Learning to play bass in the comfort of home...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by apostle, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. apostle


    Apr 10, 2002
    I have a dear friend who has the desire to play bass, but he doesn't have time to get an instructor due to his very full and scheduled life, but if he could find some good material lessons he could do at home that would really be ideal for his situation at the moment.

    I know there are many tools out there however all are not as they profess to be and I want to be able to make a suggestion to him that will allow him to spend his money and time wisely.....

    Everybody that plays should not necessarily make a teaching video or tape.

    Who knows of some sound material that will encourage and teach without confusing the brother in the process.

    He doesn't know anything about reading music or the bass scale either if you didn't pick that up in my post already.

    He needs it so simple that a child could get it type of thing....

    Thanks in advance and have a blessed day...:confused:
  2. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    The two texts that proved very helpful to me early on (and still do) are Wheat's Bass Book (on the web), The Bass Player Book (by the publishers of Bass Player Magazine), and Gary Willis's Linear Approach to Fingerboard Harmony.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The simplest book/Cd combination I have come across for absolute beginners in bass is the aptly named "You Can Teach Yourself to Play Bass Guitar."

    It is concise, clear and somewhat humorously written. The CD shows the reader how the exercizes and examples are supposed to sound. It is a good start. I say "start." If your friend finds he enjoys playing bass guitar, he will want to continue with some of the more detailed and advanced books after he finishes the one I just suggested.

    As far as videos go, I don't think any are particularly useful for outright beginners. Also videos are very expensive compared to books. Your friend could buy two or three helpful books for the price of one video.
  4. the book i found most useful when i was just starting out was 'progressive bass guitar', which is a beginner bass method sort of aimed at people who want to play in a rock group. i've found it to be a great teaching aid, and it starts from the very basics: parts of the guitar, how to read both tab and music, how to play with either pick or fingers, posture etc. it also covers common riffs played by bassists, eg twelve bar blues and turnarounds. it comes with a cd too.
    there are a few other different books in the series too, a lot of them are beginner ones but not all: after beginner you can go on and buy books specialising in certain techniques and styles, for example slap, tap, blues, rock, jazz, country etc.
    check out the website if you're interested, you can order them online at www.learntoplaymusic.com
  5. JazznFunk, where did you find these, id like to get my hands on them!
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    A very complete source of bass instruction books and videos is:


    I wish I earned a commission for every time I've reccomended that site to someone.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Man, you want to talk about a full and busy life? 3 months ago, I'm working for corporate hours, logging (literally) 70 hour weeks quite often, with 3 hours worth of commute everyday. Here was my day.

    5am: Wake up, get ready for work
    5:30am: Out the door to catch the train.
    7:00am: Arrive at work.
    7:00pm: Leave work.
    8:30pm: Arrive home. Dinner.
    9pm: Either: Band rehearsal (2 different bands throughout the week), Spend time with girlfriend, Visit parents, try and find practice time.

    I mean, I had from 9pm til 11pm, (cause I really had to go to sleep then), everyday to have a personal life. Weekends? Forget it. Visiting family, girlfriends' family, errands, chores, etc blah blah blah. I had NO free time. But!...

    I still had time for lessons.

    It comes down to scheduling and prioritizing. See, lessons are an hour. My lesson was an hour away, so with commute time, I needed 3 hours a week, and that's an extreme example. You can't tell me that everyone here could make 3 hours worth of free time a week if pressed. I still believe that the great American myth is that we're all as busy as we like to say we are. No disrespect to your friend, for all I know he's running for government office while raising 4 children on his own, and working for NASA, so he truly is that busy, but!... a good teacher is going to save you time in the long run. They're going to show you good technique, explain things in a way you can understand when a book might fail at that, diversify your program, provide encouragement and an additional level of excitement that books just can't, despite all the great things books do.

    It's just something to sit down and very seriously consider.
  8. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    well i dont think he gave u this link to wheats bass book which helped me learn alot in the begining
  9. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    thanks, lazybass.... i was the "lazy" one in this case for forgetting to provide the link.

    also.... Gary's book is available directly from Gary, at "http://www.garywillis.com".