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Al Krow

Paid online bass courses you've done & can highly recommend

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Posted (edited)

With the current bit of extra time on our collective hands, thought it would be good to get our collective recommendations for paid on line bass courses that are worth investing in.

I appreciate that there is an absolute ton of free and very good material on-line. Some of the paid courses can, however, take things to the next level whilst still offering amazing value for money and maybe I'm old fashioned but I kinda think it's great to be able to support fellow musos for the their time and effort in creating and pulling together this material when we can (although I appreciate that some of them are doing incredibly well from their online channels!). For me, it also provides a bit more motivation for working through the material given that I have parted with hard earned cash!

I have over the last few years become a big fan of Mark at Talking Bass and have really liked his free tutorials. I recently took the plunge with his 'Simple Steps to Slap' course costing $80 (approx £65). It's actually 53 lessons with full lesson material so effectively just over £1 a lesson and should keep me busy for 6 months or so in total (I'm half way through so far). Really happy to recommend this course - it's aimed I would say at a competent amateur with perhaps a couple of years bass playing under their belt rather than for a complete beginner. I've been playing fairly intensively for about 7 years now and it's been both enjoyable and a very useful intro the fun and percussive world of slap.

As well as any excellent courses you've done, feel free to share if any paid courses you've taken have been a bit 'meh', that can be just as useful to know! 

[PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING 😊]

What I'm really keen to find out are details of the specific PAID on-line courses you've taken and found really useful rather than generic recommendations of tutors. A little mini review along the lines below, which I can cut and paste, would be great.

As I mentioned above I'm aware there is a ton of free very good material on-line, that's not what I'm looking for please.

Summary of recommended courses:

  • SBL Technique Accelerator Course - Scott Devine. About £100 and includes 24 video lessons with workbook and tells you what to practice each week (~20 mins/day at least 5 days a week) to remove some bad habits and improve overall technique/facility on the bass.
  • Bass Mastery course - Joe Hubbard. Around £400 per year 48 lessons with video which is usually somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes and a pdf. Need to be able to read music notation as there is no tab.
  • Basic Fundamentals course - Mark at Talking Bass for anyone needing to learning basic music theory. This is one of a series of lessons provided by Mark who has a clear and easy to follow style and comes highly recommended from several of us on this thread. 
  • Basic and intermediate course - Jeff Berlin. Aimed at teaching how to read bass clef music notation. $99 gets you access to 24 lessons of various sight reading etudes totalling 102 pages and access to video on Vimeo showing how they should be played properly. The lessons are emailed to you by PDF.
  • Online Academy - Tony Grey subscription fee £24 per month. Well structured course covers both theory and technique (detailed contents - see JohnR's post on page 4).
  • Zoltan's bass lounge - both electric and double bass. Courses (temporarily free) are normally £20 to £70. Tuition is on a 5 string bass and music notation rather than tabs.
  • DiscoverDoubleBass - very affordable
  • Artist Works Jazz Bass - John Patitucci. Three levels - beginner, intermediate, advanced - each with a number of lessons. Subscription e.g. $105 for 3 months gives access to the acoustic course also, plus a 4 lesson basic theory lesson. Videos for each lesson, and PDFs (notation only, no tab) for most lessons, as well as some backing tracks. John is a good teacher, and has relaxed and friendly style. The real bonus is that you can submit several of your own videos, and he'll respond personally, providing feedback on where you should improve.
  • Simple Steps to Slap course - Mark at Talking Bass cost £65. 53 lessons with full lesson material including exercises and accompanying notation / tabs & drum tracks.
  • Basic and Intermediate Slap courses - Stuart Clayton. £8 per course.
Edited by Al Krow
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I'm also a big fan of Mark at Talkingbass. Brilliant, easy to understand, straight forward, no messing about. None of the waffle and filler that a certain other online bass teacher specialises in. 

I'm currently doing the basic fundamentals course and highly recommend it for anyone need to learning basic music theory. I also have the advanced chord tones course purchased and ready to go. 

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You could try a one-to-one lesson via Skype, tailored to your specific requirements.

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1 minute ago, ambient said:

You could try a one-to-one lesson via Skype, tailored to your specific requirements.

I switched to Skype lessons with my tutor yesterday. I was not expecting much but it worked really well. If anyone is in doubt, give it a go. My tutor was using headphones and mixer / mic setup, I just used my Mac microphone with desk  studio monitors and Markbass combo on the ground.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

With the current bit of extra time on our collective hands, thought it would be good to get our collective recommendations for paid on line bass courses that are worth investing in.

I appreciate that there is an absolute ton of free and very good material on-line. Some of the paid courses can, however, take things to the next level whilst still offering amazing value for money and maybe I'm old fashioned but I kinda think it's great to be able to support fellow musos for the their time and effort in creating and pulling together this material when we can (although I appreciate that some of them are doing incredibly well from their online channels!). For me, it also provides a bit more motivation for working through the material given that I have parted with hard earned cash!

