Log into your courses

Music Theory for the Bass Player

This book is available worldwide on Amazon and in most online retail stores. This book is also available as an ebook on kobo, apple, and google books. See below for details.

Introducing: Music Theory for the Bass Player

Note: Buy this book new rather than used:

  • it is a workbook – there are spaces provided for you to write answers. These exercises are great to help your understanding. I suggest you do them!
  • Original versions had a few typos. New versions have these typos corrected!

The latest version available at the time of this writing has a red flag on the upper right corner of the cover, see the arrow. The publishing date will always say “August 2015”, reflecting the original publishing date. The source files, however, are continually updated.

Bass Player, learn Music Theory

Have you always wanted to learn music theory but felt it was too overwhelming a task? Perhaps all the books seem to be geared toward pianists or classical players? Do you know lots of songs, but don’t know how the chords are put together or how they work with the melody? If so, this is the bass guitar book for you!
Starting with intervals as music’s basic building blocks, you will explore scales and their modes, chords and the basics of harmony. Packed with fretboard diagrams, musical examples and exercises, more than 180 pages of vital information are peppered with mind-bending quizzes, effective mnemonics, and compelling learning approaches. Extensive and detailed photo demonstrations show why relaxed posture and optimized fingering are vital for good tone, timing and chops on the bass guitar. You can even work your way through the book without being able to read music!

Music Theory for the Bass Player is a comprehensive and immediately applicable guide to making you a well-grounded groover, informed bandmate and all-around more creative musician. This is the definitive resource book for the enthusiastic bassist!

Interactive Learning

Ari’s Bass Blog demonstrates exercises, concepts and examples described in Music Theory for the Bass Player. 89 videos stream from this website. Sign up for free access and see concepts demonstrated.

The new Music Theory for the Bass Player Wall Chart is a great additional tool that will help you keep the most important learnings from the book fresh in your mind!

The book is a complete, stand-alone resource. If you want to go beyond the pages and put the content to further creative use: check out the online Course:

Ari’s Course – Music Theory for the Bass Player coaches you through the book (applications of theory in grooves) and goes way beyond the theory guiding you through technique exercises and helping you by applying the knowledge.

Learn theory once and for all, Bass Player. This well-rounded book/course/wall chart combo will guide you though! Ari will be with you every step of the way!

Note: You do not need to be able to read score or TAB to follow along this book. The author believes that learning to read – while a vitally important skill – is a different skill than music theory. Once the theory is understood, learning to read becomes much easier. Please read this blog post for more information.

Where to get the Book?

The print version of the book Music Theory for the Bass Player is available on Amazon, at http://www.indiebound.org, at Barnes and Noble and other major outlets.

Check the direct links for your country’s Amazon above!

The ebook is available at Apple books, Kobo, in the Google Playstore and via many other ebook distributors.

Spiral bound – lies flat on your music stand! Order on Amazon .

eBook – order on iTunesGoogle Play Scribd or Kobo

Please support your local book stores!

Bookstores can order Music Theory for the Bass Player by referencing the Gardners catalogue.

Stores carrying the book:
Bananas at Large in Santa Rosa
Bananas at Large in San Rafael
The California Jazz Conservatory AKA The Jazz School – Bookstore

Customers in Australia may buy or order the book here.

Paul Sips – Bass Matters in Nijmegen

Die Klangfarbe Wien

Spiral binding

spiral boun music theory for the bass player spiralboundAll of our books are available in spiral binding that conveniently lies flat on a music stand. 
Music Theory Book:
If out of stock on Amazon, check our store.


Pattern System Book: 
If out of stock on Amazon, check our store.

Note: to avoid the higher price tag of spiral bound books or if you already bought the perfect bound version: I recommend you go to a print shop (FEDEX, Office Max, UPS) and ask for the spine to be cut off and coil binding put in. They often do this while you wait.  

Don’t miss our super shipping saver at our store! – Both books, spiralbound!!

The next step

The follow-up work to this book – The Pattern System for the Bass Player – Sharpen Your Musical Mind Through Fretboard Proficiency, Improvisation, and Mental Practice is available on Amazon as well. The Pattern System Book starts where the Music Theory book leaves off. There is zero redundancy between the books. Prerequisite for the Pattern System book is music theory knowledge, so Music Theory for the Bass player is the perfect first book and the Pattern System Book the erfect second (or foundational music Theory knowledge).

Music Theory for the Bass Player is available worldwide in these formats:

Perfect bound  – best place to order: Amazon (free shipping with prime) or The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide).

Spiral bound – lies flat on your music stand! Order on Amazon .

eBook – order on iTunesGoogle Play Scribd or Kobo