because I didn’t want to lose anyone when using theory terms, I needed to add a “short intro” with these details. Well, after 180 pages it was clear that this constituted its own book.

But the two books are very different and in a nutshell there is zero redundancy.

Here is how you know whether you need both:

  • Do you know what a diminished fifth is? 
  • How to play a C7 chord?
  • How about D lydian? Eb dorian?
  • F major pentatonic and the F minor pentatonic?
  • Do you know the key signature of F# major?
  • What are the notes of a C# major scale?
  • What’s a sixth descending from D?
  • What is the mother key of C# locrian?
  • Name the diatonic cycle in the key of G# minor

If you know the answer to such questions you do not need the theory book and can go straight to The Pattern System book.

If you don’t know these answers, then I recommend you get both books and start with Music Theory for the Bass Player. That will solidify your knowledge of theory which you will need because that knowledge is NOT in the new book and I reference theory items throughout The Pattern System book.

In simplest terms, Music Theory for the Bass Player (Book 1) can be considered a prerequisite for The Pattern System.

So if you already know your theory including the diatonic cycle you can go straight to the Pattern Book.

More info about Ari’s new book:

Get our new Book on Amazon now. Click your country!

US  •  UK  •  Germany  •  France  •  Spain  •  Italy  •  Australia •  Canada  •  Japan

There are a limited number of Spiral Bound books remaining – and only in US. We recommend ordering the regular book and taking it to a local printer (eg Staples, Kinkos) and they can cut off spine and insert the spiral binding while you wait- and usually for less that $10.

Join a Practice Group working through the new book with Ari

We have Practice Groups going through the Pattern System Book starting every few months! Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

What is the Difference between a Triad and an Arpeggio

I love questions. They reflect the state of understanding of our course participants and students.

And I love watching the answers come in on our Facebook Group when the question is posted there. Some spot-on, but others adding more to the confusion revealing why precise and careful instruction is needed.

After an epic thread that contained some answers that were on top of it such as the one from our friend Mark Smith, we also had plenty of other answers that weren’t quite as accurate and may have muddied the waters a bit for our questioner.

Particularly this one, which we had in several versions:

If it is a triad, it’s three notes. If you play an arpeggio, you always add the seventh on top. (fact-check: not so)

So I made this quick video to clarify things:


difference triad and chord

Both are C major triads.

First one is played as a chord.

The second one as an arpeggio (you can also say it is “arpeggiated”).

Many ways exist to play a triad as a single chord (voicings, order of notes, inversions, what octaves… etc) and many ways exist to arpeggiate a triad, but the principle as shown above, remains the same.

Keep the questions coming!

Our questioner is part of our Cohort Course. Learn more about this unique learning experience!

The New Book is up on Amazon!

Now Available on Amazon!

Four years to write and 20 years in the making, my new Pattern System for the Bass Player – Sharpen Your Musical Mind through Fretboard Proficiency, Improvisation and Mental Practice is now available on Amazon!

What is The Pattern System? 

  • Is it just moving shapes up and down the fretboard? 
  • Is it the seven-string bass method? Is it just another version of the CAGED concept? 
  • Is it just the modes? 
  • Oh, I know those five patterns you mention! I don’t need to read this book then, right? 
  • Is this just TAB? 
  • Are you saying if I study this, I don’t need to know theory? 
  • Or that I don’t need to learn how to read notation? 
  • Is this a magic bullet, so I don’t have to practice?

None of the above! 

The Pattern System is a comprehensive, step-by-step method that at a quick glance — trains you in the mastery of the fretboard by showing you a well-thought-out system based on five basic scale shapes. 

At its core, The Pattern System teaches you how to think music and effortlessly translate it onto the bass. The scales, arpeggios, intervals, etc., are just the tools we use for this training. As you put this method into practice, you will gain deep confidence and previously elusive freedom: 

  • Your understanding of the instrument will reach a whole new dimension. 
  • As we explore patterns within patterns, you will train your musical mind to recognize and freely apply the patterns of music itself. 
  • Music theory shapes such as scales, arpeggios and common chord progressions will literally be at your fingertips:
    • In all keys
    • In all areas of the bass
    • Without looking at the fretboard or your hands
  • Your technique will soar
  • Your new improvisation skills will surprise you.

Learn to Think Ahead in Time!

The Pattern System teaches you to think ahead “in time.” Think about the power and importance of that for a moment — being able to think ahead while the beat keeps going. This will make your timing much more solid, your improvisation more exciting, and your grooves and fills more creative. Rather than chasing the music, you will now be on top of it. With that comes less stress, more relaxation, better accuracy and a more purposeful tone – things we all strive for!

And because this system incorporates mental practice techniques, it trains you to practice with stunning efficiency. 

  • It will teach you how to listen to yourself. 
  • It will help the self-directed learner how to become his/her own coach. 
  • This method builds awareness, discipline, and determination. 
  • Some even say the study of this method builds character.

Fact: I have never seen a student whose playing was not vastly improved through the study of this method. You’ll learn a very effective approach to practicing as well. Even if you do just a part of it, your playing and way of practicing will benefit. 

You may think the claims above are exaggerated. Or you may think you don’t need this book because you already know scales and arpeggios. All I ask is that you give it a serious try. Work with it for a few weeks, following the prescriptions precisely and allow yourself to be surprised by the results. 

I want to caution you on one point with this method: It cannot be easily explained in a sentence or two. Rather, it needs to be experienced to truly understand it.

Here’s what a few industry pros had to say:

“Ariane’s The Pattern System for the Bass Player is a landmark book! It presents a wealth of musical information with a thoughtful, systematic approach, designed to guide any student through the process of learning to create music with the bass. It is comprehensive and well organized, using a holistic learning paradigm aimed at developing the full constellation of skills involved in music making. I not only very highly recommend it, I’ll be using it myself!”

