Learning bass: 10 things NOT to do

an excellent video from (one of my favorite bass tubers) phil conrad:


Good one ! Thanks for sharing!


+1 for #7.

Play with humans.


I just started Module 5 and I feel like I’m close to ready, but man… as a 45 year old introvert, it’s scary as hell. I live in a tiny town and don’t know other musicians or even where to start. I guess Facebook is going to be my friend here, but I haven’t told anyone I’ve been playing bass. I’ve just been doing it for my own enjoyment.


There’s some good stuff in there. But at the end he asks if he’s missed anything and I’m like “yes, the last two of the ten things!!” :rofl:


100% to this!!
I appreciate the honesty and stating it boldly and plainly.

Here’s my (abbreviated) cheat sheet to getting in with playing with people (for introverts):

  1. Find out if there are any open mics, jam sessions, or places in town where for-fun amateur bands can play. (Coffee shops, bars, community centers, pubs, etc.)

  2. Go to these events as a scout. Tell no one you’re a musician and just check out the scene to see what it’s like!

  • chances are you’ll see bands play and think “hey, I’m better than that guy” or “I could do this with a few rehearsals” or some such.
  • If its a community event where people are invited in (like a jam session or an open mic) you’ll get to see how it works, how people sign up / get on the stage, what types of things people play, etc.
  1. If this world strikes a spark of interest, keep going, and compliment the performers you like. Mention to them that you’re a bassist. Things will start to happen!

Hello, my name is [xxxxxxxxx] and I’m a bassist.

It’s funny, but I suspect many of us have been there. I’m ‘out’ as a bassist, have been for a while, but just yesterday my boss was taking the p155 when I was talking about the band I’ve formed and our plans for performing. I was rather annoyed with him, after all, it takes a degree of courage to do this, to put it out there.

I was also fairly early on in the B2B course when I started to think about playing with others - it’s true that it really does accelerate your development - and faced the same problem, where on earth do you meet people? I my case I joined a local musicians page on Facebook and also BamdMix, like a ‘dating’ website for musicians. It was through BamdMix that I met a chap who played guitar and things started to roll from there. On BandMix, you can filter for age, experience, location etc. The guitarist I met had a similar lack of experience… The challenge here was that I clearly practice more, so it actually got very frustrating, I was better! (This was a revelation!). Anyway, long story short, through BandMix and Facebook, plus just talking to people I know, I’ve put a 4-piece band together. We are playing our first open mic on the 20th.

Am I an extrovert? No. Do I want to do this? Hell, yes! Life is short. I’m on the cusp of having to call myself ‘late 50s’. I started playing the bass last August, and I am going stand on stage, I am going to feel what’s that feels like!

This community is great, we’re all here to support each other in the journey. There is no p155 taking (back to my boss), just encouragement, advice and a love of making music.

You’ve got this @cheveedodd! We’re here for you! Oh, one thing I would say that really helps me is the covers thread. One step to coming out as a bassist is to record yourself and post a video. All I’ve ever had is encouragement from the community. All I ever give is encouragement to others in the community, who are doing the same thing. The songs you cover don’t have to be technical, no one is expecting virtuoso performances. In fact, IMHO, for much of pop and rock, simple is actually better! So check out everyone’s covers, pick a song yourself and dive in! As I said @cheveedodd, you’ve got this!


This is a very good video.

I think that last point is fantastic, we are there to serve the song and support our band mates, enabling them to fly! I very much feel this, when I’m playing with my buddies. Lock in the the drummer - I seem to spend a lot of time looking at him, grooving with him, but then just try to lay the foundation of the song, play ‘in the pocket’, so that the guitar and our front woman can do their thing.

Another point I’d add, is to praise them. Our singer is new to this, it’s my job (and the rest of us, to be fair) to build her confidence - personally, I think it takes a hell of a lot of nerve to stand at the front and sing! Praise the guitarist when his tone is just right. Praise the drummer of absolutely kicking’ it!

Hell, yes🤘


@cheveedodd , Same here brother… 50 yo introvert itching to play with people again but don’t know where to start… have to take the step soon to make thing happen! :grin:

Thanks for the encouragement @Gio @sunDOG and @qenden

I am definitely going to take all your advice. I’ve looked around for some open mics in my area and there are a few in the next town over. I’ll definitely check them out. BandMix also sounds like it might be good for me.

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She’s doing a great job and sounds fantastic! Pass that along, please! You all do. Fun to listen to and watch you all together. It’s been fun watching you progress to this point! Hope to be there someday!


I will pass that on, @fennario, most kind!

The journey really has been / is fun. I think that there are many of us in this forum that started learning via B2B, and have progressed pretty rapidly. Clearly that is testament to @JoshFossgreen’s course, but also to the folks here.

Personally, I can’t believe that I’ve not yet been playing a year. The course provides the foundations, but then it’s up to each one of us what we do next. :metal:


Yep, same here. I’m 67 and have screwed around with the bass since 2008, I would like to play with others, but my biggest issue is that after 16 years, I can’t mute the strings… no matter what I do. The fingers, palm whatever just don’t work that way and from all the examples Ive seen on YT or even with the bass teacher that I had briefly. Foam and the Fret wrap product help some, but not enough , especially when I turn the volume up. I wanted to do the B2B course but there’s really no point as I won’t play with others as “strings that ring” probably wouldn’t sit well with the other players. I’m doing ok playing for myself (and the cat) keeping the volume down and messing with songs/tabs here and there.
Not sure where module 5 is in the course @cheveedodd, but as an introvert as well, I’m hoping the confidence will grow within you as you continue. Keep it up!!


Thank you. I am now subscribed to a new bass YT channel🎸

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