How slow are you "progressing" on B2B?

Recently decided to pick up the bass guitar after wanting to play for so many years. It’s hard to be a Sabbath or Maiden fan and not feel inspired. :slight_smile:

I’ve purchased the B2B DVD set about two months ago and noticed I was progressing fast. I could get through most modules in a day, occasionally finding a sticking point (Billie Jean and Higher and Higher took several days). Recently I’ve been stuck on Pride and Joy which is driving me nuts. It’s a relatively simple song made up of quarter notes but I can’t seem to get through two verses with a CLEAN sound without excessive fret buzzing halfway through, particularly as I play in A flat and my fingers get spaced out across the neck. You’d swear my pinky regressed.

It’s causing me to want to start the course over because I feel I’ve gone further than I should have… I know this is the wrong approach to look at it.

I ask anybody who has the course, how long is it taking you? How often do you find yourself going backwards and redoing lessons? I hate the idea of advancing a module if a 12 bar blues progression is stopping me because of fretting forearm cramping and buzzing.

It’s important to note, due to business travel, I’m far from being consistent at my practice. I’ll do an hour a day for 8 days straight and then get on the road for 5 days and not touch it. Any finger exercises you can do to help with fretting if you don’t have a bass nearby?

Sorry for such a bizarre topic. It’s my first post here.

Thank you.

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I’ll share my personal advice. I bouhgt my first bass and this program on Feb 3. I made the time to do it and I was breezing through modules. I started to hit a point where I couldn’t do almost any fast versions. But that was mostly due to the fact I just don’t have the coordination yet. So as long as I understood what was being taught and got through the slow, I would move on. The technical ability to play a piece fast wasn’t going to change overnight, but I didn’t feel there was any reason to stop moving ahead and keep learning. I still go back to prior pieces but moving on and I think that has been working well.

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Don’t strive for perfection. If you understand the content and can do 80% or so accuracy on slow mode, I’d move on. When you come back to it later it will be easier.

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If it is one lesson giving you trouble just keep moving forward. Go back to that one after doing another few lessons or even another full module and you will probably find that you go through the lesson you used to struggle with just fine. Sounds like you are struggling with finger strength/stretching ability/stamina stuff which are things that will only get better and easier the more you play anything on the bass. If you understand the concepts and are playing most of the lessons fine, you are doing great! Trust in Josh and his system, you will be fine as long as you continue to pick up the bass and play!

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I started out convinced I could do it in 30 days. After all, I’m retired and have loads of time. But after hitting a few speed bumps (one by the name of Billie Jean), I modified my goal to 3 months. I didn’t want to rush through it just so I could meet my deadline. I took my time, sometimes spending a week on one lesson until I was comfortable moving on.
Josh is a good instructor, and he makes it easy to learn. However, I felt that it was important that I was comfortable with each lesson before moving to the next one. There’s no shame in taking your time.

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No, not at all “wrong” @Talvanos . . . :slight_smile:

Everyone progresses at a different pace, and just about all of us has trouble with Billie Jean :wink:

The general rule is to keep moving along as long as you can do the slow workout for each module. There is nothing at all wrong with going back later on and reviewing sections with which you’ve had difficulty.

There is also NO hurry about getting through the course in any specific time frame either!

Hang in there, you’ve got lots of friends here.

Cheers, Joe

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@Talvanos This isn’t bizzare at all and I’m glad you decided to turn to the forum to ask about it. What you’re describing is what we have all gone through at some point.

@JoshFossgreen encourages everybody to keep moving as long as you can do the slow workout. I believe part of this is to give you that sense of accomplishment for completing something and to make sure you have a thorough overview of what the course is all about. Since their is no time limit, you can always go back to work on whatever you need.

Although, Josh has done an excellent job of teaching the course, we all have to figure out how we learn best and apply that to going through the course.

For me, I needed to treat it like a college class and take lots of notes. I wanted to be able to refer back to my thoughts at the time if I have any questions moving forward. When I wasn’t doing this, I would frequently find myself getting bogged down.

As for the time frame, some people do it in 30 and some, like me, take a lot longer. I would be wary of committing to a schedule that makes it feel like a grind instead of something to enjoy.

Unfortunately, consensus is that nothing replaces having an actual bass to use. There are other people on the forums who travel for work and some of them have gotten a short scale bass or a ukulele bass to take with them.

Other than that, I have gotten some mileage out of Adam Neely’s forearm method.

And here is a more recent video from him where he gets way more in depth.

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@Talvanos,
I agree with everyone who previously commented. Keep moving along and it will get easier. I’ve learned so much with B2B & @JoshFossgreen. You’ll get there. I did.

I wish I was only away from my bass for 5 days. My trips are 4-5 weeks long and I can’t bring it along with me. Hopefully I haven’t lost a lot of skill from not practicing.
Jerry

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Lots of good advice in this thread for you @Talvanos! Sounds like you’re doing just fine, hitting a hurdle with a lesson (like Pride and Joy) isn’t a big deal.

Everyone hits hurdles, including me (a lot). All you can do is keep pushing forward until you clear it. (or knock it over, if we’re really taking this hurdle analogy all the way… and why are we running around a track with hurdles while learning bass?)

Sounds like you’re getting some finger strengthening work out of Pride and Joy, so all good! Keep at it and it’ll clean up. It’s good that you’re noticing the buzz and working on it.

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Really, @eric.kiser?? I wouldn’t have thought that this really actually works (and I otherwise respect Neely’s thoughts and musings very much)… Could you tell us/me a bit more on how you used it or what you tried to achieve with it, and what your results were?? Thx!

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I was doing a module per week. Basically, Monday thru Thursday evenings. Then I started a little on Sunday nights because I regressed from time off. Life gets in the way but Josh makes it fun and not drudgery that you have to force your way through. Josh says repeatedly “If you can do do the slow workout , move on. " He is right, don’t stop and get stuck. It will take the fun and sense of progress out of it. I still can’t play Billie Jean fast and I’m okay with that! I got through with 8th module in 9th week and thought about catching up… I realized I was doing just fine. Then the plucking and thumping module almost broke me. I finally listened to Josh and just played it normally to get the lessons. 11 months after I started I finished. I was putting it off because I didn’t want it to end. I had been going back and getting workouts up to fast speed and had looked up tabs for " Don’t Stop Believin”. You’ve got the best teacher online. Have fun, accept that notes aren’t always going to ring true and good luck.

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@joergkutter It’s not a perfect replacement for not having your instrument but I do think it has helped me quite a bit. Today, I was working on the two octave G minor scale and since I was away from home doing errands all day I used this method to visualize playing the bass on my arm. When I finally got home and had a chance to sit down with my bass I started playing it. It was still rough, but I could tell a big difference.

Other than that, when I can’t sleep, I do this to go over whatever I’ve been working on.

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I think you should go the next step and get a fretboard tattoo on your arm to play on. :upside_down_face:

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Anytime I’m listening to music while driving, I find myself plucking my seatbelt with my right hand as if it is a one string bass. Not something I consciously started doing as “practice” just something I noticed myself doing. Lately I find it helps me easily break down the rhythm pattern the bassist is playing, and how it fits into the drums/ time signature. If nothing else all the muscle memory of alternate plucking might be worth something?

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:rofl:
I had to see if anyone’s actually done this, and, sure enough, googling “fretboard tattoo” shows a bunch of images of people that have. Pretty hardcore, lol.

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