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The Professional Bass Masterclass

Learn the professional techniques, tools, and methods to master bass guitar from beginner to advanced player
Rajiv Narang
14,149 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Learn professional technique from a professional bassist.
Have mastery over the entire fretboard
Develop incredible technique in both hands
Understand the role of the bass and write great bass lines
Be able to improvise
Play the bass proficiently in a wide variety of settings
Master time
Understand music theory including harmony, chord construction, the modes, key signatures, time signatures and more
Play over changes from charts
Have the foundation to be a fully formed musician
Step confidently onto the stage or into the studio

Join me and thousands of my wonderful students in your musical journey and learn to play the bass now!

This course is edited down to precision to turn you into the bassist you want to be in the shortest time possible!!!

This course includes a music module series where you create bass lines — The Bass Player’s Workshop as well as our Riff Trainer for Bass!

Become a fully-formed bassist!

It is so important to build a solid foundation as you learn to play and as you develop your skills.  Don’t leave this important first step in your learning to am amateur.  I want to show you the best technique.

The course uses multiple approaches to understand the geometry of the instrument so you can find those that work best for your individual learning style.

Here’s what students are saying:

“This is an excellent course. I am new to bass and gained a lot of value from this material. The explanations were clear and well presented. Thanks Rajiv.”

“Great course, I’m halfway and so far it’s great, it’s easy to understand, and how good you can get really just depends on how much practice you put in, because the info is all there.”

“This guy’s amazing. He know his stuff and he’s so passionate about his craft. He’s a bass player’s bass player, if you know what I mean. His obvious command of the instrument lends itself towards his methodical and logical teaching approach. I love the fact that we can utilise this course on Udemy. Imagine what face to face lessons with this guy would cost? …he’s obviously a really nice guy and his style is infectious. I’ve come back to the bass after many years of playing guitar (yes that’s right, I crossed over to the dark side). I’ve missed the bass, and these lessons are just what the Bass doctor ordered to get me back to speed. Woo hoo!”

Course Description

The Professional Bass Masterclass is designed for students of all levels.  The course itself is divided into four levels starting with fundamentals, then moving into intermediate and then advanced techniques, knowledge and skill development.  Whether you’re a beginner, want to fill in gaps in your knowledge, or advance your skills to whole new levels, this course is designed for you.

This course brings together into one carefully constructed program knowledge from 20 years experience covering elite music school training, session work, touring work, and advanced master classes as well as performance, production and composition frameworks.  This course is a vast amount of information gathered over decades in this course ready to unlock mastery for the motivated student.

This course is a comprehensive system for learning to play the bass guitar that brings a broad range of musical information together to teach you the skills to be a musician.  If you’re looking for bass lessons…great bass lessons…this course has the bass lessons for you.

This course is the most effective and efficient way to learn to play the bass.  It is also much more than that.  This course is designed to make students into great bassists, and also fully formed musicians; to truly understand music, to understand time and harmony and theory and song-craft, to be able to communicate with other musicians of any instrument, to see the big picture.

At the end of this course you will be able to understand, play and write great bass lines.  You will understand all the functions of the bass and have all the tools to fulfill these functions with your own great bass lines — in your own voice.  You will be empowered with all the skills and knowledge necessary to hone your craft to become a fully-formed bassist!

Build a solid foundation for mastery of the bass guitar with these lessons.

Prepare yourself for the world of working musicians with great bass lessons and compelling musical instruction with the Professional Bass Masterclass.

These bass lessons include:

Modes for the Bass Guitar, Walking Bass, Triads, Bass Guitar Chords, Bass Guitar Scales, Music Theory, Functions of the Bass, Bass Guitar Techniques for the Left and Right Hand, Chord Construction, Bass Arpeggios, Mobile Scales, The Blues Scale, All Five Pentatonic Shapes for the Bass Guitar, String Selection for the Bass Guitar, Time, Time Signatures and Subdivisions, Linear Scales for the Bass Guitar, Keys and Key Signatures, Chord Inversions, Advanced Bass Technique, Advanced Chord Construction and Music Theory, and much, much more.



