7 Best Online Bass Lessons in 2020 – Paid & Free
Learning to play bass guitar requires patience and dedication. It should also be an exciting and fun process at the same time. If you have experience playing another instrument, you can transfer some skills over to bass.
Online bass lessons are a great way to improve your playing and technique. You can go at your own pace, and learn from some exceptional instructors. Below I'll highlight some of the best online bass lessons available today.
Top 3 - Online Bass Lessons
Lessons from high profile artists
Feedback through video exchange
If you want to make a quick decision, the two lessons below would be my recommendations. Both are great value and offer convenient payment options.
JamPlay – Top quality bass lessons, exceptionally high standard of instructors, interactive tabs and notation software, slow motion video playback. Different paid membership options tailored towards all skill levels of bass players. JamPlay also offer a full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their lessons.
ArtistWorks – For $23.25 per month you can get access to a huge catalogue of bass tutorials, along with videos and other high-quality learning materials. It's also the only platform that provides one-to-one learning via video exchange.
There are so many styles of playing on a bass guitar, so many techniques and tricks. Being a bassist is really a lifelong journey of discovery. It’s quite amazing what can be produced from four strings.
7 Best Online Bass Lessons – My Reviews
1. JamPlay – $19.95/mo
JamPlay built their reputation by providing some of the best online guitar lessons for the past decade. They then began offering bass lessons, which are also of the highest-standard. One thing which sets them apart from the competition is the standard of instructors they offer.
The list of twenty veteran instructors includes some legendary bassists. Take Billy Sheehan for example – who many would class as the best technical bass player on the planet. There’s also teachers such as David Ellefson, a legend in the rock and metal world, and Bryan Beller who plays in Steve Vai’s trio.
In terms of video quality, you will struggle to find better than JamPlay. The lessons are professionally filmed in their studios with multiple camera angles. The videos are tailored to be compatible with phones, tablets or desktops. There’s plenty of variation and interaction in the lessons, which hold your attention for the duration.
You have the option of paying monthly, quarterly or yearly for the tutoring.
The pricing is affordable and if you choose monthly or quarterly you can cancel at any time. At under $20 per month it is great value considering the quality of teaching you receive.
A feature which is greatly beneficial is the custom progress reports which are compiled as you move through the lessons. For beginner bassists, this is particularly useful as it allows you to track your improvements in the individual aspects of bass playing, such as the scales, songs and techniques that you are learning.
The lessons are split into three phases. Phase 1 is for absolute beginners, and teaches you the fundamental techniques which will build the foundations of your playing style. Phase 2 is centered on genre/skill building – where you further improve your technical skill and understanding of bass guitar theory.
Phase 3 is where you begin to practically apply the knowledge from the previous lessons and learn songs. To summarize, phases 1 and 2 provide the building blocks to playing bass, while phase 3 encourages you to get deep into playing music.
If you are already at an advanced level as a bassist, that’s great too. The teachers take requests from you and teach you exactly how to play your favorite songs. The “Artist Series“ is also highly valuable for more experienced players, where the teachers go into the styles and techniques which have gotten them to the level they are at today.
In addition to the monthly, quarterly and yearly payment options, JamPlay offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied or decide that bass guitar isn’t the instrument for you.
The free videos on their website do a great job of explaining the service thoroughly and there is also a very helpful FAQ section which provides information about the lessons. You can read my full JamPlay review here, but do note that it focuses more on their guitar lessons.
2. ArtistWorks - $23.25/mo
ArtistWorks offer tutorage from highly accomplished bassist Nathan East, who is the chosen bassist of some iconic musicians such as Eric Clapton or Phil Collins. East’s reputation as a bassist is a good sign that the lessons provided are of the highest standard.
In terms of beginner friendliness, these lessons tick the box. The beginner section starts with instructions on how to tune your bass, great if you are just starting out. The music theory workshop provides theoretical knowledge from the ground up. This is the perfect place to start if you have just picked up the bass guitar.
The intermediate and advanced lessons get into some of the more technical aspects of playing bass, such as arpeggio speed drills and soloing. Whatever your skill-sett, there is a suitable entry point to the lessons for everyone.
When it comes to pricing, ArtistWorks offer three options. You can purchase 3 months for $105, 6 months for $179 or a year for $279. Considering the quality of tutorage Nathan East provides, these prices are very good value.
One great feature of the service is the ability to submit videos to the teacher, and get genuine feedback on your playing. This is not offered by many online instrument tuition services, but ArtistWorks have gone the extra mile.
