Billie Jean kicked my butt!

So I just finished module 4 lesson 6, and I must say with humility that Billie Jean by Michael Jackson was a big jump in difficulty compared to the earlier lessons. Haha.

I was so discouraged that I quit trying with my plucking hand and started using a pick. This made it a little easier but then I decided that I was defeating the purpose of the lesson so I put the pick down.

Maybe I’m just having a bad day. Haha.


This has been brought up over and over again. Don’t fear. You most certainly aren’t the only one who thought that lesson was difficult :slight_smile:


Hi @dcole336699

You’re doing great!

Oh, and welcome to the club - everybody struggles with this exercise! @soren_ladegaard Soren refers to this post, probably.

Personally, I was able to play the riff, but the full song… oh dear, my poor left hand. And getting the muting/staccato decent, or the whole discussion which version is “the one.” :see_no_evil:

Bookmark the exercise, it’s going to be a great way to check your progress. :slight_smile:


Thanks guys for the encouragement! Glad to see I’m not the only one that found this difficult. Haha


First off, congratulations! That’s a true to life milestone as far as I’m concerned.
So many of us here have our stories of the battle with Billie Jean. She whipped me regularly for i don’t want to tell you how long. I was so bad at it i had to break it up into 4 note sections, learn to play those and then learn to couple them up. After 2 years of playing, i still wouldn’t say I’ve mastered it. Primarily because I’m old and arthritis plays into it.

As for playing that whole song? I can do it, but I’m not going to say its mistake free.

It looks good on you. Keep plucking!


@dcole336699: Congrats. It’s a Bass Buzz milestone and rite of passage.

Reporting that you have hit this lesson and that it has hit you back upside the head with a 2 x 4 earns you knowing nods of sympathy and empathy.

When (not if!) you come back to report that you have finally kicked Billie Jean’s ass, you earn knowing nods of respect.

Different people have different strategies for overcoming this obstacle. One of my favorites is simply incorporating the slow (then medium, then fast) workouts into your daily practice routine.

It may take a while, but you WILL succeed. Don’t get discouraged…get even!
Good luck.


Definitely check out this thread. It is full of BJ stories and solid advice on how to master it.

Take your time. You got this.


BJ did not give me any problems. However, “Some Kind of Wonderful” did. I still can’t nail it 100% of the time and I practice it every time I play.


Welcome to the club lol


Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement! I feel better knowing I am not alone.


My biggest problem was that I don’t like the song so I found it even more frustrating to pour a bunch of time in to it :rofl:

Worth it though. It’s a good warmup and also a good gauge for how rusty I am after practice gaps (which are getting more frequent and lengthier as I focus on other instruments).


Yeah, for sure it was a big jump but what a great workout for the fingers! Josh did say that it was going to elevate demand on both our fingers and our mind and also just to push on. Just keep forging forward and remember that each day you spend practicing is a day you get a little better than yesterday.
Case in point, I just heard that song “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground, looked up the tabs and could play along. Couldn’t have done that a few weeks back. Keep plugging away!!!