What Bass and Tennis Have In Common?

Bass and tennis.

As I’m writing this I’m sitting at the tennis courts waiting for a match to start.

BTW, the weather is really nice and it will be my first outdoor session this season.

If you didn’t know, I’ve been playing tennis for more than 20 years.

I’m addicted to tennis as much as I’m to playing bass.

Here’s a picture of the courts I’m opening this outdoor tennis season on:

Anyways, I caught myself thinking about the latest bass course I’m designing for Bass Road Academy and I realized some of the fundamental concepts that make you a good tennis player apply to bass too.


Tennis is one of those sports that are highly frustrating to get started with.

That’s because of two factors that come into play:

1. There is a “tool” you’re using to play the ball, you’re not hitting the ball with your hands or feet which would be easier.
2. Proper strokes technique is necessary for you to enjoy tennis.

The same thing is with playing bass and starting out from zero.

The learning curve is a bit steep, it really is.

If you want to enjoy tennis, you need to have a proper technique in place.

If you don’t have efficient technique, you won’t be able to win points, aim the ball where you want it to go, and risk injuring yourself.

It is necessary to work seriously on technique on bass from day one.

Bass technique is what makes everything else possible, and you need to learn the fundamentals right from the start.

There is a learning process to it that you can follow.

If you start training tennis, you can’t really go straight to learning how to serve.

There is a specific learning path that’s more enjoyable and efficient to take.

Same with bass.

When starting out on bass you should always have in mind that the small steps you take one at a time, all lead to being able to play your favorite songs, impress family and friends or play bass on the big stage.

But to get really good at tennis or bass, it is not enough to understand the ideas and what you should be doing, you need to apply it.


I have a friend who started playing tennis in his 30s.

Four years later of steady progress and now he’s really enjoying playing local tennis league, singles, and doubles matches.

Looking at him now and his game, you would never tell he started playing tennis as an adult.

Some would think that you need to be young or have the talent to play bass.

That’s simply not true.

If you want to learn how to play bass, you can get started at any age.

LOL, as I used to say in one bass video I shot way back:

You just need will and lessons.

Practice is what makes you good at playing bass.

Knowing what to practice is important as well as laying down proper bass technique foundations.

Practice is what will take you from understanding what you should be doing to being able to do it.

When it comes to practicing bass, there is one thing you can do that will make it almost guaranteed that you’ll get better at bass:


Okay, this is what inspired me to write this article in the first place.

In tennis, if you’re a more consistent player, you’ll win more matches.

That’s a simple guarantee.

If you can consistently get one ball more over the net than your opponent, you’re a winner.

With bass, if you can perform a simple bass line from start to finish without making any (noticeable) mistakes, you’ll get more gigs.

You’ll be considered to be a good bass player.

In tennis, if you’re a player that goes for risky shots, winners at all costs – that simply means that you’ll just miss a lot of those shots.

Once you make those difficult shots, it will be spectacular, but is it worth the risk and ultimately loosing a match?

As a beginner bass player, if you’re consistent it means you’re on the right path.

You’ll make it.

You’ll achieve your dream of being able to play bass.

When I say consistent, I mean practicing regularly.

Short practice sessions are fine, but you need to be consistent with them.

It’s also important that when you practice, you do it well.

If it’s a concept you’re learning (like walking bass), you need to do all the practice activities and really dive deep into it until you achieve all the goals of the lesson.

It’s not enough to understand how it’s done, you need to be able to do it for real. Play it on the bass.

By the way, that’s one of the reasons I include playing assignments in the Core Learning Path courses inside the Bass Road Academy.

Because I strongly believe you’re guaranteed results if you do the work that’s necessary.

Work might be a strong word for learning how to play bass because with the right lessons and program it’s loads of fun.

So What Tennis Players Have In Common With Bassists?

They use efficient and proper playing techniques to execute the strokes.

Tennis players practice often to keep their skills sharp and improve their game.

Good tennis players are consistent.

Consistency is the result of technique, practice, and quality instruction.

Bass players also need technique, to get the music out there for everyone to enjoy it.

As a beginner bass player, you need to practice often to be able to keep improving.

Consistency is what will help you make your dreams a reality over a period of time, but first, you need to be prepared to be disappointed as it’s not a linear path. There are ups and downs.

A good bass player will spend more time on shorter lessons, mastering each one and practicing it thoroughly until moving on to the next one.

Because playing music on bass is not a sport, like tennis.

You’re not competing, you’re an artist.

You want to express yourself.

If my friend could learn how to learn to play a technical sport like tennis well, over a period of just a few years, and achieve his dreams, you can learn how to play bass!

The bass courses I’m working on are designed to take you from zero to being able to play your favorite songs and feel competent on bass.

Lessons are easy and doable.

No rush.

Learn, practice, and submit assignments. Sounds easy? It is.

Make a schedule and fit tiny slots of bass fun each week and you’ll be surprised at the progress you can make in a year.

If you need an organized online bass learning program to guide you, look into becoming a member of the Bass Road Academy.

When you become a member, you get full access to all the courses inside.

Not ready to become a member yet? Here you can signup for a free account if you want to get access to free lessons library and drum backing tracks for practice.

Okay, I need to close my laptop now – the session is about to start.

Keep grooving,