Simplifying the bass education minefield

Whether you were a total beginner, a returning bassist or a guitarist transitioning to a proper instrument just about everyone on this forum is either currently working through Josh’s course or has completed it and it occurs to me that as Josh’s course only covers beginner to (almost) intermediate, most of us are looking for the next level to take our education further but what a minefield it is. I’ve wasted money on some (ahem, did someone whisper Truefire) and found pure gold with others (thank you Mark at Talking Bass) but in between those two extremes there are so many courses out there it’s difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. off the top of my head there is:

Talking Bass
Low End University
Bass Education
Luke, Become a Bassist
James Eager EBassGuitar
Joe Hubbard
Lorin Cohen

That’s just a few off the top of my head, there are probably dozens more. Some I’m tempted by - James Eager’s current 90 day Blues Accelerator Course for Bass is tempting but you can end up going down a rabbit hole and becoming a bass education collector instead of a bassist.

So what can we do?

This is just a germ of an idea and I don’t know how it would work but I’m thinking we could have a dedicated thread listing all the courses we currently know about and somehow classify them. I know it would be subjective but if 2 or 3 people commented on each course we might get some sort of balance of opinion. The sort of things we might want to highlight would be Course objectives (i.e. is it a general course for beginner, intermediate or advanced or does it learn toward Jazz, blues etc). Strengths & Weaknesses of the course. Price with value for money etc

Don’t know whether it’s practical. I’m trying to work it out as I type.

Maybe it’s not even worth doing?





Sounds like a good idea, @chris6, but it might get complicated very quickly. How about listing the single most helpful teacher watched after completing Josh’s B2B course? :thinking:

In my case, it would be Josh Fossgreen, then Mark J. Smith.



I agree a minefield!

My votes are Mark Smith and Ariane Cap. What I am also finding is doing parts from each at the same time are reinforcing things quite nicely. I am working through Ariane’s first book now while working on Mark’s Chord tones. This 2-sided approach is reinforcing things from different angles at the same time and I am finding it highly effective. Lots of little ‘ah-ha’ moments as @PamPurrs predicted. I really like doing a bit from each at the same time. I am finally looking at the fretboard and starting to see notes. I am ordering more courses from Mark for the future during the current sale and preordered Ariane’s new book based on only a few exercises in the first.

I have tried others and found nothing that suits, and found those above on the reco of others here.

I have previously and will continue to caution against SBL, to me it is just pandemonium and more words than ever needed to teach anything.
I liken SBL to an effects pedal with 1,347 buttons/dials/switches on it and an instruction manual written in broken english.


LOLOLOL well stated! :rofl:

You forgot to mention, the manual starts out with 20 pages of how the manual was written, and what kind of paper it’s printed on, and how the printer’s family is always bugging him to go on vacation, and …


…and EVERY button is the MOST IMPORTANT button you will ever press on this pedal…EVER!


You think there is a bass education minefield? Be glad you aren’t a guitarist. :wink:

But good to pool all the great resource recommendations together.

BTW, you should include Ari’s Music Theory stuff too.


LOL. I know where you are coming from JT. My guitar tuition DVDs could kick start the National Library of Guitar Tuition. I mistake I am keen to not repeat with bass.


I would just add (and I know this is not fiscally feasible for all), but Berklee Online has a Professional Certificate in Bass that is really good and gets you access to the same instructors as regular Berklee.


Funny I just got an email about this topic yesterday and was going to look into, however, I think that might be a bit too deep / time committment for me. I have tried some other university classes online for sax and immediately fell dreadfully behind due to work/work travel etc conflicts.

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Just starting Talking Bass Fundementals course with Mark having finished B2B so happy to post my thoughts on it given a week or two

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Would love to hear your initial thoughts. Just got the scale fundamentals but thinking about some of the other courses…

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Do you have a link for this?

This is the one for bass or you can do general music studies Berklee Online

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a nice free place to study is the recently overhauled


I think it should be noted that the paid content of SBL is nothing like the Free YouTube videos (which are just a bunch of talking intros, and blog on what he’s been up to). It’s in contrast to B2B, because you get a feel for the B2B lessons by watching Josh’s free YouTube videos.

Also, SBL has lots of other teachers on different subjects, it’s not just Scott (Such as 5 hours of Progressive metal courses from Nolly, if that’s your thing). As an absolute beginner, the content can be overwhelming, which is why I’m doing B2B before continuing with SBL. But they do have lots of resources and support. You can filter and search for courses by Difficulty, Tutor, and or subject. This is all apart from the Player’s path, which is more geared as practice content based on your current skill level.

I definitely recommend B2B first, but would say give the 14 day trial at SBL a try to see if it’s right for you once you’re done.

Need to also add that SBL seems to do a discount once or twice a year and you’re locked in, so look out for that if you actually want to join. Same goes for Fender Play.


Posting this in case it’s of any interest to anyone. Federico Malaman has a sale on for his ‘ultimate Bass Bundle - Birthday Edition’. I know some of you respect him but it seems like an odd bundle to me. Two slap modules called malaslap Vol 1 and (wait for it) malaslap Vol 2, a module on the pentatonic scale, a module on the major scale, one on a previously released Jazz masterclass and one on improvising. If you know your scales and don’t have a great interest in slap I’m guessing this wouldn’t be for you, especially as most of them are in Italian with English subtitles. It’s on ‘offer’ for 197 euros. Personally I’m sceptical that it was ever sold for the claimed full price of 422 euros but who knows? If it piques your interest head over to

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not sure that link is actually working but if you search for federico malaman on facebook you’ll get there.

Edited: link should be working now

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Does anybody here have experience with the course.

It seems to me at this time this is about the only thing available as the next step after B2B with a teaching methodology similiar to Josh.

James Eager has plenty of free videos on Youtube so I’d check those out first to see if they resonate with you. I think he’s possibly a good teacher but at the risk of sounding flippant, I am constantly distracted by his eyebrows which look like at any moment they may eat the rest of his face. :smile:

But on a serious note, he has something coming out imminently called the 90 Blues Accelerator Course which sounds interesting in concept but also confusing. The premise is that he wants people to sign up to it who can commit to the same sort of intensive learning curve that he experienced at university which in theory is great but in reality most of us are not students any more and cannot spend half our days playing bass and the other half getting drunk so the reality is most people would fall behind. He addresses that problem in the FAQS by saying something along the lines of “no problem, study at your own pace. You have lifetime access to the course” which is great but kinda blows apart the whole intensive learning theory. Anyway as blues is my greatest love I was tempted to try it so I fired off an email to him with a couple of questions last week and never got a reply. That sends me the wrong message and I’m blowed if I’m going to spend money with people who offer poor customer service. Mark over at Talking Bass currently has a 30% off sale and I’d recommend looking at his courses.