post-B2B in-person vs zoom/skype bass lessons?

curious from both those of you who teach (paging @JoshFossgreen @Gio) and those who have done it: do you feel that one-on-one bass lessons via Zoom/Skype/etc are as effective/valuable (or at least are close to as effective) as in-person lessons?

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For me … nope.
Part of it was very much the instructor, but a lot of it was the zoom part.
Sax seems ok for zoom for be but that is more about tone vs. finger technique.
For bass, I would like some one who is live or nothing at all (continue more online resources) as I want really detailed feedback on finger technique and corrections, etc.

Finding a bass instructor (or any music instructor) is a tough thing. Especially after knowing the basics here. I find a lot of them try to figure out where you sit in their ‘normal’ routine of teaching and take it from there, vs. really trying to help you focus on what you really want to get better at.

Don’t be afriad to have a single lesson with someone, and be upfront about it, so you can move on if it doesn’t gel. You might have to kiss a few (or a lot) of frogs on your journey.


I was going to reply earlier today but just couldn’t find the words without sounding too negative.

Thanks @John_E I think you said it best IMHO



For Zoom or in-person.
Personally, I don’t do the zoom lessons.
The frustrations of different audio quality/ability, the fact that we can’t be in rhythm together ever, and the difficulties with camera angle / closeness / framing so I can see what is happening makes Zoom more trouble - for me - than it is worth.

This is also because bass teaching is a very small part of my weekly schedule. If it was my living and income, I’d absolutely dig in and troubleshoot those areas! But as a student going in, be aware that the technical side of the online lesson can mean the difference between getting great feedback and individual attention or a big waste of time.

Whichever way you do it, what @John_E said above is spot on.
Go in open, and don’t be afraid to do a single lesson and then never do another one. It’s not a problem for us on the teaching side.

For me personally, I like being in a room with a person where we can chat and play in real time. The relationships that build there, for me, are more what I am looking for in the lessons I take and give.


I had excellent experience with zoom lessons, but I had a great teacher in @JoshFossgreen, and I knew that going in, since I did B2B first.
If I could I would continue lessons with him, but Its just not financially feasable for me anymore.
I still get value from the lessons I did have, so it was money well spent, when I could pay for it.

Like what others say, go in open minded, and test out the teacher.

It could be better for people with social anxiety too. I dont have too much of that, but I know people that do, and Zoom lessons would probably work much better for them

No matter what way you take lessons, either Zoom or in person, if the teacher is not good, or even if they are good, but their teaching style doesnt jive with you, then the lessons wont be much more then money spent on nothing.
The money spent to test out a teacher is necessary (in person or on zoom) but it is not necessary for you to continue to pay an instructor that is not helping you.

I have not had bad experiences, but have read about plenty bad ones from others.

It could be helpful to get good recommendations from satisfied students, or from musicians that know good teachers.

A part of the problem ( and I guess one of the reasons @mgoldst asked the question ) is the fact that it may be hard to find a decent bass teacher locally.
The vast majority of them advertise as guitar/ukulele/bass tutors.
If I was going to pay someone, I’d rather choose a person who lives and breathes bass.

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@mgoldst … Start with Andy Babiuk in Fairport. He knows everybody in town and I think has lessons from his “school” as well. If not him/ his people, I’m sure he can find you someone.

This always bothered me.
Find a bassist who teaches! Not a guitar player with openings in the schedule!!


I tried a few Zoom lessons last year. I did not like it, although to be fair part of the problem was the teacher did not do anything to adapt lessons to a Zoom format. But the technical issues were a killer, there was a lot of lost time on “sorry I can’t hear you”, “I can’t see what you’re doing, can you move the camera?”, etc. I remember I couldn’t hear anything the teacher played on the E string, I think it was issues with the mic on his side.


I am sure that could be very problematic, and even if you were a good teacher, if you don’t have the tech side taken care of, yeah, I can see how frustrating that must be, especially when you are paying for your 1/2 hour or hour.

On the other hand, the online teacher I used had his tech gear dialed in perfectly. His haring was impeccable. I will give you two examples to prove my point. as I was doing an exercise, probably scales or 2 octave scales, and my instructor stopped me and asked me “do you have one fingernail longer on one of our plucking fingers then the other one”.
I looked at them, and sure enough, my middle finger has a shorter nail then the index finger. He could hear my plucking with a fingernail, mimicking a pick, alternating with just a finger plucking. I was blow away, because I was the one playing it, and I didn’t even notice those small little details.

I do keep a pair of nail clippers near me at all times now.

#2. He kept having a hard timesharing something that I was playing. At first he thought I was playing it right, but I played t again, correctly and he heard it fine that time. I did it again, and he again thought I made a mistake, so we tried is one more time, and it was fine again that time. for the record, I played it correctly each time. What was gong on was some sort of background noise cancellation filter on Ipad’s, which I was using for my lesson since I didn’t have a computer at the time.
He asked me to check a setting, and sure enough it was set to filter background noise (or something, I can’t recall exactly what the setting is and what it is for, but turning it off changed a lot of our lessons, and we made a lot more progress once that was turned off).

So, I agree with you, and yo bring up an excellent point for people that are searching for online teachers (for those in remote locations, or different time zones, have no good means of transportation, etc…) that you should really vet their set up, and make sure it is up to par, and that, at least on their end, they should be able to tell if your fingernails are uneven, as well as know things like Ipad and the settings that can harm lessons on Zoom (now that I think of it, it may have been a setting related to the Zoom app).

If you can vet a teacher and find somebody that might be a good fit for you, be sure to take it one step further, and make sure their gear and tech set up is up to par so that you don’t end up with downtime that you are paying for.
I suppose you can use a stop watch, and every time that something happens with his tech side of things, you can stop the stopwatch, and restart when he is done. Then 2 hours later, you an thank him for the 1/2. hour session. LOL

BTW, I coldn’t in good conscious not give a shout out to my excellent teacher. You all know him, and you know how good he is at teaching, and the tech stuff, and if you ever get opportunity to take zoom lessons (or better yet, in person lessons if you live in that area), I highly recommend @JoshFossgreen for a personal, AFTER B2B personal coach. If you are dedicated enough, you can get away with a lesson every 2 weeks, or even a month, but if you need somebody riding you to make sure you are doing plenty of studies and want to keep improving, but are the type that stops sound routine practice, once you stop taking lesson, then yes, you need a week or more a month.
That said, those that are highly dedicated, who do other YouTube fillers while we are waiting for B2B2, there is plenty of Josh to go around online, so once a moth, maybe 2 times should suit your really well.

And don’t knock it till you try it. I have said it before and I will say it again,

1 - if I had Amy money to pay the man, I sign right back up and take at least 1 lesson per month, 2 if possible ,and
2- I have not taken a lesson with Josh since right before I went into the hospital on October 1 of 2020, so my last lesson was probably in early September, possibly even late August, as I was in the middle of moving thru September.
Once I got out of the hospital I didn’t touch a bass for 3 months. I literally felt like I was dying, and some of the time, I felt like that would be a better option, but I am here, and I am playing bass, and this leads me to point #2. I still learn from what josh taught me. I still use many of the exercises, and websites he showed me for me to practice my timing with syncopation, especially on 16th note syncopation.
So, all the lessons I took with Josh, almost 2 years ago, are still helping me to learn , and I go back to moments in the lessons and direct a problem I am having, just like Josh taught me, and I eventually work it out. So thanks Josh, you are forever my teacher, and one day in the future, possibly 2-3 years, if you are still teaching, and have open spots, and I am financially stable (with my dream job working at Rickenbacker or G&L), I will hopefully get back on our roster.