Ariane Cap's Music Theory course?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by russosborne, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. Has anyone here taken it yet? I am considering my next path for lessons and I am thinking about this course.

    I have her book, haven't really started it yet though. I signed up for emails from her through her website, and keep getting ads for the course.
    I am thinking about signing up for it since they offer a monthly payment plan now. But I am curious about how well it really works. There was a free sample recently of I think lesson number 4, and it wasn't well organized in my opinion, at least not something I would want to use for advertising. But I am thinking maybe it wasn't exactly presented as how the actual course is, or there is some sort of method to the madness that is explained when you actually sign up for the course that just jumping into that lesson doesn't give.

    So what are your thoughts on this? Ultimately, will this course help me to play better as opposed to just understanding what I am playing better?

    Pies likes this.
  2. I'd go with Scott's Bass Lessons. He plays with world class people on a regular basis and his lessons apply to real world playing situations.
    Door County Bass likes this.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    If you have a good book, which I hear Ariane's is, why not find a decent local teacher and do some knee-to-knee lessons? Having somebody guide you through a book can really simplify things. Plus, you can always take home something to work on from lessons. I might be biased but I think personal lessons are always better than videos, especially with the early material. A video will never reach over and correct you.
  4. ArianeCap

    ArianeCap Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2016
    Hi russosborne,

    Heather here, I help Ari, who is the author of this course and the book. I am happy to answer any questions you may have (or pass them on to Ari if I can't answer).

    The course is designed to get music theory under your fingers - applications in musical contexts. Also: learning notes all across the fret board, styles, technique, and playing with more confidence all across the fretboard.

    There are 20 units. Each unit is divided into seven TABS - you can easily navigate through the tabs on top of the page.

    This is where we set the tone and goals for the week

    Finger Kung Fu
    Finger Kung Fu is all about technique. These practice regimens get your fingers in shape and get you prepared to face any foe like scales, tricky grooves, fills or solos! Usually three videos in this section to practice along with.

    Theory Practice
    The video(s) here help with fretboard fitness so we know our way around. We may be creating grooves using a theory concept as a starting point, improvise a new sound/shape we just learned, shed the note names in a musical context… Often we practice the new concepts all over the fretboard – so we put theory into action!

    Bassline Lab
    Lab is all about creating your own bass lines with the theory material we have studied earlier. One exercise called “Groove and Fill” in particular will help you put the theory materials to great creative use. This one is a big favorite of all participants! Each week builds on the previous one and varying background tracks, time signatures, feels, styles etc, keep it fresh and challenging.

    Combo Class
    Whether it is a technical exercise put into a groove context or a theory concept practiced rhythmically, here you are getting a double bang for your practicing buck! In particular, a series called “Creative Notefinder” takes you through all 21 notes (yes, 21, not a typo) so you can find all notes all over the fretboard, while making use of new concepts we learned. Another favorite where students say it doesn’t feel like practicing at all, but jamming, rather! There is a lot of variety here with each unit also, by using different time signatures and adding progressively harder additional assignments rather than “just” finding the notes. Once all 21 notes have been systematically practiced, combo class becomes styles class, going over a variety of styles and what they mean for bass, with examples.

    Hip Bit
    Cool stuff, fun stuff, games, sample licks, famous grooves… all that goes here!

    The resource section: PDFs, back ground tracks, easy to download in one click.

    The course is in-depth and covers a lot of ground. Most participants do a new unit every other week.
    We offer a 15 day trial so you can evaluate the first three units risk-free.

    Hope this helps. Best way to contact us with any questions is via the contact tab on as we are not regularly on boards.
  5. Thanks, all.

    But has anyone here actually taken/is taking the course? I'm hoping to get some real world feedback before committing to that kind of money.

  6. tumbo

    tumbo Supporting Member

    I just finished my first pass through the course about 6 weeks ago and am very satisfied. The course provides considerable information and insight in addition to the book. Pretty much every lesson has something for every student, from novice to skilled player. You can get a lot out of this course if you are willing to put a lot in. I think that it was a great value. Needless to say, the instructor, Ariane Cap, is very knowledgeable and skilled. In my experience, she also responds quickly to email questions with thoughtful answers.
  7. Thanks, tumbo.
    That was what I needed to hear. :)

    Anyone else care to comment? Probably a week before I can commit, so lots of time yet to jump in.

