Learn Songs (Not Scales) For Bass Guitar – The Ultimate Song Resource for Beginner and Intermediate Bass Players

‘Learn Songs Not Scales’ is my motto – and I also believe that it’s the best way for someone to learn the bass, or improve on the bass – I’ve even written a book that explains why this works and how to do it!

Because of this belief, I’ve turned my membership site First Bass And Beyond into one of the best resources on the web for song tutorials for beginner and intermediate bass players.

How First Bass And Beyond Works

  • First Bass And Beyond is based on a ‘magazine’ model – every Friday at 5PM GMT a new issue goes live
  • Each issue contains two song tutorials in notation and tab along with a video so that you can see and hear how each part of the tutorial should sound. (Often a bass less backing track and/or MP3 files generated in Band In A Box are available for practice.)
  • There is also a main transcripton in First Bass And Beyond – this is available in notation and tab (but no video)
  • Additional columns in the magazine include Deconstructing Tommy Shannon and Bass Theory 101 (see below)

That’s 100 Song Tutorials Delivered Weekly Over The Next Year…

  • In addition to the 100 song tutorials that will be published in the magazine over the next year, you also get access to the ‘archive’ of the free How To Play Ezine. Currently there are 34 song tutorials in there.
  • You also get access to the Bass Beginners Course – there are 38 song tutorials here (25 in the course and 13 bonus tutorials).
  • There’s also 50 songs in the Quickguide’ section. The video parts of these tutorials are found on YouTube – but in the members area you get the complete tutorial with notation/tab in PDF and bass less backing tracks.

By the end of a year’s subscription that adds up to over 200 Song Tutorials!

So What Exactly Is In First Bass And Beyond?

First Bass And Beyond combines a weekly PDF ‘magazine’ plus video tutorials and web page tutorials. In the magazine you’ll get:

  • Two complete song tutorials in notation and tab. The song tutorials also have downloadable video lessons. And often (but not always) there are either bass less backing tracks to play along with or specific song section backing tracks (e.g. chorus, verse, bridge) for you to learn the song sections in isolation.
  • A complete transcription of a bass line. This is usually intermediate to advanced level and is presented in notation, and then in notation with tab. There are no video lessons to go with the main transcription.
  • Theory 101 Tutorial Column. This is an ongoing column looking at music theory for bass players. What is unique about this series is that this theory column is presented from the viewpoint of the bass guitarists and the majority of examples are taken from real world bass lines
  • Deconstructing Tommy Shannon. This column deconstructs the bass lines of Tommy Shannon (as played with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble) to find out what kind of rhythms he uses along with how he puts his lines together (notes, devices, approaches etc)
  • Ask Paul. This column is currently been running for over 35 issues. You ask questions about bass…I answer them. Sounds simple, but there’s been some great questions recently!

There’s still more though.

Premium Subscribers Will Also Get This…

  • 30 Lesson Bass For Beginners Course. This is a course I created covering basic left and right hand exercises, learning the notes of the fretboard, basic rhythm training, a bunch of articles on good practice habits and of course a bunch of song tutorials. The Bass for Beginners Course contains downloadable PDFs plus is in a ‘web page plus embedded video format’ as well. It sells separately on the HTPB website for $127.
  • Access to the ‘Quickguide Section. This is a section that contains more song tutorials – you may have seen the tutorials on YouTube but this section contains the full tutorial with notation/tab in PDFs and bass less backing tracks of the songs where I use them.
  • Access to the ‘free monthly ezine’ archive. So there are currently around 35 song tutorials from the free monthly ezine….the only place they can be found in one location is in the Archive section of the membership site of First Bass And Beyond.(Value – $47)
  • Access to the web based version of the Theory Column. Every musical example in the column is played on video so you can see and hear the theory examples to give you a complete picture and complete understanding of the theory topic being taught. Currently we’re nearly up to lesson 30 in this series and topics covered so far include basic intervals, major and minor triads, time signatures and we’re just working through the modes of the major scale and chord/scale theory.
  • 10 Complimentary Back Issues (value $50). Your subscription is for the next 50 issues of First Bass And Beyond. We’re currently at Issue 268! – so there’s a lot of material in the archives. You can purchase back issues for either $4.00 or $6.00 each….but you get 10 issues of your choice as a bonus/thank you for joining! (THIS BONUS FOR ANNUAL SUBSCRIBERS ONLY.)


Standard Premium
Price $197 $217

Quarterly Installment Price 4 Installments
$67 each

50 Magazines delivered weekly in PDF format
Each magazine contains two complete song tutorials – that’s notation and tab in the magazine, plus a downloadable video lesson and often (but not always) backing tracks to practice/play along with
Each magazine contains a ‘main transcription’ – this is a complete transcription in notation, and notation with tab
Weekly tutorial columns – currently Bass Theory 101 and Creating Bass Lines From Chord Symbols
Premium Version Only!
Bonus: 50 Complete Quickguide Tutorials over the course of the next year each tutorial has streaming video, notation and tab plus bass less backing track – ($77)
Bonus: Access to the ‘free monthly’ ezine Archive (value $47)
Bonus: 30 Lesson Bass For Beginners Course (value $127)
Bonus: Learn Songs Not Scales eBook (value $15)
Bonus: 10 Complimentary Back Issues (Value $50.00) – FOR ANNUAL SUBSCRIBERS ONLY


  1. Access to the songs in the Quickguide Tutorials section isn’t immediate. A new song is posted in the membership area every week.
  2. The complete Bass For Beginners Course and free monthly ezine archive is available the moment I add you to the website.

Please Note That These Subscriptions Renew Automatically

So Who Should Join First Bass And Beyond?

