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‘THE’ most important bass lesson I ever teach! (L#68)

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You can put your bass down for this lesson, you won’t need it. Why? Am I talking about harmony or something like that? Something like that, yes…



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  • Oliver

    Hi Scott,

    thanks for your words! Yesterday i was so down…I wanted to kick my bass out of the window, sell everything and so on!
    Sometimes is so hard…I try a song from PapaNegro (I.A.M.G.O.D) i dont like this band very much but the bass line is…wish you well

  • Greg

    Having studied at some of the most expensive music colleges for the last 10 years and having been around working musicians for about the same amount of time, I can honestly say that in 15 minutes this tutorial was more useful than anything I ever learned whilst getting myself in to thousands of pounds worth of debt. A valuable lesson very well exemplified! Scott, have you ever considered an alternative career as a motivational speaker? ;-)

    • scott

      Lol… a motivational speaker… maybe that should be my ‘plan B’ ;) Seriously though man… thanks a lot for the kind words, really glad you enjoyed it! Scott

  • Andreas

    I think what you’re saying here can be applied to almost all aspects of life, regardless if you want to be a bass player or a stock broker or just succeed in life on an personal, non-professional level. Wish someone had told me this 15 years ago, but better late than never and I’m grateful that you told me now! ;)

    • Rob

      I was thinking the same thing and plan to apply it. Well said sir.

  • Cory

    Really motivating thank you for this positive message! Its nice to hear that perseverance really does pay off. :)

  • John T. Foley

    Just the kick in the pants I needed to keep goping Thanks Scott.

  • Dave

    “I started learning bass really late, at 16 or 17″…..

    I’m starting at 53 lol

    Wise words as always Scott! Excellent!!

    • ken kent

      i have you beat by a year.. I’m 54… lol

      • Jean-jacques Lobbé

        Hey guys, i´m the french old man 55 last year …. not too late to enjoy and i´m not alone … Thx a lot to you all for motivation …
        Great Scott makes us younger ;o))

  • Dennis A.

    Great video. Very inspiring and motivational. I too need a kick in the pants.

    Scott, I know you have covered your pedalboard setup. Sometime soon (if you haven’t already) you have to go over what software you are using on the Mac. I am not sure if you are using Band in a Box or something different? I am still enjoying the backing tracks I purchased from your website!!!

    I also enjoy your posts on the talkbass forum.

    Cheers!

  • JMc

    Very important lesson. There’s a lot of “you just got it or you ain’t” thinking out there, “new” musicians can be easily intimidated by those who strut around acting as if they just picked it up and played.

    Great stuff.

  • Norman W

    Scott, I so appreciate all your videos, this one was very inspirational. I plan to order the backing tracks real soon, thank you for the gift of this site and for teaching me so much. Peace.

  • Jamir

    thank u sir.

  • http://www.lithiumpocket.com Howie Cassan

    Very good insight bro, motivation is a key to unlocking doors.
    thanks for everything you do keep up the good work.

    Howie

  • http://www.thedropastone.com Will Richey

    Great advice for music and life! Thank you Scott!

  • K

    Damn Scott, you are so right. Every day I am thinking about and trying to learn a small portion of something new. Maybe you should you write a book; “Building a bass mension” or “Baby steps to perfect bass play”. 365 pages, 1 page a day ;).

  • Marcelo Malheiros

    Hey Scott,

    I agree 100% with your words: baby-steps, patiency, hard-working, ambitious goals…

    I would add that your website and lessons fit perfectly into this philosophy… and I love that…

    However, I am still struggling on how to navigate thru your lessons… where to start… what to do next… which order to follow… It would help us (students) a lot if you you could add to the website some suggestions of sequels of lessons to take… there are so many references and dependencies among the lessons… and I am always lost… not sure if I am steping into an advanced lesson… or even just a lesson that would require the knowledge from a previous lesson…

    I would say that would be the next step of for your website… you have all this knowledge there… but it is important to show the path where us would take the best benefit from your lessons…

    I told that once to you and repeat it here… your website is like having a sip from a hydrant…

    Cheers Mate!

    Marcelo

  • http://www.facebook.com/zam488 Zaid

    Hey Scott, i think your videos have inspired me to start learning again. I have been playing bass on and off now for about 7 years, and i feel like i have missed allot of those basic techniques. your right about taking everything a small step at a time. i couldn’t cut it a couple years ago but now i think im gunna try harder. thanks!

  • Gavin Morgan

    Hi Scott I have been playing bass for about 25 years now in bands and don’t feel like I have really progressed at all , your lessons have inspired me to start learning again , well done

  • Donna

    Thanks so much. I needed to hear those encouraging words. I’m 45 and started playing 2 years ago, but recently got in a funk because I wasn’t going anywhere feeling like i couldn’t get any better than you ordinary basic player. I am inspired now to “get in the shed” and take little steps to be better! Thanks :) Donna

  • Carl

    Tell it like it is, small steps lead to big gains!
    Great lesson’s Scott I’m really working mentally
    as well as playin the Bass both AC/EL I just play
    the same stuff on both basses.

  • http://www.jellestokhof.nl Jelle Stokhof

    Very wise words :)

  • http://www.lineaalterna.com Dan

    Hi Scott
    I’ve been following your lessons for about tree months now, and as everyone else replying to this post i want to thank you for being a great teacher.
    Very humble and inspiring words in this video, if you ever come to play in Mexico please let me know, thank you again, Dan.

  • pablo garcia

    Thanx for share your information with all of us, that shows you as a great teacher and person.
    Many thanx
    Pablo

  • Nebojša Banaj

    I taught myself some 85% of everything I know, and recently I extensivly started to search the Internet and other sources in order to expand my knowlegde and myself as a musician by learning from others. It preety much got me nowhere. Large mass of information with very little context. I found myself practising this and practising that while actualy detiriorating as a musician. I think I really hit a wall with the modes and applying them. Tons of basically useless informations. Then I stumbled on your videos, especially the one on modes and it made a HUGE difference. I saw that I have nothing to learn technically, only practical application. Thanks for pointing the right way for me. Enjoy playing! (I know I will).

  • Yvon

    Because of your videos, my way of playing have change, you feed the empty space I used to fill with”moroseness”, because my way of seeing music change, my plays have change, my way of seeing things around me too, my way of living, as my way of feeding myself with more healthy food “organic” from my garden… You, mister Devine change my life and I just want to thank you for… I don’t know, thanx to be what you are, a great human being…

  • Scott Anderson

    Hey Scott, Really great stuff. It could not have come at a better time for me. I just was recently verbally abused by a so called friend of mine regarding my talent level and the purchase of a new bass that he strongly believes was a waste of my money. I have only been playing for a year now, but I struggle with patients and assessing myself as to where I think I should be. Your video totally makes sense and helps me realize it actually is baby steps and hard work, but anyone can achieve their goals in music if they apply those concepts. It can be rather frustrating when you see others play so effortlessly, not taking into account how long they have been playing themselves. Too many judgmental critics out there! Thanks for sharing your hard work and experiences, I am looking forward to watching all your videos and learning.

    • scott

      Time to trade in your friend for a new one lol! Great to hear you’re enjoying the tutorials man! Scott

      • Scott Anderson

        Ha! I agree, that was the last straw! He is just an arrogant drummer that has been playing for 30 years and he knows it all. I’m sure you know the type..LOL Thanks for the response. On another note, I recently purchased the 1st series of play along tracks via your site for $17 and I can’t get the PDF info that goes with these tracks to download. I get an error box indicating there was an issue during the upload. Any ideas on how I can retrieve these or fast track method to pull them from your site! Thanks Scott any help will be appreciated. Scott

  • Kate

    Thank you so much for your words.
    I’ve been a bass player for about 4 years now, but the most important part of my life is being a graphic designer and an artist in general. And you have just inspired me in that precise area. I also have been rejected from my dream school – the art academy and since then I’m doing everything I can to reach my goals anyway. I aim high, have a plan for myself and work hard, but lately I had this terrible thought – looking at artwork of people I will someday have to outgrow, I suddenly felt completely unable to do it.
    Your words were exactly what I needed to hear.
    Because I never let myself be fully proud of my own work. Never look at the mirror, saying ‘You’re doing well, keep going’ instead of ‘it’s not enough, you should already be awesome’. I keep pushing myself, looking at the ticking clock and think I’m not yet as good as I wanted to be.
    Now I will try to appreciate every little step I take and just be patient.
    And what’s the biggest innovation you may have introduced to my life – I will be thankful and proud for what I have already achieved and keep telling myself that if I could get that far, I can go farther as well.

