Best Bass Guitar Lessons – 2021 Guide

Craig
| Last Updated: March 20, 2021

So, you have decided to play bass and not the guitar? Excellent choice! 

This tells us that you’re probably doing it more because you simply love music and not just the hype that gets around musicians. 

So, how do you even start? Let’s take a look at those online lessons made just for bass guitar.

Our Top Picks for Bass Guitar Lessons

  • Course for all kind of players
  • Speed build-up exercises
  • Music theory lessons
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  • Affordable and detailed course
  • Lessons by famous rock artists
  • Mobile app version available
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  • Electric and upright bass
  • Walking bass exercises
  • Includes tabs and audio tracks
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Comparison of the Best Bass Guitar Lessons

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Hundreds of lessons by Nathan East
  • Detailed playing techniques and music theory
  • Course suitable for all music genres
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  • Best Rock Bass Guitar Lessons
  • Many famous rock artists involved
  • Available for both desktop and mobile platforms
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  • Best Jazz Bass Guitar Lessons
  • Scale, arpeggio, and walking bass exercises
  • Many tabs and backing tracks included
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  • Best Bass Guitar Lessons for Beginners
  • Songs and riff lessons also included
  • Pick between rock or funk style
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What Can I Expect From Taking Bass Guitar Lessons Online? 

Bass Guitar lessons might be the most appropriate learning method for those who would like to learn how to play but don’t have money for the regular private lessons. Usually, for the price of a single course, you can expect to get at least monthly access to any online platform. 

You should expect not just to learn how to play the bass guitar, but also get a lot of exercises, scales, and different playing styles that may suit one genre or another. These runs will come in handy when the time comes to build your technique further.

Some content will be suitable for newbies, while others will be great ways to master skills that you already have. And there will be lessons dedicated to specific songs with brief explanations on how to play hard parts, so you can practice it in segments until you get it right.

And besides playing bass, you will find out more about setting up your instrument properly or learn a thing or two about music theory, ear training, and song structure. These things might not be related to playing specifically but it will help a lot if you understand the concept around it from the beginning.

Review of the Best Bass Guitar Lessons

Now, let’s review the best bass guitar lessons available on the market:

PROS

  • Course suitable for all music genres
  • Many speed exercises included for both hands
  • All video submissions reviewed by Nathan East
  • In-depth analysis of playing techniques and music theory
  • Hundreds of lessons organized to match specific playing skills

CONS

  • Might be overkill for beginners
  • Wish there were more lessons with his live playing experience shared

Teacher Bio

This year, Nathan East is getting 50 years on the stage. The number of artists he performed with is probably close to infinite and it’s a real question whether he plays jazz, soul, or funk music better.

He also holds the title of the most recorded bass guitar artist with more than 2,000 recordings.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s hard to imagine that you can say “I have taken classes from Nathan East”. He will even guide you to build up your own bass lines and review your video submissions and provide you with unique feedback.

In this course, Mr. East will explain chord progressions, genre-specific patterns matched to your playing level, and the most important thing of all - how to use a space in the music as your main weapon. 

Who Are These Best For?

These lessons are the best way to become a real professional. The opportunity to have a grasp of his knowledge and get into his mindset is beyond any subscription for all those players who are serious about becoming professionals.

Bottom Line

Just when we thought it would be impossible to keep up the pace, ArtistWorks did rock and blues guitar choices, they impressed us even more with the bass guitar teacher selection. This course is a dream come true for all bass players out there.

