Bass guitar - harmonic layering Part 1

This course is aimed at equipping bass players with the musical tools to negotiate any harmonic chord progression and play fluid, fluent bass lines. It spans 6 lessons over two parts – this is Part 1.

*If you’re interested in being fully prepared for this intermediate level course, check out our 3 lesson, beginner  Bass guitar boot camp. Also, if you’re not sure what ‘harmonic layering’ is – join us in a free Facebook Live drop-in on 24 Mar; see the schedule for details.


This course is for bass players only.

What you should know before you start the course:
1. The notes on the fingerboard up to the 5th fret on each string. If
you can go beyond this, all the better.
2. C Major Scale – firstly the scale pattern, but also the names of the
notes and their interval/place within the scale.
3. A root position major and minor chord arpeggios.

The complete course is split into two parts with three lessons in each part. Part 1 covers the following:

Lesson 1

  1. We will learn the I-VI-II-V Diatonic Chord Progression.
  2. Play through the chord progression using Root movement.
  3. Add the remaining chord notes and play a series of random arpeggios patterns.
  4. Apply some rhythm to these fundamental bass lines.
  5. Learn the major & minor pentatonic scales.
  6. Play through the I-VI-II-V chord progression, superimposing the relevant major, or minor pentatonic over each chord.

Lesson 2

  1. Quick review of lesson 1.
  2. Learn to construct a bass line to play over I-VI-II-V chord progression.
  3. Learn to play a rhythmic bass line and link into each chord using a range of different harmonic devices.
  4. Add complexity using more syncopated rhythm & more longer harmonic fills.

Lesson 3

  1. Quick-fire review of lesson 2.
  2. Look at the song Brown eyed Girl / How sweet it is…
  3. Learn the bass line.
  4. Learn how the I-VI-II-V chord progression fits in with simple I-IV-V progression.
  5. Plug in the I-VI-II-V chord progression with harmonic fills.

Course Resources

  1. Course Preparation PDF.
  2. Chord chart for song.
  3. Course PDF workbook that includes fingerboard diagrams, standard notation & TAB.
  4. Backing tracks
  5. Mini video tutorials

Each lesson will include:

  1. A lesson PDF with arpeggio, scale patterns and sample bass lines
  2. A video example of specific bass lines/riffs
  3. A backing track for you to practise at home with.

Buying options:

  • All lessons  – this is our recommendation , regardless of your level. It’s a secure way of covering all the necessary subjects and it’s the best value for money.
  • Pick and mix one or two lessons – if you’re confident that you meet the entry requirements.


What’s it like on a course?
The bulk of each lesson is obviously the teaching (usually with a minimum number of questions taken along the way) but we dedicate the end slot for formal Q&A. Being online means that players can elect to either have total privacy with their mic on mute and video disabled or switch them on and join in with questions or even work along with the tutor. The lessons, over and above the outlined specific subjects, try to give you the tools for self-improvement.

A quick note about the materials
We’ve always recognised that the real work takes place after a course and that’s why we pay special attention to the materials in order to help with home practice. The earlier you book, the earlier you get access to the core materials.

Course suitability in general
Check out our guide to player levels v course categories. The course is online and materials are provided and so it might still be useful for players who consider themselves below the required standard.

Overall objectives and a reality check
Yes – our courses are there to look at the advertised subject matter but we also like to challenge players and give you great techniques and practical theory/know-how to work on in your own time. Don’t expect to completely nail a whole song or to be able to fully in command of all techniques or understand every bit of practical theory on the course; it’s fantastic if you can but be patient and work diligently through the material at home. Apologies to anyone who hates the use of above split infinitives!

Call us for a chat at any time
Whatever level you are, you’ll have lots of takeaways to work on later. If you’d like to go through the course please call or email.

Full Course Overview

Complete the following form and send to receive the Course Overview

    * = Required Field


    Full Fee
    All lessons
    Lesson 1
    Lesson 2
    Lesson 3
    Enquire Book Now
    Can’t attend this course but might be interested in a re-run go on the Waiting List for the next one.

    Book your place on:

    If you have any questions, check out our FAQs. If you’re unsure, please Contact Us.

    * Required Field

    Your Details

    Who's coming on the course?

    (If this booking isn’t just for you then please tell us who the booking is for in the message area below)

    (If so then please tell us about them in the message area below)

    Attending As

    Ticket Price Quantity
    All lessons £70.00 Sold out
    Lesson 1 £30.00 Sold out
    Lesson 2 £30.00 Sold out
    Lesson 3 £30.00 Sold out


    Any Balance payments would be due 6 weeks prior to the chosen course(s) or as detailed in the Joining Instructions (these instructions will cover: payment summary, directions to the venue, suggestions about what to bring, what to do on arrival, etc.). Contact us at any time if you have questions. Don’t worry about any additional items such as: staying an extra night, spouse/partner decides to come along at the last moment, etc.; these can all be reconciled as part of the Balance or simply as extras.

    Whether you’ve selected to pay the Full Fee or Deposit Only you can pay now online by card or later by card, bank transfer or cheque.

    Once you’ve paid your reservation will be checked and you’ll receive a confirmation email for your booking.

    Pay here using our secure online system.

    Once you’ve paid you’ll receive a booking confirmation email.

    The use of this website is subject to the following terms of use: The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice. This website uses cookies to monitor browsing preferences. If you do allow cookies to be used, the following personal information may be stored by us for use by third parties. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements. This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these terms and conditions. All trade marks reproduced in this website which are not the property of, or licensed to, the operator are acknowledged on the website. Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence. From time to time this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s). Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use of the website is subject to the laws of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

    Pay Now