    I've watched some of her videos on No Treble, and have started reading her book. Definitely am leaning towards taking the course, just need to make sure my finances are in order. Right now that money would be a major commitment, so I want to be sure first.

    I like the ability with the online stuff of being able to re-watch things as much as needed. And being able to do it on my own schedule. So that is a big plus. Down side is not having the pressure of being with a live person (for me anyway) to keep me honest. But right now with some uncertainty in my schedule being able to commit to a certain day and time isn't happening.

  8. almadillo

    almadillo Gold Supporting Member

    May 18, 2015
    North New Jersey
    I am in the course. I was a beginner when I started it ... and it has been great. Covers learning and improving technique, music theory, and most important ... how music theory relates to bass guitar. How to use your bass and your technique and apply the theory. Really ties everything together.

    I am slow however. Each unit takes me 2-4 weeks to cover. I am currently on wk13 and it is amazing the progress made. The progress is obvious when I go back and try an earlier lesson that had given me trouble and now I can cruise through it.

    The videos are a great motivator. Not only technique and theory, but information on practicing, learning styles, tips, etc.

    The book and it's videos are good. The course takes that info and teaches how to apply it. One of the great things is jamming and learning riffs. Ariane demos how to take the concepts and make them music ... it is above just exercises. Keeps the enjoyment up. Don't get me wrong, she loves her permutations and you will do a ton of them. But then she does the play-along jams and all is good in the world.

    Videos are clear and easy to understand. The unit is broken up into "tabs" ... see Heather's post above. These tabs make it convenient to go back and review material. There is a great overall jpg showing all the weeks and what you are learning as well as weekly jpg's with details.

    This is what the front page of unit 3 looks like. The tabs across the top are the various topics. Goals listed on the left. What to read in the book and it's videos on the right.


    Course starts with learning and hearing intervals, then on to triads (where I am now). And lots of backing tracks ... all downloadable. As are the pdf tabs.

    Whew. I cannot say enough good things about this course. Clear teaching. Great jams and exercises. Great progression through the material. Technique thrown in as well. The units build on each other so it is not a "pick what you are interested in" type of course. Some units go faster than others.

    Anyway, good luck on your decision. This course has done wonders for me with it's structure and balance. Lots of clear lessons that progress well without overload.


    Attached Files:

    Birddogcof and dawind99 like this.
  9. Thanks, almadillo!

    This sounds more and more like it will be just what I need.
    Don't worry about being slow, I imagine I will be slower than you. :)

    almadillo likes this.
  10. almadillo

    almadillo Gold Supporting Member

    May 18, 2015
    North New Jersey
    Another good thing, many of the play-along sessions and exercises are presented in "basic" form (slower and simpler riffs) as well as "advanced" form (fast and complex). I'm looking forward to going back and doing the "advanced" sessions.

    [update] lol ... as I move through the units, even the "basic" are tough!
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I've only followed some of Ariane's videos on No Treble.
    Excellent IMHO.
    dawind99 likes this.
  12. Cd1971


    Jun 8, 2017
    I’ve been working my way through the course for the last month. I have owned Ariane’s book for 3 months and have found it to be a brilliant piece of work. One of the best things about the book is it does not rely on you knowing how to read music. Ari believes that to be a different skill; no less important but not necessary for the book. I believe she might be writing a book on this skill in future. So there is very little of the horrid tab monster in it!

    The course design is fantastic. It is built in a way that you can work through a couple of sections ( Introduction & Technique) and know that you have enough under your fingers to move on to the next module. Indeed Ari encourages you not to get stuck and move on at your own speed. You should revisit the areas of the modules you can’t do yet at a later point, but in this way you maintain momentum and move forward all the time. The Outro section is also very important as it summarises the work covered and has some very handy grids that I recommend you print off and use as checklists. The other sections of the module flesh out the techniques and theory into meaningful examples that can be applied in you’re playing.

    I’m a 46 year old hobbyist beginner bass player who passed my Grade 3 back in 2014 and then lost quite a bit of momentum due to life getting in the way. I love my bass playing and wanted a means of getting back to the level I was at previously and then exceeding that. The course and book are the best material I have seen as they do not cover anything that is superfluous to your playing. I’m a mathematics graduate so I have a very black and white logical mind so I love the fact that the theory in the book is taught in terms of patterns and formula. One of the most impressive parts of the book so far have been the Intervals section where she introduced a coordinate based approach to the shapes of each formula e.g. 1 up 2 over is Perfect Fifth, 2 up , 2 over is an Octave etc.