Best Rock Bass Guitar Lessons:
Jamplay Bass

PROS

  • Many famous rock artists involved
  • Courses optimized for specific playing skill
  • Available for both desktop and mobile platforms
  • One membership for dozens of bass guitar courses
  • Create your own video bookmarks or A/B loop points

CONS

  • No free trial available
  • Overall content is hidden from browsing until you purchase a membership

Teachers Bio

Jamplay is offering multiple courses within this course so many famous artists are involved - Billy Sheehan, David Elefson (Megadeth), Rex Brown (Pantera), or Bryan Beller (Dethklok), Robbie Merrill (Godsmack) are just some names you may expect within this membership. The rest of the teachers have either a certain college degree or they have written some instructional bass guitar books.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like the fact that Jamplay is offering you all those lessons for a single membership fee. They have applied all the experience they had with guitar lessons so you can expect high-quality video content delivered from a very impressive rock legend roster which will provide you with the lessons for both beginners and advanced players and give you a lot of valuable practical tips that will help you understand your role in the band much better.

Who Are These Best For?

Both newbies and semi-pro players can find a course that will help them to improve their playing. But, in general, we’ve got an impression that those courses are oriented towards those bass players who are more into rock and metal music.

Bottom Line

Jamplay bass lessons collection might be a very interesting solution for those who would like to gather as much experience as possible from various sources. It’s very affordable and definitely worth giving it a try at least for a month or two.

Best Jazz Bass Guitar Lessons:
ArtistWorks Jazz Bass with John Patitucci

PROS

  • Content split into three skill levels
  • Many tabs and backing tracks included
  • Scale, arpeggio, and walking bass exercises
  • Includes both upright and electric bass lessons
  • Hundreds of high-quality lessons from the most famous jazz bass player

CONS

  • No refund included
  • Backing tracks are not available for all subscriptions

Teacher Bio

John Patitucci is probably the most respected living jazz bass player and it’s probably easier to name a list of artists that he didn’t play with. He’s extremely versatile as a player and will enrich your jazz playing with motifs from classical, world, and even pop music.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like the fact that you’re getting two courses for the price of one. One is dedicated to upright bass while the other is focusing on electric bass guitar.

In both cases, lessons are split into three levels and you will have a bit of music theory knowledge covered that you can apply to both instruments.

Walking bass, alternate picking, string crossing techniques - it’s all in there, including various play along with lessons of quite useful exercises. 

Who Are These Best For? 

We believe everyone who is interested in jazz music will find very resourceful content here. Advanced players will learn a bit more about the John mindset while beginners can be sure they are learning basics in the best way possible.

Bottom Line

It’s really hard to find a more famous person to teach you jazz bass guitar than John Patitucci. It’s a true showcase of how Artist Works classes are getting you both knowledge and experience at the same price.

Best Bass Guitar Lessons for Beginners:
Fender Play

PROS

  • Pick between rock or funk style
  • Mobile app version works terrific
  • Songs and riff lessons also included
  • Other instruments courses are included in this membership
  • The most affordable way to get more into bass guitar learning

CONS

  • The content is for beginners only
  • Some countries don’t have access to Fender Play

Teachers Bio

Most Fender Play bass teachers are mostly young people with Berklee music college degrees.

They also had a chance to tour with some major artists such as Avril Lavigne or Andrea Boccelli.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Fender Play is probably the most affordable way to learn how to play from the scratch. The whole website is very interactive with almost game-like progress tracking.

Once you pick whether you like the funk or rock approach, you will learn all the bass fundamentals along with simplified songs and riff lessons that will fit your current playing level.

And for the same membership, you’ll have a chance to learn the guitar and ukulele, too.

Who Are These Best For?

Fender Play lessons are oriented towards complete beginners and especially younger ones. Older students may enjoy song or riff courses, but the key factor behind Fender play lies in their effort to keep the whole platform interesting for the younger audience.

Bottom Line

Perhaps Fender Play can’t compete with the other websites when it comes to teacher quality but think about it as an interactive elementary music school. You will be able to learn how to play and save some money along that road.

Can You Really Learn to Play Bass Guitar Online? 

We understand your concern, but yes, it is quite possible. It all depends on your devotion, but you can rest assured that you will have all the tools needed to learn how to play it.

Some courses will focus on beginners, while others will cover more advanced playing techniques. From what we have experienced in both situations, online bass guitar lessons are capable of doing fine jobs, so that newbies can learn to play from scratch while semi-pro players will either learn something completely new or polish those skills that need improvement.

