As sounds from Brian Bromberg's Wood resonate from my simple computer speakers, I realize, even through this piddly medium, I have so very far to go. In my mind, I can interpret what I want to hear, what I want to express, where I want to go, but my body cannot yet respond, and probably won't be able to for quite some time. It's too simplistic to make this journey sound like it's only a matter of playing this or that scale or arpeggio for said number of hours per day, then per week, then per month, and voila!, we all know that that is not how it works. Bill Noertker, (www.noertker.com), has been my psychotherapist for over three years. Truth be told, he doesn't entirely realize that. He only signed on to be my bass teacher, but has been so much more over this time, and has helped me develop into someone that can challenge himself, recognize his positive attributes, and know how far of a journey lies ahead. Bill is now being called upon for a different task though. When I came to Bill so many years ago, I knew where to put this finger to make such and such a sound, and how to play this scale and how to move my hands real fast across the fretboard, in a fashion that would entice and entertain the general layperson, (while saying nothing musically). Now, I don't know where to put my finger, how to hold my hand, when to shift, what my knees should be doing, and why that pain is growing in my left shoulder. So, alas, this will be my journal of my lessons on Lady Alma, the newest member of my musical family. For more details, click me. I come to the DB as a BG player with several years experience, having played many different styles of music from jazz, R&B, soul, indie rock, country, blues, alternative, folk and anything else I've been called upon to do in the past. Every time I picked up the instrument, and even as my voice developed, I knew that there was something else out there. Some other voice waiting to be freed. This is not to diminish my feelings for BG, and instrument is an instrument, and all are there to help us voice something expressive and deeply personal, in my opinion, and that's how it will always be for me. But ... but, sometimes, you know something is still missing. Many images from Bill's website will show him playing BG. He has only been a DB player for around 3 years, and will be the first to admit that he is very much a beginner. (Don't forget how quickly a talented and driven individual can progress in a short time, I point to our own friend Durrl as a prime example). His teacher, a woman I will not mention by name simply because I don't know her, was, as I understand, (and may be mistaken), a student of Ray Brown. The lessons journal will include an idea of what Bill is teaching me. More the concept than the actual drill or etude quite often. First, I don't think it's entirely fair to give away all his advice for free. Second, it's better, I think to provide an outline of the beginner, rather than an actual play-by-play, as each individual is so different, and my past playing experience may begin to dictate what topic Bill approaches each lesson based upon my advancement. I encourage any bass player, of any skill level, and any technique or style, to very strongly consider Bill as a teacher. He is without equal, in my ever-so-humble opinion. I clearly understand the wealth of experience from the members of this board, and appreciate all input and guidance they provide; however, I wish to express the disclaimer than in most instances of apparent contradictory information I will defer to Bill. The reasons being several. First, with a medium such as this, it is possible that I have not adequately conveyed that which Bill was showing me, causing someone here confusion, due to my own error. Second, having Bill hands on and in person lends an amount of detail that is simply not possible over this medium. Third, it is possible that I fully do not yet understand that which was demonstrated to me. Fourth, perhaps Bill is showing me the foundation of principle that will be developed further as lessons continue. Fifth, and most importantly, I trust Bill unquestionably, and know that MY best interests are at heart, not his agenda, and I cannot put a price tag on that level of trust. So, after that diatribe, I think we're ready for the first lesson. What'd'ya think?