Progress so far (1 month)

First of all, I am really happy to finally learn to play bass :slight_smile: And the B2B course is wonderful !

I am still struggling with some left hand issues, stretching making me grip really hard with my thumb (=> pain). I usually move my hand for 4 frets gap in order to keep relaxed.

Not everything is perfect :wink:
I am still struggling to play Billie Jean, even at medium tempo. (i.e. not playing it correctly).
I kinda mess up with my left hand and I lose it pretty quickly.
Other lessons I did not complete : Module 6 lesson 4 quick, In the Midnight Hour (M7L6) quick (although I REALLY like it :D), Higher and Higher (M8L2) both medium & quick, Pride and Joy (M8L5) quick, M9L2 quick, M9L4 quick, Feel Good Inc. (M9L7) quick and Some Kind of Wonderful (M10L4) quick.

Most of the time, the quick speed makes me brain freeze and completly mess up my left hand notes.

I am still “skipping” when it seems too hard for me, but I want to go back really soon and completes what I missed.

My left hand forms are still perfectible, the quicker the tempo, the most twisted my hand looks. But I have fun, and it is the most important aspect :slight_smile:
Thanks a lot for the really quality work Josh.

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Ha-Ha! We ALL struggle with that, @anthony.claudel . . . :slight_smile:

The more you practice, the better things will get. Sounds like you are doing pretty well for only a month, though . . . good for you! :+1:

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Indeed, well done!

I have/had exactly the same issues with gripping too hard. One thing @Gio and @JoshFossgreen suggested that worked well for me was at the beginning of each practice session, just fret a note very slowly and softly, starting with no pressure and increasing pressure until you get a clean note. notice how little pressure it actually takes to get a clean note. Then just do this slowly for a couple minutes, playing some notes as lightly as possible. Do this every session, speed up slowly.

Another thing I read online to try is fret some notes for a few minutes without using your thumb at all. Don’t touch the back of the bass, just fret notes softly using only your fingers.

These things helped me. I still death-grip sometimes when playing fast but I am improving.

Here’s where I asked about it:

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Hi @anthony.claudel
I am having trouble with Billy Jean and from what I have read on this forum, everyone does
If it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing
I am only a week into the course but I am absolutely loving it
My wife is learning the drums and it is great trying to play Billy Jean together

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@anthony.claudel You’re doing fine. The things you say you’re struggling with, are the same things many of us struggled with, but overcame with time and practice. You’ll be surprised at the progress you make in another month’s time, and then another month after that. Keep practicing and stay focused.

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+1 To everything that everybody else said. I had a habit of underestimating those old Motown bass lines. Never again. It sounds like you’re doing pretty great moving though the course. Keep it up! :+1:

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Ah, the right of passage that is Billie Jean. Don’t get hung up on ANY of the lessons to the point that you stop enjoying the process or making progress (no matter how slow it seems - it’s all there for a reason).

When things start to overwhelm you and you feel like it’s all too much/hard/fast, take yourself to a lesson that you nailed, and go through it again; get your confidence back and enjoy the playing for the joy of playing. Seriously, if you got a reply from every person who has a lesson tune that they simply cannot get through, you’d be reading these forums for days. I’m up at Module 12 but have 3 or 4 tunes that I’m gonna have to go back to. That’s also part of the secret to this course: you will always go back to something.

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Well spoken, @PeteP . . . . :+1:

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@PeteP Well said

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Thanks for the progress report @anthony.claudel!

One thing you can try for the left thumb issue - try playing (temporarily) with your thumb completely OFF the neck. (edit just saw @howard suggested this above too!)

The goal isn’t to actually play like that, but to prove to yourself conclusively that you don’t need to press with your thumb. It just needs to rest and stay out of the way.

Glad you’re keeping your momentum through the course even when you hit a stumbling block! I’m sure you’ll find all that stuff easier when you come back to it.

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