Hey guys, so I’m Matt from Buffalo. I just decided to try picking up the bass at 40 years old. My dad, and my brother both play guitar. My brother is actually a professional musician. I always thought it would be cool to learn how to play something, but my mom died recently a couple years ago, and I always felt like I wasn’t close enough to my dad and brother, so I figured I could try learning the bass. We could share a common interest, and it would give me an excuse to hang out with them and stuff. My bro plays in a couple bands, and mostly teaches guitar lessons for a living. I figured he could give me some lessons and we could hang out and stuff. Unfortunately, that hasn’t really happened, though I did get him to promise me an introductory lesson for free this weekend. I signed up for the Fender Play bass lessons online, and signed up for another course called B2B (beginner to baddass) or something like that. I tried both these courses and they seemed to go from really stupidly idiotically simple, then jump to stuff was that too hard or complicated for me to play all of the sudden. I did try to practice a lot too. I also spent some time on youtube and learned how to play a couple songs (slow and clunky and choppy) but I played them. 7 nation army by the white stripes, and another one bites the dust, by queen. I quickly became discouraged after a while with no real teacher, and slow improvement. I haven’t picked up the bass in about 3 months. I basically forgot everything. Now, I finally got my brother coming over for a real lesson, and some brother hangout time, and I’m worried he’s gonna say he cant do squat for me as a teacher because I been playing for 10 months and can’t even play basic scales or lesson stuff. What’s some really basic stuff I should try practicing before he comes over? Or should I just start the lesson courses over from the beginning? Where do you start from at zero?
It’s not super uncommon for people to start the course over (Beginner to Badass), or to revisit certain lessons later, or skip the medium or fast workouts if they are too hard.
And Josh mentions at some point, some lessons are intended to do that to you. The difficulty ramps up, and usually that’s when he mentions it’s okay to skip something and come back later.
So I guess all I can say is hang in there, stay the course with the course, and see where it takes you.
And if your brother is any kind of a good teacher, he won’t tell you that. He will figure out where you are at and work from that point
“I quickly became discouraged after a while with no real teacher, and slow improvement.”
I know teachers \ mentors aren’t cheap but they do offer personalised help which you won’t get at the same level on internet courses. If you can find someone good close by and have the funds then I’d invest in a few lessons to kick start your progress.
Is started with lessons six months ago after doing some internet courses (including BassBuzz) and my playing ability jumped significantly as he pin pointed where to focus and spend time and built a set of lessons around what I wanted \ needed.
BassBuzz is great as are the likes of Talking Bass and Study Bass but nothing beats someone giving you personal feedback.
You, sir have come to the right place. I started at 50 with zero experience. If i can do this, anyone can.
The lesson programs certainly start at a very simple level. They are meant to-because some of us haven’t ever touched an instrument. Fact is, i didn’t know the string order when i started.
If it feels like the lessons made a jump from way way way easy to ultra-hard, it may mean you accidentally missed something? The beautiful thing about bassbuzz is that you can always go back and review-you bought the program-it’s yours. None of the information goes away-so as compared to one lesson a week, it seems better. In my estimation, at least.
The forum is a great place-it’s good you are here. This forum is packed full of folks who really want to help you make this work, they’ll happily answer questions and provide wisdom.
Beyond that, you’ve also got the experience of @JoshFossgreen on tap. If you ask a question on a lesson, you’ll get an almost real-time answer-this is a very good asset.
You can do this. You really can. Dont get discouraged. Start slow, follow the program. The fundamental skills built here are the basis for great playing.
I or many others here an happy to help you as much as i can… Keep thumping on it. It’s there. I promise you.
If you purchased the B2B course, I’d recommend you start over. Take your time to do each lesson. Make sure you’re able to play the slow workout for each lesson before moving on to the next one. Yes, it starts super simple, but as others have mentioned, there’s a reason for that.
In my experience, there’s never a moment in the B2B course where it suddenly jumps from “easy” to “impossible”, with the possible exception of the infamous Billy Jean lesson. On the contrary, in my opinion, each lesson builds on the previous ones, adding something new in small, easy to digest, bite-sized chunks.
So forget about your previous experience, try to get over the fact that you’ll be starting from square one again, and start over with an open mind. You might be surprised. Good luck!
