We checked out the 9 best online bass lesson platforms and found JamPlay to be the best lesson platform overall.
Taking lessons is the best way to take your playing to the next level while also learning proper technique. But, sometimes lessons can feel like pulling teeth, especially if you’ve “hit a wall” in your playing.
When we were evaluating different platforms, we paid special attention to the options that made learning as fun as possible while also providing you with the tools you need to send your bass playing ability into the stratosphere.
JamPlay won us over with their ease of use, uber-talented instructors that make it easy to soak up knowledge, and an incredibly diverse library of lessons you can watch on-demand. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced bassist, JamPlay is a wealth of knowledge anyone can benefit from.
But that doesn’t mean JamPlay is the best choice for every bassist. Depending on your lifestyle and what you play, you may find other platforms deliver better value, or are more focused on teaching you how to master your playing style.
Read on as we cover the 9 best online bass guitar lessons and share some advice on how you can select the best platform for how you play.
Top Online Bass Guitar Lessons Reviewed
Without further adieu, let’s jump into our roundup of the 9 best online bass guitar lessons.
1) Skillshare’s Bass Guitar Lessons for Beginners by Todd Porter – Best for Beginners
Todd Porter is an uber-talented multi-instrumentalist that’s as at home leading a horn section as he is holding down the low end on bass. While he might not have the pedigree that Nathan East possesses, his Skillshare course is an incredible knowledge base for new bassists.
Advanced players will probably want to steer clear of Todd’s series unless you’re looking for a crash course in the basics. But, beginner and intermediate bassists will find that Todd Porter’s lesson series provides all of the foundational skills they need to take their playing to the next level.
Todd’s course includes 42 individual lessons and over 2.5 hours of video instruction. Todd breaks each lesson into two parts. The first part explains the concept at play, while the second is a practical example with voiceovers and graphic overlays to help you master the concept Todd is explaining.
Beyond the lessons, there’s also a virtual jam room that provides fully realized backing tracks for multiple styles and genres for you to play along to. Todd also includes a series of videos that provides a high-level introduction to music theory.
- Perfectly tailored for beginners
- Two-part instructional videos make it easy to master concepts
- Affordable monthly fee provides access to tons of different courses
- 7-day free trial
- Limited usefulness for more advanced bass players
- Doesn’t cover specific styles or genres
JamPlay is the undisputed champion of online bass lessons, and the platform has been around since 2006. While the platform began with a focus on guitar lessons, it’s since expanded to include bass lessons, and they’re as comprehensive and diverse as the 6-string offerings are.
Professional videographers record all the video lessons. Many feature multiple camera angles, including zoom-in shots of both hands to help you lock down more nuanced playing concepts.
The site is well designed and easy to navigate. There are sections for every skill level, and sections for different playing styles. The styles section is especially useful for bassists looking to master a particular feel or genre, and you’ll find lessons for everything from country to metal to R&B.
There’s also a massive section of play-along videos with top instructors where you can learn the proper way to play some of the best bass songs ever made.
Beyond all the interactive content and instructional videos, tons of additional content allows you to learn even more. A lot of that content is fun, too. There are music theory games, a chord naming tool, a chord library with tons of different voicings, and tons of other fun stuff to play around with. All these features are fun to play around with, and you’ll be learning, as well.
- Huge library of lessons and content
- Most content is shot in 4K with multiple camera angles
- Chord, scale, and lick library
- More expensive than most lesson platforms
- Doesn’t offer a free trial
Read the full Jamplay review too.
3) Artistworks Electric Bass with Nathan East – Best for Music Theory
Nathan East is one of the most renowned session musicians of the 20th century, and his playing has graced tracks with everyone from Barry White and Michael Jackson to Beyonce and Whitney Houston. He’s also collaborated with some of rock’s most storied musicians, including Eric Clapton and Phil Collins.
Several years ago Nathan rolled out a lesson platform that caters especially to bass players. From the foundational skills, beginners need to reach the next level to intermediate concepts that seasoned bassists need to progress, Nathan covers it all.
There’s also a large section of lessons for advanced players, which can elevate you from a talented bassist to a professional.
In addition to a vast library of lessons, your subscription includes Nathan’s music theory workshop and allows you to submit up to five videos to Nathan if you ever get stuck on something. Nathan then replies with a video to answer your questions and help get you over the hump.
