Tools for the bassoholic by Kevin Sullivan

  I got my first bass guitar, a Peavey Top T-40, at the age of 11.  This would become a life long love affair with music, but specifically the bass.  After graduating from high school I acquired my AA in music theory before going on to get a bachelors degree in environmental science.    I currently live in the San Francisco bay area and have for most of my life.   I have been actively gigging playing many styles of music all around the SF bay for the last twenty years.  While in college I had many great music instructors.    A good friend of mine introduced me to a brilliant private music instructor Warren Nunes RIP.   This man should have had his own college.  Warren was as brilliant a Jazz Guitar player as I have ever heard and had a perfect no BS understanding of music theory and how to apply it.  This was very refreshing after all the jargon and sometimes impractical and confusing teaching that I often found in college.    Warren was a highly sot after music instructor.  Since I was the only bass player that received instruction from him at my weekly lessons I would stay for several hours while he taught all his guitar students for a half hour each.  I ended up getting a great reinforcement of his teaching.   This continued for three and a half years.  As a result I am proud to say that I have been so blessed that I have a far greater understanding of music and knowledge of music theory than I could ever express as actual musical talent.  That's why sometimes you can catch me saying even if your a way better bass player than I am you can learn something from this well spring of knowledge that again, I have been blessed with.  

  The inspiration for my first music instruction manual "Kevin Sullivan's Bass Harmony," is a result of this musical education.  After getting my traditional musical instruction in college and teachings from a true Jazz master I felt like I had something to share with the world.  Bass Harmony is the book I wish I had while in those music classes back in college.  Though I got a lot out of the college music instruction, I found much of it over thought, and at times even impractical.  I also found it to be based so much on the piano that I had to reinterpret everything to the bass.   The other inspiration I had for creating this music instruction manual comes from a disappointment in almost all bass music books I have ever read, and that's a lot.  I wanted to create something that, if properly studied, could make a significant difference in the students performance.  Harmony in short refers to chord progressions.  At first I tried to create the great bass bible and put everything I know into one book.  After a while I realized that I needed to create more focused books, instead of one juggernaut phone book sized behemoth that would probably never be completed, let alone shared with anyone.   My first book is based on understanding chords and chord progressions and how to apply that knowledge to creating great bass lines.  Chord structure is the most important foundation to musical understanding.  By playing the chord tones tastefully and in creative ways a bass player can brilliantly accompany the chordal instruments and ever spell out a nice harmony underneath the soloist.  The focus of this book is to be able to create good bass lines no matter what chords or progressions are thrown at you.  With enough study of this book you will be creating your own harmonies as bass lines.  Hence the name Bass Harmony. 

  All chord used in modern music are represented in this book.  They are correctly named and presented.  My book shows all the practical usages of bass chords and their corresponding arpeggios, and gives example exercises to use with chord progressions.   All triads, 7th chord types, 6th chords, sus chords, altered chords, and the chords of extended harmony are represented in this book.  All are used in practical examples of base lines tailored to chord progressions.