Billie Jean is a Wicked Mistress

We end up talking about Billie Jean across so many different threads I decided we need a central place to address the Wickedness that is Billie Jean.

Post here if you have any questions or advice for nailing Billie Jean in Module 4 Lesson 6.

Here is some advice I’ve given in the past…

  • Billie Jean gets everybody. Just don’t get so hung up on it that you quit moving forward in the course. I’m halfway through and I still can’t play it at full speed. I think it’s there to keep us humble. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

Then there was this…

  • When I started, I was determined to nail every exercise on the fast workout before moving on and I fought with Billie Jean for far longer than I should have. Don’t do that. It only leads to frustration and this is supposed to be fun. Just plan to make Billie Jean part of your practice as you move through the course.

And also this…

  • You are not alone. Billie Jean is (arguably) the most difficult piece of music in the course. Most people that have talked about it on the forum didn’t mange to play it at the fast speed until after they had finished the course. That bass line is terribly misleading. It only seems simple.

Here is an excellent post with a video and advice from @Gio.
If you’re having trouble, this should be your next stop.
What are you struggling with? - Technique - BassBuzz Forum


Good idea, @eric.kiser . . . :+1:

Things are getting scattered here and there and it would be great to have a centralized location to discuss our favorite nemesis! :wink:

Cheers, Joe


Yeah. I just saw you address Billie Jean in another thread and thought it would be easier, since it comes up so often, to have a single place we could link to.


I just finished the course and I’m going to take the quiz. I also plan on re-visiting “Billie Jean”. Glad you started this thread @eric.kiser. Now I’ll have a shoulder to cry on.


I may or may not have been talking about this exact same subject earlier today :smiley:


I am 2 and 1/2 days into B2B.
54 lessons down and still going. I should be at least thru Module 9 by the days end.

Although it has been less then 36 hours since doing the dreaded BJ lesson, I can’t stop playing it every time I pick up one of my basses.

It’s mesmerizing to me. I find it plays naturally if you think about something else totally.

I play it while listening to josh explain major scales and triads. And afterwards, I realized I am playing it full speed.

There are 3 things I suggest for this.
( if you dare listen to me: I am nowhere near an expert, I go so far as to label myself a SUPER NOVICE or less, it’s just this riff doesn’t trip my fingers up, where many others do, even wipeout if I try it fast)

1- make it a part of your regular practice
2- play it while focusing on other things. Start slow.
3- try switching up strings every riff as part of your exercising so it comes more naturally when you need to do it in the lesson.


Billie Jean was a major speed bump when I was taking the B2B course, and it held up my progress for nearly a week before I decided to kick the b*tch to the curb and move on. I pulled her out of the curb after I finished the course, and surprisingly, was able to handle her. I recommend anyone who is having trouble with that lesson just move on and give her a try later after gaining more knowledge and experience.


I just love the thread title. Bravo, sir.


Thanks Gio! It seemed fitting. :rofl: :+1:

@T_dub I always find it interesting how much gets retained from prior experience with music. Even though it’s been over a decade since you played guitar, for you to be going through the course that quickly is a big testament to how much you’ve retained.


That and the fact I have all the time in the world, coupled with a new found (or rekindled if you rather) passion.:sunglasses:
And a little nuts too🤣


^^^ this. I have, in fact, read many a topic on this forum while leaning backwards and fondl-- err, noodling the wicked mistress.


You’re a machine! That’s probably the fastest I’ve seen someone get through B2B, although those later modules are not as easy to zip through. Happy bass playing, let us know when you get to the end :guitar: !


Will do!
I am thru 61 now.
Module 9, lesson 5

Stopping for dinner, then back to finish 9.
I am gonna try to get thru Module 10 and finish the 2nd section of the course tonight.

I stress TRY to complete 10, as you say they start getting tougher.
It helped that I was pretty fluent in the Major scale, triad and arpeggio. Minor was a small adjustment. I am starting to get loads of new info now, it’s GREAT!!!

Plus Josh makes it so much fun.

Shhhhh. @JoshFossgreen. I won’t tell them you paid me to say that if you don’t


Ok, I made it thru Module 10, and the 2nd of 3 sections of B2B.
Really excited for Module 11 and 12. This I’d go a really strengthen my fretboard skills, my biggest weakness imo.
I would keep pushing, but I need some sleep to keep the brain sharp for what’s coming.


I am pretty sure you’re setting some kind of record here. @JoshFossgreen - this deserves some kind of forum badge :slight_smile:


It’ll be interesting to see how this educational binging will work for you. :slight_smile:
I’ve always read (and thought) that taking in new knowledge and new abilities is best taken in in manageable doses; the brain has this ability to keep processing and ordering new information when it’s idling (even as one sleeps).

But I’ll be the first to state that your mileage may vary! :grin:


Wondering the same, though if this is reactivating his prior knowledge from Guitar, it might be effective :slight_smile:


Good points. Hard to tell yet, still, real work lies ahead


Had a great session on BJ last night. The only real difference was that I warmed up doing the slow and medium lessons first and it led me perfectly into it. And this time, I was ready for the independent ring/pinky arrangement and after a couple of tries I’ve managed to keep it up on the fast speed. That was a proper punch in the air moment. Felt like leveling up. Awesome! So, if I can manage it, anyone can :slight_smile: