Did anyone do the TalkingBass "Technique Builder " course?

I got “Bassic Fundamentals” and was strangely underwhelmed.

I am really looking for ways to improve my sloppy technique - is TB “Technique Builder” the way to go?

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B2B is way better.


I did. I believe it was on sale when I bought it.

If you’re not going to an in-person bass teacher, you might find it helpful. There are some lessons about specific things like ergonomics and fretting and plucking. But the real meat of the course are a bunch of short melodies that are essentially technical exercises done playing something far more musical than the usual fretting, shifting, and string crossing exercises.

I’ve memorized quite a few of them and do them as part of a warm up or will belt them out when watching TV as a way to get my hands moving.

I’d watch whichever sample videos he’s posted from the course and spend the time to go through the sample lessons to see how you like them. That’ll give you a good idea about whether it’s something you’d make use of. The benefit is the repetition where you get faster and faster where the only way they keep sounding good is if you maintain proper technique.


B2B is really way better than “Bassic Fundamentals” - but B2B lacks somehow in in-depth technique, ie muting and (in my opinion) moving around the fretboard efficiently.
I “finger” and move around quite arbitrary and feel that I need some “movement” patterns. Same for muting. Sometimes I do it one way, than another way. And (too) often not at all :slight_smile:


I guess I’m looking for exactly that … and then some more!

This is difficult to say. Bass is like Othello. Easy to learn and a lifetime to master. If you have a specific technique you want to learn then you search for it. You can learn directly from the artist themselves they are several portal for that. I don’t think you’d find a book or video that would cover everything. It’s kinda like golf swings, different school has different philosophies. You want to learn something specific you just have to seek it out and learn it.

Sloppy techniques can simply be improved by slowing down the practice, it’s free. Our age, it’s best to learn specifically what we want to play. There’s little point to cast the net so wide and try to master everything.

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Yep, I did Technique Builder. It’s intended as a logical follow-on course for beginners, but the etudes range from rather easy to much more involved.

The first section starts with the absolute basics, but fundamentals are always essential to review and practice.

The second section consists of etudes that run the gamut of techniques. They are a great way to build a good technical toolbox that will serve you in whatever you play.


I have it and would say it’s a great challenge to master. Also, I wouldn’t compare it to B2B, they are completely different things imho.

What @Al1885 said is the key, though - the technique builder course is pointless if you don’t have songs that you want to apply it to.

For example, if you learn something like “Soul to Squeeze” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, you’d benefit from being able to solo over its scale, as Flea for sure a) diligently practises and b) improvises fills, riffs, and so on.

Long story short: learn songs first and then see which etudes help you create foundations for that. You don’t need the Technique Builder if you’re still starting out with your repertoire of songs.

Hope this helps. :slight_smile:



That helps a lot., thanks!

Basically I hear, I don’t really need it.

Or like Emilia would say in Othello: “Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak!”

So I’ll speak: is there an alternative course?

@Al1885 I slow down a lot, but with sloppy I mean not only SLOPPY, but also a perceived inefficient way to finger the fretboard,: I just feel that my the “motion patterns” are inefficient and random.
I finger the correct string/fret - I just don’t like how I got there and which finger I used in context of the previous and next finger!


Respectfully, I have found that this approach very much depends on the individual. Personally, it is not my experience that it is universally true.

Technique is essential to being able to play anything. Therefore, it’s not an either/or situation: learn songs or learn technique.

Classically trained musicians do both simultaneously. Granted, most aspiring bass players do not, instead tending to learn a song and “just figuring out” the technique involved.

Both approaches can work. It just depends on how a player chooses to expend time and effort.


Exactly! And I know from sports, that bad technique cannot easily be “unlearned”!

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For some songs where I’ve felt this way, I slowed WAAAAAY down (like one note per second slow) and just kept trying different approaches until I found the way that has the most economy of motion. “Oh, I intuitively do this here, but if I did it this way instead, it would be much easier. Once I teach myself to do it that way repeatedly of course.”


Exactly ^^^

I’ve been working through the book of Duck Dunn’s classic lines, which are brilliant inventions and definitely finger-twisters. I’m sure he played them as naturally as you and I breathe. But, man, do they require figuring out the most efficient fingerings!

Not only that, one song I’ve been working on is 10-pages long! I’m gonna need a page turner to ever get through it in one go. Either that, or wallpaper the room! :laughing:


I love Justin Sandercoe’s approach to teaching technique - note that he uses a strange instrument called “guitar”! If you are not a bat, you might not hear any tones in that video!

