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Learning the Bass

Bass Guitar

I feel very close to what it's like to learn the bass as I did it myself only 10 years ago, after being asked to join a local band.  As a guitar player most of my life, I though it would be easy.  Well some parts of it like harmony and music theory were - but there's a whole range of techniques and playing styles that are not much like playing the guitar at all.    

Most audiences would recognise the bass player using their thumb or a pick, as a traditional  way that players did in the 50's, 60's & 70's.  But things have changed and slapping, popping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends & ghost notes now all play their part in creating a bass line that hugely impacts on the overall sound of the band, taking the bass player from the backline support to the frontline star like 'Flea' in the Chilli Peppers.  People who still say that bassists are failed guitarists just don't get it.

Like the guitar, the RGT, and Trinity College and Guildhall run a range of exams from Preliminary Grade through to Grade 8 - and you can chose to do this all without reading standard music if you wish.   Personally I wouldn't recommend it as you will just store up problems for later - but you could do it if you wanted.

Tuition, Options and Costs

12 per 30 minutes or 22 an hour


These costs include all the support materials, but the books you may need will have to be bought.  But really, there are no hidden extras.


You can take lessons weekly, 2 weekly or big chunks of 3-4 hours every three months or so - I have students who do all of these.


If you want to do exams, I coach the Trinity syllabus which is "Rockschool" or the RGT (University of the Thames Valley) Bass Exams as well.  Trinity and Guildhall have recently amalgamated and I like the materials from both these exam boards at the lower levels and the RGT ones for Grade 4 and above.  RGT is nearer to what it is like playing bass in bands and sessions.

Learning the Guitar
Learning the Bass
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Reading Music
Guitar and Bass Exams
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