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Al Krow

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

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12 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

@fretmeister - really good mini review, thank you. Exactly the sort of helpful detail for folk to get an idea of whether to look into a particular paid online course further.

My only follow up query is that the first course which you took seems to be aimed at teaching 'proper' bass clef music notation. But what extra is it bringing to the party for someone, like yourself, who can already read music on the bass clef given that you've had classical piano lessons?

You give me too much credit.

 

My piano lessons were 35 years ago!!

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3 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

You give me too much credit. My piano lessons were 35 years ago!!

Haha - fair enough! So would I be correct in summarising the course you've done as being "aimed at teaching how to read 'proper' bass clef music notation"?

Definitely something I need to think about doing at some point soon - I was learning classical guitar at about the same time you were having your piano lessons but that was purely treble clef! 

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22 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Haha - fair enough! So would I be correct in summarising the course you've done as being "aimed at teaching how to read 'proper' bass clef music notation"?

Definitely something I need to think about doing at some point soon - I was learning classical guitar at about the same time you were having your piano lessons but that was purely treble clef! 

Yes. No hint of tab or other "cheats" anywhere.

All proper notation throughout. And as any good music teacher will tell you - 5 minutes per day is far better than 1 hour on a weekend. 5 mins per day and you'll be reading Grade 1 quite happily in a couple of months.

As it happens I also have the ABRSM Double Bass Specimen Sight Reading Tests book (Grade 1 to 5) that I use to test myself. It makes sure I'm not just playing from memory and that I'm really reading what is in front of me. It is for Double Bass, but I just ignore the bowing instructions and play normally.

 

I've been trying to play dots for a couple of years only, but now I can use proper transcription of pieces that have not been available as a tab, or only available as a really bad quality tab. Or even make stuff up from a piano part if I have to.

This has been very useful for my big band when most of the players can sight read at least Grade 5. I have to work damn hard in that band, just to keep up!

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I learned something new today - bass notation on the bass clef strictly requires the use of an octave-up pedal, as the true pitch of our basses is an octave below what's actually written! I guess a lot of folk know that already, but I certainly didn't!

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, greghagger said:

I am thinking of offering an add-on to my reading music video course that I am releasing next month.  This will be a Skype/zoom meeting at the end of each module of the course to discuss any questions that might have come up in the module.  From feedback, I have learnt that some sort of support during an online course can often be beneficial.  

Maybe the best of both worlds? 

Yes indeed, sounds like a really helpful add on. And I suspect as well as beneficial for those taking the course, rewarding for you to see the progress folk have made and to establish a connection with your 'students'. Hope it goes well - and ties in nicely with the Jeff Berlin discussion I've just been having with fretmeister above.

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

I learned something new today - bass notation on the bass clef strictly requires the use of an octave-up pedal, as the true pitch of our basses is an octave below what's actually written! I guess a lot of folk know that already, but I certainly didn't!

I discovered this when I was given a Tuba part to play and was playing it in the wrong register!

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I use the Tony Grey online academy.

http://tonygreybassacademy.com/m/home/

The entire syllabus is online and nothing is emailed. It is well thought out and presented. I have been playing bass for <cough> years and have learned so much since signing up in December. I pay a subscription fee of about £24 per month.

Here is the entire syllabus. I highly recommend checking it out if you want to become a better bass player and musician. His structured approach to learning has moved me away from practice hell and I now have a clear understanding of what areas I need to work on which is leading to me practicing a lot more than previously. It is intense if you take it seriously.

