Beginner to Badass Reviews? 🎸

Dear Josh and all you others,
i had little doubts making this online course to learn an instrument cause it is held in a language i´m not a native speaker for BUT all my thoughts about that were wiped away after a few moments and i really enjoyed it more and more. Sure i miss the opportunity where Josh could criticize my hand-holding and other things that would pop up while having an eye to eye situation but i think that the main idea of gettin someone to play bass who did nothing with music before is a big success in two ways and that means the content AND how Josh is “transporting” it (forgive me my bad english).

So i would like to give a big applause/standing ovation and can assure that i´ve already told some people about it and recommend it.
At least i want to give a constructive critic and that is what you @JoshFossgreen told us about practicing at the end, cause i think that is such an important thing to know that it could be placed much more earlier in the course, but that is polishing diamonds :wink:
So Josh and the team behind it :wave: :+1:

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@bernds64 , I cannot speak any other language except English ( not even my traditional language of Gaelic I’m ashamed to say) so please don’t apologise for your anything but poor English!

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I speak Scottish @mac and most non native English speakers I’ve met fae Europe can fair get a better grasp o the English than I can. :rofl: :guitar: All the road signs in Scotland are now also in the Gaelic :smiley:
Jamie

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The road signs are awesome :sunglasses: @Jamietashi!
I knew the Welsh had done it including their cop cars ( how many times can you get pulled over just for riding a motorcycle in one day :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: )

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Wow. Now I am picturing middle english run amok.

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Overall, I enjoyed the course quite a bit and found it to be worthwhile.

I came into it as an intermediate-ish player with a very basic knowledge of theory (from a few years of playing guitar poorly), which I think led to a unique experience with the course.

For the first few modules, I thought “Oh crap, this is too basic and I’m not going to get a lot from this”. But I diligently worked through each video, knowing that it’s always helpful to learn and re-learn concepts because there are always nuances to be picked-up. It’s kind of like watching the same movie a few times, you tend to notice new, subtle things once you’re familiar with the broad strokes. This approach allowed me to solidify a few things and smooth out some rough edges in certain aspects of my playing (i.e. my right hand plucking technique, specifically reinforcing consistent patterns for certain basslines).

I started to have some light bulbs around module five, and I found the middle of the course to be the most useful, up to the module on slap playing. I had numerous epiphanies as I worked through these modules. For instance using unison to navigate the fretboard. I’ve used unison to tune guitars and basses for years, but it never occurred to me to extrapolate and move the idea around the whole fretboard. This opened up new possibilities instantly. Nashville numbering helped me make some connections between chords, scales, keys and so on.

There was also some content that I found really challenging. For example, Disco Octaves shone a bright light on some deficiencies in my right and left hand techniques/coordination, and I had to stick with that module for a while to become proficient at it.

In short, there is a LOT of content here that I think is useful for anyone that’s a beginner or intermediate player.

Things that I liked:

  • The presentation style. It’s very friendly, welcoming, and not intimidating.
  • The production quality. It’s great.
  • The amount of content. There’s a lot, and if you want to there’s so much more to squeeze out of it once you complete the course.
  • The sequence and pacing. Overall it’s fantastic. There are a couple of sections where it feels a bit random, but for the most part it’s very much on point.
  • Flexible payment options for the course. This is awesome for people such as myself that have a lot of obligations and really have to work to fit music into their lives.

Things that I didn’t like:

  • Learning the riffs and partial songs. There’s quite a bit of this, and while I appreciate that this is great for absolute beginners (who absolutely need those “I can play Feel Good Inc!” moments) I didn’t find it terribly helpful until I started applying advanced course content to the samples after the fact (i.e. mapping out the intervals that were being used, etc.) YMMV depending on where you’re at coming into the course.
  • The last couple of modules of the course feel a bit rushed, with a fair bit of surface material and not enough depth to give a real understanding of the concept. I understand that this is necessary in order to ensure all of the essentials are addressed in some fashion, but it’s an area that could use a bit of improvement. A great way to address this might be to develop “deep dive” modules for some of these topics available for an extra cost.

Final thoughts:
Overall the course is a great value. A lot of thought and work went into it and it shows, it’s well sequenced and the structure is very good for instilling core techniques and concepts for beginners. There are also enough nuggets for more advanced players up to roughly the intermediate level. I learned a lot, and my gripes with the course were very few and admittedly due to my previous experience.

