Anthony Vitti - Professor - Berklee College of Music
The Finger Funk Workbook Vol. 1: (eBook w/audio)
The Finger Funk Workbook Vol. 1 was published in 1997. This book focuses on developing the techniques of the great finger style bass players from the past and present. We all know names like Jaco Pastorius, Rocco Prestia, Jeff Berlin and James Jameson. But, did you ever really think about what made each of these players great? That’s a tough thing to describe, but one of this things you know when you hear it. Over the years I have certainly studied these players and many others who are not as well known. I would sit for hours and figure out what made a particular player sound unique. If you think about it, after a while, it is not what players can play that impresses and inspires you, it’s how they play it. When you reach a certain level, it no longer becomes about whether or not you can play something. If you have worked on your chops, you can pretty much play anything you hear, and so can any other good player. So why do some players work more than others, or seem like they are more in demand? It all comes down to feel. How you play the notes. The level of confidence you have when you play. Your time, great players are consistent, supportive and create an environment where the other players in the band can play their best. Think of your playing as a toolbox. Except, for us it’s technique. Some players are great at very specific things.
When I wrote the grooves in this book, I took the best techniques of many great players and condensed them into one page grooves. You may listen to a whole Jaco tune and pull out one or two good lines that speak to you. I have condensed those lines and fills into sixteen measures. Jaco had certain things that made him sound like Jaco. These are the kinds of things I tried to capture in these exercises. If you capture the essence and techniques of the great players, you will start adding tools to your toolbox. It takes many tools to work on a car. If you only have one wrench, you will soon find yourself very limited in what you can do. The same is true with technique and ideas in your playing. Some players are very good at one thing. We want to be very good at many things. When you start to master different fingering techniques, you will see that a good player uses many tools when they play every song. The lines in this book will challenge you at the highest level. They will add repertoire and fresh ideas to your playing.
The book comes with MP3 audio. On the tracks I’m playing all the grooves so you can hear how I want you to play them. You will go beyond the notes and really start thinking about how to get a great sound and what techniques it takes to mute certain lines. The focus is on the groove, steady and consistent. Being able to hold down a very difficult groove for a long period of time. I provide all the drum patterns that I’m playing with on the tracks, so you can program up a drum machine and play the same thing. trust me, there is no other book out there that focuses on groove playing like this. I wrote this material as practice material for myself over the years. I found that I needed a hard workout in a half hour or hour. I still warm up using these exercises. These are some of the same materials that I use with my students at Berklee College of Music. I have refined and tuned them, so I know they work. This book has also been used by teachers at BIT, North Texas and the University of Miami just to name a few schools. I hope you will check the book out.