6 Stellar Bass Lesson Websites

While I am committed to completing Roy Vogt’s Teach Me Bass Guitar course, I can’t help but notice that a number of stellar bass lesson websites have popped up over the last couple of years.  Some of these offer free tips, tricks and lessons, some are pay sites and many are a combination of the two.  In an effort to expand my horizons as a bass player I often browse many of these sites for insight, inspiration and even just a different perspective.  Now is definitely a great time to be a bassist as more and more of these sites, as well as miscellaneous videos seem to be popping up daily. 

The following 6 bass lesson websites are ones that I find myself returning to again and again.

Scott Devine’s Scotts Bass Lessons.com

Online Bass Lessons“Scott’s site is a treasure trove of online bass lessons and bass-related information. Even better than that, it’s the right information.” — Chris Tarry (John Scofield, Ben Monder, Adam Rogers, …)

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Janek Gwizdala’s Video Bass Lessons

Free Bass Guitar Lessons | How To Play Bass Guitar Free Bass Lessons Learn to Play Bass Online Bass Lessons Play Bass Guitar Scales ChordsFree bass guitar lessons w/Janek Gwizdala on bass chords, bass scales, bass lines, & much more. Enter your email address for more free bass guitar lessons

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 Norm Stockton’s Art of Groove

Video Bass Instruction – Art of Groove, Bass Lessons with Norm StocktonNorm Stockton’s bass lesson download and subscription website. Includes instructional clips from Pondering the Sushi, Tea In The Typhoon, Grooving for Heaven DVDs, tunes from Lincoln Brewster and much more.

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MarloweDK’s Play Bass Now

PlayBassNow.comTips on playing the electric bass with MarloweDK Video lessons, practice advice, Bass lick of the day (this feed is only displaying a FRACTION of the licks ). Get more licks at the playbassnow.com

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 Paul Wolfe’s How-To-Play-Bass.com

How To Play BassMost of us who pick up the bass guitar do so for three reasons: We Want to Emulate A Bass Playing Idol We Want To Play In A Band With Other Musicians/Our Friends A Combination of (1) and (2) So why then do most bass teachers start off teaching bassists how to play scales and arpeggios.

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 Lane Baldwin’s Bass Lessons HQ

Online Bass Lessons – Home – Bass Lessons HQ -New to Bass Guitar? Let’s get some basics down, first. Start Here. Meet your host and principal instructor About Lane on Bass About this site New Lessons/Articles on BassLessonsHQ Beginner Lesson …

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Bonus:  For bass players such as myself who dabble in guitar from time to time be sure to check out:

Justin Sandercoe’s JustinGuitar.com

Free guitar lessons : Complete Beginners Method and loads of Blues, Jazz and rock : Learn how to play Guitar free here!Completely free guitar lessons from Justin Sandercoe. A huge range of video, audio and text lessons on many topics including a complete beginners course, blues, jazz, rock, techniques and equipment. Payment by voluntary donation only 🙂 all free. no bull.

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Norm Stockton Bass Clinic Review

Last Saturday night the good folks at the Sunset Church in San Francisco hosted a Norm Stockon bass clinic.  If you don’t know who Norm is, do yourself a favor and check out his website NormStockton.com.  Norm is well known as a worship bassist, educator and clinician.  This was actually the first bass clinic I have attended, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  In what turned out to be a fairly intimate setting, Norm was accompanied by drum educator John Xepoleas.  The two worked through several rhythmic concepts, offering tips and examples along the way.  Norm had some great advice for bassist of all levels, touching on topics ranging from technique to theory.

Norm talked about having faith in your playing, saying that you need to “Invest in your talent” by committing to a practice schedule.  He recommended going so far as to schedule your daily practice session on your calendar, carving out at least 15 minutes each day, more if possible.  Practicing with a metronome is one of the best things you can do to improve your playing, according to Norm, as well as learning your modes.  He conceded that these two things can been seen as a drag, but that they will absolutely improve your playing ability.  Next we were reminded that our main job is to be the foundation with the drummer, creating a consistent groove.  Much was said about groove and what it means, but ultimately it is everyone’s responsibility to be groove oriented.  He recommends developing a “Vocabulary of Grooves”, so that you can easily come up with 10 or so lines that will work in any given piece, as well as to remember that the key to good groove is to play the part.  It’s not about you and how flashy you can play, it is about the song.  Try to musically convey what is happening emotionally and spiritually.

The physical approach to playing was also discussed, with an emphasis on muting.  Norm suggests playing with your fretting hand a little flatter on the fretboard in order to mute the strings you aren’t playing.  As for the plucking hand, he recommends alternating between your index and middle fingers as you play and to use the “floating thumb” technique to mute strings that you aren’t playing while plucking.  From here he talked about dynamics and the need to control your dynamic level when playing slap style.  Shuffles and different feels were discussed and demonstrated with drummer John Xepoleas.  Both John and Norm recommend recording yourself when you play to get a true understand of how you sound, claiming that how you think you hear yourself may not be what you sound like.  I have heard this before and think that it is something that I may finally start incorporating into my practice sessions.

This clinic was a great experience for me and I hope to attend more in the future.  I decided to pick up Norm’s 4 DVD set “Groovin for Heaven” as that I found Norm’s teaching approach very easy to understand.  I have often heard that it is a good idea to learn as much as you can from as many people as you can, so it seemed like a smart choice for me.  Not sure when I will find the time to start on Norm’s DVD’s but you can be assured that I will be writing about it.  It may have to wait until I am through with the Teach Me Bass Guitar Course, but I will get to it.  After the clinic I hung out and was able to have a brief chat with Norm and I have to say that he is one of the coolest guys I’ve met.  Very friendly and down to earth, in fact all of the great people I met at the Sunset Church were very friendly.  Keep an eye on Norm’s “The Haps” page to see if he is playing near you and go check him out, you won’t be disappointed!