It’s a fantastic foundational course, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone fitting into the beginner to intermediate range, but especially for complete beginners. I sure could have used a course like this when I switched from guitar to playing bass primarily - it would have saved A LOT of frustration and quite few periods of my instrument sitting in a closet while I pouted about never getting better.

Many thanks, Josh :smile:

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Great detail @botnaysard,
I agree there is something for all here, and I could have used this type of course 40 something years ago , would have saved me a lot of frustration and cleaning the cobwebs off my bass😎
Cheers Brian

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Hi Josh,
I really loved the course. You had an excellent knack of picking out appropriate songs to match the instruction but also varying the style - Rock, Reggae, Ska, Soul, etc. And, you clearly have taught a lot of people because I could hear how you were anticipating people’s challenges and always had the right advice. One final thing is that you always made the music theory part interesting without devolving into the tedious.

Here is my background:

  1. Over 60. Had a bass for about 7 years before having children/job then sold the bass. Didn’t repurchase one until a few years ago.
  2. I always felt I could play but never had formal instruction on the bass. But, always had music and music theory (chorus, keyboards).
  3. How did I find you? To improve my bass I looked up interesting bass songs and found “Higher Ground” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I started using your video on YouTube and realized “Oh, that is slap bass. I have no idea what the heck that is! And, it is insanely fast.”. But, I came away really liking the way your explained things.
  4. So, from there, I found your course Beginner to Badass. I am overqualified as a beginner but I had no idea whether my technique was even in the ballpark. So your course sort of “reset” me on a path where I have a much more solid foundation then advanced me in areas like slap bass while reminding me of all the music theory I had forgotten.

Great work! And, I would highly recommend your course to others.

Now here is my one pet peeve on the course: You do these little bass licks for a few seconds before each lesson and are not really part of the course. The technical skills required are way beyond what this course can ever teach. Is that just to drive us insane knowing our chance to get anywhere close to that skill is about 1 in 100? :slightly_smiling_face:

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I intended to do the course in 3 months, but ended up only taking 4-5 weeks because I just wanted to keep going.

Josh’s teaching style is fun and no nonsense. I like that he only takes several minutes to explain a lesson and then the rest of the time is spent showing how to play it, and I loved looking forward to learning popular songs at the end of each module.

I recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn bass and spend more time playing along with Josh, than sitting and listening to someone just talk about scales etc. Compared to the other online bass lessons I’ve seen, this is definitely the only one I’ve been able to stick with and see through to the very end.
I now own 2 basses and I enjoy playing them both now that I can play most of the songs I’ve ever wanted to learn. I couldn’t do that a month ago!

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It’s not often a student is sad to finish a course. It I’m guessing it’s almost never that a student is sad to finish an online course. But that’s how I feel. And proud. And happy.
Others have said it over and over: Josh is an amazing teacher. And I’m sure he has good people around him. So, thanks to you, Josh, and your collaborators. Job well done.
I’m looking forward to the 2.0 version.
Ken
(started Dec. 14; completed Feb. 8th)

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Congratulations on completing the course @krt1!

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congratulations Ken @krt1,

Cheers Brian

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Congratulations @krt1.
I like many here feel your sadness too

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Congrats @krt1

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Well… I just finished the course after starting a year ago. Probably worth explaining the completion time first. This is not a fault of the course. It’s just how it is. I have a hectic job, six kids at home, and I struggle at times with motivation. i.e. A lot of times after a long day, I just want to vegetate and play computer games. Lockdown has just made home life even more crazy (hence my absence from the forums lately), which hasn’t helped either.

One very important thing though is that this is the only online course I have ever completed. And I have started a LOT of online courses on various topics over the years. I usually just lose interest or get distracted by some other shiny thing. I am just a type of person that struggles to see things through to completion, which drives those around me bonkers. The fact that I actually completed the course really is a massive endorsement in itself. I’m very proud of myself for actually finishing something.