If you’re a beginner or intermediate player, First Bass And Beyond is for you. If the ‘only’ benefit you got from First Bass And Beyond was to thoroughly cover the basics of the bass guitar with the 30 lesson Bass For Beginners course and then build on your technique by learning a bunch of the many song tutorials included…well,that’s plenty of bang for your buck.

Think what 30 pluslessons with a private instructor would cost….plus the travel time/opportunity cost of getting to the instructor. And you can take MY lessons to suit your schedule. Whenever you’re ready for a lesson, simply head over to the First Bass And Beyond website and log on!

But you’ll find value in some of the other content too. The weekly cost of the subscription works out to around $3.00 – if you were having regular lessons you’d probably spend more than that on gas or transport costs.

(A Note For More Advanced Players)

First Bass And Beyond is aimed squarely at beginners and low level intermediates. But that doesn’t mean there’s no value in it for players with higher abilities. I have a couple of subscribers who’ve been to Berklee and use First Bass And Beyond for the main transcriptions and some of the columns. But I have to be honest…if you’re at this level you should probably email me before subscribing!

The No Hoops No Hassles 30 Day Guarantee

I want you to be happy with your subscription to First Bass And Beyond – and I’m so confident you will be that I offer an unconditional 30 day guarantee. If for any reason you’re not happy with First Bass And Beyond then simply drop me an email letting me know and I’ll give you a full and immediate refund – no hoops to jump through and no hassles before you get your money returned.

Frequently Asked Questions

“1. I don’t read music…I’m worried that I won’t be able to access the information”

All the music examples are presented in notation AND tab, so non readers can access the infomation. Additionally there is video content for the completed Bass For Beginners Course, two song tutorial columns a week, and for the Blues Bass 101 column.

2. I’m really interested…but the one off payment is an issue, is there anything you can do?

The answer to that question used to be no…but things have been shitty for a while out there and I know what it’s like to be out there playing restaurant gigs for pocket change and a pizza. So instead of the one-off payment of $187 there’s also a option to pay quarterly payments of $57. And yep, I know that adds up to more than $187 over the course of a year, but there’s extra admin work for me involved in running this plan.

“3. I ‘m only a beginner on the bass – I’m concerned that a lot of the material will be above my level.”

Firstly, some of the material WILL be above your level. But there is a detailed 30 Module course specifically created for beginners….by the end of that course you should have made significant progress and understand a lot more. And you can always go back to earlier material from a more advanced position. Plus we’ve just started a new theory column that goes hand in hand with the Course for beginners.

“4. First Bass And Beyond sounds great….what do I do if I’m still not sure?”

If there is a specific area of concern, then use the Contact form and email me. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with an honest answer. Here’s the thing – if I don’t think First Bass And Beyond is for you, I’ll tell you. Don’t forget that you’re covered by my No Hoops No Hassles No Questions 30 Day Guarantee.

“5. Is There Any Way To See A Sample Before I Subscribe?”

Abso-freaking-lutely. Use the Contact form and let me know that you’re interested and I’ll send you a random copy that’s been published recently.

“6. What Genres Of Music Do You Cover?”

If you’ve seen the list of videos that are on the Index Of Video Tutorials then you’ll have a pretty good idea what I cover – stuff like classic rock, classic R&B, a bit of reggae, some pop-rock, some pop and even some jazzy tinged tunes. The main areas of music that I DON’T cover are jazz, country and gospel. If your heart is really set on learning in those musical areas then First Bass & Beyond is probably not for you.

Technical Details For First Bass And Beyond

Format: The videos are in M4V format – so they’ll play in the majority of media players. My recommendation is that you play them in either Quicktime or iTunes – both programs are available on Mac and PCs. Because the videos are in M4V format you can also transfer them to video compatible iPods or iPhones. The PDF files can be read (and printed out) with whatever PDF Reader you use – if you don’t have one, Adobe has a free downloadable reader available. The MP3 files can be loaded onto any MP3 player – or burnt to CD.

Delivery: All the course components are downloadable. The magazine component of First Bass And Beyond is published every Friday at 5.00 PM GMT, 12.00 PM EST. The high definition videos are usually uploaded a few days after the corresponding issue of First Bass And Beyond is published. You are notified of all updates via email.

Payment Methods: All payments are via PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account they are extremely easy to set up and use – or you can pay securely by credit card.

Currency: All payments are in US Dollars. Paypal will convert the USD amount to your own currency when you get your credit card statement. In some cases, depending on where you’re from, you may be able to see the conversion rate in your own currency before you pay (this feature is not available for all currencies though).

Compatibility: All M4V files, MP3 files and PDF files are compatible for both Macs and PCs. If you have any issues, don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll help you sort them out.

mac and pc

Support: If you’re having trouble downloading the different parts of each lesson, or finding software to open it, all you need to do is email me. I’ll get back to you with answers and help as soon as possible.

Concerns or Questions?

If you have any concerns please use the contact form and email me. In a recent email with one of my subscribers – a guy called Nigel – he wrote the following: “As a beginner with no access to an instructor, I’m so glad I found First Bass And Beyond – previously I’d found a course by (name witheld) which almost put me off the whole idea, in fact I did give up for a while.”

Or how about this from Todd: “the videos are a HUGE help. It’s one thing to look at a tab. It’s another to have you walk me through it section by section – with the video I ALWAYS get it.”

No-one else on the Interwebz caters for the Beginner and Intermediate player the way I do – I’m confident that you’ll be as happy as Nigel or Todd are when you join First Bass And Beyond.


Paul Wolfe, London,

PS: If you’re a beginner or intermediate bass player, this is the ONLY magazine that caters for you. There’s PDF and Video tuition, song tutorials, theory 101 for bass, and loads more. There’s lots of bang for your buck built in – and remember you’re covered by my No Hoops No Hassles No Questiosn 30 Day Guarantee.