Part 1

The Functions of the Bass

The bass, and all bass parts, have two primary functions.  The first is to support the harmony.  The second is to propel the song forward.  Bass parts can propel a song forward by three means: harmonic propulsion, rhythmic propulsion and melodic propulsion.

Practice Book and Resources
Practice Methods: How to Accelerate Your Learning

Key Objectives:

Write down a practice schedule that you can follow regularly.  Start with a time you believe you can dedicate, then divide that time into chunks dedicated to areas you would like to work on.  This example has topics to be covered.  It should look something like this (but tailored to you):

30 Minute session:

5 minutes major scale

5 minutes triad shapes (all four in one position)

5 minutes the blues scale

15 minutes playing music (a song you are learning, a bass part you are learning or writing, playing music)

*Remember, it's better to practice a little every day (even if it's only 20 minutes) than to practice less frequently for longer periods of time.

Tuning the Bass the Professional Way

The order of the open strings are, from low to high, E A D G.

We will learn three ways to tune the bass.  The first step is the same for all three methods, as it is in a variety of settings.  Get an A from a tuner or another already tuned instrument.  If you're with another musician, or someone sitting at a piano, simply ask: "Can I get an A for tuning."

Primary method:

Step 1: Tune the A string.

Step 2: Play the harmonic at the 7th fret of the a string and the harmonic at the 5th fret of the E string, then tune the E string.

Step 3: Play the harmonic at the 5th fret of the A string and the 7th fret of the D string and tune the D string.

Step 4: Play the harmonic at the 5th fret of the D string and the 7th fret of the G string and tune the G string.

Second method:

Step 1: Tune the A string.

Step 2: Play the fifth fret of the E string (which is an A) and tune the low E string to your open A string.

Step 3: Play the fifth fret of the A (which is a D) and tune the open D string to the fretted note..

Step 4: Play the fifth fret of the D string (which is a G) and tune the open G string to the fretted note.

Third method (useful for checking intonation)

Step 1: Tune the A string.


Use one of the previous methods to tune the bass and then...

Step 2: Play the 12th fret harmonic of the E string and the 7th fret of the A string and compare.

Step 3: Play the 12th fret harmonic of the A string and the 7th fret of the D string and compare. 

Step 4: Play the 12th fret harmonic of the D string and the 7th fret of the G string and compare.

*Remember this pro tip: Give a little pull on each of the strings as you're tuning to ensure the instrument stays in tune.

Important Notes on Tuning
Professional Bass Technique - The Left Hand

Position of the left hand: grip the neck comfortably by placing the middle finger in line over the thumb and let the rest of the fingers take a natural position over their respective frets.


Single-string chromatic exercise in 5th position (index finger on the 5th fret) over all strings.

Professional Bass Technique - The Right Hand

Position of the right hand: Anchor the thumb allowing the fingers to arch over the strings.  When sounding the string, pull the finger over the string bringing it to rest on the string on the string below it.  Use this same angle for playing on the E string.

Primary method for the right hand:

Use a two-finger alternating pattern (index and middle or, alternatively, index and ring).

*Use the thumb to mute all lower strings whenever possible to generate a professional, studio-ready tone.

A Note on Practice Schedules
Fretboard Natural Notes: See the Whole Board

Spend 5 minutes per practice session memorizing the natural notes that appear on the fretboard.  Start one string at a time.  

Once that is comfortable, practice memorizing by frets.  For example, name all the notes at the 3rd fret, then the 12th, then the 5th and so on.

Once that is comfortable, move chromatically (one half-step at a time) up and down strings when stepping beyond the natural notes and adding the accidentals (sharps and flats) to your knowledge of the neck.


*Remember: start with the natural notes first and get comfortable with those before moving on to accidentals.

The Natural Notes: Practice
The Major Scale: Solid Fundamentals

The Major Scale is a fundamental building block in music.  Make this scale a staple of your regular practice until it becomes comfortable.

