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PROGRESSIVE BASS CONCEPTS REVIEW

Progressive Bass Concepts:
The John Myung 6-string tuition video (IMP)
Roger Newell investigates the Wunderkind's bass video

There's no denying the outstanding ability of John Myung. or the pivotal position his playing achieves in Dream Theater, so an instructional video from such a technician will always have a potentially strong market. It's also well known that John is a 6-string player. But he mainly sticks to the 'middle four' strings to make the demonstrations applicable to all.

A great deal of the early part of the video is of John performing a series of scales derived from different chords, ascending and descending with both hands clearly shown by using screen overlays. Unfortunately for this part of the video, the fretboard is unmarked, which lessens the visual reference and, as useful as they undoubtedly are, watching someone play scales has zero entertainment value. All instructional videos need that element of excitement that motivates you to pick up your bass and play along. This is surely aimed at the serious player only but at the end of watching this you may feel you want to go out and get a life. Even John says. "I know this stuff is very boring but it will help ultimately". True on both counts, and thankfully it does all start to lighten up a little as we experience modes, scales and backward modal approach, using examples from Dream Theater songs. Technique, hand strength with patterns and trills using different finger combinations is good, practical stuff, though, and the whole thing ends with a jam in 5/8 with Derek Sherinian on keyboards and Mike Portnoy on drums.

Conclusion

A great deal of extremely useful information and technique explained, but you must be a seriously dedicated player to gain the full benefit from this video. The entertainment value does get better as it progresses. Small booklet of music and TAB included.


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