Demotivating bass lessons?

Hey gang,

When you’re doing online video lessons (Youtube, a course, whatever) do you ever get demotivated either before, during or after the lessons?

If you do, what is that demotivates you? And how do you get back in the saddle?


Demotivated because of the lessons?


Demotivated with everything else which keeps me from lessons?

And how!


I hit Module 13 and went “ohfuckohfuckohfuck it’s slap time” XD I don’t know if I would say I am demotivated, but it took the wind out of my sails despite getting through the YouTube thing on slap and doing sorta decent.

So in my case, probably just fear and insecurity.


When too much is over my head. I think your videos do a great job introducing the basics, but moving on beyond that has been a challenge. Quickly gets into too much theory versus stuff that’s a little more practical, maybe?

Specifically, improvising for me. I am trying to figure out how to improvise walks between roots. Or how to play with rhythms. And how to find balance with silence…and repeating notes too. All of that is great, when I hear it in other lines, but creating my own either sounds off or unremarkable, or just like something else.

So I think I’m looking for a library/toolbelt of goto ways to walk between roots, and then drill those down, to be able to apply. Other videos on walking bass lines give an example and then “set you loose” on it…and set loose on my own is the demotivating part. I am working through Ryan Moeller’s improvisation videos, and they might be what I’m looking for.

So - when demotivated, I go back to things I enjoy playing and mess around with those, and I get to feeling good again. Like playing the Thrill is Gone and looking at the different walks done there, and then try and tweak it a bit, to see what works, in that context, versus being completely “let loose”.

Or when less demotivated, maybe I’ll go back to something that was challenging before and find it’s less challenging now. To get some easy wins.

Ear training demotivates me cause of a lack of progress. And so I go back to playing things. Thinking if I go over walks and pay attention to the intervals, I’ll get a better feel for hearing intervals that way.

I’m definitely in the camp that believes it’s better to invest larger % of my time on parts I enjoy, vs on parts I don’t enjoy for minimal gains.


I don’t think I got demotivated during B2B at any stage, but there are a couple of things that definitely have been demotivating factors for me after B2B:

  1. Plateauing, and having no idea how to overcome it. In my case this is plucking speed, and to a lesser degree fretting speed. I know, start slow and gradually increase the tempo. But I’ve plateaued, and have nowhere to increase the tempo to.
    How do I overcome it: Learn slower songs instead. Keep grinding Hysteria and hope that it’s going to increase my speed.
  2. Lack of direction. There are too many things to learn, and I’m sometimes not sure what would be most beneficial as the next step, and what is a waste of time.
    How do I overcome it: When I get bored with a book or a course I put it aside and just play songs instead.
  3. Lack of accurate transcriptions. This can drive me nuts. I spend valuable practice time learning a song, and then I find out that the tab is either overly simplified, or just plain wrong. I know, learn to transcribe. But I just want to play bass in the evenings, not transcribe.
    How do I overcome it: Learn songs from Hal Leonard books, not from online tabs. I’m also considering paid subscriptions to reputable bass cover channels.
  4. Ear training. I am definitely not putting enough effort into it, but this is another area where I’ve plateaued, and it just feels futile. The ear training apps have not helped.
    How do I overcome it: I don’t.

Billie Jean demotivated me for a while. I also find it tough to get motivated again after trying to pick up a lesson and not be able to move my fingers on the fret board like I need to do.


Possibly because I’m still in the novelty stage of playing I still get really excited each and every time.
I tend to get frustrated rather than demotivated with riffs that are probably a little beyond my ability at the moment but still have a go.
The greatest aspect of B2B was the overriding fun in the learning process which has stuck with me. I’ve had my lows but the course and the support of forum members has always dragged me through


The only online video lessons I’ve done are B2B. I have slowed down in taking them, but not for any negative reason specific to the lessons. Mainly:

  1. Life-outside-of-bass stuff/ busy season at work
  2. As the lessons get harder, I want to spend more time on each lesson, which includes sleeping on it when my fingers don’t wanna do the thing they’re supposed to do
  3. I no longer want to rush through the program. Sometimes, I want to stop and apply what I’ve learned to a song outside the program. and that adds time in between lessons. Kind of a “journey is the destination” type of thing.

