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Beginner to Badass OR Music Theory for the Bass Player Course?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by viking power, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Hey all,

    Intrigued by these two courses. The first is taught by Josh Fossgreen and the second by Ariane Cap.

    I've read through a thread here on Ari's course and all reviews sounded promising. Haven't been able to get much info on Josh's course.

    Any opinions as to how they compare? I'd link to them for your reference but doubt that's allowed on the forum.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    What are your goals?
    viking power likes this.
  3. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks for the response. My goals are to know the fretboard, be able to jam with others by improvising to chords, be able to write bass lines, be able to figure out and jam to songs I like.
    All these goals can take time. I’m in no hurry and have very limited time to practice so realize progress will be slow.
    I’m currently going through the Hal Leonard Bass Method and am looking for a plan that fits my needs better. I don’t doubt that learning to read is valuable but I suspect that my primary goals I mentioned could be pursued better with a different tool. I have had lessons with a live instructor in the past but don’t have time to dedicate to that right now. What I do have time for is 15-30 minutes a day (more on occasion) practicing with a self study method.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  4. That'll take about 24 months. However, with limited time to practice I recommend you pick one and get that, then go on to the next one. I recommend knowing your fretboard first. Know where the notes are in the first 5 frets first, aka first position. Every note can be found in first position Then armed with that get some fake chord sheet music and pound out roots to the chords shown in the sheet music. After awhile you will see a pattern of chords developing - it's here that a little music theory would not hurt. The getting started sticky in TB has a great link.
    The Hal Leonard Bass Method book is a good one and can guide you through everything you have asked about - jamming - is a learned skill and will take some playing with others, but, you first need to learn where the notes are on your fretboard and how to pound out root notes to a song.

    Not sure where you are on your journey. I offer the following, you may be beyond this already.

    Google can help call up fake chord sheet music for you. Should mention here, I have never had a band director - in a good ole boy band - hand me a sheet of standard notation, it's always fake chord. So learn how to play from fake chord, if you do not already know how. Here is a song in public domain, that can get you started. Misc Praise Songs - Blessed Assurance (Chords)


    Song is in C major. How did I know that? If the verse starts and stops with the same chord you can bet that is the key. This verse started and stopped with a C. Where is there a C note in first position? OK, 3rd string 3rd fret. Where is the F? Yep right above it on the next string up same fret. Where is the G? From the C it's down a string same fret. Where is the D? From your C it is over two frets same string. I do not use open string notes, you can if you want. Back to that C-F-G. C on the A string F on the D string and G on the E string, piece of cake, yep most of this is not rocket science.

    Now you will need someone singing the song, that someone could be you. Why is singing important? So you know when to change chords and have some idea of the rhythm to use. Google found this one.
    video, blessed assurance - Bing video
    Count the rhythm and pound roots. When you get this we'll go deeper.

    O'h yes, G and G7 and D and Dm. For now just worry with the roots, if you really want to go there G7= R-3-5-b7 and Dm = R-b3-5. The Hal Leonard book will go into detail. The book is written by Ed Friedland. Ed has a way with words that let us understand what he is talking about. Any of his books will be time well spent. Ed introduced me to all that R-3-5-b7 stuff.

    Back to jamming - put aside the fake chord and jam along with the video. It's in C, see what you can do. When I jam, on rhythm guitar I'm interested in matching the chords that come active, and then strum those chords to the beat of the song. However, on bass when I jam I go up the neck and use notes of the active chord, i.e. roots, fives, eights perhaps the correct 3 and 7, but, roots, fives and eights do most of my jamming. Long story and this thread is not the place to go into detail. I follow the chords and play what ever chord tones the song wants.

    C major is found at the 4th string 8th fret and all the notes of the
    C major scale fall within the following box.

    Major scale box showing scale degree "spelling
    numbers" and the root note on the 4th string.
    G~~|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E~~|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
    Place the R (root note) on the fretboard and
    then use the spelling of the scale/key/chord you
    want. This box will automatically place those
    notes under your fingers, if you know the correct

    Also when I jam I think in A, B, C's and 1, 2, 3's. The A, B, C's get me into a key, but, once there I'm really thinking which of the 1, 2, 3's should/could I use. Playing from fake chord I'm in first position, improvising, I move up the neck and use the major scale box.

    Little something on adding more than just the root. You are in first position and have landed on the C root. If you want to add the 5 - where is the 5? Its up a string and over two frets from your root. That's where 5's live. An old standby is R-5-8-5. Where is the 8? Right over the 5, same fret. That is where 8's live. My point; thinking in A, B, C's and 1,2, 3's has its advantages... I would recommend that first position and the box should be where you are spending your practice time right now.

    One last thing on jamming. Your 6 string rhythm guitarist can help. Watch his fretting left hand and change chords when he does. If you know anything about rhythm guitar you'll be able to recognize, from his fretting hand pattern, and know what chord he went to. If he knows how to jam, following him is a pretty safe bet....

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    viking power likes this.
  5. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    If it were 12 year old past me asking 34 year old present me, I'd say "beginner to bad ass". Learn your instrument first, then get into brain numbing theory (I actually really enjoyed learning theory, but it is definitely lecture intensive vs. learning to play an instrument which is a physical exercise). If I tried to learn theory early on, I most likely would have been put off. YMMV, Good luck!
  6. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I'm assuming, based on your profile, that you've been playing at least 5 years. I'm not very familiar with "Beginner to Badass" but I checked out what I could and it does seem to be geared more towards a beginner and it's hard to determine how structured it really is and that may be okay for you at this point in time. Josh does touch on one of your goals, jamming. The fact that you can't find many reviews on "Beginner to Badass" is an indication of the popularity of the course. I had never heard of it before now. So try this: Go over to Notreble.com or YouTube and check out Ariane's teaching style and compare it to Josh's and see which one might fit you better. Let me know what you think and if you still want my opinion I'll give it to you.
  7. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
  8. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    That's part of the problem, I'm not 12 years old. I'm 46 and would like to make some real progress. Been at it off and on for about 5 years and would just like a good path.
    Thanks for the advice regarding which one to choose.
  9. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    I've looked at videos from both and would say I like Ari's teaching style better. I have to admit the Beginner to Badass website is pretty catchy which is part of what reeled me in (sad, I know). I do like what I've seen of Fossgreen's YouTube videos but would definitely say that Ari seems to have a better teaching style. Ari also has the course on TrueFire or one of those called I think, Pentatonic Playground. Would that be better? I did buy Ari's book, Music Theory for the Bass Player and that is what kind of started me going down the road of purchasing her course. I'm leaning Ari right now but would love to hear your thoughts.
  10. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    I did not mean to offend, but I was 12 when I started playing guitar so that is my base point. Even now, for me - as an adult - if I tried to wrap my head around theory without knowing how to play an instrument, it would be an exercise in futility. I have encouraged students who are struggling to just sit at home and play nonsense - so long as they were on their instrument as much as possible. My concern would be that delving into the mathematics of music too early might be off putting.

    Let me put it another way: Playing an instrument is practical music - talking about it is theoretical music. In college, our jazz band would often play a song without playing a song, instead we would read the charts and take turns describing what we were going to play in terms of intervals and notes, rhythms, etc. That was music theory, because the song we were discussing was only theoretical at that point. It wasn't until we played that it became practical music (+1 for college music programs).