CHAPTER 1: OPTIMIZING YOUR PRACTICE SCHEDULE
1.1 How to Organize Your Practice Schedule
CHAPTER 2: UNDERSTANDING THE PENTATONIC SCALES
2.1 Pentatonic Introduction
2.2 Pentatonic Lesson 1
2.3 Pentatonic Lesson 2
2.4.1 Lesson 3.1
2.4.2 Lesson 3.2
2.4.3 Lesson 3.3
2.5 Pentatonic Lesson 4
2.6.1 Lesson 5.1
2.6.2 Lesson 5.2
2.6.3 Lesson 5.3
CHAPTER 3: UNDERSTANDING HARMONY
3.1.1 Sight Reading Introduction
3.1.2 Learn The Rhythms First
3.1.3 Rhythm Exercises
3.1.4 Introduction To Notation
3.1.5 Introduction To Note Angle
3.2.1 Understanding Key Signatures
3.2.2 Major Scale Fingering Positions
3.3.1 Benefits of Understanding The Major Modes
3.3.2 Understanding The Major Modes
3.4.1 Understanding Intervals Benefits
3.4.2 Understanding Intervals
3.4.3 Diatonic Intervals Found Within The Major Scale
3.4.4 Diatonic Intervals Found Within The Major Modes
3.4.5 Compound Intervals
3.4.6 Understanding Interval Inversions
3.5.1 Understanding Triads From The Major Modes Intro
3.5.2 Understanding Triads
3.5.3 The Diatonic Triads Found In The Major Modes
3.6.1 Understanding 4-Note Chords From The Major Modes Intro
3.6.2 Understanding 4-Note Chords
3.6.3 Diatonic 4-Note Chords From The Major Modes
CHAPTER 4: ACADEMY TECHNIQUE
4.1 Technique Introduction
4.2.1 Warm Up And Stretching Benefits    
4.2.2 Warm Up And Stretching    
4.2.3 Posture and Hand Positions
4.3.1 Technique Warm Up Intro    
4.3.2 Technique Warm Up Exercises
4.4 Right Hand Raking Technique
4.5 Right Hand Muting Technique
4.6 Slap And Pop Techniques
CHAPTER 5: GROOVE CONCEPTS
5.1 Bass Lines Intro 
5.2.1 Walking Bass Lines Intro    
5.2.2 Walking Bass Lines Lesson 1
5.3.1 Rock Introduction    
5.3.2 Rock Example 1    
5.3.3 Rock Example 2    
5.3.4 Rock Example 3    
5.3.5 Rock Example 4    
5.3.6 Rock Example 5    
5.3.7 Rock Example 6    
5.3.8 Rock Example 7    
5.3.9 Rock Example 8
CHAPTER 6: FINGERBOARD STUDY
6.1.1 Fingerboard Study Intro    
6.1.2 Vertical Fingering Positions For The C Major Modes Part 1    
6.1.3 Vertical Fingering Positions For The C Major Modes Part 2    
6.1.4 C Major Whole Range    
6.1.5 C Ionian    
6.1.6 D Dorian    
6.1.7 E Phrygian    
6.1.8 F Lydian    
6.1.9 G Mixolydian    
6.1.10 A Aeolian    
6.1.11 B Locrian
CHAPTER 7: MELODIC DEVELOPMENT
7.1 Melodic Development Intro
7.2 Melodic Development Lesson 1
CHAPTER 8: LINEAR SOLO CONCEPTS
8.1.1 Linear Solo Concepts For The Major Modes Intro    
8.1.2 Linear Solo Concepts Lesson 1
CHAPTER 9: ACADEMY EAR TRAINING
9.1 Ear Training Intro
9.2.1 Transcribing Songs By Ear    
9.2.2 Transcribing Songs By Ear    
9.2.3 Transcribing Songs By Ear
CHAPTER 10: BEBOP STUDY
10.1 Intro To BeBop Study 
10.2.1 Major 7 Chord Tones And Tensions Lesson 1    
10.2.2 Major 7 Chord Tones And Tensions Lesson 2    
10.2.3 Major 7 Chord Tones And Tensions Lesson 3    
10.2.4 Major 7 Chord Tones And Tensions Lesson 4
CHAPTER 11: APPLYING MELODIC CONTENT OVER JAZZ STANDARDS
11.1 Applying Melodic Content Over Jazz Standards Introduction
11.2.1 Analysis Of A Progression Based On The Changes To “All The Things You Are”
11.2.2 Playing Through The Changes Key To Key    
11.2.3 Applying Melodic Content Exercise 1
 

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Posted (edited)

I'm,  not sure if you are still looking for info on paid for courses, as you seem to have enrolled in a couple at Talking Bass, but...

I first picked up a bass in August 2018 and signed up with SBL.  I found lots of help and information but was still often at a loss as to what to practise.  There are loads of courses, most of which weren't appropriate for a beginner but there still was enough for me to be getting along with.  

I did the 26 week 'Technique Accelerator' Course last year and it was just what I needed.  The claim that '30 minutes per day' is all you need is a bit misleading.  I needed more than 30 minutes.  Some, more experienced, with fewer bad bass habits might only need 30 minutes but I'm not one of them.  

The lessons on hammer ons and pull offs, fretting hand technique and 'economy plucking' were really useful.

A lot of time was spent on ghost notes, perhaps more than I thought necessary, but it was still useful.

