This is a selection of my favourite top free video bass lessons out there on the internet! They are all taught by some of the best players who all have their own unique style, teaching method and content focus. If you can get past the dated aspect of these videos and focus on the content, then you will learn lots!
The internet is a great thing when it comes to music education as there’s a great catalogue of instructional videos, in-depth interviews with top players and fantastic content that you can learn from! You can never stop learning, and I guarantee that any bit of knowledge picked up from these videos will make a big impact on you!
Of course, there are many videos out there and this isn’t an exhaustive list. So if you can think of any more, suggest them in the comments!
1. Victor Wooten - Music as a Language
This is a great lesson that can really change your perspective on music. To me, it brings great insight into how music should be taught and learnt. Music comes from the musician, not the instrument, and having something to communicate should be the first priority/thought process when using the instrument, which is simply a communicative tool.
Find out more about Victor Wooten here.
2. Bill Evans - The Creative Process and Self-Teaching
A must-watch for every musician! Bill Evans is not a bass player, but a very famous jazz pianist who simply was a genius! I won’t give too much away, but this video can really change your perspective. The biggest takeaway from this video is that when learning something complicated (such as music) you should build your knowledge up from a strong foundation. If you try jumping in the deep end you’ll end up confused, and you can’t possibly build knowledge on top of confusion. This is exactly why I decided to write my book so that players could follow a path and steadily build knowledge up in what I feel is a good order to learn in.
3. Marcus Miller - How to Improvise a Solo
This kind of builds on the first two videos on the list, and reinforces the fact that you have to have something to communicate. The biggest takeaway, have a great imagination and be open! And if you’re not playing any mistakes, then you’re not pushing yourself!
4. Bootsy Collins - Funk Formula
Funk is all about making sure beat 1 is hit hard!! Aside from that, you can play anything else in the space for the rest of the bar.
5. Larry Graham - How Slap Bass Was Born
Larry gives his story on how he invented slap bass, whilst being extremely cool and playing smoothly. Slap bass is essentially imitating a drum kit. Larry’s band didn’t have one, and so Larry came up with a technique to imitate the drum it on the bass.
6. Jaco Pastorius - Modern Electric Bass
Jaco is often regarded as being the greatest of all bass players, so why not learn from the GOAT in this video!
7. Victor Wooten - Super Bass Solo Technique
This instructional is nice to listen to some great bass soloing. There’s something about Victor’s playing that is just so honest and sincere. It’s a pleasure to listen and gain insight.
8. Victor Wooten - Bass Technique
Applying some advanced bass techniques but teaches in a way to keep it musical.
9. Billy Sheehan - Right Hand Technique
Billy has a unique right-hand technique where he uses three fingers to pluck the strings. This results in some awe-inspiring fast playing!
10. Mark King - Slap Bass Technique
This video may blow your mind if you’re not accustomed to playing notes with just your fretting hand! Mark King is a slap bass legend and has a great technique that allows him to play paradiddle patterns (drum rudiments) on the bass, taking the idea further of imitating a drum kit on the bass.
11. John Patitucci - Bass Workshop
Great insight into bass technique that goes into great detail.
12. Abraham Laboriel - Beginning Funk Bass
Abraham is a fabulous player and goes into great detail about beginning bass and funk playing. It may also add a new plucking technique to your arsenal.
13. Steve Bailey - Fretless Bass Lesson
Fretless instruments require much more precision, attention and accuracy to sound in tune! Steve teaches you how you can sound mostly in tune.
14. Esperanza Spalding - Interview
If you’ve ever listened to Esperanza play, you’d be extremely impressed. Her ability to play complex bass lines whilst singing with her fantastic voice is incredible. However, I like this interview because it brings insight into her playing, background, personality, and collaborative work ethic!
15. Jeff Berlin - Super Technical Approach
Whilst there are some odd moments in this instructional (such as the passionate fan), the video gets really juicy halfway through when he explains the concept of playing scales using the various intervals.
16. Alexis Sklarevski - The Slap Bass Program
Just a fabulous slap bass instructional video. Again, reinforcing the idea of building a strong foundation of knowledge so that further knowledge can be later understood and added.
17. Nathan East - Contemporary Electric Bass
Nathan East is considered one of the most recorded bassists of all time. In this video, he gives some great examples of his playing.
18. T.M. Stevens - Heavy and Funk Bass Techniques
One of the more entertaining instructional videos! Some great content in here.
19. Jack Bruce - The Cream of Cream
Jack Bruce was the primary songwriter and vocalist of the band Cream, which consisted of Jack Bruce on bass, Ginger Baker on drums and Eric Clapton on guitar. I always get impressed when a bassist is a fantastic player, but who is also singing at the same time!
20. Chris Squire - Star Licks Bass Masterclass
Chris Squire is the bass player for the band ‘YES’, and in this video, he gives great insight into his plectrum playing.
21. Louis Johnson
Louis Johnson is the bass player for ‘The Brother’s Johnson’ and he’s written some iconic bass lines over the years as a session player, most notably on the best selling album of all time, Thriller by Michael Jackson. Here he gives a good instructional into his slap bass playing.
22. Flea - Master Session
This video is great as you get a great insight into the genuine personality of Flea. A great moment in the video is when River (the interviewer) is calling out stories for Flea who imitates the emotions of these characters.
23. Marcus Miller - Bass Clinic
A great masterclass by Marcus.
24. Francis Rocco Prestia - Fingerstyle Funk Bass Lesson
Francis Rocco Prestia is the bass player for ‘Tower of Power’ and he has great technique.
25. Carol Kaye
I had to mention Carol Kaye. She gives some fantastic knowledge about being a session musician and her thought process behind tailoring basslines to a song.
26. Doug Wimbish
Some great techniques explored.
27. Billy Sheehan - Bass Secrets
Billy Sheehan giving some great knowledge.
28. Guy Pratt - Right-hand Technique
I love Guy’s playing, and here we get to see his right-hand technique nice and close. Watch his middle finger as it rakes (glides down the strings) to make for a very efficient plucking method. Guy’s played for the likes of Pink Floyd, The Blockheads and he has done some great studio work too!
29. John Entwhistle - Thunderfingers
John Entwhistle, the legendary bassist for The Who. John has a unique technique and sound, and it’s nice to get a close look at his playing. In fairness, this is just a trailer for the film, and you can learn more about John from the film.
30. Serino Gianni - Slap Level
I have no idea how Serino Gianni is not well known. After watching this video, you may never bother playing bass ever again. Just joking! But he really does do some seemingly impossible things here that will leave you speechless!
Top Free Video Bass Lessons Summary
Overall, I’ve provided some really great video bass lessons here that I hope you’ve watched and learnt a bunch from! Of course, there are many more videos out there that have not been put up on Youtube, so I urge you to continue looking for other instructional content out there!