Bass Lessons

Philadelphia Upight Bass Teachers

Increase your knowledge of upright bass (double bass), or learn this string instrument as a beginner. Our teachers offer lessons to children and adults alike. We teach the basic skills, such as rest stroke and bowing, which apply to studies in jazz, classical, bluegrass and more.

Electric bass guitar is the foundation of a band. Working from tabs or standard notation, beginners will be able to follow along with their favorite songs in no time. More advanced students can learn theory and how to construct bass lines.

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An Introduction to Bass Instruction

What should you expect when beginning bass lessons? At Philly Music Lessons, we have bass instructors who specialize in both upright and electric bass, and will help students learn to play and understand the music they love. Whether they have some level of experience and want to continue to grow as a bassist, or are just starting out on their musical journey, our teachers can help identify their needs and goals. While we work toward fulfilling these goals, our teachers will provide the appropriate bass instruction for any level of student.

For Beginning Students

A beginner bass student can expect to learn the basics of his or her instrument. This includes how to tune it and where to find the notes. Students will also learn the fundamental techniques of playing, such as:

  • fingering the electric bass
  • bowing the upright bass
  • major and minor scales
  • time signatures
  • chords and arpeggios

Depending on the goals of the student and teacher, students can learn to read traditional notation, tab, or both. In addition to one-on-one guidance during lessons, teachers will show the student how to practice effectively on their own in a way that enforces good habits and develops a steady sense of time. Together, the student and teacher will lay out fundamental skills while also learning songs to keep the lessons fun and engaging.

 

For Intermediate Students

An intermediate level bass student will expand on the fundamentals to explore the specific styles of music that they enjoy playing and develop their ability to write and play their best bass lines.  At this level, students will study the role of the bass in an ensemble within various genres, and learn to use their knowledge to play collaboratively with others. Advanced playing techniques that may be more genre specific such as picking, slapping, and playing chords will be studied.

The student should also expect to study more advanced concepts in music theory such as jazz harmonies and playing in advanced time signatures. Improvisational soloing in various genres will be studied theoretically and practically. A fantastic tool for this is transcribing solos from the great players of the past! You can learn so much about the music theory and creativity required to make a great improvisation by carefully looking at what has been done before.

Musical instruments can be expensive and complicated investments that can feel daunting for people who are just starting out, but our teachers are there for our students every step of the way! Our instructors can help the student put together a bass rig with the perfect tone, features, and budget for their needs, as well as help them learn how to properly maintain the instrument throughout their studies. Students of all ages and ability levels will find Philly Music Lessons a fabulous place for growth that fosters a talent that will stay with them for a lifetime. We can help guide bassists of all kinds through the most important years of their development!


More about our electric and upright bass teachers:

Nicholas Krolak

I teach Upright Bass and Electric Bass. I received my B.A. in Jazz Performance from Moravian College in 2008, and I am currently in the Jazz Studies Masters Program at Temple University. I have toured extensively with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jessi Teich, The Frank Giasullo/Art Themen Quartet, and My Son Bison. As a teacher, I am able to teach any style while cultivating strong fundamentals. - Read More About Nicholas

Collin Dennen

I teach bass, guitar, piano, drums, and voice. I grew up in a musical household taking piano lessons from my mother, jamming on drums with my father in the basement, and writing songs with my younger sister. At 13 I discovered my love for bass guitar and enrolled in the Uptown Music Collective in Williamsport, PA. I attended Berklee College of Music where I graduated with a BA in bass performance and music education in 2014. Currently, I play bass and sing backup vocals for Philly-based indie rock bands Ellen Siberian Tiger and Mother Moses and for Boston-based Bengali Pop singer Prithwiraj Choudhury. - Learn More About Collin

Adam Kowalski

I teach Trombone, Euphonium, Electric Bass, Tuba, Trumpet, and Guitar, and I am a trombonist and educator in Philadelphia. I studied at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, where I earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2016. During my career at Temple I studied both Classical and Jazz trombone under the tutelage of Blair Bollinger of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Mark Patterson, an accomplished jazz recording artist and Broadway musician. I have also had the opportunity to perform in the Grammy-nominated Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band. Outside of Temple, I have performed with various local orchestras, bands and jazz bands. Currently I maintain a varied performance schedule playing trombone in a Philadelphia-based reggae band, as well as playing bass in an Indie Rock band. Through my teaching, I hope to instill in students a passion for learning and developing new skills. I believe in helping students to develop strong foundations in auditory skills (ear training) as well as fundamental facility and technique on their instruments. Through these means, students gain the tools necessary to facilitate new, exciting and rewarding learning opportunities for themselves to become life-long students of music. Read more about Adam

Dariel Peniazek

I first picked up a guitar at the age of eight and quickly fell in love with the music of many guitar legends such as Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King. Throughout high school, I played in a variety of contexts including hip-hop, rock n’ roll, funk, and r & b. While attending Mcgill University in Montreal, Canada, I fell in love with Jazz, and am currently finishing my degree in jazz composition and performance at Temple University. I currently maintain a busy schedule as a working musician in Philadelphia, and can be found performing in many different clubs around the city. When it comes to teaching, my belief is that students need to find the format in which music makes the most sense to them. There is no one theory or method, and my goal is always to present information in a way which allows the student to find their own voice throughout the process, while at the same time maintaining a focus on the theoretical and technical aspect of playing. Read More About Dariel

