Bassist Steve Cook reviews Artistworks’ Online Jazz Bass School.
My first impression of the artistworks.com website is that 'I can't believe that he's really doing this!' But John Patitucci really is! The artistworks.com website (bass campus) currently offers online tuition by three top class (legendary even) bass players. John Patitucci, Nathan East and Missy Raines.
The course offers you an abundance of videos that each artist has prepared, on a variety of topics. I guess the biggest selling feature, though, is that the students are invited to send in videos of themselves playing particular lessons and the artists then post their video 'response' to this, critiquing the video and offering suggestions. If the website/artist can guarantee that they will be able to offer this kind of service to everyone that joins then I believe they are onto a sure fire winner.
The course costs $90 for 3 months or £150 for 6 months or $240 for 12 months. There is a 30 day no risk money back guarantee.
I'll concentrate on John Patitucci's course as that is the one that interests me the most (being an aspiring jazz double bass player).
His response to the 'Blue on the bottom' video sent in is wonderful. Full of great tips and exercises. John is very comfortable in front of a camera. Very relaxed.
He's obviously taking it seriously. He's made notes about the student's playing and has posted a 6 min 22 sec video in response. As I said, if he does this for everyone (regularly?) then I'm seriously considering joining. Very seriously!
Of course you're not only paying for a reply to your video, as I said before, you're also getting access to a 'lifetime of learning' collection of videos made by John (or whoever your preferred teacher is).
The website lists the number of topics covered by John's videos as follows:
160 beginners topics, 53 intermediate and 45 advanced.
Click here to see the complete lists.
It doesn't say how many videos that equates to or how much running time it amounts to. Obviously, if upon registering, you are unhappy with the material that is available then you can cancel your membership with the 30 day 'cooling off' period. So I guess you can't really lose can you?
This review was first published on Sunday 1st September 2013 and appeared in issue 1 of The Sussex Jazz Mag, available here.