Want to learn bass? Rock star, schmock star. Just do it!

How well are you connecting with the music that really turns you on?

By Jon Liebman
Week of April 12, 2021

Learning bass is a great way to realize your passion. Sounds corny maybe, but anyone who’s attained a certain level on the instrument knows what I’m talking about. After all, if you’re not passionate about making music, why do it?

The topic came up in this week’s FBPO with Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley. Funkboy has experienced the music world both from the corporate side and as a player and writer. The bottom line is, Funkboy loves music. Especially bass! 

In listening to him talk, it was great how he cut right to the chase with his “Just Do It!” attitude. It was hard not to feel inspired and uplifted after hearing what he had to say.

When it comes to playing bass, Funkboy says, “I don’t think the primary goal should ever be, ‘I’m going to use this to become rich and famous.’ That’s not what music is about. It’s not a productive way to learn things.”

And, at this point in your life, I doubt that’s what you’re setting out to do. So, Funkboy advises, just jump in release that inner passion.

“If you’re able to connect with a passion,” he says, “and usually what you’re talking about is a lifelong passion, that can be invaluable.”

Maybe there was a time when you dreamed about being a rock star. Or maybe you just wanted to learn bass and have fun. Either way, it doesn’t matter.

“Whether it becomes your hobby or whatever,” Funkboy says, “just do that, just connect with the instrument, connect with the music that turns you on, and figure out how it works and what makes it work and participate in it.”

That doesn’t mean you can gloss over the basics, though. Just think of them as a means to an end. 

“You have to approach your rudiments,” Funkboy says, “because you have to understand the things that construct the basslines that you like. What scale tones are these? What’s a Mixolydian scale? What’s the pentatonic scale? So there’s certain rudiments that you have to pay attention to.”

And in learning bass, the better you understand those things, the more prepared you are to make the music groove and to have fun.

“If you want to really learn bass,” Funkboy continues, “find out what about the music really appeals to you, what really turns you on. And then just go, man. Just imitate that.”

Then you’ll find yourself really getting into learning bass.

“Figure it out,” says Funkboy. “And when you can replicate it yourself, then you’re in a position to move forward and maybe create your own stuff.”

Then you’ll totally be realizing your passion!

How about you? Have a thought on the subject? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. In the meantime, check out my interview with Funkboy here.

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