    Once again, thank you very much.
    You’ve made my day and I will spread your message to every musician and artist I know.

    Keep being such a good guy :)

    Kate from Poland

    • scott

      My absolute pleasure Kate! Great to hear from you… and great to hear that you’re on the right track! Baby steps all the way and you’ll get there! Over and out ;) Scott

  • Vinson Chamberlain

    Hey Scott, I have really enjoyed all of your lessons I have watched. Just need a little advice from you.

    I have been playing the bass for about 11 years starting off learning and playing for my church. Lately I have not really played in a while do to family and just not having the time I use to have. The first 8 years I was playing all of the time but just fall off. For the pass few weeks I’ve been looking at some of your lessons on youtube and some of the things I’m seeing is like new to me such as pentatonic and arpeggio scale. I didn’t know anything about some of the things I have been watching. I feel like a beginner and plus I’m a little rusty. What are some things I can do and want lessons I should focus on for me to be a better bass player?

    Thanks,

  • Marian

    Hi Scott! I love your lessons. More than just being an awesome teacher (who gives free lessons! That’s just too good to be true), you’ve inspired me to take bass really seriously (I have been playing guitar, keyboard, and bass and never really decided which I should focus on. But thanks to you, bass will be my main instrument) cos you can show how awesome bass playing (and teaching) can be. I’ve been listening to bass greats but I guess a good teacher makes a bigger difference. I’ve just recently joined my university jazz club and I’m finding it hard to improvise. This video of yours gave me hope, as improvising has been the brick wall in the progress of my music playing (any instrument) for years. I also find it applicable in all life aspects. Thanks for inspiring us!
    I have two questions to ask you:
    1) do you plan to post a video on slapping? There are a lot of slapping tutorials on youtube but I believe you could do better than them!
    2) the structuring of your lessons are rather confusing. Like, one video appears in more than one category (cos it’s supposed to be under more than one category). Maybe having different category views like view by difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), view by categories (the current categorising), view by genres (pop, jazz, general) will be good? Just an idea.
    Nevertheless thanks again! And the fact that you’ve been replying fans’/students’ comments just adds to your awesomeness.
    Oh, and I’d like to make a donation but I’m still a student. I’m going to start working in a few years so wait for it! Haha. Really, I won’t just take such good lessons for free! I’ll remember!
    Cheers (from Singapore!)

  • dan

    thanks for sharing. you put in focus very important aspects of being a musician. your lessons is a lot of hope for me.
    thank you buddy:) kepp it up.

  • Felix Lopez

    Thanks for your words Scott, this message really touched me.

  • Ugo

    Hi Scott, thank you for these valuable words. I’ve been playing bass for quite awhile but I don’t have much theory background and I was wondering if you could give us some tips on book names or something like that. I’ve been looking for books online and also on book’s stores but most of them are related to piano and guitar only.

    Thank you again and sorry for any language mistake.

  • NateMan

    What bites me so much is how many years it has taken for me to take in these tiny bits of musical info and the mounds of hours and hours of practice to even get to the level I am and then to see some young phenom who started at age sixteen and by the time their 20 are touring with the likes of Jeff Beck and Chick Corea. I reference Tal Wilkenfeld who has surpassed me by years before she was at legal drinking age. Dont get me wrong I am glad for these kids who have not had to go through the blood sweat and tears that I have but…… its just….. well….. #*$&%@ it I’m jealous! I realize that some are born with natural talents that allow them to excel and then there are those of us who have cigar fingers and only a dream to acheive.

    Thanks Scott for the pep talk! I needed this!