The last few lessons are on pick and slap, you can't obtain proficiency with a pick or slap in just a few weeks but at least you get the means to have a go on your own.  I found the pick instruction helpful but I needed to work out muting on my own and since the lockdown this is one area that I have been working on.  Two weeks for slap is just a taster.

Overall, it was well worth it for me.

I think they start a new enrolment for this course about every 9 months.  So you can't just sign up when you like.

.

 

 

 

 

Edited by BillyBass
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Posted (edited)

@BillyBass thanks very much for sharing that.

Yes - still absolutely looking for highly recommended paid courses that folk have taken and found to be well worth the money.

As you spotted, it may not be for me for this year, as I have now signed up to three(!)** of Mark's courses on Talking Bass and I'm only 60% of the way through the first one, but I know several other folk are also looking for lock-down lesson inspiration and it's good to know what else is out there for sure.

And hopefully this thread will turn into a useful repository of recommendations that folk can refer to down the line. 

The course you've recommended seems to have a lot of fans: I've just checked and it's already in the summary list in the first thread post, but it was great to have your detailed comments - really useful for anyone thinking about doing the course.

 

**he keeps offering 30% discounts on courses that I really like the look of and would have likely have signed up for in due course anyway! 😁

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

@BillyBass thanks very much for sharing that.

Yes - still absolutely looking for highly recommended paid courses that folk have taken and found to be well worth the money.

As you spotted, it may not be for me for this year, as I have now signed up to three(!) of Mark's courses on Talking Bass and I'm only 60% of the way through the first one, but I know several other folk are also looking for lock-down lesson inspiration and it's good to know what else is out there for sure.

And hopefully this thread will turn into a useful repository of recommendations that folk can refer to down the line. 

The course you've recommended seems to have a lot of fans: I've just checked and it's already in the summary list in the first thread post, but it was great to have your detailed comments - really useful for anyone thinking about doing the course.

In that case, I'll let you know how I get on with SBL's 'The Practice Accelerator' as I have enrolled for this and today is day one.  I was of two minds about enrolling on this as I thought I might be paying for information that is mostly already available on SBL's website anyway (I'm a member) but I thought I need help in structuring my practice regime so I'll fork out for it.  Too early to comment yet but I'll post a review in 8 weeks time when it finishes.  The pricing for SBL stuff is all in US dollars but as a SBL member I got $50 off and it came to £77, which was $97 converted to Sterling by my credit card company.

I think I read that the bloke from Talking Bass used to work for SBL but he set up his own site and is now a rival to SBL?

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1 minute ago, BillyBass said:

I think I read that the bloke from Talking Bass used to work for SBL but he set up his own site and is now a rival to SBL?

Wasn't aware that Mark was of SBL heritage, must admit! I think our own Mark @[email protected] knows him personally and may be able to confirm.

But I guess not unheard of for folk in all walks of life to venture off and do their own thing. At the back of my mind I've got both the Fodera and F Bass founders as having originally learned their trade in Ken Smith's workshop (although that may just be wrong!)

Yeah - please do let us know how you get on with the 'The Practice Accelerator' and if it's largely duplicating his free material, that's also worth knowing.

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Yeah - please do let us know how you get on with the 'The Practice Accelerator' and if it's largely duplicating his free material, that's also worth knowing.

It won't be duplicating his free stuff but a lot of it may be in the SBL courses available to members; membership that, unfortunately, we pay for.  I'll let you know.

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12 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Yes indeed, sounds like a really helpful add on. And I suspect as well as beneficial for those taking the course, rewarding for you to see the progress folk have made and to establish a connection with your 'students'. Hope it goes well - and ties in nicely with the Jeff Berlin discussion I've just been having with fretmeister above.

Thanks, I’m pretty excited to be offering a reading music course. Been wanting to put one out for a long time. 
 

Although in my opinion, playing by ear is a necessary skill for bassists, I am also a great believer in the benefits that reading music can offer. In that, I come from the same direction as Jeff Berlin. I hope I’m more amicable in general on social media than Jeff though! 

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5 hours ago, BillyBass said:

I think I read that the bloke from Talking Bass used to work for SBL but he set up his own site and is now a rival to SBL?

I don't think Mark worked for SBL but he's mates with Scott and certainly used to turn up on some of his videos.

Geoff Chalmers (of this parish) used to work for SBL but moved off to start Discover Double Bass

https://courses.discoverdoublebass.com/courses

I've not done any of the courses from that site, but Geoff is a top bloke and knows his stuff.

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Was rummaging and came across these pearls of wisdom from over a decade ago which, for me, is still very much on point!