How Do Online Bass Guitar Lessons Work? 

Online Bass Guitar Lessons are stored on the website platform that allows you to play them for an infinite number of replays. All the content is recorded at least in full HD video definition and you can watch them by using various cameras or even slow it down or place A/B markers and play it in a loop.

Content is organized either by music genre or by skill level required for particular playing techniques shown in that specific course and in case there are some questions for the specific lesson you can ask teachers straight away or send him a video showing your exact playing and problem.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Bass Guitar Lessons

While online bass guitars can vary based on the platform you have applied to, they have certain things in common:

Pros

Here are some positives of this type of lesson:

Detailed Lessons

Online Bass Guitar Lessons are very detailed. If you’re a beginner they may even look overkill, but everything is prepared in a manner so that you can take on it step by step.

Trustworthy Source

These websites have picked some of the best available teachers that have a certain music degree or teaching experience so you can rely on their skill and knowledge.

Photo credit: jamplay.com

Famous Artists Included

Sometimes the best lesson you can get is not from a teacher but advice from experienced artists who have applied all the lessons in real life and made a success. Most artists are usually down on Earth and they will gladly share their experience with the others.

Extra Features and Tools

Besides courses, most websites will provide you with additional informative content that might be very useful for your playing. For example, you may learn a bit more about scales or phrases or learn how to read notes because of interactive notation games. Some lessons may even provide you with the tabs or audio tracks you can jam along.

Cons

Here are some cons:

Not the Best Choice for Procrastinators

Regardless of the content and the different methods for teaching, online lessons are not ideal for people who tend to procrastinate when they work on their own as there are no deadlines and no check-ups or “graduations”. 

Pre-recorded Content

If you have any particular request or detailed question, you will get a limited chance to get it covered within your subscription. The same goes for any topic that might be your point of interest. It will be very hard to make those teachers record another lesson just because you would like to see it covered.

Photo credit: guitar.lovetoknow.com

Online Bass Guitar Lessons vs Private Bass Guitar Lessons - Comparison Overview 

It’s quite normal to have this type of dilemma as both options come with certain pros and cons, so let’s take a minute and explain to you the benefits of taking one or another option.

Price

If you’re on a short budget, online lessons might be a much better option than a private bass guitar lesson. Simply put, for the price of the single private bass guitar lesson you can get at least a month of membership for any website

Knowledge

This one is not so easy to explain. People online holding lessons will provide you with the streamlined course and detailed and well-planned lessons. Which is fine, but, on the other hand, while private teachers may not be so profound, they might know you, your habits and your capabilities much better so they will hardly fail and give you something you can’t pull off yet.

Availability

Online guitar lessons can be taken anytime you feel so. There are even mobile apps so you can carry them with you. On the other hand you will have to make a schedule with the bass teacher and see if he can make it at all.

Tips for Improving Your Bass Guitar Skills

Before you enroll in some of the courses we’ve shown you, here are some quick tips that you should always keep in mind:

Keep it Simple

The true showcase of excellent playing is to make it demanding only from time to time and the more it comes unexpected, the higher praise you will get. This is probably the only way to get yourself noticed in a good way. 

The Song Context

This tip may seem obvious, but it’s often very forgotten, especially by players who just acquired new playing skills and have an urge to show off. While everyone loves skilled bass players, no one will be fond of that guy who plays with himself all the time.

That’s why song context is very important - if you’re playing a punk song, think like a punk bass player. It’s that simple.

Remember that in most situations, the main goal of your instrument is to provide the groove, especially if you’re recording in a studio. As long as you’re not harming it, all the skills you have learned can be implemented.

Practice Correctly and Frequently

No matter how talented you are, without practice, you won’t come very far. Yes, we know it may get boring to repeat all scales again and again, but, repetition is the mother of all skill.

Also, if you make a plan about your practicing and use the metronome regularly you will be surprised how much you can improve in a short time.

