Waiting List For Next Run Of The Challenge

The McCartney 30 Day Challenge is Now Full.

It will run again reasonably soon (and in fact some students may drop out of the current run). To get priority notification of a place becoming available OR when the McCartney 30 Day Challenge will run again, please sign up with your best email address to the Waiting List by clicking the link below and using the form on the linked page.


Do You Know The Two Pioneers Of The Bass Guitar?

Talking about pioneers - you probably know that Leo Fender invented the instrument that became the Fender Precision in 1951 (that's a picture of a 1952 Fender). So by the early 60s the electric bass was barely 10 years old and the players who did use it were:

  • upright players who played Fender bass because it was easier to record with or amplify
  • guitarists who doubled on Fender bass

Because the electric bass was effectively a new instrument that means there was no history associated with the instrument in any genre in terms of how to play the instrument, what to play on the instrument and so on.

The first players were already musicians from other instruments and essentially what they did was bring musical ideas from those instruments (whether upright bass or guitar) to the electric bass.

But the electric bass didn't really start to come into its own as an instrument until the early 60s with the work of the two pioneers I asked about in the headline above.  Those two pioneers are of course...

...James Jamerson &  Paul McCartney


There are lots of interesting parallels in the careers of Jamerson and McCartney:


  • Jamerson and McCartney both brought pre-existing musical knowledge to the bass guitar.  Jamerson was an upright bass player who played jazz and McCartney played guitar and piano before switching to bass
  • Jamerson and McCartney's development as bass players is well documented on recordings that demonstrate a progression from a basic but functional style to a much more complex and sophisticated style
  • Both players styles stopped expanding when their musical situation changed - Jamerson and Motown parted company as did Paul McCartney and the Beatles.  Whilst they would both produce work beyond these musical situations...their best and longest lasting work was done in this period


There are a couple of crucial differences between Jamerson and McCartney though:


  • Jamerson's playing was influenced primarily by jazz which he continued to play throughout his Motown career whereas McCartney's playing was influenced by a combination of blues, country, jazz standard and even pop songs of the day - all of which The Beatles played and were exposed to in their famous early 60s stints in the Hamburg strip clubs
  • Jamerson was a strictly a session guy whereas McCartney was a songwriter and when the Beatles stopped touring at the back end of 1966 McCartney was able to spend more time crafting and 'composing' bass lines.  And often his line was the last thing that got added to a song (this also coincided with changes in recording capabilities).


Now Whilst McCartney's Work Is Well Documented...


...you can buy the Beatles Complete Scores for example which has all complete scores for all the songs the Beatles released in their careers (though the accuracy isn't 100%) - there aren't really any stylistic studies of McCartney's work in the way that there are with Jamerson's, even though there are far fewer transcriptions of Jamerson's work available.

And that's a shocking hole in the literature of the bass guitar.

Because McCartney was just as influential as Jamerson and his work with the Beatles deserves to be analyzed at a deeper level.

Having transcriptions of his work available and playing them simply doesn't translate to helping a bass player improve his 'Bass IQ'.

To do that we need to:

  • Analyze thousands of bars of bass playing from transcriptions of McCartney's work
  • Do comparitive analysis on these transcriptions to isolate common vocabulary
  • Codify that common vocabulary
  • Work out how that common vocabulary fits together to create complex bass lines
  • Systemize it so bass players just like YOU can learn it without doing the thousands of hours of work the above entails

Even that is not quite enough...there's still a missing piece of the puzzle...

So What's The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle?

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle in developing your "Bass IQ" is having a system that allows you to take the devices that have been analyzed, identified and codified and allows you to start putting these elements to work in bass lines that you've composed.

That system is a big part of all of my "player 30 Day Challenges" and it's called deliberate composition.  And today you've got the opportunity to learn deliberate composition alongside learning the foundational bass devices that McCartney used in his bass playing...

which is why I'm excited to introduce...

