“I don’t really know why I chose bass except that it was different than guitar.” - Trevor Dunn
Many of us listen to the radio to hear new music. To become a better musician, you need to listen to music. Thanks to the internet, there are now plenty of radio stations you can listen to. If you want to learn to play the bass guitar, you can do more than just listen to the radio. You can hire a private bass guitar tutor or look to smartphone apps for help.
In this article, we'll look at some of the best smartphone apps for learning how to play the bass guitar as well as other useful apps that every bassist will probably want to download.
Learning to Play Bass Guitar with the Yousician App
The Yousician app was developed by music teachers and has classes for piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass.
The app acts as a digital private tutor and is aimed at absolute beginners as well as those playing at higher levels. You can follow step-by-step tutorials according to your level.
The app listens to you via your smartphone’s microphone and provides you with feedback on your timing, rhythm, and accuracy. It saves your progress and you can check how you’re doing at any time.
You can find over 1,500 activities and hundreds of videos to help you learn to read tabs and sheet music, chords, follow along to melodies, slap bass techniques, and many others.
The exercises are adapted to the skills you’ve practised and the chords you’ve been working with and you can even challenge your friends to weekly challenges via the Yousician app.
The advantage of the app is that even though you’ll be teaching yourself, you can still get feedback on your playing.
Yousician also includes thousands of songs to play along with for electric or acoustic bass. If you can’t find a song, you can always download it and work on it with the app. The app will also give you regular reminders to encourage you to practise.
There’s a limited free version available and a paid version on both iOS and Android.
Beware that you’ll be billed for the year at the end of your 7-day trial if you don’t cancel it.
One user commented:
“Great app to learn bass on, especially if you purchase the premium subscription, which you can cancel later.” - John Martin
My Music Teacher: An App for Beginner Bassists
You can learn bass wherever and whenever you want with the My Music Teacher App. While this app is normally dedicated to the guitar, there is a course for bassists.
The app detects which notes you’re playing and will correct you to make sure you’re playing in time. You can choose an objective and you’ll gain points as you learn. The app advises you on which songs to play in terms of your progress.
There are 2,500 hours of practical exercises on riffs, rhythm, scales, etc. It’s a great way to start learning bass on your own.
Similar to the previous app, there’s a subscription fee for this app but it will grant you access to tablature, playback, and live lessons with real teachers.
The community aspect is really important as you can talk to other forum members, buy and sell music equipment, set challenges, etc.
It’s available on Android and iOS as well as Mac and PC.
Bass Guitar Courses with the Real Bass App
There are 20 lessons offered on the Real Bass app for you to sink your teeth into.
There are also 16 loops for you to play along with to try out what you’ve learnt. Your smartphone screen will become a fretboard that you can practise on. This is perfect if you don’t want to bother the neighbours.
The app is available for free on the Play Store but you can pay to get the ad-free version.
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Music Apps to Help You to Learn
When you learn how to play the bass, it’s more than just the technique that counts. You’ll also need to learn about music theory, tuning your bass guitar, playing in time, or even recording.
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There are plenty of apps that can help you learn more about music in general and improve your bass playing.
Steve Reich’s Clapping Music
Steve Reich is an American composer. As a bassist, you’ll need to learn how to play in time while other instruments are doing their own thing.
This app, which is available on iOS, can help you improve this skill.
Every musician needs to develop their ear. If you can’t differentiate sounds and notes, you’ll never be a good bassist. The Meludia Melody app can help you work on your ear training.
It’s available on Android and iOS for free but you have to pay to unlock all the activities.
Ah, music theory... It might seem dull, but it’s often hugely important, especially if you want to be able to communicate with other musicians.
You can learn more about it with the Vivace app on Android.
What Other Apps Are There for Bassists?
- Pro Metronome: A metronome.
- Figure: An app for making music.
- Fender Tune / Guitar Tuna: For tuning your bass.
- Guitar Tab / Songsterr: Tabs for bassists.
- Chord!: Tabs and chords.
With all these apps, your bass playing will soon improve. Choose the best ones for you!
If you've exhausted all these websites, read every bass guitar book, found all the best tips online, and are still looking to improve your level, you may want to consider reaching out to a bass guitar tutor or teacher. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of experienced and qualified bass players on Superprof who will be more than happy to help you.
While they won't be free like some websites or online video tutorials, they can certainly help you get better at playing the bass guitar, point you in the right direction of some good bass playing resources, and adapt their courses to you. There are three main types of tutorials available and each has its pros and cons.
Face-to-face tutorials will be between you and your tutor and are a cost-effective way to learn as every minute of the session will be spent teaching you how to improve your bass playing. That said, these tutorials are often the most expensive as you'll pay a premium for the bespoke service on offer.
Online tutorials can also be quite useful, especially for those on a budget. Since the tutor doesn't have to travel or lug a bass guitar around with them, they can save a lot of money and charge more competitive rates as a result. As long as you have a stable internet connection, a webcam, and a decent microphone, you can enjoy bass guitar tutorials from tutors all over the world.
Online tutors are often better suited to academic subjects rather than practical ones, but with the right tutor, you'd be surprised at the skills you can now learn without even having a tutor there in the room with you. Thanks to the video and audio quality from modern webcams, they'll be able to see and hear exactly where you're going wrong and correct you.
Finally, group tutorials are a good option for those on a budget. You won't get the tutor's undivided attention during these tutorials but if you and a group of friends or family members are all interested in learning how to play the bass guitar, splitting the cost of the tutor's time may be an affordable way for you all to learn.
Many of the tutors on Superprof offer the first hour of tutoring for free so before you make the financial investment, you might want to try a few different ones out and see who's the best for you and how you like to learn. After all, you'll want to make sure that you get along with your tutor as it can take a long time to learn how to play the bass guitar well so you'll be spending an awful lot of time with your tutor.
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