JamPlay Bass Lessons – A Comprehensive Review – > We hope you find Bass Player Center to be useful for helping you learn to play bass guitar. Our lessons focus on getting you started on bass by providing the foundation needed to build and grow your playing ability. If you’ve reached a point where you’re interested in a more comprehensive & professional level of instruction we offer reviews & recommendations for several online premium bass lessons sites.
Below is a comprehensive review of JamPlay Bass. As a subscriber to JamPlay, we are able to access and review what is offered to members of their site. This review was written in May 2020. We’ll continue to publish updates covering any new additions or changes to their site and services.
What We Like Most About JamPlay
One of the first things you’ll notice about JamPlay Bass is their staff of great teachers. From legendary famous bassists, to bass professors at top music colleges, we have not found a more impressive assembly of instructors at any other online bass lessons site – JamPlay has obviously made a significant investment in the staffing of their teachers.
Each instructor is accomplished in various styles and genres of playing bass, allowing you to choose and learn from those that best match your individual interests.
Below is a list of JamPlay Bass instructors. This is not the entire list – but should give you an idea about the kind of teachers they have at their site:
The lessons are structured in 4 Sections: Phase 1 Beginner Lessons, Phase 2: Advanced & Genre Specific Lessons, Phase 3: Learning Songs, and The Artist Series Lessons. Here’s a brief overview of each section:
Phase 1: Beginner Lessons
The lessons in this section begin with teaching you the essentials of playing bass, and then move in to intermediate level instruction. This phase is taught by 10 instructors each with their own style of teaching and approach to playing. You will find instructors covering a lot of the same topics. However, each provides their own perspective and insight on how to play bass – which adds a lot of value to each unique lesson. In total this phase has over 200 lessons.
Below is a free video lesson from JamPlay’s Brent-Anthony Johnson. It’s a free lesson that JamPlay posted on YouTube. So it doesn’t have the production quality or the interactive interface features you get as a member. But it can give you an idea of what some of the beginner level lessons are like…
Phase 2: Advanced & Genre Specific Lessons
Phase 2 lessons are more advanced and expand upon concepts and techniques taught in Phase 1. The focus is on learning specific genres of music, and building your skills in specific areas. Here are some of the genres and skills taught in Phase 2.
- Genres: Blues Bass, Metal Bass, Pop and Rock, Celtic Concepts, Jazz Bass, Walking Bass Lines, Funk Bass. Eight instructors teach this section with close to 150 genre-based lessons
- Skills: Intermediate Bass Techniques, Slap Bass, Right Hand Techniques, Playing in the Pocket, Sight Reading, Musical Bass Playing, Modes and Arpeggios, Applied Bass Theory, Creating Original Bass Lines, Modes, Intermediate Music Theory & Bass Concepts, Learning Songs by Ear, Pentatonics, Bass Maintenance, Modifying Your Bass, and more. There are 17 instructors that teach in this phase with over 340 lessons.
Below is a free video lesson from JamPlay’s Evan Brewer teaching a Phase 2 Lesson. It’s a free lesson that JamPlay posted on YouTube. So it doesn’t have the production quality or the interactive interface features you get as a member. But it can give you an idea of what some of the Phase 2 lessons are like…
Phase 3: Learning Songs
This phase of lesssons is all about learning songs. In total there are over 50 songs to learn – categorized by genre and level of difficulty. The cool part about learning some of these songs is that they are taught by the bassist who actually wrote the song. For example, Dave Ellefson (the bassist for Megadeth) teaches you how to play the song “Peace Sells” by Megadeth.
Each lesson begins with a “Song Demonstration” showing the instructor playing the bass line through the entire song. Each song is then taught in sections according to its specific parts. For example, the song “Peace Sells” is broken down and taught in these parts:
- The Intro
- Verse and Chorus
- Bridge and Solo Sections
- The Outro
- Slow Speed Version – song is played at a slower speed while the notes stay in the same pitch.
Artist Series Lessons
The Artist Series section features lessons taught by various JamPlay bass instructors (artists). The lessons focus on learning how to play in the style of each artist. These lessons are a little more informal than those in other sections. The instructors get in to a lot of technical specifics, but also cover things such as – working with other musicians, creativity, playing other instruments, etc… For example, one featured artist is Billy Sheehan. He covers a lot of the technical/skills aspects of his bass playing style, such as:
- Right Hand Technique, Tapping, Arpeggios, Harmonics, Bending & Detuning
But he also covers intangibles such as:
- His Bass Gear Philosophy, Songwriting, Playing in a Cover Band, Being a Bass Player In The Music Business
The Artist Series Lessons provide something for bassists at all levels. Whether you are an absolute beginner, or advanced bassist, you can take away something valuable from these lessons.