Key Objectives:

To be able to play the scale smoothly with consistent tempo and good tone.

To be able to able to think of the interval as it is being played.  (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)


Practice this scale for 5-10 minutes a day with and without a metronome.  If you practice scales for 5 minutes, make one of those minutes the interval counting practice.  Play from roots starting on the E string and from roots starting on the A string.  Have fun playing on all different positions of the neck!  Enjoy your exploration of the instrument and discover how different positions feel.

*Remember to play with emphasis on the root note.

The Major Scale: Practice Plan

The Major Scale is a fundamental building block in music. Make this scale a staple of your regular practice until it becomes comfortable.

Key Objectives: To be able to play the scale smoothly with consistent tempo and good tone. To be able to able to think of the interval as it is being played.


Practice: Practice this scale for 5-10 minutes a day with and without a metronome. If you practice scales for 5 minutes, make one of those minutes the interval counting practice. Play from roots starting on the E string and from roots starting on the A string.

Have fun playing on all different positions of the neck! Enjoy your exploration of the instrument and discover how different positions feel. 

The Minor Scale: Solid Fundamentals

Practice this scale in a variety of positions around the neck.  Remember that your "position" is determined by the fret which your first finger plays.  If your first finger is over the second fret, you are in second position.

Once you become familiar with this scale, practice it on open strings as well.

Interval Essentials

Notes on Interval Essentials
Music Theory I -- Building Blocks of the Fully Formed Musician

A single note generates the overtone series which sounds the triad.  A triad consists of three notes: a root, a third and a fifth.  Building a triad on the 1st, 4th and 5th intervals generates the seven notes of a key.  If we play the seven notes in order by pitch, we have a scale.  Building a triad on each of the seven notes of a scale generates the chords for that key -- which is the foundation for all harmony (the movement of chords that supports melody).

Music Theory I

Here is a quiz to help reinforce the information covered in Music Theory I. 

Triad Types

The triad contains a root, a third and a fifth.  Each of the four types of triads contains this 1,3,5 though each type modifies this form.

The four types of triads are major, minor, diminished and augmented.  Their construction is as follows:

Major Triad:  Root, Third, Fifth

Minor Triad:  Root, Minor Third, Fifth

Diminished Triad:  Root, Minor Third, Flat Fifth

Augmented Triad:  Root, Major Third, Sharp Fifth

The triad is the foundation of all harmony.  Harmony consists of the notes and the chords that make up the music that form the support, partner and counterpoint to melody.

The Major Scale - Linear

Notice that when the major scale is played on a single string it has the same finger pattern as the standard major scale form: 2-4, 1-2-4, 1-3-4.

Key Objective: 

Commit this form of the major scale to memory.

Take the time to get comfortable with this form and it will serve you incredibly well!  Becoming familiar with this will be highly beneficial to your mastering the entire fretboard.


Practice starting with a very slow tempo that is comfortable for you.  Once the pattern becomes familiar, add playing the scale with just the index finger.  Practice control over both forms.

*Pro tip: There is one single fret between each of the positions.  Spot it clearly for confident transitions between positions. 

The Minor Scale - Linear

Knowing the linear shapes will prove incredibly beneficial to later lessons and to a wide variety of skills.

Be sure to practice this scale form with a metronome to train precision into the shifting of positions.

How to Make Yourself Indispensable as a Bassist
Major and Minor Scales Expanded

Knowing the major scale over just one octave is essential to many musical elements.  Work toward becoming intimately familiar with the major scale, its intervals, and the gravity of the scale.  Adding the notes you have available to you in any position is an extension of this knowledge.

Continue to practice the one-octave major scale.  Its an excellent warm-up.  And add this expanded form to develop intelligent approaches to the bass lines you choose to play and write.