The Paul McCartney 30 Day Challenge

Learn the foundational devices from the playing of one of the instrument's pioneers in a 30 Day Challenge!

First up, What Is A 30 Day Challenge?

Whether you've been following me for a few days or a few years one thing you may not know is that I'm a total geek about topics like deliberate practice and the neuroscience of learning and how to be a better teacher.

Recently I've been learning about the psychology behind "challenges" and how they can help to promote learning.

Here's how they work:

  • focus on a specific piece of skill in the discipline that you are learning
  • challenge yourself to practicing that skill for a relatively short period of time (days and weeks rather than months or years) - in this case 30 days organized into six practice weeks of 5 days
  • commit to practicing that skill each day for achievable practice sessions of 30 to 60 minutes for each of the 30 days of the challenge

There is plenty of neuroscience to back up that this approach works...but I took it for a test drive myself to see if it did - and that was with a bass related skill and a non-bass related skill.

And I was so impressed with the results that over the upcoming months I'll be running numerous 30 Day Challenges.  This is the third that I've set up (and I've incorporated material and approaches into this that I learned from the students on the first two Challenges).


The Specific Bass Skill I Chose To Work On For This Challenge

What I chose to work on for this challenge was teaching the foundational devices from Paul McCartney's playing and teaching both how you can learn them thoroughly so they become part or your own vocabulary and also how McCartney used them to create bass lines and show you exactly how YOU can do that too.

How Does The 30 Day Challenge Work?

The Paul McCartney 30 Day Challenge starts... 

...on Monday August 26th.  There will be 4 days of "pre training" that will start before that.

Every day a new lesson will go live in The Challenge...

As a 'learning principle' for the Challenge I'm guided by a concept called "One New Thing."  So every day you'll have to learn only one new thing - though please note that there could be sub-divisions of that 'one new thing.'  You'll get an email when the new lesson goes live and I post about it in the private accountability group as well.

(NOTE: the 30 Days of the Challenge are divided into six weeks of 5 days)

Each daily lesson...

...will take less than 30 minutes to read, watch the musical examples (every musical example is filmed) and absorb.

Putting The Daily Lessons Into Practice...

As well as downloadable backing tracks in MP3 format that you can use to practice with, each lesson also includes an Action Plan that you can use to guide you into practically transferring the teaching in each lesson to your bass.  (The practice tracks for suggested exercises are at different tempos so you can pick a tempo that's suitable to your ability level.)

Adding The Secret Sauce...An Accountability Group

Here's A Weird Pyschological 'Hack'

Focusing on something for 30 days is a proven way to acquire new skills, take existing skills to a new level...basically to get shit done.

But there's a simple thing that you can do on top of this that massively increases the chance that once you've started a challenge like this that you'll go onto complete it.

This simple thing is this: be an active part of an accountability group. (Sidebar: you may be thinking: this adds a heap more time to my daily allocation to the challenge.  You'd be wrong though...this can be done in 5 minutes or less.)


Private Facebook Group

For the 30 Day Challenge this accountability group will be a private Facebook group.

As I said above you can do this really simply.  At the very basic level it's a question of simply going to the group and under each post where I confirm that the latest day's training is live you simple type something like: Have seen the training and done my day's assignment.

If you commit to just doing that simple thing (as well as reading the training and doing the practice) then you just multiplied the chances of completing the 30 Day Challenge exponentially.

There's more you can do...but at the basic level that's it.


Other Uses Of The Accountability Group

You can also use the group to ask questions about the course material, or post observations.

If you have a question, there's a good chance that other folks in the group will have a similar question.  By posting your question in the group you're not only helping youself by getting an answer to something that you're not sure of (which is my failing...not yours!) but you're also helping your fellow students as they all get the chance to see the answer I post.


Sidebar 2: Weird Fact

I've done other trainings where we've used a private facebook group.  And I can usually tell within a few days which students will go on to complete the training (and improve their playing and get massive Return On Investment) and which students won't.

The metric I use to predict this success: how often they post in the Accountability Group.

That's it.

Posting in the accountability group regularly exponentially increases the chances that you'll actually practice and implement the material in the challenge.  If you do that...you'll improve your bass playing.

Don't Take My Word For It Though

I posted in the private facebook group for the first challenge a couple of questions: #1 How are you finding the Challenge Format?#2 Would you recomend this (or other) 30 Day Challenge to other bass players?  I screenshotted some answers for you to check out:

And this was posted in the Accountability Group for the second Challenge - and was completely unprompted:

So How Much Is The Investment In The 30 Day Challenge?

I wanted to make this challenge totally affordable but also be enough money so that those students who take the Challenge value what they've invested in and it gives them a kick to do the actual work.  (If they don't do the work...it's just information that's going unused and collecting virtual dust on the Interwebz).

For the 30 Day Challenge itself (plus the accountabilty group) I decided to make the investment required...

Just $100

To put that in context...it's less than the price of a fancy cup of coffee a day for the period of the Challenge...less than the price of a meal out at a reasonable restaurant for you and your family...less than the price I pay for my Internet/TV/Phone package each and every month (and you get unlimited access)...

On It's Own That Represents A Great Investment...

But If You Enroll Today...Here's What You're Going To Get

If you're ready to commit to the Paul McCartney 30 Day Challenge now then click the 'Join Now' button below and do your Paypal  or Credit Card Thang...

Need More Information Before You Make Your Decision?

Below are details of the bonuses:

Bonus 1 - Vanishing Tutorials Collection (value $97)

On the free how-to-play-bass.com site a tutorial goes live every Tuesday and then the following Tuesday it 'vanishes' and a new one takes its place.  So far I've done 24 of these....the plan is to do 50.  And if you want to know where these tutorials vanish to...it's their own collection of tutorials that you'll get permanent access to as a bonus to the 30 Day Challenge.

Bonus 2 - Deliberate Practice For Bass Version 1.0 (value $47)

In 2010 I wrote a 300 plus page book about applying Deliberate Practice for bass which used to sell for $77.  Now I no longer sell this book because my understanding of deliberate practice has outgrown what I originally wrote about - but the information isn't outdated in any way and is still 100% relevant.  One day I'll write Version 2.0 which will layer in the understandings I've gained in the last 8 or 9 years that go beyond this...but this is still a great place to start learning about what should be a foundational level topic but that: (a) no-one really teaches and (b) no-one who does mention it seems to properly understand

Bonus 3 - How To Practice In your Dead Time (value $47)

This is an eBook I wrote in 2011 about how you can use time when you don't have your bass handy to practice your bass. If you productively use 30 minutes of 'dead time' a day you'll get an additional 150 hours of practice in the next 12 months!  (Which is actually priceless!)

Bonus 4 - McCartney Song Tutorial Lessons (value $30)

This bonus consists of 20 McCartney song tutorials with interactive soundslice and videos.  Songs featured include Come Together, Rain, Help, All My Loving, Whilst My Guitar Gently Weeps and others.  Some of these will go live during the Challenge.

Bonus 5 - McCartney Isolated Bass Lines (value $30)

The game 'Beatles Rock Band' used authentic Beatles tracks - and these leaked out on the internet. If you don't know where to find them - or don't want to risk downloading from strange websites in the darker regions of the Web - then I've taken a bunch of these and screen captured them so you can listen to the isolated bass lines.  (Sometimes I captured bass and vocals).  These are really inspirational.

Bonus 6 - Creating A Paul McCartney  'Style' In Band In A Box Case Study (value $27)

Band In A Box is a great practice software that I constantly praise.  But you can do plenty of other practice things too...one of which is to create your own 'style.' If you create your own James Jamerson style then you can create sight reading etudes/Jamerson style lines at the touch of a few buttons .  This Case Study will walk through the process of how to do this. (This bonus goes live AFTER the end of the challenge).