I have over the last few years become a big fan of Mark at Talking Bass and have really liked his free tutorials. I recently took the plunge with his 'Simple Steps to Slap' course costing $80 (approx £65). It's actually 53 lessons with full lesson material so effectively just over £1 a lesson and should keep me busy for 6 months or so in total (I'm half way through so far). Really happy to recommend this course - it's aimed I would say at a competent amateur with perhaps a couple of years bass playing under their belt rather than for a complete beginner. I've been playing fairly intensively for about 7 years now and it's been both enjoyable and a very useful intro the fun and percussive world of slap.

PS as well as any excellent courses you've done, feel free to share if any paid courses you've taken have been a bit 'meh', that can be just as useful to know! 

What specifically are you hoping to work on? Theory or technique? Ariana Cap is a fine teacher but I’m sure there’s many teachers on here who could help if you have a specific angle.

I used AC’s book for some work on theory etc. I liked the style and thought it easy to follow. Something I found useful was actually figuring out some incredibly basic stuff about the application of modes even though it’s likely not that important or necessarily but simply from a playing/theory point it made me understand them in my own way even if the wider musical application might be different - I never made the link for all these years. I suppose if I’d took a lesson I may have figured it much much sooner  🙂

Edited by krispn

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Posted (edited)

Not sure why Scott's bass lessons hasn't come up yet. Really enjoy doing the lessons and the paid content is excellent with good work books. 

Given my practice some structure and my playing has come on loads. 

Not a huge fan of the Youtube style "5 reasons why xxx sucks" things but in fairness that's clickbait to get his actual site more views.

The actual site interviews / Webstreams and classes are great. 

Edited by RichValentine
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Posted (edited)

Rufus Philpot and Joe Hubbard be it a tad advanced, SBL, Talking Bass, Ariane Capp all great a chap on our BC forum called Greg has some useful lessons and tips, there are so many.

Edited by thebigyin
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Posted (edited)

I like Scott, but he talks WAY too much. He's a master at turning a 5 minute lesson into 10 minutes.

Mark at Talkingbass.com is very good (as previously mentioned).

My current favorite, however, is the BassBuzz YouTube channel (also BassBuzz.com). Just a pleasure!

Back to the woodshed!

Edited by TheMaartian

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18 minutes ago, krispn said:

What specifically are you hoping to work on? Theory or technique? Ariana Cap is a fine teacher but I’m sure there’s many teachers on here who could help if you have a specific angle.

I used AC’s book for some work on theory etc. I liked the style and thought it easy to follow. Something I found useful was actually figuring out some incredibly basic stuff about the application of modes even though it’s likely not that important or necessarily but simply from a playing/theory point it made me understand them in my own way even if the wider musical application might be different - I never made the link for all these years. I suppose if I’d took a lesson I may have figured it much much sooner  🙂

Cheers. In my case technique. I have a couple of decent musical theory quals under my belt, although given the effluxion of time (isn't that just a great phrase? 😁) my knowledge may well be getting a little rusty now!

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, thebigyin said:

Rufus Philpot and Joe Hubbard be it a tad advanced, SBL, Talking Bass, Ariane Capp all great a chap on our BC forum called Greg has some usual lessons and tips, there are so many.

Just now, odysseus said:

+1 for scottsbasslessons.com   I've learned a great deal from him.

Any particular paid courses you've taken which stand out?

Edited by Al Krow
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3 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Cheers. In my case technique. I have a couple of decent musical theory quals under my belt, although given the effluxion of time (isn't that just a great phrase? 😁) my knowledge may well be getting a little rusty now!

Metronome and patience! Take stuff you’re struggling with and slow it down or take things which are comfortable and play them faster for fun! There’s a version of Dean Town on you tube played faster than the original! Faste! I’m still trying to learn it at about 20 bpm slower! Sheer madness and total technique!


You could program the drum machine to play specific beats which incorporates accents for slap parts etc. which could kill two birds with one stone.

I’m keen for the UA Apollo ‘Luna’ update to come out so I can have access to some new virtual instruments and stuff to play with but alas I’m still working and likely to be doing more work over the next few weeks than see a slow down.

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5 minutes ago, krispn said:

Metronome and patience! Take stuff you’re struggling with and slow it down or take things which are comfortable and play them faster for fun! There’s a version of Dean Town on you tube played faster than the original! Faste! I’m still trying to learn it at about 20 bpm slower! Sheer madness and total technique!


You could program the drum machine to play specific beats which incorporates accents for slap parts etc. which could kill two birds with one stone.

I’m keen for the UA Apollo ‘Luna’ update to come out so I can have access to some new virtual instruments and stuff to play with but alas I’m still working and likely to be doing more work over the next few weeks than see a slow down.

Apologies but I think you may have missed the key point of the thread 😉 For those of us looking to invest in paid online courses - it would be great to hear which actual courses we have done that we would recommend. The Slap Bass basics course run by Mark from Talking Bass is, in my books, a great example for any one looking to get up to speed on Slap and one that I would be happy to recommend.