    I would learn practical music first. Train your ear, get comfortable with your instrument and start playing some easy pieces (Smoke on the Water, Peter Gunn Theme) and whatever else you can. Look up tabs, play easy songs you know and give it a month or two. Then take a lesson. I know you are really excited to get to work, but be mindful that pushing yourself too hard may make the whole experience implode - I have seen it in students before. Just relax and enjoy yourself, you'll be gig ready in no time! :thumbsup:
    viking power likes this.
  11. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    What's really great is the fact that you made the effort to make an informed choice on what is best for you. I didn't want to steer you in either direction because what works for me may not be best for your situation and I'm a bit biased. If you purchased Ari's book then you're well on your way. I'm assuming that you've checked out the nuts and bolts of the course but in case you haven't: The Course: Get a Solid Technique and Music Theory Foundation | Ari's Bass Blog In my opinion the course is extremely well organized and structured. Each chapter in the course is broken down into sections like: Introduction, Technique, Theory, Bassline Lab Ex. Note Finder and other subjects to reinforce the information in the book from many different angles. Based on your schedule you can devote your time to one particular section and move on at your own pace. It's not so important that you spend a lot of time but it is important that you are consistent which would be the case with either. If you only have 20 minutes a day to work on the material just make sure that each day gets it's full 20 minutes. I've been playing for over 30 years and I signed up for her course because it has forced me to correct a lot of the bad habits that have slowed my growth. And as a bonus my grey areas in theory are a lot more clear. Ari has always made herself available to answer questions and she obviously loves what she does. I've never regretted it.
    viking power likes this.
  12. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    No offense taken. Thanks for the valuable insight. Much appreciated. :)
  13. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks man. I really appreciate the input. Now I'm pumped up to start Ari's course. Confident I'm making the right choice! :D
  14. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
  15. marh415


    Nov 30, 2013
    Just saw this post and was curious to see how you like Ari's course. I have her book and I was hoping her course would force me to be more structured every week. Thank's!
  16. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    I actually haven’t enrolled yet. Just don’t have the time to commit right now.
    marh415 likes this.
  17. I have enrolled in Ari's course, finally, after months of putting it off due to financial reasons.

    However, honestly I am not really into doing it right now. I started week one, but stopped when it got to actually doing something (in this case doing the notes verbally up and down, skipping every other one, etc. ). I am not much of one for that sort of thing to begin with. And not at all right now. Although I shouldn't, she does talk about skipping stuff before you fully"know" it and then come back to it later. I may just jump into the part where the bass comes into play for now. If I even do that much. My job schedule is about to change back to my normal shift, so I am waiting on doing a bunch of stuff until that happens, as the current shift is draining any energy I have.

    I am still within the time to cancel if I want. But my thinking is to go ahead and finish paying for it ( I am doing the monthly payments) even if I don't do the course now. It is supposed to be available "lifetime" so I don't really risk losing it if I wait a month or six to get going. I have the financial ability to do it now, so might as well. Worst case, it won't be the first $250 I have wasted if I never follow up with it.

    Not sure if this helps anyone or not.
  18. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    No matter which course you choose or which book you buy you just need to be willing to commit even if it’s only a few minutes a day. Once you make it part of your daily routine, a habit, it won’t feel like such a struggle. Starting is the hardest part.
  19. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    If this helps, the best way for you to improve your bass playing is by learning how to read music. Everything else falls into the area of "licks" or "lines". The problem with learning licks, lines, or patterns is that they usualy are based in a temporary point of performance. This is why "The Beast" Won't help you to play much better, because while you are physically playing this scale, you don't have a harmonic understanding of why this bass line has importance. In academic terms, it doesn't. In a physical performance, it may feel like a satisfying thing to learn this line.

    When you read quality music, you are synching up in an instant your eyes, your brain, the music your bass, and your hands. Literally, this is THE best way to improve your bass playing, way, way better than any lessons that you might be taught. And the benefit of doing this is that you will be an improved player for life.

    Good luck!
    jchrisk1 and Rhythmman535 like this.
  20. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks a ton @JeffBerlin . I’ve learned to read some by going through some of book 1 of Hal Leonard bass method. It’s a grind though and tough to progress with when time is limited by other commitments.

    Now that I’ve seen this reply from you I have to re-evaluate what I’m doing. Might go back to the Hal Leonard books and just give them even 15 minutes a day.

    Any other sources you’d suggest Jeff? For learning to read I mean...

    Thanks again!

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