Josh Needleman - Bass

Josh Needleman - Bass

Book a Lesson with Josh Needleman

Genres: Blues, Rock, Jazz, Pop, Classical, Bluegrass, Folk, Latin, Reggae, R&B, Funk
Specialities: Beginners, Jamming and Improvisation, Bass Techniques, Bass Theory

Bassist and author of the best selling bass instruction manual "Getting Around The Bass" Josh Needleman has taught electric and upright bass students of all ages and levels at Bananas at Large since 1997. Known for his patience, excellent playing ability, and thorough knowledge of technique, theory, reading, transcribing, and improvisation, Josh Needleman has inspired hundreds of bass players to improve. Josh is a regular transcription and video contributor to Bass Musician Magazine and has also recently co authored another bass instruction book for Hal Leonard Corp where he wrote 100 two page lessons (and played 201 sound samples) on jazz bass concepts for both electric and upright bass. "Jazz Bass Goldmine" hit the shelves on January 1st 2015!

Check out Josh Needleman's website here:
I offer bass lessons customized for your learning style.

Beginning to advanced bass players of all ages welcome.

I can teach you:
- Your favorite songs and many styles.
- Composing bass lines
- Timing and playing in the pocket
- How to jam (improvise)
- Right hand pizzicato techniques
- Left hand techniques (pull offs, hammer ons, slides, skips & more)
- Tone production (produce a great tone)
- Walking bass line construction & feel
- Outrageous slap bass (double thumb & more)
- Reading from chord symbols
- Bass soloing
- Reading from chord symbols
- Bass note reading
- Practical applied bass music theory

- Upright bass
  • Classical upright bass literature and etudes (with a bow = arco)
  • Jazz répertoire
  • Technique & theory
  • Roots music (bluegrass, folk, gypsy jazz, Latin)

I have been teaching bass full-time for 18 years.

I have a solid, fun, and effective program to move you forward on electric, upright, or fretless bass!


"I have been taking electric bass lesson from Josh for almost 3 years,
and he is the best teacher I could ever ask for. He knows all music
theory, playing styles, and musical genres like the back of his hand,
and can teach and talk about any with ease. He instructs a variety of
people, and he teaches each person exactly what they want to learn,
and is completely adaptable to any time of music. Some days when I
come in for my lesson, I just say: "Today lets learn something
rocking!" and not a minute later he's already teaching me the notes to
a Rage Against the Machine song, or I can walk into my lesson and say
"Let's play some jazz" and he will proceed to teach me some Miles
Davis or Charlie Parker songs. Josh is also adaptable to any level of
player, and can instruct people who have never seen a bass guitar
before, or he can instruct professional musicians. Josh is also super
helpful with preparing for an audition or performance. This year I am
attending the Stanford Jazz Camp, and needed to prepare two musical
pieces for my audition. Josh instantly offered extra lesson time, as
well as setting up an extra lesson before the due date. He also helped
me to record my audition pieces with his equipment, and mixed them to
sound beautiful. All in all, Josh is a master of the bass guitar, and
the perfect teacher. I highly recommend any musician looking to get
into the bass guitar to take lessons from Josh, and in no time you
will be an expert player!" ~Layne Ulrich San Rafael, CA

"I have been taking Upright Bass lessons from Josh for a little over 2
years. We have worked through a lot of classical material together
including the first Simandl book. He is very thoughtful in his
teaching approach. What I mean is he really pays attention and listens
to you and what you want to work on instead of forcing some certain
system. Everyone learns a little differently and Josh works with my
strengths and weaknesses. He offers great insight, tips, coaching and
mostly encouragement! I always look forward to my weekly lessons and
progressing as a player. Josh you really are a great Bassist and
teacher!" ~Mike Upton/Petaluma, CA

"Why didn't I do this sooner?! That's what you'll be telling yourself
after you start taking lessons with Josh. I thought I could learn how
to play bass on my own, but was frustrated because I wasn't
progressing beyond basic bass lines, so finally I decided to commit
the time and money to lessons. Wow! After 8 months, I am learning so
much, and can clearly see that it is well worth it. His book is
amazing, and exactly what I needed to unlock all the secrets of the
fret board. Josh doesn't miss a step of how you're playing and what
you need to be working on; timing, technique, musicality, and keeping
your enjoyment level up are all equally important to him. He has a
broad and extensive knowledge of music, and is intent on keeping you
well rounded. He's intuitive, fun to be around, sincere, and an
amazing bass player! His knowledge, ability, kindness, and enjoyment
of music make him an excellent teacher. It's obvious that he has put
lots of thought into his methods, and how to be the best teacher in
order to push you to reach your full potential. Thanks Josh! It's
working!" ~
Jeanine Seaver Petaluma, CA

"Josh Needleman has been my teacher on the electric bass for the past seven years and the double bass for the past three years. His expansive range of knowledge covering rock and funk to the more disciplinary genres of music, such as classical and jazz, has given me a solid and well-rounded foundation as a musician. I have not only immensely grown in technical ability, but I have also gained the necessary confidence for any future endeavors. I would like to thank Josh for the inspiration, my abilities on the two instruments, and the moral support and I look forward to continuing the lessons." ~Daniel Durst

"Hi Josh,
In January I was selected as the bassist for the California All-State jazz band which met one weekend in Fresno in February. Also, I was accepted into UCLA's music program with a scholarship after auditioning for Kenny Burrell himself! I also auditioned at University of Michigan and was accepted. Just filling you in on what has been happening lately and saying thank you again for the years of invaluable lessons."
~Owen Clapp

"I just recently ended my four years of weekly bass lessons from Josh. He is everything I could have hoped for in areas such as extensive theory knowledge, killer playing abilities, player development, and encouraging moral support. I don't want to think about where I would be as a player if it wasn't for Josh. After only four years, I now teach bass lessons of my own and play in an increasingly successful alternative progressive rock band called Overview. Thank you." ~Greg

"Josh taught my daughter Lily for almost two years. I am very picky about music teachers, since I am a musician myself. I couldn't have asked for a better teacher for my kid! Not only did he teach her technical skills, reading, and theory basics, but he got her playing songs she liked, in time and in tune, almost immediately. I like the fact that he has an overview of where the student is going and which steps to take to get there. Lily knows where all the notes are, understands chords, and can play lines easily from fingering exercises. Thanks Josh, you rock!" ~Bonnie Hayes

"Today is a very exciting day with very exciting news I felt I absolutely must share with you: I got accepted to Berklee College of Music!!! I just wanted to say, sincerely and truly, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Having you as a teacher gave me all the hope, drive, and solid foundation that got me where I am today, and I would be nowhere near where I am had it not been for your great leadership, inspiration, and friendship." ~Marty

Visit Josh's website for more recent testimonials:

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