Are You an Intermediate Bass Player? (Here's How to Know)

Are you as good at bass as you think you are? Use this 17-point checklist to test if you’re an intermediate bass player… or not.

1:21 - Tuning Your Bass
1:46 - Fretboard Memorizing
2:43 - Four Finger Fretting
3:13 - Alternating Plucking
4:12 - Playing With Metronome
4:46 - Playing Legato
5:39 - Muting
6:30 - Basic Scales
7:20 - Basic Rhythms
8:26 - Knowing Your Gear
9:08 - Reading Notation
9:29 - Playing With Drummers
10:11 - Jamming
10:56 - Listening
11:54 - 12 Bar Blues
12:15 - Creating Bass Lines
13:26 - Playing Full Songs

Intermediate Bass Resources

If you struggled with anything in the video, here are some helpful resources:
Learn to Tune - https://youtu.be/MjyFJYcr6-o
Start Learning Your Fretboard - https://youtu.be/tcok98Vk6uA
Fretting Technique - https://youtu.be/ux-i7FWOLzs
Plucking Technique - https://youtu.be/CR8yQCZX2HQ
Get Started With Scales - https://youtu.be/2PzUVcDkjX8
Fix Your Bass Tone - https://youtu.be/0KgB7wIyTUw
How to Play Bass With a Drummer - https://youtu.be/PSw5uqkTPzs
Ear Training - https://www.musictheory.net/exercises
12 Bar Blues Basics - https://youtu.be/tiloGr59WOg
Create Bass Lines - https://youtu.be/lAMRqLNo6yk
Jam Skills, Learn to Read, Basic Rhythm, Syncopation, Basic Muting + More - https://www.bassbuzz.com/lessons/beginner

How did all you B2B grads do with this checklist? Was anything difficult?

Intermediate Bass Challenge: Creating Bass Lines

For the daring and intrepid -

Here’s an extended track of the “creating bass lines” playalong from the video. Let’s hear your bass lines!

The chord progression is | Gmaj | Dmin | Cmaj | Cmaj |

Have fun! :yum:

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Josh, still refining all the items on the checklist, but, thanks to B2B, they are all completely doable! I think I’m in the land of intermediate-ness now!! Well, I know I’m not as bad as Noob Josh at least, not anymore, lol. (Could still use an intermediate/advanced beginner follow up course though :slight_smile:)

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I was nodding and smiling through most of this, but I faltered when it came to jamming with others and ear training. My ears aren’t as keen as I’d like them to be, but it’s something I’m working on.
So…
I know I’m not a noob, and I’m pretty close to being fully intermediate. Do I need to surrender my “Bad Ass Bass Gal” title and change it to “Almost Intermediate Bass Gal”? :rofl: :rofl:

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Wow thanks for doing this! I can do them all, but I don’t routinely do them all, which tells me what I need to do next :slight_smile:

Biggest gaps for me:

  • remembering scales I rarely use (blues scale primarily, I also rarely do minor pentatonic. I’m usually doing major, minor, major pentatonic, and mixolydian mode)
  • playing whole songs - I only do one song all the way through usually
  • muting (a constant work in progress)
  • memorizing a couple common 12-bars
  • faster recall of notes on the fretboard. I can point them out but it might take a moment.

tabs and chord notation I have down but I really should spend more time working on sight reading music. I can do it, but not nearly to speed. I prefer music notation over the others if I have the time to work through it, though.

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Nope… I’m still a Badass Beginner… But my wife says I’m a “Really ‘GOOD’ Badass Beginner”!! And to me, that’s all that matters!!.. :grinning:

At my time in life, I’m totally satisfied with where I’m at right now!!.. ALIVE!!:smiley::smiley::smiley:

Keep on Thumpin’!

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This is great, thanks @JoshFossgreen. I’m still a beginner (just learned the pentatonic scale last night :smiley:)

Here is my attempt a “Create your own bass line.” It took me a couple of times through progression before I settled in (also, it sounds much better with the drums and guitar :laughing:)

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@JoshFossgreen I’d like to go for a bass line on this track, but I don’t see a
way to download the track to my computer so I can overlay my bass line.

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@PamPurrs I’d love to have this as well!

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@JoshFossgreen, another excellent video . . . very entertaining, well thought out, and a great review/recap of your B2B course! It is definitely helpful because it helps me focus on what I should be working on.

I think I can do most of the checklist, but am still very weak in music theory and find myself frequently going back to review terminology, etc. My major weaknesses are inability to read music, and remembering things. My fretting technique has improved, but I still need more work with my pinky.

I spend most of my time trying to emulate John Entwistle (My Generation, The Real Me, Another Tricky Day, Won’t get Fooled Again) and I have definitely picked up lots of speed and greatly improved plucking technique and legato, but I still can’t do “Billie Jean”. Go figure :roll_eyes:

All in all, I’d rate myself an “Advanced Beginner” . . . :yum:

Thanks for your video (and I also left you a thumbs up on the Tube).

Cheers, Joe

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The technique described here https://forum.bassbuzz.com/t/recording-yourself/4979/13 should let you capture it.

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@PamPurrs, I think you had the right idea to fully focus on reading music right from the start rather than relying on tablature, so good for you! :wink:

As Josh had mentioned, lots of tabs are inaccurate and unless you know how a song is supposed to sound, they are pretty much useless. :neutral_face:

All best, Joe

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Easiest solution would be that Josh allows downloads for this post; once he does that, a download button should be visible just below the player window in SoundCloud

Second easiest would be to use a (video) downloader app, such as, e.g., Downie (for Mac), which is a little app that “extracts” video and/or audio from webpages

The Audacity hack didn’t work for me, as the Mac version of Audacity apparently won’t let you choose your speakers as input source.

:smile:

3 Likes

Josh, @JoshFossgreen, we wanna be able to download your track to make playalongs, can you go into your SoundCloud, click on the page for the track itself, then click Edit, scroll to the Permissions tab, then click Enable Direct Downloads, then, hit Save Changes. It’ll make it a whole lot easier to grab your file, and then lay our bassline on top of it! :metal: Rock on!

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Another winner, @JoshFossgreen! Thank you!

This is really super helpful as a mirror for those of us who think they are (or should be) “intermediate” players, but haven’t really gauged that in a more systematic way!

I wish I could just tick off all seventeen items, but, alas, that list reminds me (conveniently and painfully) of my remaining shortcomings and also a few “blind spots” I need to work on more!

Love those bass line challenges - will come back with my attempt soon-ish :smile:

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that was awesome Josh! I still have a lot more work to do ( still doing the Beginner to Badass course), but the video is a really good resource and point of reference for something to aim for. Your YouTube content has been fantastic and you are putting so much effort in to the videos and I smile when I see that a new video has dropped. Keep them coming!

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@leonard Welcome to the BassBuzz forum!

When you have time, join us on the Introduce Yourself thread.

@JoshFossgreen What a very timely video as I’m in the middle of restructuring my goals and practices to help me move forward and get where I want to be. Thank you, for this.

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Here is my bass line, @JoshFossgreen - certainly pushing the limits of what I can comfortably play; can’t help myself, I guess :smile:

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Sounds very smooth and polished, @joergkutter . . . :+1:

:slight_smile:

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I like where you went with that!

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Very kind of you, @Jazzbass19!

Yes, the original sound sample most likely lends itself much better to my “style”… it is probably impossible to put a post metal/sludge bass line on this :rofl:

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