Online Bass Education - What’s good & what’s not?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by tb-player, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    When I was coming up, if you wanted to learn bass, you bought a Hal Leonard book to get the basics, then spent the rest of your time slowing down records to pick out the parts. These days, there are a gazillion YouTube channels, most pointing you to the 14-day free trial of their bass school or learning system.

    Curious what experience you guys/gals have had with online curriculum. Did it help? Which schools specialize in which styles/techniques? Do you take Skype lessons from an instructor? Do you just glean what you can from the YouTube rabbit hole of bass education? Or maybe you still refresh your skills using an old school book?
  2. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35 Supporting Member

    For some reason no one has jumped on this string. So.. I'll give my opinion.
    I came over from rhythm guitar and fake chord sheet music. The move to bass was not all that hard as I used my fake chord and instead of strumming the chord I played notes of the chord one note at a time. Yes roots first. Then I added the 5 for a R-5 bass line. The eight came in next.

    Now most all of this came from the Hal Leonard book you talked about. I also liked Bass Guitar for Dummies and most of the patterns I now use I got from dummies.

    I put my root on the A string and in doing that the IV was up a string same fret and the V was down a string, same fret. Later I learned where the 2's, 3's, 7's, etc. were located and this fleshed out my bass line. The major scale box and I were old friends, in fact still are.

    By this time I was gigging and that forced me to learn what else was necessary. Yep being with other people playing music forced me to move forward.

    My two cents.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  3. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Well said. I think that’s such an important piece of the bass education puzzle.
  4. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    We all learn different ways but there is no substitute for a good teacher and the willingness to put in the work to reach your goals. With the internet and Skype you now have access to instructors that would previously require hours of travel and dedication. People travel from all over the world for an opportunity to study with someone like Ron Carter. Most of the less popular internet teachers are the ones that demand the most too see their students succeed but if you dig into their philosophies and teaching methods you'll find that they are all basically teaching the same thing. There are no short cuts. I personally have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeff Berlin, Joe Hubbard, Jon Liebman, Anthony Wellington and Ariane Capp. I'm sure that there are others who might not be as popular at the moment. I was fortunate enough to attend some of Victor Wooten's camps and although some of his methods are unorthodox his philosophies are sound when you look at the overall picture of learning music.

    I am a very willing and open student of Ariane Capp. Besides writing a very popular book on music theory for the bass player, she also has self paced online courses:pentatonics, Music Theory etc. She has painstakingly taken the time to address issues that you don't even know you have, which is the value of a good teacher. Plus she does live monthly Q & A sessions. She is constantly fine tuning her methods to maximize time most efficiently in the learning process. For example, she now has a cohort class where all the students maintain a close online relationship to encourage each other. Check out her bass blog or any of her articles on No Treble and decide for yourself.
    B-Lo and 4StringTheorist like this.
  5. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    I think that's my disconnect with some of the online stuff. I feel like they show you a lot of tips and tricks, but an accomplished instructor builds a relationship and provides feedback and accountability. I will certainly check out Ariane Capp. I appreciate it.
  6. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    If you run into any rough patches I'll do my best to help. Don't hesitate to ask. Good Luck.
    bassanomaly likes this.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I did one year with SBL Scott's bass lessons. Really liked it.
    Concentrated on 2 things and really helped my playing overall.
    I have followed Marlow DK for Lick of the day. For a guy who doesn't
    talk on videos his lessons are great.
    Last winter took lessons with a local teacher and that was a blast
    to go knee to knee live and ask a lots of questions and get instant
    Standalone likes this.
  8. herbygardener

    herbygardener HerbyG

    Oct 28, 2013
    A Rock in the Pacific
    Hi there,
    Here's a post I made in another thread with some links to online folks that have helped me alot and continue to do so...
    Great Online Instructors!

    Good luck.
    nateh415 likes this.
  9. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Just like with live instruction, the online approach also depends a lot on the instructor's personality and how it fits you. Obviously, different students will have different desires and needs, so they may find different instructors better suiting their wants.
    I see two broad categories in online education: 1. Skype-type direct interaction; 2. Online "school" type, with uploaded videos (courses) for members to work from. Each has its pros and cons.

    Briefly, the former approach can be better adapted to the individual student, and there is some relationship being built throughout the interaction. Essentially, I see this the same way with working with an instructor in the flesh, with additional benefits of being able to choose instructors that are not geographically convenient otherwise (plus, you don;t have to worry about giving them flu or whatever, lol). The downside (compared to the "academy" option) is that it costs more, and you do not have the instructor available 24/7.
    The latter approach usually offers more content immediately, for less money. That can be problematic, however, if you are unable to figure out which lessons to work on, or what progression to follow, depending on the layout of the website. Some of those instructors do offer monthly live group sessions, though, so there is possibly a way to work it out. Some instructors, such as Tony Grey, Joe Hubbard or Adam Nitti are really great that way, and will offer additional individual lessons to maximize your progress. The biggest downside, IMO, is the lack of immediate feedback and considerably lower level of student's accountability than with 1on1 lessons.

    There is a third way, too...kind of. Some instructors will have finished products/courses on DVDs or for download, and may or may not be available for contact/support after the purchase. I have had awesome experience in this regard with Dana Rasch's guitar programs (he was the guitar department director at Grove School of Music), as his readiness to offer help/advice/consultation after the purchase has been unparalleled.
  10. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    MarloweDK has many videos where he speaks and teaches theory. He was the biggest guy on yt back when I started playing. Scott Devine and Adam Neely we’re still fledgling yt’ers looking to gain an audience, which they certainly eventually did.
    Steelpulz likes this.
  11. Steelpulz


    Nov 4, 2003
    Inglewood, CA
    That's exactly how I learned! Lol! Except I also had 2 1/2 in. board that I drew strings and frets on. That was before I got a Kawai bass.
    Darryn N likes this.
  12. dcgbass

    dcgbass Guest

    Jul 8, 2018
    I have been teaching via Skype for sometime and I feel done properly, there are wonderful benefits however, one of the obstacles is a student’s willingness to practice.
    Sometimes because of it being online, you will get a text day of, canceling because the student did not practice
    It is also important to have designated lesson worksheets so both the instructor and student knows what’s expected.
    Lastly, I believe that learning music means learning to read music. I have written 6 books with major publishing companies and they required me to write both tab and notation. My most recent book and the 3 I am in the midst of writing are all self published
    I have never liked tab and it is a completely flawed system however, this thread is not about that so I am just stating it from my personal opinion

    To sum up, if you want to learn during this particular time, online is the answer. Moreover, I think if you find the right teacher you will reap amazing benefits.
    Xipandi and nateh415 like this.
  13. comatosedragon

    comatosedragon Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2014
    Rockingham VA {616}
    I personally think there is too much information available. It's not healthy. I have been playing for around 10 years altogether; and I honestly don't think I have improved at all; mainly due to information overload (yes, this can be a personal problem; But I know I'm not the only one affected). I wish I had been born 30 years earlier; I'm sure I would have enjoyed life more and been more successful.
    browndog likes this.
  14. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Then just pretend it’s 1990. (The year I started!) Call a friend on thelandline and get together for some jams once this social distancing thing is over.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  15. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I just picked up Scott’s March madness yearlong deal. Time to check it out.
  16. dcgbass

    dcgbass Guest

    Jul 8, 2018
    It’s not that there is too much information it’s that we are all looking for that instant fix and unfortunately we bounce from one program to the next without sticking it out with a reliable program going from beginning to the end
    There are many programs out there, I don’t deny it, but there are some really great ones out there and bassists should take advantage of them and have patience and keep working through it
    I hope this helps
  17. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    When Jeff Berlin was doing the Player’s School one thing that really struck me was that he believed that it was up to the teacher to know what to teach the student. But we have the student deciding what to learn which may or may not be based on their personal goals. In my opinion that is also one of the failings of our school system that suppress our kids natural talents to meet a standardized goal. You just need to determine what your true goal are and find someone who can asses your weaknesses and help you develop a plan to obtain them. They are out there and once you do the experience will be invaluable. You’ll want those 30 years back so that you can have 30 more years to learn. It never stops.
    GastonD and comatosedragon like this.
  18. dcgbass

    dcgbass Guest

    Jul 8, 2018
    Thanks so much
    If you are interested in a Skype lesson, let me know
  19. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Where can your books be found? I am presently learning to read music. I have come to believe that if music is a language, I should be able to read and write, otherwise I am illiterate and severely stunted in the manner, in which, I can learn. Thanks.
  20. Rhythmman535

    Rhythmman535 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    You can start with or