Welcome To The Bass Matrix!
Unleash Your Groove, Unlock the Secrets!
Dive into the captivating world of bass playing and discover everything you‘ve ever wanted to know about rhythms, basslines, and Groove Design. Rev up your bass engine with the innovative approach of the BASS MATRIX.
No need to worry about reading sheet music. The specially designed BASS MATRIX notation is as intuitive as the grid of a drum machine. It shows exactly where each note is placed and how long it should sound—perfect if you‘re not the best at sight-reading.
BASS MATRIX helps you build your own groove and fill repertoire, ready to roll in all keys and groove situations, so you can play in a song-friendly, solid, and tasteful way—just what you need for your everyday bass life. Presented in a form that is suitable for beginners, advanced players and pros alike.
Guided by the renowned bassist Philipp Rehm and together with drumming icon Ralf Gustke, BASS MATRIX leads you into new and unexplored musical territories that you will love.
Grab your instrument, get comfortable, and let‘s rock together!
Welcome To The Bass Matrix!
With the book title, I’m proudly declaring my love for the Matrix trilogy. “I’m going to show them a world where anything is possible.” – Similar to the movie, here we explore a reality beyond reality. Bass Matrix opens the door to the world of bass lines and grooves, decoding the magic behind the riffs you love to play or have always wanted to play. It expands your rhythmic awareness and perception. The cover pays homage to the Matrix, but primarily, it’s a bass book taking you on an exciting journey through grooves and bass lines with a revolutionary perspective. It consistently asks: What’s the secret of this bass line? Why does this riff catch your ear? Why does the bass play this line to that drum beat? And how can you incorporate these insights into your own bass adventures to create unique bass parts?
Groove Power Package
The book offers an impressive collection of bass riffs, fills, beats, fingerings, jams, creative exercises, and useful bass tools. It provides straightforward methods for developing your own bass lines, a vast Bass & Drum Groove Atlas, a Fill-In Library, and much more. This is complemented by an epic collection of over 400 song and audio examples inspired by well-known songs, bands, and bassists. With the exceptional Ralf Gustke on drums, we’ve crafted a powerful Groove Package, weighing in at a proud 900 grams – almost 300 pages full of inspiration to elevate your musical journey and rev up your bass engine! This allows you to build your own groove and fill repertoire, ready to groove in all keys and situations, playing in a song-friendly, solid, and tasteful manner – just as you need for your everyday bass life. With timing as solid as a rock.
This allows you to build your own groove and fill repertoire, ready to groove in all keys and situations, playing in a song-friendly, solid, and tasteful manner – just as you need for your everyday bass life.
The book is named after the specially developed notation, in which basslines and drumbeats are displayed like in a sequencer. Even without sheet music knowledge, you get a clear rhythmic overview: you intuitively see where each note is placed and the length of the tone. At the beginning and during longer jams, we also provide notation and tablature as support. For the rest we stick to the clear BassMatrix grid display.
Fueling station for inspiration
Whether you’re at the beginning of your bass journey or already advanced – with BASS MATRIX, you can improve and expand your musical horizon. While practicing, lots of new ideas can emerge along the way. And even if you don’t perfect every exercise 100%, you’ll undoubtedly set interesting musical synapses in motion and rewire them. You can also simply open the book whenever you need a fueling station for inspiration.
Bass trinity: rhythm, harmony and melody
Bassists have many ways to influence the music. Because basslines are a magical blend of rhythm, harmony and melody.
Rhythm: Together with the drummer, they lay the rhythmic foundation for the band – in other words, they are the backbone upon which all other musicians build. Harmony: Together with guitarists and keyboardists, they establish the harmonic foundation that melodies and solos reference.
Melody: Every bassline is always melodically oriented. Stable basic tones or fast runs in minor or major pentatonic, straightforward or agile, clear and sparse or full to bursting, regular octaves or fifths … you have a lot of ingredients to choose from to spice up the vibe of a bassline.
With hundreds of practical groove examples, Bass Matrix gets to the bottom of all these fascinating stylistic elements. The resulting bass vocabulary is organized in six toolboxes (chapters):
In Toolbox 1 you groove to the most important rhythms and use them to create your first basslines.
In Toolbox 2, the bass vocabulary is expanded and then applied to all sorts of rhythms, even the weirdest ones.
Toolbox 3 sheds light on the world of drum beats from a bass perspective, presenting a step-by-step method to develop bass lines for any given drum pattern. The Bass & Drum Groove Atlas houses all relevant Bass & Drum figures and their variations – from Bouncer and Slick & Straight to Dynamo and extravagant Odd Meters. Stylistically diverse, with examples from Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop, Metal, RnB, Soul, Jazz, Afrobeat and Latin.
Toolbox 4 contains all the important fingering patterns that are crucial for creating basslines. Here we explore the influence of specific tones on the sound of riffs and enhance our flexibility and musicality. Each fingering comes with matching song examples. Additionally, analyze already-played riffs to understand the tonal material they use what defines their sound, and what makes their sound special. This enables you to develop your basslines in these sounds.
In Toolbox 5, the basslines are refined with fill-ins. Explore and practice from a vast Fill Buffet.
Finally, Toolbox 6, applies the learned bass language in every imaginable groove situation. We transfer 16 different bass styles to other time measures. So we‘ll rock, ‘soul it up,’ ‘disco-fy,’ ‘Jaco-fy,’ ‘Red Hot Chili Pepper-ize,’ ‘Salsa-fy,’ and more, all in 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14.
Bass repertoire ready to groove in any situation
The toolboxes consist of an array of bass presets that allow you to develop bass lines in any rhythm. Initially applied to fundamental rhythmic figures and later extended to intricate odd meters, you’ll effortlessly groove through them with such intuition and ease that you won’t even realize you might be on a 7/8 planet with a different groove gravity.
