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with Ari

The path for bass players

by Ariane Cap and Wolf Wein

Study Theory the Ari Way and play with more confidence and freedom


How is this way of learning theory revolutionary?

Ari’s Theory methods have transformed the playing of tenths of thousands of bassists. Her theory book sports over 1500 reviews and an overall 4.7 star rating on Amazon. Ari’s approach to theory is very different.

Ari wrote Music Theory for the Bass Player because she noticed something striking in many bassists: many intermediate self-taught bassists who teach themselves through learning songs via TAB tend to reach a very typical plateau: they find themselves stuck feeling like a copycat; they long to be more creative and free all across the fretboard, add interesting fills, create their own grooves!! Most importantly, they want the thrill of agency and self expression! (All this is true for beginners, too, btw!)

Typically there comes a moment when they realize that theory could maybe be a key to deeper knowledge and understanding. But when cracking open a typical theory book they are in for a bad surprise… 

Study Theory the Ari Way and play with more confidence and freedom

Most theory books:

  • start with teaching pitch reading (including treble clef) – a turn-off for most ear players who are happily fretboard-oriented

  • include rhythm teaching (including notating of rhythm) – rhythm is an important topic for bassists warranting a different book and method

  • start with the major scale on the piano – typically in C. C is not a great key on bass and scales are conceptualized very differently on the bass fretboard than on the piano keyboard (where each note occurs only once!)

  • can be perceived as all brainy and theoretical and include things such as “mediants” or rules such as “avoiding parallel fifths” that won’t be helpful or needed for a typical bass player looking to improve their (band) playing!

  • Jazz theory books (which are great for jazz!) often thoroughly overwhelm a typical player as these books assume a lot of fundamental theory knowledge (chords, extensions, alterations, melodic minor modes) without explaining them.

  • Most method books give theory a casual brush explaining some terms in one single key. This leaves most with a dangerous illusion of knowing, one that can be fun in the Facebook comment section, but useless on the band stand or when you are playing a groove or solo.

  • Usually there are no sound examples or demonstrations

These approaches frustrate many players because they take them away from the fretboard, they overwhelm them or take them on unnecessary tangents.

They also do not at all pay tribute to the fact that in order for theory to have meaning it must be practiced on the fretboard!

Music Theory for the bass player spiral bound Ariane Cap Ari Cap arisbassblogAri’s Theory book:

  • start with with shapes on the fretboard (this is a very empowering experience for those with song playing experience and a great start for a novice). No need to forget all you know and start to learn to read first. Use what you know and dive in!
  • understands that learning to read – rhythms and pitches – are vital skills that are best learned after you know theory on the fretboard. It makes learning to read much much easier!
  • uncovers an awesome secret about learning theory as shapes: if you learn a theory item as a “shape on the fretboard” and combine it with good fingering (and good technique while you are at it!) you transformed a complex, disconnected theory item into an understandable, familiar sounding shape on the fretboard.  Players often miss this because they don’t understand how the fretboard works and don’t keep fingerings consistent.
  • makes you feel like you discover theory on your own! For example, in Ari’s book, after understanding how the fretboard works you learn a few simple principles and rules. If you understood them, you can create the dreaded “Cycle of Fifths” for yourself and experience deeply why and how it is useful!
  • If you add what it sounds like to the mix and practice it all through improvisation and putting it into action in a variety of keys and contexts, you have yourself a fantastic learning program!
  • Ari’s book comes with 89 demo videos!
  • Tests your knowledge through challenging “Test Your Understanding” questions


 The Theory book is the perfect foundation for Ari and Wolf’s follow up book “The Pattern System for the Bass Player” which takes these basics to an entirely new level by practicing musical shapes all over the fretboard while training the musical mind. If you want to play truly freely and with confidence, Ari’s path is the way!

Check out ways to learn Theory with Ari

Since the book became such a smashing success, Ari has created an in-depth course that goes with it together with her own teacher, Wolf Wein, fortified that course with group and coaching support (called “The Theory Cohort”) and created a few smaller teaser courses to allow you to learn about Ari’s bass theory methods in a variety of ways.

Puts Theory at your fingertips

⚫️ An encyclopedia of Music Theory's basic building blocks, in easy-to-understand fretboard diagrams and demonstrated in bite-size videos

⚫️ Engaging Test Your Understanding questions, examples and technique drills make theory meaningful for your playing situations

⚫️ This book puts Theory on the fretboard where you need it


For your practice room wall

⚫️ The most important fundamentals you learned from the book at a single glance so you keep the basics top of mind

⚫️ Tutorial videos on how to use it for short daily drills

⚫️ Staring at the Wall has never been so productive


Go far beyond the book:
our 20 Unit course

⚫️ In order to internalize theory you must practice it step by step, in various contexts, complete with technique exercises (we call them finger kung fus).

⚫️ In this 20-unit course you put the theory building blocks from the book into action and you get theory not just under your fingers, but into your musical mind.

⚫️ Ari and Wolf's flagship course goes through the book and far beyond it with groove creation, improvisations, notefinders, fills drills, styles labs, and much more.

⚫️ Twice a year we offer a unique and very popular version of this course, which helps you achieve your goals with personal success coaches, assignments, meetings and more. We call it The Theory Cohort!

A 3 hour-course that's a great start

⚫️ If you want to start with a short theory course, are a beginner or don't have the book yet, start here!

⚫️ Theory, finger kung fus, bass lines, grooves!

⚫️ A great place to start!

⚫️ Comes with videos, PDFs, diagrams, jamtracks and a beautiful booklet

⚫️ Great for beginners/low intermediate players

Experience how Ari makes Theory easy

⚫️ Experience for yourself what Ari means when she says "make Theory intuitive"

⚫️ A fun, one-hour seminar where you learn a vital theory shape via one of Ari's signature methods

⚫️ Low intermediate and up!


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