I started over due to brain fog induced by having gotten COVID twice last year. They didn’t say it makes you lose your ability to focus and concentrate. I found that out the hard way. So, I bought some really decent equipment (at least for me) and started over. Sure, the early lessons were easy but I really dug in, did the exact things Josh was teaching, made sure I got each step down. I tried to concentrate on fingerings, plucking and sounding smooth. I was amazed at how much my fingers remembered and am progressing fairly well. Still fighting the brain fog but I am determined to be a fat, pouty, spandex wearing, fat, baldheaded, sweaty, bass God. So, keep at it. You’ve got this. If I can do it anyone can.
Loving that you are back @EddieJones ! Good to see you. Now i wint be the only fat, old and sweaty guy. Solidarity, baby!
I petered out
I will have you know I take offence to that statement.
Imagine me stating that, due to external circumstances, I am matting under…
(joke, sorry… I couldn’t resist)
Petered out, or Billie Jeaned out?!
Skip past the tough ones and come back to them later? That worked for me.
I got disheartened after the sudden jump up in complexity, but it settles back down again. I made the mistake of rushing full steam ahead playing a couple of hours of lessons a day. Maybe try going back and slowing down too?
Im sort of in a petered out mode also. Just cant bring myself the motavation to pick up the bass. Feels like I lost the drive.
Always thinking about it, and I say im going to start the lessons going again everyday at work. But by the time I get home, the motavation is gone and I do other things.
In my opinion as a complete novice, there is absolutely a spot where it goes from “easy” to “impossible”. I started over again.
lol I dont mind.
Let us know if/when you hit that spot again so we can try and help you get through it. Good luck!
Well, my bro came over yesterday, and gave me a 2 hour lesson. He showed me some exercises to do to get my fingers working right, and taught me how to play 3 songs. Dazed and Confused, Them Bones, and Enter Sandman. Then he got me playing a simple steady rhythm while he just jammed with me for a while. It was really fun. He’s actually a really good and patient teacher. I was kinda surprised because we typically argue a lot and get on eachothers nerves. He was great though. I can play the songs, but I sound really slow and clunky and out of time, and make a lot of mistakes, but I can play them! I am happy about that. It was really productive. I was using a quarter as a guitar pick (my bro is really big on learning with a pick vs fingers -he says there’s less action going on with your right hand that way) but I don’t like the quarter, I keep running the ridged edge over the strings and getting a weird sound. Need to get a real pick. Now I need to get off the computer and go practice them for a while!
This is true.
While it would depend on the type of music you want to play, and the sound you would want to get, I’d still encourage you to practice finger plucking as well, though.
But it’s excellent to see you got your mojo back!
By and large, the majority of guys I know who teach guitar and bass, who are guitar players, really gravitate to teaching bass playing with a pick. The “why” of that is obvious: they aren’t and have never been dedicated bass players. Yes, they can play bass lines on many a tune, but they prefer using a pick because that’s what they’re used to with a guitar.
Plucking a bass is a decidedly learned skill. It is its own thing, and one that can and does vary depending on the string crossings required per line or particular passage. This makes it exponentially more complex than using a pick. It also makes for richer, more interesting sounding music. In short, there are myriad reasons the best bass players pluck. So it’s best to master it as best you can. It will yield results that will serve you forever.
Mileage varies there. Best to say that it makes for another tool in your toolbox as a bass player; I wouldn’t say plucking sounds intrinsically better or more interesting than picking, just that is adds different options. And you can be expressive with picks as well, once you know what you are doing.
I sort of understand why he says its easier to learn with a pick because there is less going on with your right hand though. I’m a total noob, but I find it is very hard to use both hands at once doing 2 different things. I think the human brain is just not wired to work that way without a lot of practice. Very few things you do in life require the use of both hands performing separate operations simultaneously in a precision manner. Trying to focus on 4 fingers on the left hand, and 4 more fingers on the right hand all at once is tough. The pick makes it so you only need to focus on 1 thing on the right hand. I am sure finger plucking has its place, and a lot of the really good bass players finger pluck, but from an absolute beginner, I sort of agree with his philosophy. Its really hard to keep track of both hands at once. I constantly miss strings with my plucking hand. One of the things I’m having the most trouble with, is finding a spot to anchor my plucking hand to, and keeping it there. I tend to let my hand drift around, and I can’t find the right strings I need, consistently.