“One good thing about music—when it hits you, you feel no pain.” - Bob Marley
Music is surprisingly powerful. Listening to music can help us get through difficult moments. I think we can all agree that life has a fair few of those. It can help even more if you’re playing the music!
Violin, ukulele, flute, or bass?
Let’s look at everything you need to know before you start bass guitar lessons.
How to Find Bass Guitar Lessons
The bass guitar is quite a common instrument and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find bass guitar lessons or music classes. While it’s not as common as an electric or acoustic guitar, the bass guitar is still quite popular amongst rock, jazz, and blues musicians.
To find bass guitar lessons and learn music theory, arpeggios, rhythm, or how to play along with sheet music or tablature, students should start by looking at classified ads and posters on noticeboards in schools and public places. A lot of private bass guitar tutors use this method to find new students.
You can also find bass guitar tutors online. Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are particularly effective ways of finding bass guitar tutorials. You can look for ads posted by bass guitar tutors or search for the tutors directly. YouTube is also a good way to get online bass guitar lessons. Some bass guitar tutors will stream their lessons live or prerecord classes on music theory or practical bass guitar skills. Coordinating both your hands, music theory, rhythm, etc., viewers can learn almost anything they want to about the bass guitar.
You can also find private bass guitar tutors on tutoring sites like Superprof and get in touch with qualified and experienced tutors. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced bassist, you’ll always be able to find a bass guitar tutor suited to you.
Don’t forget to tell your friends about your search for a bass guitar to your friends and family. Some people may know a tutor or know somebody who does.
You can also enrol at a conservatoire, a music school, or a music academy. In these situations, you’ll rub elbows with other musicians such as flautists, pianists, drummers, violinists, etc.
Why not ask a friend for help?
If somebody you know is an excellent bassist, you might want to discuss the possibility of them teaching you.
How Much Do Bass Guitar Lessons Cost?
Before you start your bass guitar lessons, you might want to know how much they’ll cost you. Unfortunately, we can’t give you an exact figure for this as there are too many variables to consider. The cost will depend on the type of lessons you choose, for one.
Some people are concerned that the cost of bass guitar tutorials will be too much for them. However, you need to think about what you get for your money. The average cost of bass guitar tutorials in London is £29 per hour. However, the average cost around the rest of the UK is lower.
Tutors in London usually charge more than the national average. Living in London is expensive, after all. Bass guitar tutors need to be able to cover their costs. Furthermore, travel costs in London are usually more significant than elsewhere in the country. All of these factors lead to more expensive bass guitar tutorials.
The length and frequency of bass guitar tutorials also affect the rates. Generally, if a student opts to get more regular lessons, the tutors tend to charge them less per hour. The same is true if you opt for intensive bass guitar lessons. The tutor’s experience also plays a part. Experienced tutors will charge more than new tutors, for example.
Tutors from music schools or conservatoires can charge some eye-watering rates. However, this is because they are often experts in the instrument and music in general. There are plenty of choices for all budgets.
What Are Bass Guitar Lessons Like?
Before you start learning bass guitar with a private tutor, some students like to know what they’ve signed up for. Of course, no two bass guitar lessons are alike. Every bass guitar tutor is different and not every student wants to learn in the same way. Generally, bass guitar tutorials will depend on who’s teaching them and who’s learning. However, there are a few things that will happen in most lessons.
Generally, the student and tutor will get to know one another in the first lesson. The tutor will use this time to learn about the student, why they want to learn to play the bass guitar, what music like, etc. This will help the tutor to adapt their tutorials to the student. They’ll also want to gauge the student’s level.
Do they know any music theory? Can they play a few notes? Is this the first time they’ve ever touched a bass guitar?
They also need to decide how often they’ll have bass guitar lessons and where they’ll take place.
The tutor’s house? The student’s house? Somewhere else?
Anything is possible.
Once they’ve worked out the finer details, they can get started with bass guitar lessons. They’ll need to tune their bass either by using a tuning fork, an electronic tuner, or by ear if they can. This will need to be done at the start of every tutorial.
They might then move onto learning a bit of music theory. If the student doesn’t want to learn music theory or how to read sheet music, they can always play using tablature.
Before you start playing, you should warm up your hands and fingers, too. Your wrists aren’t in the most comfortable position when you play bass so you want to ensure they’re warmed up before you start. Warming up your fingers can help you become more dextrous, which is hugely important for playing the bass.
Once you’ve learnt the techniques, the tutor will probably let you move on to playing songs you like. It’s a good way to stay motivated and make you want to keep learning the bass.
Choosing the Right Bass Guitar Tutor
How can you choose the right bass guitar tutor or teacher? What makes a good bass guitar tutor?
It depends on the student and what they’re hoping to get out of their bass guitar lessons. No two bass guitar tutors are alike and each can bring something different to a lesson.
So how can you choose the right bass guitar tutor for you?
You need to think about which type of bass guitar tutorials you want to get. Not every tutor offers tutorials at the student’s house or online lessons. Some students will want intensive bass guitar lessons whereas others might want a lesson once every two weeks.
Every student needs to make a list of criteria before they start looking. Once you’ve found a list of potential tutors, you’ll want to look at their profiles.
- Music theory or tablature
- Formal training or self-taught
- Style or genre of music played
Don’t hesitate to ask questions before you hire them. The clearer you are, the more likely you’ll find the perfect tutor for you.
For example, a beginner will want to take things more slowly to ensure that they master all the fundamental techniques necessary for playing simple bass lines. Advanced players will know all the notes, chords, and techniques to play most songs but may want someone to put together useful practice exercises to keep their playing sharp or maybe even learn a particular technique that has challenged them for years.
Generally, you’ll probably want someone who likes the same types of music as you. This will help break the ice.
Whether you're a beginner or an expert, you can find plenty of great bass players and tutors on Superprof. As you can see, each teacher is different so it's a great idea to chat with them or even interview them before deciding on who is right for you. Fortunately, a lot of the tutors on the website offer the first lesson for free so you can try them out before you let them teach you how to play.
Becoming good at the bass guitar can take years of learning and practice so you want to ensure that your teacher is perfectly suited to you, the type of music you like, how you like to learn, and available and able to work around your schedule.