Sitting on the groove like a well-grounded sports car on the road.
A core goal of the book is to enhance your playing stability and clarity while giving you an extra creative boost. A closer look at the rhythmic foundation is taken right from the start:
1. each rhythm is divided into groups (e.g. groups of 2, 3 and 4).
2. depending on the style of music, this series of groups (‘grouping’) is then filled with different tones.
Whether it’s bass lines, beats, or anything else—this principle applies around the globe and in every time signature: a grouping division as the foundation and tone material to fill these groups. With this perspective, the reader gets to the bottom of riffs, their sound and different styles, extracting a bass language to construct your own bass lines.
Strengthen your rhythmic skills with subdivisions and groupings
Drummers are familiar with the grouping concept used in the Bass Matrix, and I’ve had great success with it in my bass workshops, teachings, and even in my own playing too. In the blink of an eye, students found themselves playing things they couldn’t tackle before. The grouping approach is the core of the BASS MATRIX, bringing noticeable improvement in these areas:
1. inner clock & microtime: Your timing becomes more precise, as solid as a rock, and your groove sounds ‘tighter’. You gain a better sense of where each note belongs in the grid.
2. musical-rhythmic understanding:Groupings structure the bass line into its foundational accents. The groove is distilled to rhythmic base figures, which can then be embellished and played around with. You precisely feel where the core of the groove lies, establishing a stable rhythmic foundation for your sense of rhythm.
3. creativity to develop your own basslines spontaneously and independently. The next amazing riffs will flow effortlessly. By using the BassMatrix as a language, you generate ideas from within yourself, not merely recalling or copying pre-made licks.
4. musical expression: more independent playing means you can feel what the song needs and what stylistic devices the bassline requires. Just as in language, it’s not just about singing texts by heart, but also understanding them. Because that way you can find your own ‘words’.
5. more variety in your game: What groupings are there? How can you spice up your groove repertoire with them? How do you create your own groupings and extract their full potential? For instance, you can expand or vary a bass line along the grouping, making it busier or more sparse. Or you can transfer the sound of the bassline into another groove situation by altering the grouping.
6. groove fat, nice & easy, in every groove situation and time signature:
Bass Matrix covers all the most important 4/4 rhythms in 8, 16, and 12, and what you need to know about 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, quintuplet grooves, and all other odd meters. Groupings are the key to a deeper rhythmic understanding, making it easier than ever to venture into unknown rhythmic territories—because everything consists of groups.
BASS MATRIX helps you build your own groove and fill repertoire, ready to groove in all keys and situations. Playing in a song-friendly, solid, and tasteful manner—just as you need for your everyday bass life.
BASS & DRUM GROOVE ATLAS
Nearly 100 pages in the middle of the book are dedicated to the interaction with the drums. This explores the standard situation: the drummer has a beat ready for you (or you’ve found a drum loop for a track you want to record on)— what can you play along with it? Which bass style possibilities lie within a beat, and how can we create different moods for various song sections? Six bass methods are showcased with which you can develop six different bass styles for each given drumbeat. Six different approaches to interact with the same beat. You will learn the essential basics about drum beats from the bass perspective: the most relevant kick-snare sequences and fundamental rhythms. These are then presented with entertaining names such as ‘Bouncer,’ ‘Slick & Straight,’ ‘Sneakers Bounce,’ ‘Booty shaker,’ or ‘Cliffhanger’. The notation includes kick and snare symbols, allowing you to visually track how drumbeat and bass line interact.
Starting from the straightforward ‘Clear and Simple Beat’ to odd meters and compound meters. The whole experience is enriched with hundreds of well-known song examples, from Aerosmith to ZZ Top, from Afrobeat to Zappa.
Bass Matrix in practice
For beginners, the book serves as an excellent addition to lessons: it provides basic patterns and simple groove methods. You can train your sense of rhythm and learn essential fingerings. Advanced players can ground their groove and expand their repertoire. They creatively enhance their bass skills and craft captivating bass parts. Experienced players can comprehensively update their repertoire, groove, and flexibility using the BASS MATRIX. They can use it as a bass language, expand their odd-meter skills, focus on longer jam pieces, or further develop the method itself. Producers, songwriters, and keyboardists will also find valuable resources, especially in the Bass & Drum Groove Atlas. Even without sight reading skills, you can effectively work with the book, thanks to its method, inspired by drum sequencer software.
Musical boundaries are blurring these days. There‘s an abundance of genres, crossover styles, and exciting discoveries all over the world — and it‘s just a few clicks away. At the same time, the internet is flooded with new videos, tutorials, live hacks, attention-grabbing YouTube headlines, and music that primarily gets noticed through its videos. In this jungle, my book can be your compass. It helps you understand and decipher bass parts and, especially, develop your own. The BASS MATRIX boosts your bass skills and creativity, to uncover fresh ideas and play with others – just as you need for your everyday playing.
Navigate effortlessly through many styles
The bass connects: it‘s present in almost every genre. Different bass styles often share common roots and tend to differ more in sound and attitude. I‘ve always explored various musical corners, played in various genres, and collaborated with musicians from all over the world. It‘s incredible how versatile you can be with the bass, diving into different music styles and always finding that universal groove. This connective vibe has totally influenced me, and I‘ve always wanted to write a book about it — to celebrate the groove with the reader, to explore the language behind basslines, and discover what makes them so special. To rev up your bass engine, supercharge your groove, and unlock some creative doors in your mind. So, grab your instrument, make yourself comfortable and let’s rock together!