While Nathan’s Artistworks platform is one of the most expensive options, it provides you with an opportunity to learn from one of the most sought-after session bassists of our time. If you’re serious about becoming a professional musician, or you have an interest in learning the theory behind what you’re playing, Nathan is the teacher for you.
- In-depth video lessons from a monster session musician
- Lessons are broken down by skill level, with dozens of classes in each section
- Includes access to Nathan East’s music theory workshop
- One of the most expensive platforms
- Limited stylistic lessons
Read the full Artistworks review here
4) Ariane Cap’s Bass Fills & Thrills – Best for Composers
Ariane Cap is a decorated bass player with serious chops, and she’s well known for crafting some of the most unique and compelling bass lines. She shares some of her best tips in the Bass Fills & Thrills course on TrueFire.
This course is ideal for bassists looking for an ala carte lesson series to help take their original compositions up a notch. You pay a flat fee for this single video course, and you can download it or stream it as many times as you like.
Ariane breaks her course down into 13 different strategies for crafting fills and patterns, and she explains how to use each strategy in a simple way that makes it easy for you to absorb them into your playing.
Ariane also explains in detail what makes an excellent bass fill, so you can use her wisdom to craft fills for your original music.
Each lesson includes standard notation and tablature, and the notation syncs perfectly with the video, making it easy for you to play, read, and watch all at once.
- Excellent course with focused material
- Truefire’s platform is intuitive and easy to use
- Affordable – One affordable price gets you lifetime access
- Not as comprehensive as other platforms
- Not well-suited for beginners
5) Yousician – Most Interactive Bass Lessons
Yousician is one of the most interesting lesson platforms on earth, and it combines learning an instrument with video games to keep you engaged and interested. Gamers, children, and beginners who haven’t felt comfortable with other lesson platforms are sure to love this fun and game-like bass lesson app.
Yousician feels like a game, and it breaks down the different skills you’ll learn into levels. To reach the next level, you’ll need to master the one you’re currently on. Each lesson provides rolling tablature-style notation for you to play as you listen along to the lesson.
Your phone’s microphone picks up what you’re playing, and the app lets you know if you’re playing correctly.
The app does an amazing job at picking up what you’re playing. Yousician uses your phone’s microphone to analyze the rhythm and pitch to determine if you’re playing through the lesson correctly.
The teachings are fun and interactive, and you’ll be able to learn several critical bass-playing concepts without even realizing you’re learning.
Yousician might be best to supplement other lesson platforms or self-study methods because it does have some pitfalls. The lessons are fairly limited, and since it’s heavily gamified, it often feels more like a game than a teaching tool.
- Makes learning fun
- Lessons for different skill levels
- Scoring is accurate
- Have to follow the progression of the app
6) Truefire – Best for Versatility
Truefire is one of the largest and most diverse learning platforms for guitar and bass. That’s where many of the top instructors host their curriculum, and you’ll receive access to their lessons for the price of a single subscription.
Truefire offers a similar format to JamPlay, but there’s less of a defined progression through the lessons. Users have the option to watch whichever lessons they like at any time. Truefire offers lessons from a broad range of different bassists, including heavyweights like Stu Hamm and Jeff Denson.
Another cool feature of Truefire is that you can purchase a lesson pack from one of their instructors for a one-time fee instead of subscribing to the platform every month. You can either download or stream that course as many times as you like.
For guitarists, there are thousands of lessons from top players. Unfortunately, the bass section is a bit more sparse. There’s still tons of great content, but the ala carte feature comes in handy if you’re only interested in taking a lesson series from certain instructors.
- Lesson modules from top professionals
- Can subscribe monthly or purchase lessons separately
- Diverse range of lesson topics and styles
- Monthly subscription is expensive
- Bass curriculum more limited than other instruments
Read the full Truefire review here
7) Scott’s Bass Lessons – Best Instructor Rapport
Scott Levine of Scott’s Bass Lessons has built one of the largest and most interactive communities of bass students, in part because he develops an excellent rapport with his students and audience.
Before launching a dedicated learning platform, Scott recorded hundreds of lessons and tips for YouTube, and those videos are a wealth of knowledge for beginner and intermediate bass players. Many players, myself included, have learned a great deal from Scott’s YouTube videos.
On his paid platform, Scott goes into greater depth on virtually every concept. The lessons cover a broad scope of genres and playing styles. There are also lots of extras, such as virtual hangouts, interviews, and 1:1 feedback with Scott on your playing and progress.