    • scott

      Lol… I get ya man! I think we’re seeing a lot of young players tearing it up these days simply due to the HUGE amount of free and readily available info available on the internet now. When you or I were young we had to grab tiny bits of info when we had the chance… fast forward to the new ‘internet lifestyle’ and there’s masses of great info available 24/7/365 at the touch of a button. I can only imagine how things will progress even further in the future!

      Saying that… now all that great info is available to us too… so lets get in the shed and make great use of it lol! Have a great day man. Scott ;)

  • Todd

    Hey Scott, I stumbled across your site recently and am so grateful for the gifts you have sent out for all of us to share. I am completely hooked and devouring the lessons…

    This lesson is as brilliant as it is inspiring. My day gig involves travelling the world with one of the world’s top “Peak Performance” coaches (read: motivational speaker) & nothing he has said in 7 years has made me believe in the possibility of me becoming a competent bass player the way this lesson has. Thank you for doing what you do.

  • Joy

    You are awesome. I needed to hear every word. But for a different reason. Bass playing is something I’m trying to learn on the side. Dance choreography is what I’m passionate about and trying to turn into a career. Your words applied to me perfectly in my own field. Thanks for what you do!

  • http://basslessonsunlimited.com/Online_Bass_Lessons.html Bass

    Thank you Scott! Thank you so much for the bit about gratitude! Thats something I need to be reminded of over and over again.

  • sabri omrani

    thank you for making this video it really opened my eyes!

  • Albert

    It’s babysteps allright! If 17 is already very late to start, I guess I shouldn’t be aiming for becoming the best bassplayer around starting out at 46. But I can still become the best bass player in our band. These vids sure help me out there :)

  • http://jimmycash.co.uk James Carroll

    Thanks Scott. that really resonated with me. I feel inspired to carry on. Been playing bass for years without much progress, I do thoroughly beat self up if I don’t get something which has been counterproductive of course. Slow, patient and bite size.
    When the student is ready the teacher will appear!

  • Ping Mao

    Thanks mate, really relevant words
    Your videos are really helpful and will leave a legacy

  • Evgeny

    Thank you so much, Scott. Great words, so true. I’m just starting out as a bassist and now I am armed with the right attitude and motivation for learning. Thanks for what you are doing.

  • Andy

    Hi Scott and all the low end lovers, I watch this lesson about once a week love it, am. a joiner / builder and the small pieces make a lot of sense to me,and the effort and hard work we need to put in to something we love doing to get the results we deserve, am back playing after a long time away from my jazz this was due to some very bad hand injuries when working my trade, needing micro surgery on my left palm to get my fingers to move again, I had lost the passion and desire to play so I started building my own jazz bass about 2 years ago and I love it ,pracitice every day and do a lot of finger exercises for left and right hand, so the way I see it is if I was as good a bass player as I am a builder my middle name would be JACO but its not, it will take me a few more building blocks or a few more houses built to get there but thats where am aiming many thanks for all the lessons scott cheers Andy

  • andy

    great lesson Scott

  • George

    Scott

    Had to comment on this video, absolutely brilliant advice, and has really inspired me to push further, not just with music, but with my degree too, which I have been in danger of letting slide intp medocrity.

    Consider yourself to have gained a huge fan of this site.

    George

  • Dave B

    Scott,

    Enjoying the tutorials really inspiring me to be better. I think I was just lacking structure to my playing. I know what you mean about the distractions. I have a room full of instruments, drums included it is so easy to move from instrument to the other. That said it is bass playing that I really want to do. I play bass for the local praise group – I have only been playing for them for 2 months and I am applying different techniques to my playing style. The lesson on triads was particularly good. Even advancing from route notes to this is positive progression. Thanks for all your support and good luck with your own playing and ventures.

    Dave

  • Kerk Lu

    Scott,

    Just saw this page now, cause i’m having a hard time finding a site that teaches bass passionately. I’m still learning how to play guitar and i started when I was 10 now i’m turning 18 and I just started learning to how play the bass. And I learned through the internet :)

    Thank you sir for the motivation! it was really inspiring :). Please! don’t stop posting new videos here :). more tips please :)

    I would recommend this site to everyone if they want to learn “true” bass :)

  • http://www.fernandobernall.com Fernando

    Thanks for the video Scott. So you started rather late at 17 eh? So at 60 years of age, I’m really late in life… LOL! thanks again..