All students also get full access to the video exchange library so they can watch and learn from each other’s interactions with the tutor.
3. Fender Play - $9.99/mo
Fender Play is great options for those who are just starting out learning bass guitar. The lessons comprehensively cover the basics of playing bass, in simple, easy to understand videos.
Although the teachers aren’t of the same caliber of the first two entries to this list, Fender Play still offers good quality lessons from talented musicians. The drills and exercises are greatly beneficial to novice bass players as they encourage you to learn the basic techniques before trying anything too difficult.
If you are past the beginner stage and want to take your bass playing to higher levels, this course may not be the one for you. There are some valuable lessons for intermediate and advanced bassists, but it is more geared towards those in the earlier stages of learning.
The production style of the videos is of the highest-quality and they are very easy to follow. The lessons are broken down into small digestible chunks which cover everything from scale positions, note lengths to the basics of slap bass.
Perhaps the simplicity of Fender Play is its best attribute.
If you choose to sign up for the annual plan which works out at $7.50 per month, you also get 10% off Fender guitars, amps and gear. Also, signing up to Fender Play doesn’t just get you bass lessons – you also get access to guitar and ukulele lessons, all included in your membership!
You can also read my full review of Fender Play, although it focuses more on their guitar lessons.
4. TrueFire – Varied Pricing
TrueFire offer a comprehensive online bass course which is suitable for all abilities. The lessons are offered from a range of instructors, including Stu Hamm who has taught thousands of bassists over the past 25 years.
The lessons are presented in bite-sized chunks which make the information easy to process.
The course includes seven detailed lesson groups which move you through the stages of learning bass. The advanced lessons really get into some intense techniques and theory, so don’t think that you won’t be challenged to improve.
The production value is simple and straight to the point. This, coupled with the direct teaching styles of the instructors, makes TrueFire a good option for learning bass.
A unique service offered by TrueFire is their “All Access” subscription. For $29 per month, you can get access to a huge library or instrument learning materials – not just on bass guitar.
This is a great deal which provides you with jam packs, access to over 1200 audio lessons, instant access to new courses every week and a 20% overall discount.
Although TrueFire don’t have the level of teachers which JamPlay or ArtistWorks offer, their all access package is a great value.
5. Scott’s Bass Lessons - Freemium
Scott’s Bass Lessons started out as a YouTube channel which has grown into an online bass lesson subscription service. There are three courses offered to beginners, intermediates and advanced players.
You may be thinking, why would I sign up when I can get most of Scott’s Bass Lessons on YouTube for free? It seems that Scott utilizes his very informative YouTube channel to guide you toward the subscription service.
The number of teachers on the course is limited, so if you like more variation this probably isn’t the option for you. The video quality is of a decent standard and the lesson themselves give some good information.
In terms of pricing, it’s difficult to find that information on the website. You are encouraged to sign up for a 14 day trial but there is no mention of the costs once that period is up.
This course is a decent option but doesn’t provide the comprehensive learning experience of some of the other reviews on this list.
6. Teach Me Bass Guitar - $79.95 (One Time)
Teach Me Bass Guitar is a pretty good alternative when it comes to learning bass guitar online. Longtime instructor Roy Vogt is the instructor, and the course has sections specifically tailored towards beginners, intermediates and advanced players.
Although the lessons are clear and informative, they don’t have the level of detail and learner interaction of some others on this list. The video quality is decent but in all honesty the website seems a little outdated.
7. Talking Bass – Varied Pricing
The first thing you notice about Talking Bass is the smartly designed website, and the sheer volume of material available to bassists of all abilities. They offer a free membership trial so you can get a taste of their resources before deciding if you want to commit to a paid membership.
The lessons cover all of the essential aspects of bass guitar; scales, timing, hand positioning and chord tones. As they progress into the more advanced material, the teachers help you to develop your own personal playing style and build your confidence.
This course is a great option if you enjoy simple, easy-to-follow learning.
Why Learn Bass Online?
The internet has revolutionized the way people learn to play instruments. Gone are the days of sitting next to a speaker moving up and down the fretboard in order to work out your favorite songs by ear!!
Online learning allows you to go at your own pace, which is the main advantage. You can take the time to fully understand what you are learning and go back over it until it is firmly embedded in your mind. It also prevents getting nervous or flustered in a one-on-one lesson environment.
If you're still on the verge of learning bass online, my best advice would be to just get started with a free trial of the platform that you're considering (if it offers that). That way, you can quickly understand if it's suitable for you, and simply cancel if you don't like it.