Are You an Intermediate Bassist – Here is How to Know

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Are you as good at bass as you think you are? Use this 17-point checklist to test if you’re an intermediate bass player… or not.

1:21 - Tuning Your Bass
1:46 - Fretboard Memorizing
2:43 - Four Finger Fretting
3:13 - Alternating Plucking
4:12 - Playing With Metronome
4:46 - Playing Legato
5:39 - Muting
6:30 - Basic Scales
7:20 - Basic Rhythms
8:26 - Knowing Your Gear
9:08 - Reading Notation
9:29 - Playing With Drummers
10:11 - Jamming
10:56 - Listening
11:54 - 12 Bar Blues
12:15 - Creating Bass Lines
13:26 - Playing Full Songs

What does being an ‘intermediate bassist’ actually mean? Well, it’s subjective. But based on over a decade of personal teaching experience, plus reviewing a lot of other teachers’ lists, these are 17 things I think anybody should be able to do at the intermediate level.

To make this list more digestible, I broke it up into three chunks -

First, we’ll tackle the basics. (or bassics, if you’re some kind of pun nerd) This includes tuning quickly, learning the fretboard “money notes,” alternating plucking, four finger fretting, keeping good time, playing legato, and basic muting.

The second chunk is about theory, which I kept to a functional minimum. We’ll talk about learning basic scales, common rhythms and time signatures, and having a decent handle on your gear.

Last up is musicianship, which covers a whole range of skills that make you not just a good bassist, but a good musician. I’ll walk you through reading, playing bass with a drummer, jamming, listening, playing the blues, creating bass lines, and playing along with full songs.

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Thanks for watching my weekly lesson here at Musicians Unite, check back next week for another lesson.

-Josh Fossgreen

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