Daily Lesson Format

Here's how each lesson is presented:

  • Text + Notation/Tab + Video

    Each of the daily lessons has its own unique web page in the 30 Day Challenge.  Lessons consist of text, musical examples and videos of the musical examples.

  • Downloadable PDF

    Each of the daily lessons is also available in PDF that you can download.  (At the end of the Challenge there will be a Complete PDF of the entire challenge available to download).

  • MP3 Backing Tracks

    Over the course of the 30 Day Challenge there will be a number of practice tracks that you can download, load to your MP3 player of choice and use in your practice space to implement the Action Plan available in each lesson.

  • All Musical Examples Filmed

    All of the musical examples in each of the lessons are filmed (at upper and lower ‘boundary’ tempos) and the videos are embedded adjacent to the appropriate notation on the lesson page.

One Final Thing To Note

Although Paul McCartney is the bass player that we're going to 'model' in this 30 Day Challenge..... the Challenge is (counter-intuitively)  NOT about trying to sound like Paul McCartney.

McCartney is rightly considered a great and influenctial bass player who produced great bass lines like Something, Come Together, Rain and others that are loved and admired in equal measure by the majority of the bass community.

But if you study McCartney (like I have ) you'll see that it took him several years of playing before he was able to produce these revered bass lines.

And what's important is that the vast majority of the devices he used in those earlier years are still present in the later Beatles period.  The main difference between the two periods is the rhythms being used to execute his ideas.

We're going to learn these foundational devices so that they are part of your playing and we're going to learn how to put those devices together to create YOUR bass lines. And we'll get to some advanced rhythms and materials in the last two weeks of the Challenge.

Day 14  100% Money Back Guarantee:  I know that you'll find the unique tutorial combination of video, notation/tab and backing tracks in the  Paul McCartney 30 Day Challenge will help you step up your bass playing, understanding of bass line creation AND putting your own bass lines together.

I want you to be just as confident with your purchase though, so there's a guarantee period.  If for whatever reason you're not satisfied by Day 14 of the challenge all you have to do is drop me an email and let me know.  I'll refund your purchase ASAP with no hassles and no hoops to jump through, and we can part as friends.

To enroll, simply hit the bit yellow JOIN NOW button below.  That will take you to the offical enrollment page on my 80-20 Site. If you've never accessed anything there before then set up an account using your best email address and a password and then proceed and do your Paypal Thang.  (You can also enroll using credit card).

When you go to a gig, a jam or a rehearsal or play with other musicians  no-one will care whether you can play  diminished scale licks or machine gun triplets or non-muddy chords.

Instead they'll ONLY care  about you filling your role as a bass player.  In his time with the Beatles in the 60s,  Paul McCartney was one of the two pioneers who developed and defined what the role of a bass player could be.

Taking this 30 Day Challenge will start you on the process of incorporating some of his foundational playing devices into your toolbox plus we'll learn how to start developing original bass lines using McCartney's foundational devices and ideas.

Paul Wolfe/how-to-play-bass.com

P.S. In case you're one of those people like me who likes to skip to the end...here's the deal:

When you join the Paul McCartney Level 1 30 Day Challenge (for just $100) you're going to get access to a unique 30 Day Challenge that will improve your bass playing, improve your understanding of constructing bass lines and kick start the process of confidently creating your own interesting bass lines modelled on the earlier playing of one of the guys who defined what the bass could be!  Plus there's several hundred dollars of bonuses....so you've got value for money BEFORE you even go to the first pre-training day!

  • Q.Do I Have Access To The Lessons For Just The 30 Days Of The Challenge?


    The Lessons will appear on a daily basis….once the Challenge is complete you will  retain unlimited access to the Lessons.


    The Accountability Group will only remain open for a few days after the 30 Days is over.  (And remember that the 30 Days is structured into six learning weeks of five days).

  • Q.What Level Of Theory Do I Need To Have?

    A.Required theory level is pretty basic – you need to know what root notes and thirds and fifths and sixths and so on are.  And how to find them in specific keys or chord centres.