If you're new to learning bass guitar and are looking to save a bit of money on tuition by doing some self teaching, then you'll need to know all about the best websites and online resources that can help you on your journey to becoming a bassist.
You can find anything on the internet nowadays, and luckily for you as a musician that means free lessons, free guitar tabs, free video tutorials, and much more!
Here we'll take a look at some of the best websites to get you started as a beginner and beyond on the bass guitar.
First up is a website which has over 100,000 members worldwide, called Talking Bass. It is a website created by bass music teachers for bass students to get online resources and lessons.
Before signing up you still have access to a whole bunch of free video bass guitar lessons created by professionals. These videos are meant for bass players at a basic beginner level, but still teaches much of the foundations of playing bass.
There are a number of topics that are further split into a file of video lessons each, some of the topics you can get free lessons on include:
- Beginner Lessons
- Music Theory
- Bass Fundamentals
- Scales & Arpeggios
- Jazz Bass
- Advanced Techniques
This is definitely enough content to get you started at least! If you need more, you could see what paid courses Talking Bass has to offer or pay membership to the site to find more advanced resources.
Another fun aspect of Talking Bass is their section full of interviews with famous bassists, where you can listen for free and here some of the most influential bass players talk about what music means to them.
Scott's Bass Lessons
This website takes playing the bass seriously, with Scott dedicating his working life to running it and a YouTube channel that runs alongside it.
On Scott's Bass Lessons you can again find a number of free resources and video tutorial lessons which are available for you to view at any time. They also have a similar interview section to Talking Bass where other bassists talk about their experiences.
A podcast is also run in conjunction with the website, so you have many options of how to absorb the information that Scott is providing!
Again free access here will only get you so far, there are instructor lead courses that you can enrol in as well as live intensive courses run by Scott on videocam over 10 weeks.
That's not to say there isn't a lot of free content and resources here though, because there is much to found! This website has been running for a number of years so there is more than enough information to give you a good start on your musical journey.
Online Bass Courses
Once again this website can provide beginner bass players with free resources and video tutorials to kick start your learning.
This includes lessons on the basics of bass playing, as well as videos which teach you how to play the bass lines of specific songs. These videos are great for you to learn and play along with as they scroll the sheet music or guitar tab alongside it as a teacher plays in the background.
This is a great way to practice for a number of reasons:
- It helps you to read and understand sheet music and guitar tabs
- It will help you fluently play along to sheet music
- This will benefit your sight reading abilities
- Playing along improves your timing, rhythm, and the fluid movements of your hands
Find a song you like and play along, it's an easy and fun way to learn!
In terms of the other resources this website provides, you can find a selection of PDFs with a lot of information inside them on a number of different topics like:
- Bass Technique Essentials
- Easy Bass Lines
- Improve Your Groove
- Music Theory Explained
Clearly this website is a goldmine of free information that's not to be missed! They also offer paid courses to students who are interested, but that's not necessary to access a lot of their content.
Study Bass is another website created and run by a passionate bass teacher, who has been teaching music students for over 25 years! The website was founded in 2003 and has grown ever since then.
The name of the founder is Andrew Pouska, and he believes that everyone deserves to learn how to play the bass guitar! Because of this, his step by step course on how to become a bassist is free for everyone!
You'll need to sign up to the website, but this is completely free. From there you will have access to the course which has been tailor made with experience of 25 years of teaching private students the bass guitar.
Andrew runs Study Bass on his own, and because of this sometimes needs support from his students. In this regard you can choose to become a paid member of his website, which will give you access to all of the tool packs for each step of the course.
The tool packs are bits of additional information that can be used alongside the free course to give you more depth and detail to the lessons and techniques you are learning.
Alternatively, you can buy the tool packs individually as you progress through the lessons in your course. You can also make a donation to Study Bass if you are feeling generous and enjoyed the resources that they provided you with!
We've taken a look at a few websites where you can find free lessons and resource packs to help you as a beginner when playing bass, but what about after you have learnt the basics and want to start playing your favourite songs in your own time?
Well you can still do that at some of the aforementioned websites, but Ultimate Guitar is an excellent place for guitar and bass players to find tabs from which they can learn their favourite songs.
You can find over 1.4 million guitar and bass guitar tabs on this website, that's a lot! A handy top 100 helps you see what the most popular song tabs are at the moment, but you can easily search for any song and are more than likely to find a result!
Ultimate Guitar is an online community that has been growing for many years, a lot of the tabs on the site are made by musicians like yourself who have listened to a song and written it out as a tab or sheet music. This does mean that not all tabs will be 100% accurate though, but the majority are great and you will have a lot of fun trying them out!
For this to work you'll need to understand the basics of how to read guitar tabs, but they are easy enough to pick up and get the hang of. Once you get more comfortable you can try out some of the more difficult bass lines that are on offer!
Like most websites these days, Ultimate Guitar also has a premium feature where you can pay a subscription to access high quality content. This includes:
- Official tabs which are 100% accurate and move along while you play
- Video tutorials with professional bass guitar instructors
- Access to an online community of thousands of musicians
Ultimate Guitar helps scores of music students reach their goals every year, and you could be next! It comes as a handy mobile app as well so you can take your favourite guitar tabs with you wherever you go.
Working With a Tutor to Learn Bass Guitar
After a few months of hard practice and working your way through the free resources and lessons that you can find online, you might be wanting to go a step further and challenge yourself more with your music.
After this amount of time you should also have an idea of if playing the bass guitar is something you are truly passionate about and want to continue into the future.
If you reach this stage, it might be time to think about working with a professional music tutor to learn the bass guitar in person from someone who has years of experience with the instrument. They can teach you everything they know, tailoring your lessons depending on whether you are at a beginners or advanced level.
Music tutors can teach you about all aspects of playing the bass, and be able to respond with feedback and criticism unlike a video tutorial. They can guide you through each scale and teach you about all the chords, notes, and bass lines that you need t oknow when playing the bass.
Having regular bass lessons with a music teacher is a great way to have dedicated time to practice and play each week, and will keep you motivated to practice more at home!
Your first bass guitar lesson from a Superprof music tutor will be free of charge so you can see if you enjoy working with your tutor and would be happy for them to guide and teach you how to play the bass.
If you dream of forming a band one day, whether you want to play rock, jazz, blues, or funk music, your tutor can teach you how to play your bass in time with another instrument and keep a rhythm with the band as a whole.
One way to meet potential band members is to take a course of group lessons with your Superprof tutor, you will have less attention from your tutor overall but it can be cheaper and easier to make some music friends.
Whatever you decide to do on your musical journey, remember there is a mountain of free resources and lessons out there for you to utilise!
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