Time 101 - Note Values

Note values

From large to small:

whole note = 4 quarter notes

half note = 2 quarter notes

quarter note = 1

eighth note = 2 in a quarter note

sixteenth note = 4 in a quarter note

thirty-second note = 8 in a quarter note

Adding a dote to any note increases it's value by half. So...

A dotted whole note = 6 quarter notes.

A dotted half note = 3 quarter notes.

A dotted quarter note = 3 8th notes

A dotted 8th = 3 16th notes

The same applies to rests, though they have different symbols.

Time 102 - Subdivisions

This bass guitar lesson covers an introduction to subdivisions.  An essential step in mastering time is to understand and practice subdivisions.  

Longer notes can be subdivided into shorter ones adding great variety to a bass line.  Instant access to these subdivisions elevates playing.

Practice subdividing with a metronome and have fun!

Reading Rhythm
Time Signatures - Introduction

This bass guitar lesson covers:

Meters, Duple and Triple, Time Signatures

Time Signatures I
The Bass Player's Workshop I - The Major Scale
Pentatonic Major - Two Octaves

This bass guitar lesson covers the two octave pentatonic major scale.

The two-octave pentatonic major scale is an incredibly useful and versatile scale.  It adds new colours to the pentatonics with the beautiful shifts and slides that occur within the scale.

This is a great place to write a bass line.

Ear Training Skills Builder - Intervals I
Ear Training - Intervals II
Styles - Reggae Revealed

This bass guitar lesson covers Reggae.

Practice Modules - Levels 1, 2, and 3

Level 1 Session 1
Level 1 Session 2
Level 1 Session 3
Level 2 Session 1
Level 2 Session 2
Level 2 Session 3
Level 3 Session 1
Level 3 Session 2

Part 2

Music Theory II

Bass lesson covering Music Theory Level II.  Music theory and the bass guitar.

Music Theory II
The Benefits of Musical Practice
Intervals Applied

Intervals change and colour the harmony and the melody.

This bass lesson covers the application and use of intervals in bass guitar parts.


Play over this backing track with the chord progression D Major to B minor.  Build intervals over the root of the chord you are on.  Start by building these intervals with only the notes of the D major scale (as the progression is in D Major).


Artists Spotlight - James Jamerson and Jeff Berlin
The Bass Player's Workshop - Intervals Applied

Tha Bass Player's Workshop

An interactive module for the study and practice of the bass guitar.

The Chromatic Scale - I

The chromatic scale is a powerful tool for bass movement.  This scale can be used in longer variations, but is exceptionally effective in just four notes.

Four notes, each a semitone apart, moving chromatically in one direction create a gravity that moves us into the next chord.  The next chord in the profession doesn't simply appear, it is essential, it is foreshadowed, it has gravity.

Thus, chromatic movement propels the harmony forward.  It gives energy to one chord; moving it to the next!

When the harmony moves with this kind of power, the melody becomes more powerful, which in turn feeds the harmony in a mutually beneficial circuit.

Practice using chromatic passages to move from one chord to another.

The chromatic scale embodies the principles of propulsion and gravity that are essential to crafting and playing great bass lines.

The Major Scale Two Octaves

In this bass lesson we look at a mobile (can be moved around the neck to instantly change keys) two-octave major scale.  It is built on the primary major scale form (2-4, 1-2-4, 1-3-4).

Key Objective:

To add the mobile two-octave major scale to your repertoire.

Bass Lesson Practice:

Commit the form to memory and play in different positions.  Be sure to practice this with a metronome to ensure smooth, seamless transitions between positions.

Every few passes, try thinking of the number of the note as you play it.  Replace 8 with 1 so that you have: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1 and then down.

*Note: Be aware of the space between positions and commit these spaces to memory.  This will help with solidifying a confident shift to a new position.

The Minor Scale Two Octaves

This bass lesson covers the minor scale over two octaves for the bass guitar.

Key Signatures

This bass lesson covers how to recognize and construct key signatures.

Key Signatures
Major Pentatonic

This bass lesson covers the major pentatonic scale on bass guitar.

Create a bass line in D Major Pentatonic.

