How To Learn A Song Quickly On The Bass Guitar

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Hey Groove Masters – let’s talk about how to learn a song quickly on the bass guitar.

James here…

It all started coming into focus. After 8 long hours we were coming in to land…

Being a musician is one of those things I’ll always be grateful for. Every so often it enables me to have some remarkable experiences. This was one of them.

A few months back my band Metropolis were asked to perform at the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm in Dubai - one of the most exclusive hotels in the world.

After an incredible gig, we were on the plane home (Emirates to be precise - I highly recommend them!). I had a really sore head (the least said about that the better) and one of my most pivotal bass ideas came into focus.

When you land in London, on a clear day you get to see the most beautiful Thames River and you can see it for miles. Zooming out gives you an amazing perspective.

On the gig in Dubai, we had to learn a bunch of new songs… fast. Zero rehearsal, just a fraught sound check.

This can be stressful, but I’ve worked out a bunch of hacks which can make this much simpler. Having had to do this a bunch of times in my career, it was on this landing I really started analysing how I do this.

This is all about ‘zoom out’ and learning at a song from 40,000ft.

Discovering these ideas has allowed me to perform songs I’ve never even heard before, without any rehearsal.

In this lesson you'll learn:

  • The 3 questions I ask before attempting to learn any song
  • How asking a few questions can enable you to gig a song you’ve never even heard before.
  • Why having a ‘global overview’ of a song makes learning it so much simpler.


I’d love to know how you learn a song, please share your tips below the video in the comments...

As always, keep groovin' hard.


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