Some relevant history about me is that I originally learned some piano when I was a kid. Over the years I’ve dabbled in violin, bassoon, flute, bass, and guitar. But as mentioned above, I never really stuck to any. In fact, I played bass for a couple years 20 years ago then gave it up for other endeavours. It’s only because a family friend heard I played bass a long time ago and asked me to jam with a group they were making about a year ago (hence me starting the course), that I got back into it. I was jamming with them every couple of weeks (until lockdown), which was reinforcing my learning and motivating me to keep learning. I will be playing regularly with them again once lockdown is eased. I know a bit of basic music theory and note reading, but not really that much.

Pros

Josh Josh Josh. He is such an amazing teacher. It is hard to pinpoint why this is, but his style is the closest thing I’ve experienced to actually being in a room with a teacher. His enthusiasm is infectious. His sense of humor is great and I pick up on the little things like what shirts he wears for different lessons. Can’t praise him enough as a teacher.

The course layout and production are great. I like that there is some theory and then some follow along practice to reinforce the theory. It’s a solid combination. If you learn something but don’t utilize it, you will simply forget it.

I got a lot out of reading the comments from other students under the video of each lesson. Many times they had the same questions that were in my head and that gave me a feeling that I wasn’t alone. Also, Josh is great at answering these questions and answered any questions I posted there within 24 hours.

The forum is also great for combining with the course. It is such a great bunch of helpful and friendly people. Most musician forums I’ve visited have a sense of elitism, but there is none of that here. And of course, Josh pops around the forums as well, which is always great to see.

Possible Improvements

Instead of recording tracks in videos to play along to, I think it would be cool to have videos of other musicians to play along to. e.g. Instead of a drum + guitar audio track, to actually see the drummer and guitarist playing with you. I think this would add a layer of it being a jam instead of just a practice session.

While the tracking on the tab playthroughs (the bar that moves across the tab) is fine overall, sometimes it is off slightly from Josh’s playing. This can be annoying at times, but is not a big deal.

Some of the Course Extras is a bit clunky. As an online course, I’d like to be able to play backing tracks and such online as well. It’s great to be able to download them, but having the option to play them online would be wonderful as well (with loop and playback speed, even better).

In the early lessons, I felt like there could be more information about left hand placement. Not as in on the frets, but angles of fingers, where to put your thumb on the neck, etc. I’ve been told by a professional bassist that my fingers are too angled close to the nut, but I’m just doing what is comfortable to me. Would have been great to hear Josh discuss this as it bugs me.

It would be nice if you could have it on full screen and go to the next lesson automatically or by pressing a button instead of having to take the lesson off full screen, hit Next, then put it back on full screen.

My Next Steps

I’m going to continue to jam with my “band” when we can. I’ve also got Ariane Cap’s theory book that I’m going to work through. I’m also going to do some sheet music reading apps/websites more. Then I plan on re-doing the course from Module 5 or so and ONLY looking at the sheet music instead of relying on the tab.

Conclusion

It’s been an amazing and hugely valuable experience going through the course. I can’t recommend it enough to any aspiring bassist or those that just want to refine their techniques a bit more. I’ll continue to be part of the community as I think it’s the best one around for bassists.

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6 posts were split to a new topic: Practicing and Exhaustion

I have literally finished the course 5 minutes ago,here are my thoughts:

Like a few posters above,I had some prior experience playing bass and guitar. Both self thought in the dark ages,before the internet and with having to sometimes go months or more before meeting someone who could tell me:" dude, you are doing that backwards.here,look how it is done"

It’s safe to say that I have picked up all the bad habits I could and worked myself tightly into a dead end when it came to playing.
Sure, i understood how tabs work,could find notes on the strings and I even had some (extremely)rudimentary knowledge of theory,but it felt like i was going nowhere.

Back to the course:
I worried at the start ,like a few of you, that it was too basic…but,again like many on here, i stuck with it and diligently did the workouts until the modules became more challenging.

In that process i identified enough bad habits to already feel the benefits of this approach.
The pacing is spot on, the theory becomes interesting rather than boring and the direct application to playing is very rewarding.
I have also developed a hunger to learn more when it comes to theory and that is really something for me.

Josh keeps talk at exactly the right ratio to playing and his personality comes across as genuine…it really feels good playing along and learning and at no point did feel like:" look at how good I am"

The format works really well, the extras are good and the whole thing just works.
The price is really fair for what you’re getting and I would not hesitate to sign up to the next course.

Hope this helps, I had a blast and I finally know how to progress.

Thanks @JoshFossgreen, you knocked it out of the park!

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