What non-music skills are helping you learn bass?


I’ve noticed a lot of folks here are already highly skilled in another area - sound engineers (which is still music-related, but not the same as playing an instrument), airplane pilots, martial artists, professors, and more.

I’m curious if any of you feel that your history of becoming skilled at something else is helpful in your bass learning process? Do you have any habits, beliefs, or behavior patterns that seems to be speeding you along?

I’ve personally experienced the inverse - becoming skilled at bass has formed a foundation for all my later learning explorations - so would love to hear stories!


Interesting point of view, Josh!

I am a professor, but I wouldn’t have thought that this could help me in becoming a better bass player. I guess I wouldn’t have made that connection. I would have chalked it up to age and experience if anything… maybe having learned (sometimes the hard way) what it takes to persevere, but also being more relaxed about not succeeding right away, or just better at accepting things for what they are.

I really enjoy being challenged with learning how to play the bass… and maybe that is because there is no “pressure”… because I have already proven myself…


Yeah, I bet! All those years of schooling to get your degrees, and then dealing with college administrations, trying to find a full-time/tenured position, etc… from what I hear perserverance is putting it lightly!

Not worrying about succeeding right away sounds like a huge win. Stumbling blocks will 100% come up for everybody in the learning process (that’s why it’s learning, not just swimming around in what we already know), and I’ve noticed some students handle that better than others psychologically.

I go through that myself, honestly. Just a couple nights ago I was working on transcribing a really terribly fast Benny Green piano solo and one of the phrases was making my brain melt with frustration. It’s been easy at that point, over the years, to let frustration take over and stop working on it, and it seems like the attitude that actually gets me to work towards success instead feels more like curiosity than frustration.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!


This is an interesting question! I do not consider myself very “creative” or musically talented, but I would like to think that I’m super-organized and have done lots of research on playing bass, establishing an account with Sweetwater Sound, organizing files and websites on my desktop, and making playlists of bass-playing topics on YouTube, etc. etc. (which was how I stumbled across you and your website, Josh). :slight_smile:

I’m hoping that starting out being well prepared and organized will help me to get the most out of my upcoming Bassbuzz lessons, complete them in a shorter time frame, and enable me to progress to the next level.


Definitely an interesting question - because I’ve noticed, so many people on here are learning bass in mid-life, like me (age 42), or later. So some other life events must be shaping the process.

Personally, having a daily, consistent meditative practice is helping me a lot in learning bass and music, specifically in 3 ways:

  1. Part of my practice is concentrating the mind, bringing it back to just one thing, over and over again. This helps in being very focused on my bass when playing, as well as consistency with just practicing/following through with the lessons. It also makes me not worry about failure, or having “off days”.

  2. This is “theory”, but, the at some core level, everything we see is waves/vibration. So I practice saying mantras, which, to me, has huge overlap with something like learning scales. Choosing specific words from a big dictionary of sounds to create harmonics, vibes, patterns that are, in some way, in sync with something.

  3. Being in silence sometimes / or just not listening to music for a time. It sounds counter-intuitive, but, when you start listening to it again, it sounds different, you perceive it differently, and you just appreciate having it.