Play a lead line above the 12th fret over a D Major Chord.

Minor Pentatonic

This bass lesson covers the minor pentatonic scale on four string bass guitar.

Create a bass line in C Minor Pentatonic.

Play a lead line above the 12th fret over C Minor Pentatonic.

The Bass Player's Workshop - Major and Minor Pentatonics

The Bass Player's Workshop

An interactive module designed to help you practice and apply the major and minor pentatonic scales on bass guitar.

The Elements of Chord Construction

This bass guitar lesson is on chord construction.

Building on our knowledge of triads, let's move forward to chord construction.

Chords are built on triads and so we know how to construct three note chords.

Chord Construction
Time Signatures II - Compound and Odd Meter

This bass lesson covers compound and odd meter time signatures to help prepare you for a wider range of musical settings.

Learn to take the bass guitar into any setting and understand exactly what is going on.

Time 103 - Subdivisions Advanced

So, how do we create a great bass line?  How do we fulfill the functions of the bass by contributing rhythmically?

At the heart of rhythmic propulsion is subdivision.  This advanced exercise prepares you for both playing with important rhythm section elements and increasing the possibilities for rhythms in the bass parts you create.  It also increases rhythmic precision for any bass part you choose to play.

Practice with a metronome and start slowly -- 50 beats per minute or so.  Once this is comfortable, practice in a variety of tempos, both faster and slower.

Enjoy this bass lesson.

Time Signatures Extra Practice
Triads - Versions

A triad is a group of three notes that form a fundamental unit in music.  The three notes of a triad are a root, a 3rd and a 5th.  Triads are the basic building blocks of chords, scales and keys.

This is the beginning of a mastery of harmony.  Knowing these forms is essential.

Key Objective:

To learn the four triad types and their multiple fingerings.


Commit these four triads to memory and have fun playing them in different positions on the neck.

*Essential learning.

Bass lesson on covering different versions of triads.

Triads - Applied

This bass lesson teaches you how to apply what you've learned about triads to any musical setting.

The Chromatic Scale - II

A valuable lesson can be learned from the chromatic scale about how to maintain the position of the left hand on bass guitar.  

Generally, it is helpful to maintain your position (the frets you are playing over) in a particular key.  This way you can easily call upon the tools you have (scales, triads, etc.) to play within that key.

This bass lesson focuses on developing the skill and muscle memory to maintain your position when you play so that you always know where you are.

Practice this incredibly useful form of the chromatic scale so that returning to a position of strength is automatic.

The Blues Scale Revealed

This bass guitar lesson teaches you the blues scale.

Chord Construction - 7th Chords

This bass lesson teaches you chord construction for the bass guitar expanding to 7th chords.

E Major - Two Octaves

The Ultimate Guide to Chord Order

This is an extremely important bass lesson on chord order.  Essential learning.

Chord Order
The Number System: Essential Knowledge
Understanding Chord Progressions
Triads and the Major Scale
Music Theory III - Chord Functions
Pentatonic Major and Minor Together
The Ultimate Guide to the Dominant Chord
A Major - Two Octaves

Building an Artist Profile
Styles - The Blues

Lay it down like the Rock of Gibraltar.

Practice Modules - Levels 4, 5, and 6

Level 4 Session 1
Level 4 Session 2
Level 4 Session 3
Level 5 Session 1
Level 5 Session 2
Level 5 Session 3
Level 6 Session 1
Level 6 Session 2
Level 6 Session 3

Part 3

What You Need to Know About Bass Strings

This bass guitar lesson covers the two major string types and the strengths of each.

The Ultimate Guide to Bending and Vibrato

This bass guitar lesson looks at two forms of bending (n time and the quick bend) and two forms of vibrato (classical and modern) as applied on the bass guitar.

Chords - Inversions and Voicings that Sing
Seventh Chords and Arpeggios
Pentatonics - The Five Shapes

F Major - Two Octaves
The People's Key -- Welcome to the Village
Chord Shorthand
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