    Her teaching style is brilliant; she demonstrates a piece of knowledge or exercise at a basic level and also at a more advanced level. She then has ‘practice with me’ videos where you can literally play along with a video of Ari playing. It’s about as close as you’re going to get to being in a room with her getting a lesson. It’s a very simple concept but totally effective. Where she really shines is the fact that she doesn’t force you to be able to do advanced work. Getting a solid foundation in the basics is always going to make the harder stuff more accessible.

    I’m also lucky enough to have struck up a bit of an email chain with her and the first thing I’d like to say is that she is an exceptionally friendly and pleasant woman who knows music backwards. Nothing is too much trouble for her and she’ll always reply to you if you ask her something. I recently pointed out that the module summary grids where formatted for US Letter paper. Rather than just telling me to use a scaled print on them and doing nothing she has got her graphics team to reformat them and she tells me that A4 versions will be available soon.

    My advice would be to take the course as slowly as you need to but follow her instructions to the letter. If she says use a metronome, then use a metronome and don’t try the exercise without one or your timing will suffer. The backing tracks she supplies are very well made and you could use them for different exercises or just to jam along to.

    I would encourage anyone to join the course (especially since it works out to be cheaper in the long term than lessons with a tutor) and because Ari is very engaged with her students. Don't be too hard on yourself either - work hard and you will get there with this course. It's superb.

    Get your bass out and sign up :)
    almadillo likes this.
  13. Cd1971


    Jun 8, 2017

    Just wanted to add some more comments. I spent about 30 minutes yesterday in a room on my own with a click doing the exercises Ari susggests where you name the notes out loud and jump notes , named them descending and asc with #'s , b's etc. Haven't got to the double flats and double sharps yet as they hurt my head too much. My point is you don't need your bass for these - you can do them anywhere so have a go at naming them in your head while your waiting for a bus or having your lunch. It'll really reinforce things. I'm starting to find that if I do this and then do string perms very slowly to a click I am not as tense as I know what the notes are called. Less tension means more fluid playing.

    Just my tuppence worth.....

    More to follow :)

    almadillo likes this.
  14. hs123


    Aug 11, 2011
    Westminster CO
    I love her course, her teaching style fits my personality almost perfectly. There are things I've been playing/doing for years, that suddenly makes sense. There were a couple of mistakes in the book, but she walked me through them and it solidified my learning. It also made sure I was actually doing the exercises and "applying" it.I read through the book once, there's a chapter on learning styles that should be required reading for any musician. Now I'm going thru the course slowly. The exercise if done correctly take at least a half an hour each (if you're doing them right). I definintely know more about theory than I did before.
  15. Cd1971


    Jun 8, 2017
    Couldn't agree more about her teaching. I'm deliberately taking things slowly through her book and just making sure I have basics sussed before moving on. I know more than I thought as my grade's 1 to 3 obviously helped but they were largely playing pieces with a little theory. Got her wall chart tonight. Need to look at it when my dogs have gone to bed!
  16. Thanks, everyone.
    This has definitely moved to a must do as soon as I know my finances are going to be there long term.
    Working a new job and things may be a tad iffy there, not me, but the company. Want to make sure it will last first.
    almadillo and Cd1971 like this.
  17. Trayster2


    Aug 13, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
    Is the payment yearly or a one time payment? I hear the courses are emailed weekly. Is there any other way to access them afterwards? My email box is a hot mess.
  18. almadillo

    almadillo Gold Supporting Member

    May 18, 2015
    North New Jersey
    Just a one-time payment. The weekly email just let you know the week's video is "open". You go to the website and watch the vids. Bookmark it and never need an email to access. And available always ....

    So the course is not emailed .. only a notice is emailed that that week has been opened for access.

  19. Trayster2


    Aug 13, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
    Ah cool. I just purchased the book and looking through it now. I see a lot of videos on YouTube. I'm assuming these are samples and the whole course is not offered there?
    Thanks for the response, almadillo.
  20. almadillo

    almadillo Gold Supporting Member

    May 18, 2015
    North New Jersey

    The YouTube videos support the book. The different lessons or pages in the book reference the YouTube video which basically shows that lesson being played. Not really a lesson on the video, just playing out what the book has.

    The course has much deeper instruction and samples and teaching.