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Looking for best online lessons

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Stepheno, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. Mark has virtually the same thing at TalkingBass. I think he calls it a Gold Pass or a Gold Membership where you have access to all of his paid courses, for an annual fee of course. He only opens it up a few times a year however. My personal issue with the All-Access memberships is focus. I tend to chase the next shiny object and then the next, and so on. With the individual courses I find the discipline to stay focused.
  2. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    I have weekly Skype lessons with a very good teacher. There are wonderful resources available online, but it's not easy plotting a path through them - tackling what you need as you need it, rather than randomly trying to absorb stuff. And even when online sites offer "courses", there tends not to be constant direct feedback. I couldn't tell you the number of times I think I'm doing something correctly and my teacher has gently pointed out I'm not, or when he's noticed me doing something small but really significant (like accidentally bending a string because I'm reaching too far, or finger joints collapsing instead of being curved, or being tense and rigid, or, or..). The other thing is that having a lesson every Tuesday morning means I work like a dog from Tuesday afternoon through to the next Monday evening! It's hard to be accountable to a website.
    I went from nothing to sight reading, gigging (blues and jazz), a growing knowledge of musical theory, in about 4 years. Still got a long road ahead!
    So that's the way I'd go. Find a teacher who's played the kind of music you want to play, at a well respected level, and one who has a background in music theory too. Then settle in for the journey.
  3. herbygardener

    herbygardener HerbyG

    Oct 28, 2013
    A Rock in the Pacific
    Here are some of the best instructors and free resources out there in my opinion, with years worth of self directed study available as well as the paid lesson options...

    Great Online Instructors!

  4. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I signed on with Scott’s Basslessons years ago when he was just getting going. Got a lifetime membership for a great deal.

    It’s been a great value. The courses are great, each with written supporting material. It has been great for my sight reading.

    Customer support is solid.

    Sure, there’s a lot of the short “come on” lessons with the sales pitch, but even those are solid. He’s built an amazing resource and it’s growing every day. Try it for two weeks, and watch for special deals. Once he’s got your email, you’ll be kept up to date.

    There’s a nice forum, practice groups, challenges, bass hangs, more than I have time for...

    Backing tracks and the rhythm trainer are good features. Play alongs get you reading at speed.

    Seems like every time I check in there’s something new, I wish I had more hours in the day.
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  5. I like Scotts Bass Lessons, but I generally have to fast forward about 10 minutes into his videos to get passed all the BS. Mark Smith with talkingbass is way more straight forward with way less BS. As others have said the lessons on talkingbass also seem to be better organized, and very free.
    reddog and FatStringer52 like this.
  6. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Just signed up with Mark Smith’s website. Quick and easy, looks like it’ll be a fun place to spend some time.

    The rainy season is upon us here in Washington state, long dark nights are good for woodshedding.

    I think the biggest problem with online lessons is just the computer. It’s a great tool. I’ve got a line 6 HD500x with in ears hooked up to a Mac. The sound is awesome. I can get the video in one window and the music in another. My Beat Buddy is hooked in so I can change tempos, or go to half time at a click. I can print a page and put it by the couch for unplugged playing when I’m “watching” something I don’t really care about but my wife is enjoying.

    But, damn, the computer lets me know about every text, phone call, email. I’ve figured out how to turn off all the alerts audio, but stuff still pops up on screen. I’m one click away from going down a rabbit hole on YouTube, checking the web cameras for wind conditions, or getting sucked into a stupid group text from work.

    It’s why I like reading on my Kindle, it doesn’t do anything but show me pages of text. No distractions.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the electronics seem to be making it harder to concentrate and do deep work. A lot of time I just use the HD500x and the beat buddy and leave the computer off. I still work through books rather than going online.

    Great resources, but online comes at a price.
    BOOG and MCF like this.
  7. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    IMO Mark Smith is great for what you are looking to accomplish.

    For an overall course, Roy Voigt’s Teach Me Bass Guitar is the place for someone to start. Supplement with specific courses by Mark and almost anyone without access to a live teacher can become a pretty proficient player in about twelve to twenty four months depending on time. I like Scott’s too, but found his style to be a bit too frenetic and unorganized.

    Mark Smith has all kinds of printable PDFs for modes, scales and specific exercises to get them under your fingers and ingrained in your muscle memory.
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  8. Kaplan


    Jul 25, 2018
    I think Scotts bass lessons are the finest ressource today. Tons of stuff. I chose this Gary Willis Masterclasss and highly recommend it because of the pro's insights, all ist boiled down to a simple system:
    The Gary Willis Masterclass
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  9. flatwound251

    flatwound251 Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2019
    Los Angeles, Ca.
    I have learned a lot from both Scott's Bass Lessons (SBL) and Ariana Cap's "Music Theory for Bass Players" course. Granted, it isn't free, but SBL has a huge archive of lessons, seminars, and courses and Scott has to be the most enthusiastic promoter of bass education around. Ariana Cap's theory course covers not only theory, but also a lot of technique. The bottom line is you have to do the work yourself: watch, listen, practice and play with other musicians whenever you can!
  10. Tad

    Tad Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Boise, Idaho
    What did you think of the Sight Reading course?

    I watched his come on to that and what he had to say made sense. I was thinking that it might be a good winter study project.
  11. Stepheno


    Sep 14, 2019
  12. Stepheno


    Sep 14, 2019
    HI, are you on talkingbass and did you sign for free, that is what i did a week ago. You can buy indivdual courses he has a monthly plan. I think this is who I am sticking with, but am looking at the paying options.
  13. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Save your money! By the time you have run through all the many many available FREE resources on the web, you will have more than enough material to keep you busy for the next decade.

    Actually, by the time you have studied online for a couple of weeks, money would be better spent to sit down IN PERSON with whomever the nearest local highly esteemed bass teacher is, and ask them to give you some advice based on what they see you are up to...
    Whippet, Bass Momma and BOOG like this.
  14. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    No brainer, Ariane Cap. Just get the book. I am a paid subscriber but most of what I get is from the book itself. With enough discipline you should be able to do it witout the video.

    I can't be the only one that thinks that videos are a pain when you try to play, listen, watch, and fumble around with the keyboard and mouse sitting behind the pc screen, trying not to bash your headstock into the screen or the can of beer. All this saps the concentration and drive. The only exception I have seen is guitarjamz, which a fellow TB player recommended on playing electric guitar. Marty has the formula right. No BS. Straight to the playing technique. Makes the PC experience manageable. Check his videos on youtube and compare that to the others. It's the benchmark for ease of use.

    Scott is good but Ariane has a much stricter curriculum that you follow. It's pure discipline. No BS, no fluff, nothing convoluted. Just you, bass, amp, and book. There is no excuse to noodle around, mess around with the effects and amp, no introduction and personal stories, etc etc etc. You want that stuff, you've got free youtube.

    It's a little spartan, but discipline is good for you.
    mikewalker likes this.
  15. It's a very good course. It takes time (to work this into your memory banks) and practice (on a daily basis) to progress at a reasonable pace. The PDF workbook is a good resource with some practice material. But after a little bit you'll start to memorize the practice score. Mark recommends that you start on different measures and/or write your own scores to counter this. I've done both and would recommend the later. You'll definitely want to use a metronome. All-in-all, I'm a much more proficient reader now, although I'm still a long way from being able to sight read a gig.
    Tad likes this.
  16. When looking at the prices of the online lessons keep in mind that you’re getting a full year of online access for the price of two or three one-hour lessons with a good teacher. The key to getting a benefit from it is self discipline and a consistent schedule of online followed by practice. You do have to take responsibility for practicing what you are given on any online resource because if you don’t you’re wasting time and money. I am a fan of one-on-one with that good teacher but what works well for me may not work at all for you. We all learn differently so if something doesn’t work for you, whether it be an online or an in-person teacher, discuss it with them and before you reach the point of frustration, either mutually change something or move on. You’re paying your money so you should be the one getting the goods.
  17. Stepheno


    Sep 14, 2019

    What courses did you sign up?
    And AM?
  18. At TalkingBass, when you purchase a course you have lifetime access to that course. And I do believe it works much the same at SBL. Not really sure about eBassGuitar. Those are the only ones I have first-hand knowledge of; not really sure about the others. Now All-Access memberships are a yearly subscription.
  19. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    there is no substitue for a good teacher. A lot of the best teachers have students that gig regularly and asking the important question, ''do your students gig?'' is a sure way to know if you're going to get solid advice.

    well, the OP wants theory, so in that sense, I am not sure if he needs a teacher..... I'd be inclined to think that time and books would help more.

    Application of theory, that's a different story and as you mentioned, there is no substitute for a real teacher. The rest, you got it right. The almighty web. afterall, we've all paid for the monthly connection fee, no need to pay more.
    BOOG and mikewalker like this.
  20. Ghook

    Ghook Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2018
    Eastern US
    I simply created an account. I will see what I am interested in and purchase that block. AM is Active Melody, an online guitar tutorial source.

    It's my belief that tutorials are what make the net a really valuable tool for me. At my age (68) it's very difficult to find a real live instructor willing to instruct me as I choose to be instructed. That is the very market Brian at Active Melody taps into. No theroy, just here is how to play this riff or blues 12 bar, chicken pick or finger pick. You learn a song he presents once a week. He also provides a course on the Blues.

    So many of us senior guys who don't gig and play for the pure activity of just playing, noodling or jamming with a friend are not looking for structured lessons. This is where I turn to, online. Marks free song section with bass lines will keep me going for a long time, I will build on them, transpose them and learn new patterns I can build on.

    I will purchase something because no one should work for free.

    I would prefer to sit with a physical instructor who can essentially be a jam partner for a paid full hour. Where I live, ain't happening. The last instructor I tried said he would, could. I gave him a link to Active Melody and my first lesson was a critique on Brian's approach. Brian's full time day job is Active Melody. Brian has a home in Brentwood, Tn to house him and his family. My one paid lesson ( critique) instructor drove a beat up Dodge Neon. Perhaps the "instructor" industry is missing a viable market.

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