Great Bass Needs Firm Foundations

Get the fundamentals right and the groove will follow

Yes, I’m Ready To Get Started!

Take The Next Step On Your Bass Journey

A Massive 10 Hours Of Lessons Covering Every Area Of Playing

“Every bass player starts with the same goal: A Solid Foundation”

“Building a strong, all-round set of bass skills can be hard work, especially when there are holes in that foundation. To avoid any pitfalls you need a structured study program with a clear, simple road map covering every aspect of playing. That can be hard to find!”

“To remedy this problem I’ve created Bassic Fundamentals – A huge course covering the basics of every essential area from technique to bass line creation to music theory, sight reading, bass setup, effects and much, much more. It really is a one size fits all”

“Bassic Fundamentals will provide you with the skills necessary to easily progress and develop your bass playing in any area or style you desire – always building on a strong core and foundation”

Mark J Smith (Creator of Talkingbass)

Don’t Take My Word For It….

I took the “Basic Fundamentals” course shortly after picking up the instrument. Nine months after picking up the instrument and 6 months after starting the course, I went to an audition.

I got the gig and played my first bass gig three months later! I felt like a kid again 🙂

Mark Mahoney – USA

I play in church most weeks and wouldn’t have got anywhere near the level I’m at without these lessons.

The course is nicely structured and I find the lessons easy to take away and apply.

Rob P. – Australia

After about six months of getting nowhere, I bought the Bassic Fundamentals course. My playing has been turbo charged.

My first gig is next week and I don’t think I would be in this position if I hadn’t found Mark’s lessons.

Matthew Ogilvie – Western Canada

Bassic Fundamentals gave me a good starting point for practising different techniques.

I really like the clear didactic concept of the course: slow step-by-step build up, patiently explained by Mark and well supported by sheets and tracks.

Alexander Fuchs – Germany

Course Breakdown

Click on a Module for a lesson rundown:

Lesson #1 – Course Introduction

In this lesson we look at the course ahead and the kind of topics we’ll be covering

Lesson #2 – Practice Tips & Warmups

Here we look at how to create a simple practice routine and a work through some basic warmup exercises both on and away from the instrument

Lesson #3 – Tuning

In this lesson we look at several different ways of tuning the bass: Tuning to an open string; Tuning with harmonics; Using an electronic tuner.

Lesson #4 – Strings

In this lesson we look at the different types of bass string and what to look out for when buying a new pack

Lesson #5 – Changing Strings

Let’s change our strings! In this lesson Mark takes you step by step through the process of changing a string on the bass and also gives some tips on some of the problems you might encounter

Lesson #6 – Notes Of The Fretboard

In this lesson you will learn a basic set of notes across all four strings using the fret markers as our guide.

Lesson #7 – Major Scale & Key Signatures

Here we look at a Major Scale and how it relates to a musical key. We also look at how to move a scale around the neck and transpose it to different keys

Lesson #8 – Intervals

Intervals are the building blocks of music. In this lesson you’ll learn all the Intervals in a major scale.

Lesson #9 – Minor Scales and Keys

Here we have a look at the Natural Minor scale and the difference between Major and Minor Keys

Lesson #10 – Major and Minor Arpeggios

In this lesson you’ll learn what an arpeggio actually is and how they relate to chords. Then you’ll learn the basic fingerings for the Major and Minor Triad Arpeggios.

Lesson #11 – Chord Charts and Symbols

In this lesson we’ll look at how you can learn or write a bassline for a song by following a written chord chart. You’ll learn how to read all the different chord symbols and how to follow them as you move, bar by bar, through the progression

Lesson #12 – Drums & Drumbeats

In this bumper sized lesson you’ll learn about all drums and drumbeats. You’ll learn about all the different drums on a drumkit, how they sound and how they are used in creating drumbeats. Then you’ll learn how to lock in with the drums and develop your rhythmic accuracy

Lesson #13 – Riffs

Riffs make up a large percentage of the basslines that we learn. Here you’ll learn what a riff is and a few simple examples to get you started

Lesson #14 – Applying Music Theory

Music Theory can often seem like a waste of time or something unrelated to bass playing. Scales, arpeggios and intervals are the most basic principles in music theory so let’s look at how we can apply these concepts into our everyday bass playing and practice

Lesson #15 – Chords By Number

Learning songs can often be a long, frustrating process. But by learning the chords within a key by number you can cut that time down to a minimum and begin understanding the basics of harmony as a bonus.

Lesson #16 – Seventh Chords

In this lesson we’ll expand on our look at arpeggios by working through some seventh chords

Lesson #1: Fretting Hand Basics

In this lesson we look at the basics of fretting hand technique such as stretches, thumb position, pivoting and flat finger vs curled fingers

Lesson #2: Finger Assignment

In this lesson we look at alternatives to the one finger per fret system and how best to assign the fretting hand fingers in a bassline

Lesson #3: Avoiding Typewriter Fingers

In this lesson we’ll look at how to develop a clean technique using minimal movement in the fretting hand

Lesson #4: Note Control

In this lesson we look to gain a little more control over our note duration by holding a note for it’s full length

Lesson #5: The Moveable Anchor

This lesson looks at the right hand thumb and how we can use it for muting the lower strings while moving across the fretboard

Lesson #6: Alternate Picking

In this lesson we look a little closer at our fingerpicking technique and how to keep a consistently alternating movement between the two fingers

