Fifteen years ago you would have had to walk around with a phone, a Walkman, a calculator, a torch, and many other bits of tech just to have some of the capabilities that a modern Apple or Android mobile phone has.
Today you can get an app for pretty much anything, even for learning how to speak other languages or learning how to play an instrument - Like the bass guitar!
Here we'll look at some of the best mobile apps you can use to get started on learning bass guitar for yourself, from the comfort of your own home or music studio.
Fender Play - Learn Guitar
This is a relatively new app that is created by the popular guitar brand Fender and comes highly rated on the app store. Those familiar with Fender will know they make great guitars, so their apps probably aren't bad either!
The app allows it's users to learn to play the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, and the ukulele. You can choose which of the instruments you wish to learn and you can then find tabs for that instrument for you to practice with.
Fender Play features official guitar tabs of classic songs that are a must for any bassist to know. You can learn these songs easily by following along with the moving tab and choosing whether or not you want other instruments backing you whilst you play.
You will get feedback on your performance after you finish and advice on where to improve, and it's possible to track your progress in the app as you continue with your practice.
Also included is hundreds of video lessons from professional guitar players that Fender has sourced themselves, giving you masterclasses in the different techniques of playing the bass.
Unfortunately it is a paid app, but you do get a seven day free trial with no credit card required so that you can get a chance to see if you think it is good value for the money you would spend on it.
Yousician - Your Music Teacher
This is another great mobile app for aspiring musicians. Created by music teachers, this app includes a plethora of resources for anyone looking to learn the electric or acoustic guitar, the ukulele, the piano, or the bass guitar.
Again this app will allow you to customise your experience by choosing your instrument, but it also allows you to select you favourite style of music. This would let you practice multiple genres like rock, pop, blues, reggae, jazz, and so on.
The content is suitable for all levels of experience and ability, so you can find something to learn whether you're a beginner or an advanced student.
Choose from your favourite songs and learn how to play along with them, the app will listen to you and provide instant feedback on your progress. You can also set goals and daily reminders for yourself to help stay motivated to practice, and always stay in tune with their built in guitar tuner.
As well as seemingly endless tabs and sheet music, Yousician offers hours of video tutorials recorded by music teachers who have years of experience teaching students like yourself.
Practice different styles and techniques of your bass playing with exercises on melodies, slap bass, harmonising, rhythm and more!
You can get some access on the app for free, but most content requires a subscription. A seven day free trial is available for you to test out the app, but it will charge you a fee if you don't cancel before it is over.
Another great resource for music students learning the guitar or bass guitar is this app and website - Ultimate Guitar.
There are over 1.4 million guitar tabs and chord progressions available for your viewing pleasure on this app which you can take anywhere.
Ultimate Guitar has been an online community for many years, and a lot of the tabs on it are made by musicians like you. This means they can vary in quality a fair bit, but the majority of tabs are accurate and a lot of fun to play.
Most songs you can think of will have a tab for you to learn on this app, and there's even a fun feature where you can record yourself playing your favourite songs and upload them for other guitarists to see if you're feeling confident!
Again there is a premium feature to the app where you can pay a subscription for access to high quality moving tabs and video tutorials, but the vast majority of tabs are free to access without paying.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you will need to have a good understanding of how to read and interpret guitar tabs and sheet music before you can use this app to it's full potential.
Other Useful Music and Bass Mobile Apps
As well as learning how to play your favourite songs on the bass, it's important that you fully understand music theory and other aspects of music to truly reach the best of your ability. You might also want to record some of what you play, have a metronome to keep you in time, or keep your guitar in tune.
Fortunately, there are apps for this too.
There are a number of apps that aim to help your understanding of musical theory that you can find on both Android and Apple phones.
Here are a few of them:
- Music Theory Quiz
- Music Theory - Piano & Music Teacher
- Waay: Learn Music Theory ($14.99)
These can all help you understand sheet music much better, and improve your ability in all aspects of music theory.
We all like to record ourselves playing musical instruments so that we can hear any mistakes and make sure that everything is sounding good. Recording equipment can be expensive as a beginner, so it might be best to go for a mobile app instead!
- Spire Music Recorder & Studio
- Ferrite Recording Studio
- BandLab - Music Making Studio
These three apps offer comprehensive recording coverage, allowing you to record multiple instrument tracks and mix them together, essentially having a recording studio in your pocket.
Another essential part of playing the bass guitar is keeping it in tune! You don't want to be playing on stage for the first time and have a flat E!
- Fender Guitar Tuner
- Guitar Tuner Easy Tune
All of these are pretty similar, but you should still try a few and see which works best for you. Some other apps we mentioned like Yousician come with a guitar tuner included so you won't need to worry about that if you're subscribed to them.
Learning Bass With a Teacher
If you try out a few different apps and find they aren't really your style, or you find the online resources tedious and hard to focus on, then you can always look for a professional teacher or tutor to help you learn bass guitar. Tutors can be more expensive than apps and instructional videos, but they can really help you to improve your bass guitar playing in short amount of time.
Superprof can help you to find professional bass tutors in your local area wherever you live in Australia, and your first lesson is offered free to give you a feel of the course of tuition you might take.
You can quickly compare the fees of lessons and a tutors level of experience on their profiles, allowing you to make a well informed decision as to which tutor you'd like to learn with.
There's a chance you might find different types of courses and lessons, namely:
- In person private one on one lessons
- Online private lessons
- Group sessions with other students
If you want a tutors undivided attention for maximum efficiency of learning and practice, it's probably best to take private individual lessons and these can be done in person or online.
Online bass guitar classes can be cheaper as there is less travel involved for both you and your tutor, but practicing over videocam can be detrimental to the lesson in case of tech failures or bad quality microphones.
In person lessons are great as you can speak clearly with your tutor and both play together in their music studio.
Another option is to take group lessons with a tutor who offers them or workshops where students can meet up. This would mean you don't get as much one on one time with your tutor, but it might reduce the cost of your classes and allow you to meet some fellow musicians.
Playing bass guitar, or any instrument for that matter, can be a greatly communal experience if you want it to be. The first step you can take is joining a local music club, but you could even start a band and write your own music to play on stage!
Whether you use free online resources or get help from a teacher, enjoy the journey of learning how to play bass and stay motivated!
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