on April 7, 2010
There are a load of bass how-to books out here in varying degrees of topics, styles and ability levels. This book is for everyone who plays an electric bass, whatever style.
If you don't know Gary Willis as a player, see [...] or familiarize with his music on something like iTunes. Monster player! Gary has a straight forward, realistic and therefore easily understood approach to the things on his list, and all 101 of them are useful. No fluff. From how to set your bass up properly to play as well is it can with you, to finger exercises and technique, to what side of the drummer to set up on.
Topics are not listed alphabetically or by topic. My guess is so you read through it all and each piece of information can stand out in your mind from the other.
I've also purchased Ed's book 'The Working Bassist's Handbook'. Geared specifically to the career bassist (doh, its in the title), is more in depth, a heavier load and read to sift through, and you have to read music to be able to use the examples. For a dummy bassist like me who does not [yet?] read, much of it is over my head. but also a great book
101 Bass Tips however, is THE practical hands-on manual for the dynamic duo of you and your bass. Every bass case should be sold with a copy already inside.
on June 27, 2015
Gary Willis is one of the modern masters of the electric bass and in this "tell all" book it's easy to see why that is. I feel that this book should be in the library of every bass player whether you play once a week, once a day or every waking hour. Professional players on stages and in studios today will be acutely aware of all the tips that Gary mentions but for all the non-professionals, this is indispensable information.
Gary's book has a bit more emphasis on soloing than some others but even if solos are not your main goal, it's still necessary to know how they're put together in order to create more interesting and supportive bass lines. The musical and playing tips are great but he also includes all that basic but vital information on set ups, working and listening in a band situation, tips on getting a good sound in all those different and crazy places where musicians play, dealing with sound techs and studio work. I highly recommend this book.