Lesson #7: Home Position

Here we look at a good way of keeping a clean and quiet technique by using a flat fingered, muted ‘home’ position

Lesson #8: Joint Barring

In this lesson we look at a simple fretting hand technique for cleanly and efficiently moving from one string to the next by using the hinge motion of the first knuckle

Lesson #9: Raking

Here we look at a more fluid way of moving across the strings in the picking hand by using the ‘raking’ technique

Lesson #10: Hammer Ons & Pulloffs

Here we look at the basics of the Hammer On and Pull Off techniques that are used a lot to add fluidity to bass lines

Lesson #11: Slides

This lesson covers the basics of the slide technique. This is an incredibly common technique that is much harder to perform cleanly than it might seem on first sight

Lesson #12: Ghost Notes

On first appearance, ghost notes may seem like a pointless dull thud. But when combined with regular fretted notes they can bring your basslines to life and open up a whole new funky style of playing

Lesson #13: Harmonics

In this lesson we’ll expand on our earlier foray into tuning with harmonics and look a little closer at some of the other harmonics available on the fretboard

Lesson #14: An Introduction To Slapping

Every bass player wants to learn how to slap! In this lesson we’ll look at the basics of the slap technique and show how you can integrate it into your playing style

Lesson #1: Tone#1 – Physical Approach

This lesson looks at all the different tones we can get from a bass guitar simply through the use of different techniques and hand positions

Lesson #2: Tone#2 – Pickups

This lesson looks at pickups. How they work, the different types and how they sound

Lesson #3: Tone#3 – Tone Controls

This lesson looks at the basics of tone and sound frequencies before demonstrating how the tone controls of a bass or amplifier can be used shape the tone through manipulation of these frequencies

Lesson #4: Tone#4 – EQ

This lesson expands on our look at bass tone and frequencies by looking at the use of graphic or parametric EQ in really fine tuning the sound

Lesson #5: Effects#1 – Gain & Dynamics

We embark on a journey into bass pedals by looking at some gain effects such as overdrive, distortion and compression

Lesson #6: Effects#2 – Tone Effects

This lesson we look at some tone based effects like the wah wah, envelope filter, octave and bass synth.

Lesson #7: Effects#3 – Modulation & Ambience

This lesson we’ll work through some modulation based effects such as the chorus, delay and reverb pedals.

Lesson #8: Effects#4 – Pedalboard Setup

In this lesson we look at how to set up a pedal board and connect all the pedals together

Lesson #9: Bass Setup Basics

In this lesson we look at how to perform a basic setup of the bass. We’ll adjust the truss rod and relief of the neck, the intonation and the string height

Lesson #10: Bass & Amp Buying Guide

This lesson we’ll look at what to look out for when buying a new bass, amplifier and speakers

Lesson #1: Spelling Drills

Learning by fretboard pattern is a popular way of getting to grips with the bass when starting out but it pays to also learn the note names of many common patterns such as scales. This lesson shows you a great way of learning all the note patterns out there through the use of Spelling Drills

Lesson #2: Metronome Practice Tips

In this lesson we’ll look at developing your rhythmic accuracy with a set of metronome exercises

Lesson #3: Reading Music #1 – Pitch

The next three lessons all provide a basic introduction to the skill of reading music. This first lesson is devoted to working separately on pitch reading

Lesson #4: Reading Music #2 – Rhythm

In this second lesson on reading music we look at the basics of rhythm in isolation

Lesson #5: Reading Music #3 – Combined

In this final lesson on the basics of reading we combine our pitch and rhythm in order to read some simple sheet music

Lesson #6: Learning Songs

The skill of learning songs is very underrated and many people just take it for granted. In this lesson you’ll learn a system for learning songs in a very ordered way that should work for learning a single song or even a complete setlist

Lesson #7: Playing In A Band

In this lesson we look at the skills and mindset required for playing in a band. Mark provides some tips from his experience of playing in many different band settings as a sideman and as a bandleader.

Lesson #8: The R.A.I.S.E Approach

In this final lesson we look at how you can take the next step in your playing and develop a practice routine that can take you to a professional level

Bonus Extra

Access To The Talkingbass Facebook Study Group

Hundreds Of Other Like-Minded Talkingbass Students Sharing That Same Journey

Access the collective knowledge and experience of a thriving bass community

Form valuable friendships and network with other bass learners

Exclusive Weekly Live Streams. Ask Mark a question on any course topic and receive personal course support

Share success stories and post your personal practice routines

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bassic Fundamentals Course?

The Bassic Fundamentals Course is designed to provide a complete core foundation of bass guitar skills and musical knowledge. The course is split into four modules, each one covering a different general topic and set of goals.

What level of player is the course aimed at?

The course is aimed at any player from beginner to intermediate level although even advanced players might benefit from certain aspects of the course. It’s always good to go back over the fundamentals.

How Long Are The Lessons? 

The lesson length’s vary but the complete course is over 10 hours in length.

How is the course presented? Do I Download Anything? 

The course is hosted on the Talkingbass website so there are no video files to download. There is a lesson material zip file for each module containing a Course Workbook and any relevant practice tracks.

Can I see a Sample Lesson from the course?

Of course you can. Here’s a lesson from the Technique Module:

 How Do I Purchase The Course?

Simply click on the Enroll Now button below. From that page you will be able to pay for the course via Paypal or Debit/Credit card.

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