Jaco Pastorius Bass Method Review

 

Since his arrival on the fusion scene in 1976, Jaco Pastorius has been one of the most listened to and probably the most emulated bass player in history. It seems like everybody knows just a liiiiiittttlllee bit of Jaco to how off to their friends. But it’s that attitude, the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” attitude, that keeps most bassists from truly being able to play Jaco and sound truly like Jaco.
This is where Ray Peterson’s utterly incredible new book comes in. The Jaco Pastorius Bass Method is essentially what the bass world got cheated out of, but has been looking for forever: a chance to study bass with Jaco.
This is the real deal, folks. Ray Peterson was one of Jaco’s longtime private students (looks like he was probably one of the most serious, too…), and so he got to see fingerings, specific exercises, and tons of other stuff that helps to make it easier to understand the way Jaco practiced, played, and composed.
Realistically, the first way to approach this book is to realize that Jaco wasn’t a magician. Obviously he was naturally talented to a very high degree, but that doesn’t mean he was just able to will all of his music into existence. The facts, pure and simple, are that Jaco knew his theory inside and out, worked out all the kinks in his technique, and really gave thought to how to challenge himself to be a better bassist. Best of all, Ray Peterson was there to witness it unfold for a decade!
The Jaco Pastorius Bass Method is exactly what it claims to be; a complete bass method. He starts off by telling you how to place your hands (mostly in order to get a Jaco-like sound) and then the next chapter is basic theory. Even if you’re a well schooled musician, it’s important to look at everything, especially since you come to find out that Jaco would have played a major scale using a 6 fret spread (like if you’re in C Major, you play the C D and E on the A string using your first, third, and pinky fingers. what a stretch!). From there, the book takes you through a ridiculous series of arpeggio and scale exercises. The second half of the book breaks dow the melodic, rhythmic, and soloistic elements of Jaco’s playing, complete with bit by bit analysis of the solos.
What is most striking though, are the last 4 or 5 pages. Ray Peterson establishes a sort of “call to arms” against the legacy of Jaco Pastorius as a lunatic who happened to be incredibly talented with a bass in his hands. He recalls about a million ways in which Jaco was someone you would loved to have hung out with, as opposed to the Milkowski school of tragedy. The last pages of the book are actual scans of paged from Jaco’s practice book, where there are a plethora of ideas to practice that just don’t seem like the kinds of thing that I would just come up with, that’s for sure. However, if you’ve made it clear through this book, you’ll perfectly see how these ideas actually aren’t that far out in left field……

 

  • 7:03 上午
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