  • qqrq

    Great talk, Scott, but I think you’re missing one very important thing: making playing and practicing fun. AFAIK this is the main reason why great bass players (or great stuff-doing guys/gals doing their stuff) are big now – they just enjoy playing for the reason of playing itself, not just for the future greatness. It was fun for Jaco to play, so he played almost all the time, that’s how he’s legendary dexterity came into being. If practicing is just routine, keeping patient and hard work, you end up bored and frustrated waiting for SOMETHING to happen (and it could not happen soon enough for you to persevere – patience isn’t infinite).

    I never really achieved anything, that could be called “success” – few demo recordings, few gigs, never really got payed for bass playing (being around something like 15 years now, so things go slow for me, as you see). Nevertheless, along with some amateur band playing, I practice almost every day (even when I’m depressed, that I did nothing special in my life), because it’s so much fun for me.

    NOTHING will keep you doing something for a long, long time, unless you REALLY enjoy it.

    Cheers! :)

    • scott

      Totally correct man… you gotta have fun doing what you love! Scott ;)

  • Amanda

    Thank you Scott. I needed to hear this today..

  • Michaela

    Awesome video…incredible words of encouragement! I’m a “late-starter” as well, I’m 23. I played piano for a few years when I was younger and never quite caught on to it. My husband bought me a bass after I expressed an interest in learning another instrument…love it! Keep up the great work and thanks for making these videos available…they have been an amazing help to me!

  • GrahamB

    This is a wonderful video. I’m just starting out with bass playing and came across your material. I’m actually a brass and voice teacher in a high school in Australia, and I’ll definitely be sharing this video with my students.

    Kudos for being an effective communicator and inspiring teacher. I’ll keep practising my bass :D

  • Anne

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! Great words!!! And I learned something today ;-)! It´s great to learn!!!

  • precious

    thanks so much, am a Nigerian and our method of rhythm is different from the western way but this has been really helpful, was about to give learning this instrument

  • Ignas

    Thank you very much for this video. my life for this year was not something you could be proud of. And the only thing that chears me up is my bass when I’m playing it with my band. and today at one moment i wanted to brake my bass apart because i thought that i suck at playing. but you showed me, that anything is posible if you only put some work in it…. your awsome i wish i knew you some time ago. You truly changed my point of view to a bass :) thanks a lot :)

  • Brian

    Hello Scott, just found out about your website a couple days ago and I’ve been learning a lot from it! I am a beginning bass player but on some of the lessons that I’ve seen in the beginners section are a little… I guess confusing? Not on the lesson itself, but because some of the lessons require some kind of knowledge that I don’t have. For example, on the walking bass #1 video, you talked about G7 and stuff like that but I didn’t even know that there is a G7. What kind of things should I learn first before moving on to learning other things (chords, notes, etc)?

  • Dhruvin

    THE Great Motivational Lesson.

    Thank You.

  • Jeff Krebs

    Hi Scott,
    I’ve been playing bass on and off since I was 12, now that I’m 50 (I’ve been told I look 48), this is one of the most important lesson that I’ve learned. Now that I’m back in a band, I take the same approach to learning the set lists.

    Thanks for your awesome site.
    Cheers
    Jeff

  • Psalms

    you are just..EPIC…thank you for creating this paradise for bass players…very very helpful.. :)

  • http://www.lowendlady.com Ellen

    Hey Scott, Your words are so thoughtful and this video is something every musician needs to watch. It helps us not to let frustration and that self-doubting inner voice win. It can be so easy to let ourselves get down when we compare ourselvs to other players or let other less-then-patient musicians remarks upset you when they ought to understand that you are learning all the time. It’s not even how long you have been playing that matters; it’s having an encouraging teacher who doesn’t baffle you with jargon or try to talk down to you n order to make themselves feel great. Your website and videos have been a huge benefit to my own constant improvement and since I first stumbled upon them via a post on FB only a few weeks ago! I couldn’t recommend this website enough and thankyou for being such an excellent teacher to have 24/7 access at our fingertips.
    This video should be shown to any muso who gets depressed and feels they are stuck in a rut, don’t give up… just take baby steps.
    Thanks again Scott.
    Elllen x

  • Eric

    Hey Scott, Your advice is extremely great and quite timely for myself as I had just plateau’d in my bass playing. Starting playing 3 years ago and seem not to go as first as I would like But your lesson/s are just awesome! I will learn as you direct and just maybe one day I may meet up.

    Thanks Scott.
    Eric from Kenya

  • http://the-upper-room.forumotion.com/ Myles

    I just wanted to say thank you. I gave up the Bass almost 20 years ago, and recently picked it back up; to say I am rusty would be an understatment! I must say that although at times you have talked over my head your videos (and you) are very inspiring. Keep it up and God bless.

  • Paul

    Started late…”at 17 or 18…” I’m starting at 41. Saying that you started late is not very comforting to your students.

  • Kees de Vreugd

    If you ever want to quit on playing the bass, you can always become à preacher! You’re à great teacher! Bless Kees

  • Curtis Price

    You said you started playing bass late at 17. I started at 48, go figure and I turn 50 in October. I hope too gig some before I get too old…

  • Marco

    Hi Scott, i really appreciate your words…it’s a wile since i play but i never find someone who can give me the right angle to approach my weaknesses. may you did the job. thanks. it’s a weird thing to say but i really imagine a connection to you and i feel like a friends (enormously better than me of course) it’s teaching me to play from the very beginning, little by little.
    thanks so much for your work and the nice, gentle and respectful way you are carrying it on.
    All the best

    Marco

  • Ant

    Hi Scott, thanks for the videos. You mention that the key here is musical knowledge which is something Jeff Berlin talks about too. However I’m struggling a little to work out what that actually means and how to learn it. I study the notes on the fretboard, learn chord tones, a couple of scales. Is that the right path? Carry on with that and add in modes? Transcribing?

    Cheers

  • Drumworm

    Scott, thank you so much for all those words that you’ve told and, hopefully, you will tell. I’m decided to become a musician, too, even later than you in your time. I’m struggling for the goal day by day, a lot of ideas have been running through my head about negative and positive approaches, effective and non-effective methodical ways. And, of course, all those emotional reactions that you’ve been talking about… Man, thank you for the really deep understanding of the language that speaks our human-musical self-educated mind) all those things are absolutely true and absolutely inspirative for me. exactly what i needed to hear today!)

  • Matheus

    Thank you for the tips!! You are an inspiring bassist for me and for many other students! Thank you once more!!

  • Carole

    Scott…. A week ago I celebrated my 63rd birthday. I picked up my bass about 2 years ago. I’ve been working with a wonderful teacher but am grateful for having come upon your videos and, now, your website. This lesson is so key. Thank you for your mindfulness and your generosity in sharing your talents.

  • Wayne

    Another wonderful lesson. Thank you.

    I too am starting at a mature age, in my 40′s. I know I’ll never play in a band and in all honesty I’m very comfortable and satisfied with that – I’m very happy to remain a hobbyist, maybe one day I’ll post a YouTube video too :)

    I’m learning other instruments too: piano, native flute, drums and guitar – all these bring me great pleasure. To be ‘musically minded’ brings greater depth and fulfillment in my life.

    Your words are true and my life mantra is very similar “small chunks more often” and “choose the path of least resistance” – for me this has brought success and happiness.

    Thank you for this resource

    Wayne

  • David

    Starting @ 50. Have wanted to play since i was a kid.

  • Robb Albrecht

    Hey Scott. Great site and thanks for the lessons. I’m a beginner (again) at 46 years old, I played in a noisy garage band in my early 20s. I want to get beyond the stuff I was playing before so I looked around on the web for some tips and what not. I found your two lessons on walking bass lines and I was hooked.
    Cheers,
    Robb
    ps. I was that guy in the back row at school too.

  • ToTó Bész

    Thanks Scott! I just found this website and I love it! Watching this video and what you were saying in it helped me a lot already.

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