Fretboard Formula Review
It can be difficult to learn to play a musical instrument without a “live teacher,” and bass guitar is no exception. That’s why we were so interested when we learned that Alex Sampson, the bass guitar guru, has recently begun offering a new bass guitar course, called Fretboard Formula and further branded by the phrase “Master Class,” available through the website of the same name.
This course is in the form of a well-produced multimedia presentation that features many tools not offered by other courses, such as video tutorials, instruction regarding musical theory, and audio demonstration examples. The video material itself amounts to a whopping nine-and-a-half hours of valuable instruction.
The Fretboard Formula course is available in three versions: Platinum, Gold and Lite. The course material is the same among these versions, yet the most important difference is the fact that the Lite version is available through electronic download, whereas the Gold and Platinum versions offer the course books in hard-copy form and they also include other bonus material which is helpful as well.
Mindful of economy, we chose to review the Light version (electronic format) because it costs less than the other versions yet it teaches the same program, albeit with fewer bells and whistles such as online support and private help available to students through the Gold and Platinum versions. Another advantage of the Lite version is that, because it’s instantly available online, revisions and updates are easier and more frequent, and it’s always in stock.
Although the Fretboard Formula course material is extensive, it is organized exceptionally well. Each section is clearly marked and seems to “fit” perfectly within its chosen order of presentation. In fact, this base guitar course is the best-organized of any guitar course we’ve seen. Everything is at the student’s fingertips, yet the volume of material is outlined and organized so intuitively that the student is able to focus on the task of learning to play bass guitar without being distracted by hunting for information.
The course features an intuitive and interactive way to either learn to play bass, or to improve existing guitar-playing skills. Newbies and veterans alike will benefit from the wealth of valuable tools and techniques presented in the course. In particular, the curriculum is built around the concept of “fretboard fluency” in which the guitar player learns the geography of the fretboard as a foundation toward mastering playing the correct notes.
An additional plus of this course is the fact that by watching and learning from the video material, the student is able to practice while not only hearing the sound of the example music being played, but also by watching the music as it’s played by a master guitarist. This ability to both see and hear the music offer a huge advantage to guitar students who have perhaps experienced difficulties with other, less-comprehensive guitar courses.
In summary, we highly recommend the Fretboard Formula course for anyone who wants to learn to play bass guitar quickly and easily, since in our opinion this course offers the widest selection of tools and the best interface for teaching bass guitar.
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