Learning bass shouldn’t feel like doing homework

“All the theory and the modes… when you do that stuff, make it fun!”

By Jon Liebman
February 10, 2023

When you first decide to learn bass, you’re excited. You’re eager. You picture yourself laying down a bunch of feel-good bass grooves. 

You can’t wait to get started!

Then, after a while, somehow it feels like homework: “Learn your scales,” you’re told. “Learn your modes, study the circle of fifths… Do it!

“I didn’t think it would be this hard,” you say to yourself. “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.”

Bypass the drudgery

Hold it right there. You didn’t really think you’d pick up the bass and it would just happen. You’re smarter than that.

You know you’ve got to put in some effort. If it was that easy, everyone would be a great bass player.

But it doesn’t have to feel like drudgery. With the right approach, learning bass can be fun, and it should be fun, right from the beginning.

I had a great conversation with former Beyoncé bassist Divinity Roxx for this week’s FBPO interview. When I asked Divi what advice she had for someone who wants to learn bass, especially someone over 50, here’s what she had to say:

“Have fun,” she said right away. 

“You don’t gotta be perfect,” she says, as if she were talking to a friend. “You don’t gotta go and learn all the modes and the scales, and all the theory, and the circle of fifths, and triads, and all those things. Learn the songs that you want to play, those songs that made you happy when you were a kid, that bring joy. Get with your friends and just do it!”

Okay, but…

I liked what she said. Still, I challenged her a bit, explaining that a lot of my students want to learn those things. They’re genuinely interested in mastering their scales and modes and learning music theory. They’re just not sure how to apply those skills to making music on the bass.

“Remember why you wanted to get into it in the first place,” she responded. “You’re supposed to groove. All the theory and the modes… when you do that stuff, make it fun!”

Now we were on the same page. I explained to her how my lessons and courses in the Bottom Line Club are structured in a way that makes them musically satisfying and enjoyable to play. 

And they groove! 

Make everything groove

Even when my students are practicing their scales and modes, they’re making music. They’re grooving.

That’s the core framework in the Bottom Line Club, my membership program for learning bass inside For Bass Players Only. 

Sure, there are some basic things that need accomplish on the way to becoming a more advanced bass player. But I believe those things should be musical, they should be fun, and they should groove.

“Don’t put any pressure on yourself,” says the always upbeat Divi. “Music isn’t supposed to be stressful. Don’t forget that you wanted to play so that it would bring you joy. That’s the number one thing. Don’t forget to have fun.”

You can do this

Think about how great it would feel, learning bass and having fun in the process, grooving every step of the way.

And doing it in a way that doesn’t put a lot of undue stress and strain on the muscles and bones (that wouldn’t be fun, would it!).

Thousands of people have seen remarkable transformations after joining the Bottom Line Club. For many, it’s been absolutely life changing.

Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

Join the Bottom Line Club

Let’s play bass!


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