Play a D chord:

(if you’re impatient, start at 3:15)

Great changing chords example:

(if you’re impatient, start at 1:30)

Something like that would be great for bass technique. And if the teacher is like Justin, I don’t mind at all!

If it’s economy of motion needed then finger exercise and a dash of modes and scale would do wonders. It would leads to several good habits and not to mention exposure to different finger combination and choices of path.

Unfortunately, there are no set in stone rule where you have to play only what notes to play, and even that people have been known to add some spicy notes like sliding 9th-10th to many of the modes for example.

I agree. If I can go back in time I want to spend more time in theory and applied theory. That would enrich my soul so much, :innocent:

This is the way! I have chosen this path, :rofl:

*true dat!
Also reminds me about sport that schools are full of mediocres, if you want to be great you have to find your own way.

Beginners and intermediate golf is a great example to compare to bass and guitars learning. Do you want to look good, or score well. In a perfect world both of course, pick only one will reveal your path. Sadly most golfers young and old choses looking good, that’s why it takes years if not decades for them to cross their milestone, ie 100, 90, 80, 70. Gofers and bassists are very similar we are stubborn SOBs. :rofl:

Absolutely. I have wasted spent so many years on my own, trying to “just figure it out” on guitar, and I fervently wish I could have that time back to do things differently.

Later in life, my classical training in piano and sax was a different approach to learning: lots of technique, theory, etudes, and playing pieces — all at the same time. It was grueling but it paid off a hell of a lot quicker than my guitar-days, stumbling in the dark, trying to figure out where the furniture was so I could stop stubbing my toes all the time! That was grueling, too, but it spanned decades of time.

Personally, my primary reason for studying B2B was to properly learn fingerstyle bass technique; that was my goal. Josh showed me the fundamentals, and Mark Smith’s courses have widely expounded on those fundamentals.


I was a Taekwon Do instructor, when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

  • I read every book about technique I could get my hands on (even from Karate and hard-style Kung-Fu). Still remember “Dynamic Stretching and Kicking” by Bill “Superfoot” Wallace :slight_smile:
  • I (secretely) trained Karate and Wing Tsun at another school, just to be better in Taekwon Do.
  • I even did Yoga (flexibility) and Jazz dance (Rhythm), but that might have been for the girls in those courses :slight_smile:
  • I tried to understand the meaning and dynamics of every movement. I’m a very theoretical guy that always asks “why”?
  • Every movement I practiced veeeeeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy sllllllllllllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooow with a lot of tension and in absolute perfection (= efficiency), so my muscles would remember.
  • And then I repeated it many many many many times - faster and faster!
  • I trained every morning one hour before school. Taekwondo 3x a week, Karate 2x a week and the others when it fitted in my schedule.

I became quite good (in Hyongs/Katas and breaking stuff. Not fighting, though - I’m a softy ^^), but I became an even better teacher, mainly for children.

I don’t have the discipline anymore to learn bass that way. I was crazy then!

But still I am looking to understand the theory of movement, the patterns of the sensomotorics…


This approach works as a philosophy for learning anything. You’ve got the structure and discipline developed, mentally, already.

The best part is: you can apply it to bass or anything else. And you don’t necessarily have to go as slowly as when you were first learning to implement the philosophy.

Bottom line, there is no free lunch. You can go slowly and far, or quickly and less far - faster.

When learning, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.


that’s where our fundamental differ. I practice several of the south eastern arts of Escrima/ Kali (stick fight) and Indonesian Pencak Silat, both arts emphasize the economy of motion and rich in philosophy. It’s not very flashy but quite deadly.

Pencak Silat :heart:

When I came back to Holland from my first exile, the guy that live one floor down did some “strange” martial arts stuff on the roof terrace.
I was intrigued, cause in Taekwon Do you do not fall, you are never “low” , you have mainly direct movements. You are always blazingly fast. Your feet are your weapons, your hands are mainly in T-Rex mode (except for defense).

But this guy did everything different. He was Pencak Silat instructor.
So one day I went down, and asked him to teach me. We practised almost every day - I felt like an absolute beginner.
But I really liked the dynamics of Pencak Silat - if I weren’t “born” in Taekown Do, Pencak Silat would be my first choice!

By the way: I always thought, Taekwon Do is “deadly”, but it s#cks for self defense. If you kick high in a tactical combat situation, you have lost. I know…

Pencak Silat is slightly better, but I had the “pleasure” of being trained by some Krav Maga and Systema security guys. Even the little girls kicked my @ss!
It’s ugly, but very effective.

But me, “I choose to see the beauty” … I liked Taekwon Do, especially the Katas/Hyongs for their aesthetics. If I lose, it must look good :slight_smile: