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John McCarthy’s Rock House Presents: “Bass, Master Edition”

John McCarthy’s Rock House Presents:  “Bass, Master Edition”

John McCarthy and his Rock House School of Music continue to set the standard for quality instruction and innovative teaching methods.  John’s latest book offering, “Rock House Bass, Master Edition”, combines prior award-winning works into one volume and includes additional material not covered in previous editions.  John’s method guides the beginning student bassist  to an advanced level of playing,  and as with all Rock House Method courses, the student is granted access to a world of free online information designed to enhance the learning experience and shorten the learning curve.  “I saw a need for beginner bassists to have access to a solid core curriculum in bass.  I wanted them to have a solid foundation in the instrument”, John says.

John is the owner and musical director of Rock House School of Music and the creator of the Rock House Method.  Over his 30-plus year career, John has written, produced and/or appeared in more than 150 instructional products. Millions of people around the world have successfully used John’s easy-to-follow programs.  His school was recently named Best Place to Take Music Lessons in Connecticut.   According to John, his school serves as a laboratory for his teaching “experiments”.  Many of the teaching techniques contained in his books were first tried out on his  students at his Connecticut school.   John doesn’t just write instructional books…..he is a hands-on music teacher, and he is good at his job.

John has been teaching for quite a while now.   He actually started giving music lessons at the age of 15!   In 2000, John designed the Rock House Method accelerated learning system that combined instruction in video and book form with an on-line support system.   The recipe worked.  John has sold over 3 million instructional programs!

In addition to being a brilliant music teacher,  John is also an accomplished musician in his own right.  John has recorded and performed with renowned musicians including Doug Wimbish, (Joe Satriani, Living Colour, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Annie Lennox), Grammy winner Leo Nocentelli,  Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Bernie Worrell and Jerome “Big Foot” Brailey, Freekbass, Gary Hoey, Bobby Kimball, David Ellefson, (founding member of seven-time Grammy nominee Megadeth), Will Calhoun, (B.B. King, Mick Jagger and Paul Simon), Gus G of Ozzy and many more.

The new bass book, “Rock House Bass, Master Edition” is a slick paperback, 152 pages and sells for the bargain price of  $24.99.  This edition combines all levels of John’s award winning Bass series in a complete course.  It’s an excellent instructional work, taking a new student from the very basics, (like how to hold the Bass for comfortable playing and fast, effective learning!), through advanced theory and technique.  John takes the student through 3rds, 5ths and octaves and how to apply them in a song.  Plucking techniques including slapping, popping and using a pick are covered in depth.  John discusses walking bass lines, drop D tuning and syncopation.  He covers scales and how to play patterns across the neck.  He even includes scales and modes for the 5-stringers out there.  All major genres are represented.  The book is tablature-based, well organized and easy to understand.

Again, the book as a “stand-alone” instructional work has great value for the beginner to advanced student.  However, the real fireworks begin once you log on to the Rock House instructional website.   Each book sold has an alpha-numeric Member Code on the back page.   Simply go to the Rock House U website, use your code and instantly discover all that Rock House U has to offer!   There are excellent audio backing tracks, tabbed and matched to the exercises in the book allowing the student to play along.  There are detailed videos specific to each lesson, courtesy of master bassist, Doug Wimbish.   The site is completely interactive allowing the student to contact instructors with questions.   There are ample FAQs and a busy message board where instructors are actively involved in the threads.   There is a Tabbed Music section with many many songs presented in easy-to-learn format.   There is a Tips and Tools section with plenty of how-to articles and a Take a Quiz section that lets the student gauge how they are coming along.   There is even a tuner and metronome!

On-line video instruction is here to stay…..and pioneer John McCarthy has mastered the business of transferring musical knowledge through the use of this media.  He has developed a user-friendly, high-quality site that provides exceptional instruction at an extremely affordable price.

There may always be the need for one-on-one training with a good teacher, and John collaborates with teachers around the world who use his program as a supplemental teaching tool.    However, from the student’s perspective, the value of being able to pause/repeat a video lesson cannot be overstated.   On-line video instruction works….and the serious student can acquire a ton of knowledge in a short time with this book and the on-line support from Rock House.   I recommend this book!

– Jack Beal



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