Over 25,000 students have attended the SBL academy, and there’s a sense of community here that other lesson platforms have difficulty replicating.
Scott’s personal touch is as much of a draw as the lessons themselves, which makes this platform ideal for bassists looking to belong to something bigger than themselves.
- All lesson content is specifically for bass players
- Interactive community
- Plenty of free lessons on YouTube
- Includes free trial
8) Udemy’s The Professional Bass Masterclass – Best Value Bass Lesson Platform
Udemy is one of the largest alternative learning platforms online, and countless people and companies rely on their courses to learn new skills. Udemy offers a wealth of classes for bass players, including the Professional Bass Masterclass lesson module.
The Professional Bass Masterclass is a three-level course that can take you from the most basic foundations of the instrument through to more intermediate concepts and finally, towards mastery of the bass guitar.
The course covers everything from the basics of keeping time and plucking strings to more advanced concepts like music theory, soloing, and improvisation.
Budget-minded players are sure to love this course, as it manages to be comprehensive while also being exceptionally affordable. The course is broken into four parts with 132 lessons totaling over nine hours of video content. It’s available for a one-time fee that’s cheaper than many of the top platform’s one-month subscription fees.
You can only study with a single instructor, and there are some concepts that they could elaborate on further. But for this low price, the Professional Bass Masterclass is an unbeatable value.
- Best value in the business
- Comprehensive 4-module course with over 130 lessons
- One-time fee, no monthly subscription
- Only one instructor
- Some key concepts get breezed over
9) Musika – Best Bass Lessons for 1:1 Instruction
Platforms like JamPlay and Truefire have democratized music lessons and made it easy for any aspiring bass player to learn from some of the best players in the business. But many bassists have trouble learning in these environments and tend to do much better with one-on-one instruction.
Musika offers online bass lessons from top instructors in a more traditional and personal lesson setting. When you sign up, Musika asks you a few questions, and pairs you with a top instructor who specializes in the type of playing you want to learn.
When it’s time for a lesson, you and a teacher connect for a video chat, and they conduct a lesson tailored to your needs. Half-hour, 45-minute, and hour-long lessons are available online via Skype or Facetime, or in person.
In-person instruction is a bit more expensive, while fully online lessons allow you to learn from your own home at a discount.
- Personalized lessons from talented bass players
- Can take lessons online or in-person
- Risk-free first lesson trial
What to Consider When Choosing Online Bass Lessons
With so many excellent ways to become a better bass player, choosing a learning platform can feel overwhelming. You can make the decision far easier by asking yourself a few questions before choosing.
Here’s what you’ll need to decide.
How Do You Like to Learn?
How you like to learn is a critical consideration before choosing a platform. Do you learn better in a structured environment? Do you need personal attention from your instructor in a 1:1 environment?
Or, do you prefer the flexibility that comes with a platform like JamPlay, where you can learn at your own pace and take lessons whenever you like?
Depending on the way you like to learn, you can quickly disqualify any online bass lessons that don’t allow you to learn the way you want.
What Styles or Skills are You Hoping to Learn?
All bass players should strive to be as well-rounded as possible so you can easily handle different genres and playing styles when you encounter them in the real world. Still, everyone gravitates towards learning the styles they enjoy playing the most.
It’s important that the platform you choose offers lessons that cater to the genres you like.
If you’re a metalhead, find a platform that provides plenty of content to help you master playing bass in a metal band. If you’re more interested in funk or R&B, you’ll want to gravitate towards a platform that offers lessons tailored to that style.
Getting the Most Out of Your Lessons
Studying an instrument can be costly, so it’s important to make sure you’re maximizing your investment by soaking up as much knowledge as you can and finding ways to apply what you’ve learned.
When it’s time for a new lesson, treat it like it’s a critical appointment. Try to eliminate any distractions so you can focus on learning for a set time. If you can focus during the lesson, you’ll retain far more information.
Most online platforms provide media player tools that allow you to slow down playback, or skip forward or back by a few seconds at a time. These features are helpful when you need to slow down a passage so you can get a feel for how to play it on the bass.
Not all platforms have media player tools, but you can usually download lessons and play them using the media player of your choice.
Most importantly, spend plenty of time practicing! Making the most of your bass lessons means taking the time to master the concepts you’re learning so you can continue building new skills and improving as a bassist.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.