Give yourself a pat on the back for hunting this page down. You deserve it. It shows that you have true desire to improve as a musician and a bassist, which is the one thing nobody can teach.

Now, on to business.

Ever sit there in the music store by yourself, plunking around on a bass that caught your eye, while your guitarist friends are shredding in the next room, with a harem of drooling gawkers surrounding them? Makes you feel a little inadequate, huh?

Of course, those of us who truly love the bass know that it isn’t the flashy licks that make us good players. It’s the ability to single-handedly make someone bang their head or shake their booty… or run screaming from the disintegrating building, laid low by low frequencies. There’s POWER in them notes, baby. (That drooling harem isn’t so far beyond your grasp, actually.)

Bass is the only instrument that is rhythm, melody, and harmony, all at the same time, that plays one note at a time. Sure, that’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s a lot of POWER, too. (What was it Peter Parker’s uncle used to say?…)

This is where I come in. I’m a private bass instructor in Fort Collins, and I’ve been teaching for close to 20 years. And I’m not like most bass teachers.

My purpose as a teacher is NOT to wield control over my students and make them feel inferior, or to drag them through lesson after lesson of “going through the book” and boring them out of their collective skulls. MY purpose is to show you how you can take the things you hear – songs, musical ideas, riffs your friends are playing – and put them on your bass. To teach you about the bass’ true role in a band situation, and why it’s so important (and cool). To demonstrate how a bad bassist can bring a group of good musicians to their knees, but a GOOD bassist can take a mediocre band and make each musician a better player – and bandmate.

In short, my purpose is to give you the skills to do anything you want on the instrument – to actually teach yourself anything you want to know.

Fingerstyle, pick, thumb, tapping, rock, metal, jazz, punk, fusion, blues, country, reggae, you name it, I can help you with it, and show you how you can become a better bass player.

Of course, you still have to do the work to improve, and it won’t be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but nothing worth having is ever easily earned…

…just ask some of my students!

“I’ve been taking bass lessons with Michael Olson since 2004 and he is great. He’ll push you as hard as you want to be pushed, and when you hear him play, or you hear any of his former students who are currently playing bass in and around Ft Collins, you realize that the sky is the limit. He is a fantastic bass player, as good as anyone you will hear anywhere, anytime. But he really excels as a teacher. He has a great ability to identify problems and create drills to solve them. He could easily fill two books worth of bass instruction just with the exercises he has shared with me alone. Despite that, he is relaxed, easy going and he so obviously loves playing and teaching bass that it is worth going to lessons just for the mood lift. If you’re like me with an interest in bass but limited time, he will help you be as good as you can be, having lots of fun in the process; if you are motivated to carry things to a higher level and are determined and disciplined Michael will help you become a master.” — Eric S., Fort Collins


“I am 37 years old, been teaching music for over 10 years, been playing for 23 years, professionally for 12. You can never be good enough. And with that belief I constantly take lessons myself. I have taken them from EVERYONE on the front range and I mean EVERY ONE. Michael Olson is simply the best hands down. And he doesn’t specialize in my instrument – guitar – but that is the beauty. He teaches music as a language, not an instrument. He speaks it as clearly as you or I speak english (and in my case, BETTER than I speak english LOL). He is wonderful at not making you feel like you are wasting his time. You see, being who I am and what I can already do with my instrument, I was left feeling just that way from all my peers that I took lessons from. Olson took me right in and is the teacher that I and everyone else needs. He is a gift of a human being, and you have no idea how lucky we are to have someone of his caliber in our community. Please take advantage of that fact; we do not want this guy moving out on us.”

Harley Osterlund 970 412 0407


“My name is David B., I am 22 and have been taking bass lessons with Michael Olson for 5 years. When I met Michael I was a Junior in high school; now I have been playing professionally for two years, and I have Michael largely to thank. I would recommend bass lessons from Michael because of his individual lesson plans: There is no required book (save for a notebook), so every lesson fits the student’s ability and desire.

Now more than ever do I feel like I have a lifetime of study ahead of me. I have been on a wonderful journey and I don’t believe I would be where I am without my mentor, and close friend, Michael Olson.”


“Michael Olson is a gifted teacher who shares his enthusiasm for playing music and understands what makes his students better at their craft. He is able to convey theory as well as practical application of skills and combines these sometimes disparate aspects in an approach to teaching that really engages students at all levels. My daughter has taken lesson from Michael for several years, and she continues to build and learn something new with each visit. Michael challenges her to reach beyond her comfort zone and to invest in skills that make her a better overall musician. And besides all that, Michael is just really nice and cares enough about his students that he was willing to personally check out an amp we were looking at for our daughter. We couldn’t ask for more.”

So, to the answers to the important questions:

Lessons are currently $100 per month, for which you will receive 5 half-hour lessons, or a total of 2.5 hours of personal instruction. If you prefer, you may take single, “one-off” lessons at the rate of $25 for a half-hour, or $45 for a full hour. Ca$h or check is fine. No credit cards. Payment is due at the beginning of the month. I teach Monday & Tuesday from early afternoon to as late as I need to.
I teach at my home, so I’m really flexible if you simply can’t make Monday or Tuesday work for you.
I am not a guitar teacher as well as a bass teacher. HOWEVER, since we are all playing the same twelve notes, the musical information that I have to offer transcends the instrument. If you don’t need beginning lessons and already know where the notes are on your instrument but simply want to be a better musician, let’s talk.
If you WANT to bring tablature in for me to teach you, that’s fine, but wouldn’t you REALLY rather know how the bass player figured out that bass line?

So if this sounds like something you’d like to pursue, you can click here to get my contact info. You can either fill out the form, or click on my email address – either way you’ll be able to reach me. Feel free to ask me any other questions you might have regarding lessons.

Unless they’re sarcastic. THEN you can forget it. ;-)