I’m still quite new to the whole bass playing thing and I’ve been looking around the App Store for instructional apps. Whilst the scope is limited for bass guitar itself, the arena of musical tuition is incredible. I so wish these things existed when I was a kid and was trying my hand at all kinds of different instruments.
For now, though, I’ve settled on Yousician, an app that covers four instruments including bass. They have instructional video and exercises that can pick up your playing and make sure you’re doing it properly. Of course there are badges and rewards, and a daily goal, but for the most part, Yousician is just a good encouragement to pick up the bass each day, learn something new, and get a bit of practice.
At first, the app was straining to hear what was being played through the iPad microphone, but that wasn’t a very good solution. Built-in audio devices aren’t the best at picking up bass notes, so I kept missing out on full points despite playing as best I could. So, I invested in an iRig Pro kit that acts as a go-between for the guitar and the device, and now Yousician never misses a beat. I do, I miss plenty, but still.
Alongside working through lessons in the app, there’s also the joy of split-screening guitar tab apps and Apple Music. Listen to the song, work through the notes, play along. Once I start, I find this incredibly addictive – the joy of playing alongside the rabbit-hole of finding good bass tracks.
And once I’m done with all that, I watch videos of people, particularly Este Haim, playing bass and wish I was better. Like I said a couple of months ago, I really didn’t need another hobby, but this one has got right under my skin.