Be Precise

The key to a great bass guitar performance usually isn’t just about technique, it’s more about how precise you are with your playing. Learning when you have to be “on the grid” and when it’s allowed to rush or drag a little bit is a key feature that makes a difference between professional players and the newbie.

Final Word 

These bass guitar lessons may show you the way to become a professional player. But, don’t get fooled, learning what and how to play is just the first part of the equation. The real thing begins on the stage and getting the right equipment. And that’s exactly when you will understand all those jokes about music equipment.

Recap: Best Bass Guitar Lessons

Before you head out, here's a quick wrap-up of the best bass guitar lessons:

  1.  ArtistWorks Electric Bass with Nathan East
  2.  Jamplay Bass
  3.  ArtistWorks Jazz Bass with John Patitucci

People Also Ask

People learning to play bass guitars have a lot of questions that everybody knows but can’t explain when asked. That’s why we’ll try to give you a hint or two about how to slap bass, the difference between bass guitar and electric guitar, and what are the first steps you should take in learning a bass guitar.

How to Play Slap on a Bass Guitar

Make your plucking hand relaxed and place the thumb parallel to the string and rotate in your hand towards the strings just like you’re locking your door. The area that gets in contact with the string should be as small as possible to keep the sound clean.

Is Bass Guitar Easier to Learn than Electric Guitar?

Based on the number of strings and the fact you won’t play chords, it may look so. But, soon you will find out that every mistake made on bass is much more noticeable. Pro players know that behind every great band there is an exceptional rhythm section and it’s made from drums and bass guitar.

Photo credit: guitargearfinder.com

How Old Do You Need to Be to Take Online Bass Guitar Lessons?

If you can hold the bass guitar, you can learn it. It’s that simple. If your kid is struggling with the size of the bass guitar, you should know there are some short-scaled models that may come really handy. Ibanez is currently making the shortest bass guitar - Ibanez GSRM20.

How Long Will it Take to Learn the Bass Guitar?

The general rule that you can apply to any discipline is that you need around 2,500 hours to become a pro. Based on that, let’s say that if you practice every day for an hour, you should make great progress within a year. And if you practice even more, we wouldn’t be surprised if you land the first gig.

How Do I Practice Bass Without a Bass Guitar?

It’s not ideal to practice without a real instrument, but if you want to do it, you can always use your forearm as a fretboard to create a visual memory, for example. And funny enough, if there’s an acoustic guitar nearby, you can practice on it using the first four strings.

What Should I Learn First on Bass Guitar?

The most important things to learn are:

  • how to tune the bass guitar on your own
  • how to hold the bass guitar properly and with the right posture

  • placing the thumb on the fret hand to the right spot 

  • how to pluck strings with consistency

How Often Should I Change the Strings on My Bass Guitar?

Bass strings don't break so easily like guitar strings, so you won’t have to change them often.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see that well-made strings can last even a whole year. But, bear in mind that the sound might become duller. 

Can You Practice Bass Without an Amp?

Bass strings are thicker than guitar strings so you will be able to hear them louder acoustically. So, in general, yes, some exercises, especially regarding building proper playing mechanics can be performed without an amp. But, the real thing begins once you wire your bass guitar.

How Hard is it to Learn Bass Guitar Online?

Online platforms are getting better in delivering the lessons everyday. High-quality videos that can be slowed down, multiple cameras covering all the angles that might be interesting for you - as a matter of fact, for some people it may be even easier than taking classes in person.

Can You Get Free Bass Guitar Lessons Online?

There are many videos that can help you learn various things on a bass guitar but they may lack a certain plan or a method especially for beginners. That’s why investing in bass lessons will be well-spent money - you will save a lot of time filtering all the content scattered around YouTube.

How Much Are Online Bass Guitar Lessons?

It all depends on what website you will choose. It can range from $9.99 up to $35 on a monthly basis. Some platforms offer decent discounts for annual membership, though, and based on our impression websites that ask you for quarterly or annual membership straight away deliver much better content and service.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.