Dave with Floozie Soo


James Ford: private lessons in Edinburgh

Bass Guitar:

James has played bass for over 25 years in 4 bands. He often plays acoustic double bass at sessions. Music is built on the bass. Each chord has a root. Many listeners may not even notice it's presence, but it's impact on the overall sound cannot be overstated.


Dave at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles October 2005  playing a Yamaha 5 string bass

Although bass lines are usually simple, playing the bass is just the most satisfying job. The bass almost always hits the root as each chord changes. Between these changes though, it's up to the player to find interesting ways, using other notes in the chord / scale, to get from one to the other.

James is a natural bass player though, finding himself listening to the bass first in new music. It’s what everything else is built upon. Understand the bass, & you’re twice the musician you were before – whatever you play. As a second instrument, the bass is fantastic at teaching you to listen for chord progressions. Something invaluable for playing any instrument by ear.

Bass close up from the side: Bass Lessons Newburgh, Fife
Bass close up: Bass Lessons  Newburgh, Fife

Visit the MP3 page - most of the film clips contain James on bass

Bass machine head: Bass Lessons  Newburgh, Fife
Bass close up from above: Bass Lessons  Newburgh, Fife James uses all the fingers (& thumb) of his right hand on the strings, using a different finger for each string. Often the strings aren't so much plucked as hit. It gives a subtly different sound to traditional playing & can be heard at it's best with FloozieSoo  




It's best if you come with an idea of the sort of music you'd like to be able to play. Our focus & inspiration for your goals will come directly from your ideas & goals. Spotify is generally used to find what we need.

Bass player & bass
Bass fretboard: Bass Lessons  Newburgh, Fife


Learning to listen

  So much of Bass playing comes down to listening. Apart from technique, the focus of these lessons is very much on listening & reproducing. When you hear a set of chords, your aim should be to quickly find the root & use these roots, as the chords change, to build your lines on. Practice along with your favourite sounds!  
James has a particular love affair with the Bass. It's one of the most satisfying instruments to play with bone shaking power, hypnotic patterns & a unique rhythmic aspect (locking with the drums) which James is always honing. Bass close up from the side: Bass Lessons  Newburgh, Fife

James started learning on a 4 string Ibanez fretless around 1992. It wasn't long before it had a 5th string added, courtesy of James, creating a Bass with rather narrow gaps between strings.

The Ibanez was also rather heavy, so armed with a chainsaw & electric drill, he set about the bodywork...

Dave's old fretless Ibanez after the 'Dave' treatment... Bass Lessons  Newburgh, Fife
  James was Bass player with Penicuik's 'Blue Ice' & Fife's Luxury Fitted Kittens for around a year each & now gets it out with Floozie Soo  

Weavers Hall, Bank Close, Newburgh, Fife
KY14 6EG

email: james

mobile: 07970 744986
landline:01337 842434

Dave J Ford peering through  ice sculpture