“A chimpanzee could learn to do what I do physically. But it goes way beyond that. When you play, you play life. ” - Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius is a role model for many aspiring bassists. He passed away at just 35 but influenced an entire generation of bassists before he left us. If you don’t know who he is, you should! Watch and listen to how he plays and you’ll learn something, develop your ear, and want to pick up the bass.
But to get started with the bass guitar, you’ll want to get started with the basics. If you’ve decided that you’ll teach yourself, the internet is going to be your best friend. Here are some of our favourite bass guitar websites. Some have lessons, resources, and video tutorials while others are just for those of us who love to read about famous musicians, bass guitar culture, and some of the many bass guitars that we may never get to own.
This is a great website for anyone interested in becoming a bass player. The site is home to tonnes of bass lessons, tools, and resources.
The lessons cover everything you need to know about basses and how to play them including technique, harmony, rhythm, music reading, different styles of music, and the notes on the fingerboard.
The site also goes into depth about sound, the science behind it, and how you can use it to make your playing sound even better.
Whether you're a beginner or have been playing the bass for a while, this is a popular bass guitar website that should be added to your favourites.
Bass Guitar Player World
If you're interested in playing the bass guitar, Bass Guitar Player World is a website home to hours of video tutorials that you can access for free.
Lessons are organised into useful groups such as beginner, chords, techniques, soloing, improvisation, ear training, scales, etc. so it's easy to find the right ones for you.
Online Bass Courses
This website is quite similar to a lot of the bass guitar websites you'll find. There is some free content to get you started, but as you progress, you might need to consider paying for some of the lessons or advice.
Of course, the price of these resources tends to be cheaper than hiring a private bass guitar tutor but you need to think carefully about which will be the best value-for-money for you.
While this isn't a website that's solely focused on bass guitar lessons, Talk Bass is probably one of the best communities of bassists on the web.
Whether you need advice on your playing, looking to learn new techniques, in the market for some new gear, or looking for reviews on acoustic or electric basses, pedals, or amps, you need to get involved with the active community of bassists on this website.
This website has a better name than the others on our list but there's more to it than that. While a lot of guitar sites include the bass guitar as a sub-section, this site makes no bones about its love of bass.
There are plenty of video lessons that you can access for free and there's a good range of practical and theoretical topics covered.
This is the website for the popular Bass Player Magazine and features everything an aspiring bassist could want. In addition to feature articles on various bass guitarists, songs, and bass guitars, there are also a whole heap of lessons.
The lessons aren't just on bass technique, either. There are plenty of lessons on how to get the most out of your musical instrument by using different effects pedals, how to take care of your bass guitar, and how to improve your sound.
For absolute beginners, there are even buyer's guides, which can be particularly useful if you still haven't learnt the difference between electric and acoustic bass guitars.
This is another website belonging to a bass guitar magazine. If you need help finding a good bass guitar course or teacher, tips, or would just like to read more about the life of your favourite bass guitarist, Bass Musician has plenty of resources and articles for you to read.
As this is a magazine, you can always subscribe to it online to ensure that you never miss an issue and have a steady stream of bass-related content direct to your inbox.
While this isn't a website just for bass guitarists, there are a lot of different resources and articles of interest.
Music Radar is one of the world's most popular music websites and there are articles, tips, lessons, and resources for everyone regardless of the musical instrument they play.
While the bass section is hidden away under the "more" tab, we can assure you that it's there and in addition to the stuff on the bass guitar, there are also plenty of resources about being a musician, improving your sound, recording, and plenty of buyer's guides for bass players.
While we wouldn't recommend that beginners start with a fretless bass, some bass players can't resist a challenge and if you've decided that real bassists don't need frets, then this is the website for you.
While there isn't much in terms of video resources and practical or theory lessons, this website is more for fans and players of fretless basses and the talented musicians who play them as well as a community for these types of musicians.
Finally, this isn't a bass guitar website but rather a site that hosts plenty of online courses. Naturally, musical instruments and the bass guitar are included in these courses and there are several free courses you can get started with.
Usually, the courses you have to pay for are better than the free ones, but if you're an absolute beginner in anything, that won't matter too much. Once you reach a certain level and your bass playing becomes serious, you can always move onto premium courses, get private bass guitar tuition, or attend music classes at music schools or academies.
So which bass guitar site will you start with?
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.
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.