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.



I don’t work anymore and my kids are adults. They have college, work, dating, etc. I don’t have the requirements on my time that I used to have or that I’m used to having.

I would sometimes joke that I could go out get drunk, start a bar fight, get thrown in jail, and not even bother posting bail since I don’t have to ‘be’ anywhere or ‘do’ anything. (Forget the fact that I don’t really drink or go to bars. That’s not the point.) Having an empty nest was making me a little crazy.

When I finally gained some perspective on how much time and freedom I now have, I decided that if I could do anything I would play music.


That’s awesome Eric! Having lots of time is real “wealth,” it so often feels like a limited resource for me.


It’s funny but that could be my ‘skill’, but what also leads to a weakness of mine; procrastination by over planning. But as you also say, it’s how you (and I) discovered Josh, so clearly a positive effect.


Ha! . . . good point, @PeteP

I plead guilty to frequently overthinking things . . . I call it “Analysis Paralysis”

I need to be careful of that . . . :wink:

All best, Joe


I am guilty as well and it also led me here. Right now, I’m working through making sure every possible thing is in order for when I start class on the 1st. This is a large part of the reason I’ve been so active on the forum. I want to find answers to all the questions I have so that when I start the lessons I can be focused.


Did you find yr answers yet?

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@muff I found some answers and under other answers I’ve just found a heap of more questions. :grinning:


Ok, I’ll bite. I work in IT, behind a keyboard for many hours typing. Over the years my fingers have become pretty skilled with in the arena of small motor skills. It’s something I took for granted for years until I looked down and saw the flurry of fingers. I am hoping that this will be a helpful factor for me. I certainly wasn’t born with the skill.


I work as a Chef and have for almost 30 years. Ive just started the lessons, so I don’t know if anything I know will bring me success, but here’s the things I think will help:

  1. Physicality. I’m not in good shape by any definition, but I stand and work regularly for 8-12 hours at a time. So standing and practicing with a bass, should be easy by comparison.

  2. Pursuit of Perfection. I’ve worked for some A list chefs over my career, and the pursuit of perfection is what it’s all about. Finding the right way to approach a task, setting yourself up for success and then executing to the best of your ability. And then reviewing everything and looking for ways to be better.

  3. Craft & Art. Being a good Chef is like being a good carpenter. There’s a series of skills and A set of knowledge that must be perfected. Once you have all of that, it’s possible to transcend craft into art. I think being a musician is similar. If I only learn the craft of bass, then I’ll be very happy. But maybe someday I can express myself as an artist through bass.


Holy shit! Those are some incredibly good analogies. Forces me to rethink how disorganized I’ve allowed myself to become with my own playing. Seriously, thanks for posting this.