I'm hoping, between us, we can come up with a few other specific course recommendations.

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Posted (edited)

That’s me told off! I’ve only paid/used Ariane’s material but stand by the recommendation. It’s more theory based than technique though. The rest has been free you tube stuff

Edited by krispn
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51 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Any particular paid courses you've taken which stand out?

Not paid for any courses but joined SBL, Talking Bass and Ariane's Forum type lessons there's plenty to keep one busy via there free pdf downloads I have learnt quite a bit of theory ect like chord tones, modes, intervals....Phil Mann on Scott's Bass Lessons has some great material on theory and teaches in a fun way if you take advantage of Scott's 14 day free trial at Scott's Bass Academy, good luck.

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2 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

I'm also a big fan of Mark at Talkingbass. Brilliant, easy to understand, straight forward, no messing about. None of the waffle and filler that a certain other online bass teacher specialises in. 

I'm currently doing the basic fundamentals course and highly recommend it for anyone need to learning basic music theory. I also have the advanced chord tones course purchased and ready to go. 

Perfect, thanks! Hopefully a few more of us who have purchased on line courses will be along in due course with some positive recommendations.

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Take a look at Stuart Clayton's website. He's straight to the point which I like and not too spendy either.

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9 minutes ago, burno70 said:

Take a look at Stuart Clayton's website. He's straight to the point which I like and not too spendy either.

Great. Which paid ones of his have you done that you would recommend? 

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34 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Perfect, thanks! Hopefully a few more of us who have purchased on line courses will be along in due course with some positive recommendations.

Al have a look at Truefire they have lot's of Bass and Guitar courses with some outstanding tutors some of the Bass tutors include Stu Hamm, Ariane Cap, Andy Irvine, Dave Santos, Steve Jenkins...you can subscribe for free and this will enable you to look at certain courses ect at present there are about 50 courses covering different genres from Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Walking Bass lines, Theory, Technique ect worth a gander.

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I did the basic and most of the intermediate slap courses.  I went from being crap at it to sounding proficient. Although this was always a last 10 minutes of my daily practice routine kind of thing. I reckon I would have completed the course, including advanced if I really concentrated on it. Yeah, at £7.99? I'd say give it a go. Not sure if he does any free trials but it's not a lot of money should you decide it's not for you.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, thebigyin said:

Al have a look at Truefire they have lot's of Bass and Guitar courses with some outstanding tutors some of the Bass tutors include Stu Hamm, Ariane Cap, Andy Irvine, Dave Santos, Steve Jenkins...you can subscribe for free and this will enable you to look at certain courses ect at present there are about 50 courses covering different genres from Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Walking Bass lines, Theory, Technique ect worth a gander.

Thanks fella. What I would like is to hear from folk is which paid courses they have actually taken and thought "this was great" and worth the investment.

I'm kinda hoping we can share actual paid-for course experiences with each other (for good or ill) and then folk who want to invest time and coin on paid courses can have a bit of a steer. @burno70's recommendation above is exactly the sort of thing I'd like to hear about!

Edited by Al Krow

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Posted (edited)

Over the 4-5 years I've been playing bass I've tried various paid content providers.

I know a lot of BCers love to hate but @devinebass 's bass academy is the best I've come across.  I signed up a number of years ago after failing to find a local teacher that wasn't just a guitar teacher trying to earn a few extra bucks teaching bass badly.

I'm now a life time member and I keep going back.  The theory courses by Phil Man are very good and I'm currently working on the Beginners Jazz Survival guide by Scott himself which is helping me immensely in my transition from a tired rock covers bassist to Jazzer.

I picked up some books by Joe Hubbard in his Black Friday sale that I've yet to get stuck into but look really good.

It's not paid content, but @TKenrickis running a groove of the week series that's great in the theory/technique section of this forum!

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks fella. What I would like is to hear from folk is which paid courses they have actually taken and thought "this was great" and worth the investment.

I'm kinda hoping we can share actual paid-for course experiences with each other (for good or ill) and then folk who want to invest time and coin on paid courses can have a bit of a steer. @burno70's recommendation above is exactly the sort of thing I'd like to hear about!

I have the Truefire Motown Bass course by Andrew Ford some good content but I find him annoyingly boring so would give that a miss and I have 2 Fingerstyle Acoustic Blues courses by David Hamburger which are great, he's brilliant and very witty.

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Another life-time member of SBL here. For those who've seen Scott's YouTube content from the last few years and been turned right off; I'm with you completely. Scott's drivel he keeps spouting in those vids is awful, but when you get into the serious paid-for content from Scott and the other tutors in the "SBL academy" its very different.

Another tutor I've been to for lessons was Rufus Philpot. I had a series of 1-to-1 Skype lessons from him in the USA. I picked up a few points in these, but over all he's too advanced for me to gain much from. He has loads of knowledge but he goes at such a rate I wasn't able to get too much from him, and at £90 for 45mins, he wasn't cheap.

SBL is fantastic value for money and the content is massive. You can also go at your own speed.

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