I first played bass in around 1979/80 in an experimental, Beefheart-type band, and  over the years, despite being primarily a guitarist, continued to play and teach bass on the side.

More recently, in an effort to raise my game as a bass player, I started exploring 19th-century bass studies by the “Paganini of the bass”, one Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889), whose studies I eventually edited for bass guitar. The intention was to eventually publish them with Mel Bay. However, I also felt the need to present a modern equivalent, 21st-century studies within a contemporary context. So I worked with the Belgian composer, Gilbert Isbin, to create a new contemporary repertoire of studies.

So, here we have Classical and Contemporary Studies for Bass Guitar (Mel Bay 30676M) which includes 21 studies from Bottesini’s Method of c.1869, and 12 new compositional studies by Gilbert Isbin, whose musical influences include contemporary classical, jazz, folk, and world musics. The book has soundfiles of every item, and for my part constitutes a solo bass guitar album, which I recorded on a fretless bass, though the book is also for fretted bass guitar.

If you have any questions about the book, please do ask…


Promo video for the book:

and videos for the first two items in the book:




Here are the soundfiles for the book, first the Bottesini, then the Isbin: