I couldn't bear to add on to a 19 year old thread, but it got me wondering how I got started in playing bass as a kid and how what I know now contributes to picking it up (seriously) after scores of decades. My first short lived instrument at age 7 was a piano-like thing called an accordian. I took lessons long enough to learn to read the notes on the treble clef and the names of the white and black notes. Mom was a pianist so I always had a piano available (but could only use my right hand effectively 0 ). So I always understood the linear aspects of notes. Then came guitar with songs from Peter Paul and Mary, The Beatles, Stones, the whole 60's thing. Compared to today's stuff, easy-peazy. When playing in my 60's rock band much of the stuff we played revolved around I IV V, I VI (IV) V I or II V I. You get the picture. So learning the chords, the root progressions and finally the notes within triads and 7ths provided a fundamental knowledge so when I took my first music theory class I'd see stuff up on the board and say to myself "Oh, that's what you call that". So for me, I had a very basic understanding of how music worked, how chords moved, deciphering that down to roots, 4ths, 5ths and 3rd made transition to easy bass...well... easy. And I consider myself lucky to have a whole lot of basic musical foundation before ever picking up a bass. But to those of you who are starting from ground zero... How do/did you learn bass? While I teach trumpet and find that a breeze, and have no issue teaching guitar, I think I'd be really challenged to teach bass to a raw beginner with no experience, not even knowing where to begin with someone picking up any instrument for the first time. Especially guys who claim to be self-taught, with no prior musical experience. How did you do it???