TG Bass Tutor

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Tony has answered some of the common questions his students have asked him over the years:

About Tony

Where are you based?

I’m based in Stockton-on-Tees, North East England.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a range of qualifications including a Batchelor’s degree, a PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education) and Grade 8 in Bass Guitar from the Registry of Guitars. My technical knowledge combined with my teaching qualifications and experience allow me to provide a unique learning experience for all of my students,

What kind of bass do you play?

I mostly play 4-string and 5-string fretted basses, I also specialise in fretless bass and have an upright bass too! My favourite styles are rock/metal, blues, jazz and pop.

Have you ever performed live?

Yes I’ve been performing live since I was 15 and I’ve played in many bands over the years, including a metal band, a party/function band and most recently an Irish folk band.

What sets you apart from other teachers?

My combination of teaching experience, and knowledge and expertise of the bass guitar. I’ve been teaching students the bass for over a decade and I also teach English to foreign students. This combined with my PGCE qualification means that I have a range of approaches and experience that I can draw on when teaching students the bass.

All of my lessons cover common pitfalls like unnatural or uncomfortable technique and posture, confidence when playing live, timing and playing with a metronome, how to create basslines, bass player mindset, and putting music theory into practice.

What is your teaching style?

My years of experience have developed a style of breaking down learning into bite-sized chinks and have led me to a successful approach where I:

  • Always start by working with you to assess, explore and set realistic goals: I definitely encourage you to come to your first lesson with an open mind!
  • Know that practice needs to be realistic and engaging: I believe that part of the magic happens with regular practice but I won’t send you away with endless scales to drill before you get to play music!
  • Incorporate just enough music theory into my teaching: this foundation is vital but I know the best way to teach it so that you can play the way that you want to (and I can go into more depth on the theory if that’s what you want!)

Overall, I support your learning style and tailor my approach to how structured you want your journey to be.

Do you do grades or exams?

I teach students up to Grade 8 Bass (Registry of Guitar Tutors) and can help you prepare for all of your exams.

I have a specific goal, how would you help me to meet this?

I start every new student lesson by working with you to assess your current level, explore where you aspire to get your bass playing to and set realistic goals that we can aim for. I will then structure lessons around these goals, providing you with all of the steps and resources you need to progress.

Where can I find examples of your teaching?

My YouTube channel is full of content that can give you a sense of who I am and what it’s like to work with me. You can also pick up tips and tricks on my Facebook page.

Do you teach guitar?

I don’t – my main instrument is bass but I do also offer ukulele lessons.

About getting started

How do I book a lesson?

Go to my student registration page and complete the form, and I’ll be in touch to arrange a time and date.

Do I need to spend a lot of money on equipment or software to get started?

In short – no. In general, the price of your equipment doesn’t matter as long as it is set up correctly and works properly. Of course, how much you want to spend is up to you, and an investment in good quality equipment will generally be worth it in the long run, both in terms of durability and the playing experience.

If you do have a specific piece of equipment or software in mind, feel free to bring it up in a lesson with me.

What are the payment options?

You can pay for in-person lessons in cash, or by using Stripe, PayPal or bank transfer; online lessons must be paid for electronically.

Can I buy lessons in blocks?

There are a number of options to structure your lessons, including for 30-60 minutes and in blocks of 5, 8 or 10 (with a 5%, 8% or 10% discount).

1 hour lesson£26
45 minute lesson£22
30 minute lesson£20

Available Block Bookings

10x 1 hour lessons£234 (10% discount)
8x 45 minute lessons £162 (8% discount)
5x 30 lessons £95 (5% discount)

If you would like your lesson at home or place of work, I do charge a fee of £0.55 per mile travelled from my home.

These prices and offers are non-negotiable and subject to annual review. Remember you can also refer a friend and get 20% off your next lesson!

How do online lessons work?

I usually hold online lessons over Skype. Zoom became very popular during the pandemic but I’ve used Skype for years, particularly because it lets you access the chat after the call has ended, so you can refer back to any links or resources I’ve shared.

To get the best online experience, I recommend that you:

  • Use an external camera and microphone, as this usually provides better audio/video quality than using your computer’s built-in camera and microphone.
  • Have reliable access to an internet connection with a speed of at least 2MB per second.

About learning the bass

I struggle to practice after a lesson, can you help me with that?

I’ll always adapt your practice to your style and goals. Difficulty practising is a big barrier to learning as well as improving once you get started. Part of the magic happens with regular practice but I know that practice needs to be realistic and engaging, so I won’t send you away with endless scales to drill before you get to play music! Instead I’ll give you structured guidance, and share all of your lesson notes on a shared drive after each lesson, so you can access them wherever you are. 

Is bass the same as guitar?

Bass is the part of the guitar family, however the role, approach, pitch and size of the instrument is completely different to electric or acoustic guitar.

Is bass harder to learn than electric or acoustic guitar?

For some beginners it might feel easier than guitar, although, in reality it’s neither easy or difficult; just different to guitar.

It hurts when I press down the strings – is this normal?

Some mild pain/discomfort is normal when playing any instrument for the first time. Any long-term problems could be your bass setup, your string gauge, your posture or technique and so on.

About the online shop

How do I join your Patreon?

You can go directly to my Patreon site.

Can I buy individual books or transcriptions?

You can also buy individual products at my Etsy shop.

I currently has two e-books for sale:

•          Bass for Guitarists

•          Things I Wish I Knew When I started

And I’ll also be releasing two new courses very soon:

•          Don’t fret: Fretboard mastery

•          Beginning Blues Bass

I haven’t received my ebook

Please check your Spam / Junk folder – it may be hiding in there. If it’s not then please get in touch using the contact form.

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