Michael Manring – Solo Bass Pioneer

“Want to get comfortable with scales, phrases and the the entire fingerboard of you bass guitar!? Pick up this book. A compelling study for anyone looking to get vital insight in organizing and revealing harmonic knowledge.”

Jimmy Haslip – Bassist, Co-Founder of Yellowjackets

“Anyone can show you a scale shape but it takes a master teacher like Ariane to help you unlock the true creative potential of scales and melodic patterns.”

Rob Smith – Bassist, Educator


Who this book is for:

  • Bass players who long to express themselves freely on their instrument 
  • Those who want to play effortlessly in all keys 
  • Those who are open-minded and have a bit of discipline 
  • Those who believe that practicing and playing music can be satisfying and meditative (I will help you get there in this book.) 
  • Anyone who has an interest in acquiring a thorough knowledge of the notes on the fretboard 
  • Professionals, university students, or aspiring pros who want to be equally confident in any key, anywhere on the bass 
  • Hobbyists who want to improve 
  • Purely intuitive players who’d like to study applied music theory

Sound like you?

Order the Book Now

Hop over to Amazon to get your copy and prepare for a legitimate breakthrough in your playing!












What about Spiral Bound?

A few are still available in the US, but running very low.

This book is 330 pages and it really helps to have it lie flat on the music stand. If spiral bound is not offered in your country or if we run out, take your new perfect bound copy to a print shop or mailing place (Fedex, Kinko’s, Staples or similar. Any place that makes copies and sends faxes can do this). Ask them to cut off the spine and put coil binding or spiral binding in. We designed the book with this in mind, so all pages will come out perfectly.



Pattern System for the Bass Player on Amazon

“Over the years, Ariane Cap has quickly become one of my favorite bass educators. 

Her new epic volume the Pattern System for the Bass Player presents a unique all-round approach to the essential integration of rock solid basics. 

Her method comes embedded with a clever road-map skillfully nudging you along the often tricky road towards creative freedom. 

While there are many excellent books available on the subject, Ari’s work in addition stands out in its careful attention to the psychological aspects of practicing. 

The delicate balance between the WHAT and the HOW of practicing has been masterfully accomplished. 

In practical terms her approach will bring you much clarity and save you valuable time by uncovering hidden patterns, allowing you to discover the simplicity inside the world of often intimidating musical complexity. All of this comes wrapped in fun graphics and plenty of TLC. 

Before you know it you’ll find yourself skipping a movie night with this awesome book !” 

Kai Eckhardt – Composer, Bassist 

A Cohort. A Co-what?

I get a lot of questions about our Cohort. What of all things is that? So let me take a minute to walk you through the answer.

What is this Co-hort Thing? And how did it come about?

It all started with my best-selling and highly-regarded book, Music Theory for the Bass Player – A Comprehensive and Hands-on Guide to Playing with More Confidence and Freedom. It is a comprehensive and step by step approach to learning music theory – optimized for the bass player who already knows a few songs and grooves but is curious how music is put together and how it all works.

After it had been out for awhile, a lot of readers asked for “more”. So me and my partner Wolf created an online course based on the book- taking each lesson much deeper, with applications and musical exercises, as well as technique, fretboard knowledge and styles analysis. And packed it with 130 PDFs and 130 jam tracks! Once again, we received lots of positive feedback on how the course is presented in a systematic, easy-to-follow manner, and how rich and layered the material is in terms of theory and its practical application on the fretboard (where it counts!). 

Then we heard from some participants who said they made it part way through and though they loved it, they felt a bit lonely on their own and had a bit of a hard time sticking with it. This is a frequent experience in the online learning space. So I wanted to help. 

Enter: The Cohort.

I remembered and drew on my quite extensive coaching background (NLP Master Trainer, Tiny Habits Coach™ and extensive training with a Marshall Goldsmith coach, Michael Beale). I also intently listened to our students – you can learn a lot of things by tapping into the talented pool of successful students around you – whether they email you with great ideas out of the blue (now our head coach Fred Pucci), come say hello at a live concert (our coach BP!), or whether they are students answering our surveys and milestone questionnaires. 

After several tests and building and re-building of the tech, we are now ready to start our fourth Cohort!

How can the Cohort help me?

The Cohort is a very special version of the Music Theory for the Bass Player online course in that you do the course together with a group of peers and a dedicated coach to encourage you throughout the 40-week journey. If you need a bit of help making your way through an online course on your own, the community, the group setting, the accountability will make all the difference in the world for you. Every week you submit homework – we keep it doable, nothing out of reach, but we make sure you keep moving along! If you have 45 minutes five times a week that you can dedicate to this cohort, you are golden and will be very successful!

What others are saying about the Cohort

Here’s a small sample of what recent Cohort graduates have to say about the Cohort:

There is something very powerful about making a public commitment and then following it up with a recording of that exercise… and the video you record is incredibly eye-opening!  (Fred P)

Amazed, shocked and stunned at the amount I have learned!”  (Carmie H)

 The Cohort is excellent and I can honestly say I have played for a minimum of 30 minutes each day since it started. Everyone is so friendly and supportive. I feel like I have improved more in 4 weeks than I did in the last 4 months!  (Chris D)

Never seen anything so productive” (JD M)

If you:

  • like learning with others; 
  • thrive on accountability
  • realize that when you show up you show up not just for yourself but for everybody else too
  • are ready to up your game

Then the Cohort is for you.

When does it Start?

Please subscribe to our newsletter to be in the know.

We offer various levels of support including additional practice groups.

Here is more info.