Jason Bachman

I teach Bass, Ukulele, Guitar and Piano. I grew up in central Pennsylvania playing music at my church and in my school's symphonic and jazz bands. After studying music composition and music recording technology at Lebanon Valley College I moved to Philadelphia to pursue music and recording. I love being a part of Philly's amazing music scene as a musician, teacher, producer, recording engineer, live mixing engineer and enthusiastic fan. I'm also a husband and a father of a beautiful little girl.
When teaching, I like to give my students a good balance of studying technique and learning songs. Good technique and a solid understanding of music theory is critical for a student to grow into a strong musician but it's important to keep students engaged and inspired by the music they love. I try to frame the technique and theory in the songs they want to learn play. I like to keep things positive and encourage the student's love of music and the role they are playing in making it. -Read More About Jason

Frank Rein

I teach trumpet, tenor and bass trombone, euphonium/baritone horn, tuba, and french horn. I also teach beginner piano, guitar, and bass. I came to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, from which I received the degree of Bachelor of Music with honors in 2016. I studied bass trombone with Barry McCommon, a top-call classical and jazz crossover artist in the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York area. The Philly music scene is wonderfully diverse, and I have the opportunity to perform with accomplished musicians in genres as diverse as jazz, pop/rock, R&B, funk, classical, gospel, reggae, klezmer, soul, punk, even Star Wars music! My favorite teachers have always helped hone my senses and my ability to teach myself, and I like to take that approach with my own students; together we can explore concepts in terms of our relationships to them, resulting in a deep understanding and personal connection to music. - Read More About Frank

Phil Smith

I teach GuitarBass and Banjo. I am a music producer, composer, guitarist, and teacher with a rich background in many different musical styles. I have a B.M. in Classical Guitar from the Oberlin Conservatory, and have extensive performance experience in rock, r&b, pop, gospel, latin, and world music. As a producer I have recorded and written with many of Philadelphia’s finest musicians and artists. My head is constantly filled with music, and my days are usually spent making that inner music come to life. It’s a joy to guide others into their own discovery of music, and it’s my duty as a teacher to equip students with skills (both technical and theoretical) that make playing music joyful and effortless. - Learn More About Phil

Steve Calabrese

I am a guitarist, singer, and songwriter born and raised in South Philadelphia. I began playing the guitar at age eight and instantly fell in love with all things music. When I was thirteen years old I was chosen to be the guitarist in the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble in which I was the guitarist for three consecutive years performing in and around the Philadelphia area. I attended the University Of Arts for music from 2008-2011. During my time at Uarts I formed The Steve Cal’ Band, an original blues/rock trio. Our 2014 album Room To Move was played on hundreds of radio stations around the world, topping multiple blues music charts. I’ve been teaching guitar for five years both privately and in local music shops. I really enjoy seeing my student’s progress in their guitar playing and overall musical knowledge. I personalize my lessons to the particular student’s level of ability and goals set in mind. -Read More About Steve

Dan Halma

I teach Guitar, Bass and Ukulele. I am a composer, sound engineer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher here in Philadelphia with wide ranging experience working in a variety of styles and settings. According to my mom I’ve been singing since I could talk (though I think she might be exaggerating slightly), but more concretely my musical journey began with piano lessons in kindergarten and continued by playing saxophone and singing in choir up through high school. Receiving my first guitar as my 13th birthday present proved to be a monumental moment in my life and nowadays it’s rare to see me travel anywhere without a guitar somewhere in my possession. My teaching style is based entirely on the needs of my students. Everyone learns differently and has different interests so I believe that keeping that at the forefront of any lesson plan keeps students interested and hungry to learn more. It’s my job as a teacher to not only illustrate the technical and theoretical side of playing music but also provide encouragement for them in their journey of musical discovery. - Read More About Dan

Alex Maio

I teach Drums, Bass and Piano.  I’m a full time teacher and performer in Philadelphia and a graduate of Temple University. I’ve taught a wide range of students from absolute beginners to working professionals.  For the last few years I have instructed multiple workshops and classes on Jazz improvisation for adults at Montgomery County Community College.  I have also taught classes, ensembles, and clinics privately and at public schools.  Currently I’m the percussion instructor at a K-12 private school in Bryn Mawr, PA.  In addition to teaching, I’m also an active performer in the Philadelphia music scene. - Read More About Alex

Joseph Primavera

I teach Guitar, Bass, Piano and Ukulele. I am a music educator, performer, composer and producer with over 15 years of experience. Since obtaining my Bachelor’s of Music in Performance from Temple University in 2007, I have been teaching private music lessons in the greater Philadelphia area to students of all ages and skill levels. My teaching style focuses equally on technique, theory and improvisation. I like to tailor the lessons to each individual student's goals and interests, all while focusing on the music that they find interesting and inspiring. In 2002, I was one of only two guitar players in Pennsylvania chosen for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. In 2010, I recorded the music for a full length documentary called “Libertopia". In 2011, I co-lead the launch of a recording program at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA. Since graduating with my degree in jazz performance, I have been featured as a guitarist performing in a variety of genres, and have contributed guitar to multiple recordings, including works recorded at Miner Street Recordings in Fishtown. In addition to guitar and music in general, I have been teaching audio engineering, production and mixing. I have also had a key role in the production and engineering for the albums of many local bands, including Juston Stens (former drummer for Dr. Dog), TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Grubby Little Hands, and The Looks of It (my personal project). In 2009 I founded Philly Music Lessons to bring a unique form of music education to my own neighborhood and to Philadelphia at large. Whether you are just starting out and want to learn some of your favorite songs or preparing for a college audition, I have the tools and experience to help you achieve your musical aspirations. Schedule a Lesson

Bass guitar is the foundation of a band. Working from tabs or standard notation our bass lessons will help beginners to follow along with their favorite songs in no time. More advanced students can learn theory and how to construct bass lines.