But if it has been a little too long, I do really small, incremental things, like just picking up the bass and doing a scale, or part of a song. Because 5 minutes is more than zero minutes. Or sit and just really listen to a favorite song, and imagine what it would feel like to play it. Stuff like that.


This is why I haven’t given up


Never demotivates during B2B. Why?
Small easy to understand nuggets and a great trusty bass teacher.

Others? Yes
Why?….Here’s a few reasons

  • Overwhelming content, content that gets you to “now memorize that in a 12 keys, major and minor”. That’s a big a$$ nugget to swallow and makes me ask “this helps me how?”. Sadly many of Talking bass courses end for me like this. It’s much more than I want for what I can learn or remember or what I need right now. Example - Scales - give me some easy ones, not EVERY one. Then, give me an application of how to use it (here’s the missing part in a lot of places. Although nice to have a giant reference manuals or a course, most of us are not interested in a deep academic dive, we want to play better, little by little. I gave up on memorizing 7th & 9th diminished augmented whatever’s - I ain’t gonna use them.
  • The ramble-ons who don’t understand Bon Jovi’s “Don’r bore us get to the chorus” philosophy. Intro (short) and get to business. And tell us what we need to know.
  • Fast talkers - if you get rid of all the useless ramblings (from above reason) you can actually talk slower so we can follow you (pay attention SBL!).

What works for me are things like Rich Brown (Brown’Stone YouTube). His metronome series is in 5 parts (nuggets) and builds to creating your own improved lines or a new bass line you can use and riff around - and here’s the fun part - you don’t even know you got there. From playing some funky rhythms to a bass line without thinking about it - cool! Simple nugget concepts on using all the 16ths across 4 bars and how to mix them up, then how to use them practically. I can walk away from the lesson with something useable after a very short time.
He’s got similar things going on ghost notes, triads, etc. What’s a bummer is that they are scattered vs. a course, but he’s kinda building a skills course.

In the end he follows a simple B2B pattern - short, nugget sized info, easy to swallow, easy to repeat, builds to something useful, funny and personal trusty bass teacher like @JoshFossgreen.


And anxiety. I feel ya. This is why I haven’t finished recording any covers, much less posted them.



I never got demotivated through B2B, though I did slow down greatly. It took me about a year to finish, a tad more in fact. Life happened, and I went and did a bunch of other stuff on bass.

What demotivates me is teachers who don’t get to the point (SBL), the pompous and self-righteous (Rick Beato), and people who show off instead of teaching.


Absolutely. Billie Jean threw me for a loop. And then when I came back, it was to musical notation. I’m dyslexic. Billie Jean was way easier.

I finished the end of that module, and stopped.

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Well, today I found and downloaded the practice music. For me the little 1 minute loops are too short. Would it be possible to also have longer loops oh, say 10 -15 minutes? I find it awkward to have to keep hitting the play button every minute. Throws off the groove.

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This was me. Times 1000.
I’ve played sax for over 10 years and never posted anything. I was terrified to do this. Bass was no different. But when the 50 song challenge started I felt like this was such a good constructive place I’d give it a try. I was nervous as hell and it was painful. And then it was great. The learning you get from doing this and getting feedback is awesome.


I’m actually amazed to hear that @John_E . Your covers have been not only musically but technically outstanding


I’m not so much nervous to record covers, so much as I am “Holy hell, THAT’s what I sound like? I thought I sounded WAY better than that!” after hearing my first self-recordings.


:+1: :+1: :+1:


@JoshFossgreen some of our comments may sound off-topic, but I think what you can take away from them is that some of the demotivation is internal, as opposed to the external lessons. I think you already do a lot to encourage your students in the course; this is something you just may not have any control over.

Noob Josh helps remind me to temper my expectations. :blush:

PS @John_E and @timsgeekery - don’t think I’m saying we shouldn’t have this discussion on this thread. I think it’s really important, and I so appreciate what you both said. :heart:


This. He’s very motivating and I am likely worrying over absolutely nothing. Everything is taught in small pieces that lead into the next, more reinforcement, etc.