On 26/06/2009 at 10:54, rslaing said:

"I'd better get a proper tutor, if I had 4 grand. Honestly. *runs for cover*"

There's always one, isn't there :) But they wouldn't be able to teach you anything I can't supply while I am trying to in the Weekly Lesson for NOWT. However:-

The time to employ a private tutor is most important when you start out playing, to teach the rudimentary aspects and ensuring you don't have, or build any bad habits. I personally believe, and not everyone agrees with this, that once a player gets to a certain stage, their hand positions are correct, and they have a decent knowledge of the fretboard, you can advance your skill level with progressively fewer visits to the tutor...

...The secret to improvement when you are a musician is more often than not, the desire you have to learn, and the time you spend applying the knowledge you have acquired into your practice time.

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On 22/03/2020 at 15:02, 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. 

He's just launched a chords course.  He's currently offering 30% launch discount for just this week, so it's under £50 for the usual exhaustive treatment.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

Yeah there are definitely songs that would benefit from pick playing and that precision in the timing is something I don't always achieve with fingers. The trouble with playing covers is there's pretty much always the next song to learn and the easy route of using the tricks you already have to hand instead of learning new techniques. The lack of gigs means I have time to do something but motivation has always come from the things I did wrong at the last gig :) I've got back to playing an hour a day again though and cleared the backlog of songs to learn so now looks a good time to do some work on the basics. How are you getting along with the online courses? (thread derail)

De-railing a de-rail - is that a bit like a do-run-run? 😁

Loving it - still on Mark from TB's Slap Basics course and trying to do a little bit each day. As well as the slap, hammer-on, slides, ghost note and pop techniques, one of the most important bits from the course I'm benefiting from is the precision on timing, which kinda ties in to our pick discussion - except we're obviously not using a pick for slap bass! 

A riff as simple as the one below, as an example, with the various off-beats can take me several practice sessions to master and then Mark is playing at a speed that is literally double what I can manage initially so there's then a second area of challenge (oh, don't worry, he starts the thing slow and breaks it all down to begin with). There may be 5 such recap exercises in a single lesson going over the most recently introduced ideas and techniques, and a single lesson can therefore take a couple of weeks to get through, although other lessons can be done much more quickly.

Instead of a metronome, I'm using the drum machine on my Zoom B1X-4 and frankly it's almost worth the price of the pedal just for this; it's really useful for working on precision timing and being able to start slow and speed things up.

image037-e1537191109472-300x213.png

I reckon this course alone will get me to the end of lock-down at current rates of progress and then I've got his Walking Bass and Chords for Bass Guitar courses to follow, so I'm definitely being kept out of mischief by Mark :) 

Edited by Al Krow

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+1 on the Zoom. Whilst not a Jeff Berlin fan, I’d paraphrase him and say practising with a metronome is largely uninspiring. Wherever possible play with some kind of groove, then you’re playing music rather than an exercise - even if it is an exercise :)

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11 minutes ago, FDC484950 said:

+1 on the Zoom. Whilst not a Jeff Berlin fan, I’d paraphrase him and say practising with a metronome is largely uninspiring. Wherever possible play with some kind of groove, then you’re playing music rather than an exercise - even if it is an exercise :)

+1 more for the Zoom - it is a great practice tool.

I'm using it with an iPad running iReal Pro plugged in to the aux input for my latest attempt to crack jazz walking bass. Having rhythm and chordal context is making it look more achievable this time.

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+1 more on the Zoom in my case the B1ON much more practical and satisfying than a metronome.

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I like Scott's Bass Lessons. I have a lifetime membership. But for me his technique accelerator course on teachable was a game changer. 

I don't think I've really had any bad experience with online content. Something to be learned everywhere.

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9 hours ago, cord.scott said:

I like Scott's Bass Lessons. I have a lifetime membership. But for me his technique accelerator course on teachable was a game changer. 

I don't think I've really had any bad experience with online content. Something to be learned everywhere.

I'm a member too; joined the day I bought my first bass.  I did a bit of online research first and noted that there were some that didn't like his teaching style and the American teenager speak he uses: "Hey Groovehacker..." but I liked his free stuff on YouTube.

I watched one free video from Talkingbass and the young American bloke with the cringeworthy sense of humour but thought I'd go with SBL and I'm glad I did.  

I did the technique accelerator course and it was a game changer for me too.  I am now doing the Practice accelerator course, as well as the stuff the members get.  I found the 'harmonic Layering' course absolutely fantastic, that was another game changer for me.

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