JamPlay Bass Lessons Review – Continued…
The Lesson Quality & Interface
You’ll notice right away the production quality and features of JamPlay’s videos and lessons interface. The high level of quality is much better than what we’ve found on other bass lessons sites – and definitely better than what you get from free lessons sites like YouTube. All lessons are capable of full 4K quality. As I mentioned earlier, the videos are played using different camera angles – making comprehnsion much easier. Here’s a screen capture of a lesson from Freebo, highlighting the different camera angles of the bass:
The lesson interface has powerful and useful features allowing for full interaction and control of what you’re watching. Some of the features include:
- Fully Responsive – Their interface works on any device you want to use – desktop, tablet, cell phone
- Slow Motion in the Same Pitch – You can slow down the video playback speed to 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. When the videos are slowed down, you still hear the notes at the same pitch – the notes sound the same no matter what speed they’re being played – see example below…
- Resizeable – You can increase or decrease the size of the interface allowing you to zoom in (or out) on what you’re seeing.
- Video Bookmarking – You can bookmark a section of any video to quickly access where you left off at a later time.
- Looping – You can select any section of a video to loop over and over. You can combine looping with slow down – which helps tremendously with what you’re trying to learn.
- Progress Monitoring – Each lesson provides a progress monitoring feature that remembers and shows you how far along you have progressed through each lesson.
- Supplementary Materials – Lessons include interactive tabs & notation, and downloadable .pdf files of the tabs & notations.
Tool & Other Features
JamPlay provides very powerful “Scale Generator” tool. I’ve used a lot of scale generating tools and apps, and JamPlay has one of the best I’ve seen. It allows you to set a tuning, enter a scale key, and see it’s notes on a fretboard. But it can also show you the triads, tonality in various modes, interval functions, blues notes, pentatonics, exotic version, and more. This is very helpful for understanding the composition and notes of songs or bass lines you want to learn and play.
Here’s a screenshot showing one aspect of JamPlay’s Scale Generator:
This is one of our favorite sections of JamPlay. This section provides close to 1,000 exclusive backing tracks for you to jam along with! The tracks are categorized by genre and key. Each comes with tabs and notes explaining the key and chord progression, as well as suggested scales to play over each track. These supplementary materials are also downloadable.
JamPlay Bass Lessons Review – Continued
What We Like Least About JamPlay
There are not a lot negative things to say about JamPlay Bass. One of the only real gripes we have is that we wish they had a little more content. Some of this stems from knowing what I do about the JamPlay Guitar Lessons section of the site. For example, the guitar section includes a “Riffs & Licks” section and a “Song Writing” section. It would be nice to have sections similar to these for bass. We also wish there were more songs to learn in the “Learning Songs” section. There are plenty of songs to learn, but we wish there was more variety with the types of genres.
With all that said, JamPlay does make it clear they are always looking to grow and improve their site. Since we’ve been a member, we’ve seen them make a lot of additions and improvements. I think they also value feedback from members. Additions and improvements are often made (they claim) in response to requests from members.
Is JamPlay Right for You?
JamPlay bass is one of the best online bass lessons sites available today. That’s a result of the investment they’ve made to provide the highest level of quality instruction – packed in to a high quality site that is functional with useful features. It’s also a result of not having many other viable options when it comes to quality, premium online bass lessons sites!
There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to sign up for online music lessons. The site and service you choose needs to be the right fit. And by “right fit” we mean it needs to be capable of meeting your personal goals and objectives. If you’re goals or objectives are aligned with the ones we’ve listed below, JamPlay Bass would be a great fit for you…
- You are a beginner bass player who wants to learn the proper fundamentals, skills, and techniques for playing bass. All of JamPlay’s instructors are accomplished bassists and teachers who have spent years studying, teaching and playing the bass. You can rest assured that what you’re learning is the correct way to play the bass.
- You need a structured environment for learning bass. Whether you are a beginner or advanced level bassist, it’s important to establish the foundations of playing that you can continue to build upon as you progress through more advanced topics. JamPlay provides this type of structure that is needed for learning to play bass.
- You are an intermediate to advanced level bassist who would like to take your playing ability to the highest levels. Advanced players will find all of JamPlay’s lessons to be educational and valuable. Their advanced level lessons can provide many months (or years) of challenging material that focuses on learning and improvement in just about any area. The beginner level lessons are also valuable for learning any fundamentals, techniques, skills, theory, etc.. that you want to relearn, or that need improvement.
- You are willing to put in the time and effort to learn bass guitar. No online music lessons site is going to teach you how to play if you’re not willing to put in the necessary time and work to learn and practice. If you’re committed to putting in the effort to learn, JamPlay can get you where you want to be as a bassist!
JamPlay’s Membership Fees
JamPlay is a subscription-based service. You sign-up for monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions. Subscriptions can be cancelled with no penalty at any time.
DOES JAMPLAY OFFER A FREE TRIAL?
Here is a break down of JamPlay’s Membership Fees:
|FREE TRIAL||FREE||7 DAY FREE TRIAL|
|Monthly Subscription||$19.95 billed each month – cancel any time||Full Access to JamPlay Bass|
|Quarterly Subscription||$49.95 ($16.95/month) billed every 3 months – cancel any time||Full Access to JamPlay Bass|
|Yearly Subscription||$159.95 ($13.33/month) billed every 12 months – cancel any time||Full Access to JamPlay Bass|
JamPlay Bass Lessons Review