Advice for a young bass player.

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ausf, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    Probably the wrong forum, but it didn't really fit a specific sub-topic.

    My son is 9 and has been playing his 1/8 DB for a few months now (I play as well). Now that he's built up some finger strength, he's getting bored with what he's working on with school and I want to get him started on his own.

    I don't want to throw Simandl at him and me working on scales isn't cool enough for him at the moment. Any suggestions for a beginner/kids book to get him on his way?
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    How about just asking him what he wants to play? Nothing like playing stuff you don't like to bore you to tears. Made all the diff when I was a youngin.
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    My daughter is 8 and doing Suzuki violin. She doesn't seem to mind that the content is 100% classical. So far as I know, there is now a complete set of the Suzuki method books for the bass. At the very least, your son would be able to progress at his own pace, which might go a long way towards alleviating the boredom. My daughter is rather competitive, so she is easily motivated by the prospect of getting ahead.
  4. A good way to keep him interested is to have him play melodies that he's familiar with- it may lead to a solo career ;)
    But as far as Scales go, I actually found a bit of useful information on the BG side. :eek:
    This is Pacmans approach to practicing scales, and I thought it was interesting:
  5. Have you tried introducing him to the styles of music that DB is used in?
    For example, bluegrass, rockabilly (the main choice for young people, as I've read), blues, jazz (maybe a bit too advanced for a 9 year old) and maybe a touch of tango? I've always found tango exciting. Lots of spiccato.

    Just play some music on the CD player, not necessarily to him, but so he can hear it. Then ask him if he likes any of the stuff he hears from the CD player. I dunno, just a suggestion; let me know if it works. If you wanna try it. I dunno the situation.

    And I don't know if he can learn stuff by ear, but I suppose it's a good skill to start learning.
  6. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    Thanks for the replies.

    He's constantly exposed to all types of music (we played Mingus' Goodbye Porkpie Hat to him in utero and it actually did calm him as a baby after he was born) from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Edith Piaf.

    He plays stuff he's interested in, mostly John Williams soundtrack by ear.

    I wasn't clear, but what I'm looking for is a book(s) for his level that isn't just Ode to Joy or Twinkle Twinkle. He likes site reading, but the he's not going work through the Charlie Parker Omnibook. ;)

    In meantime, I'll check out the Suzuki books. I may work out an alternative to Pacman's neat scale approach. Problem with scales recommended by me is, it ends up being from Dad, which just isn't cool. Recently, when he asked me if I've ever heard of the band AC/DC (all his friends are into them) he was a bit mad when I told him I've seen them in concert nearly 30 years ago as well as covered their songs back then too.
  7. Well, in the way of books, I won't be any help at all. Maybe you could suggest for him to attempt songs that he already knows in a different key...?
  8. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Got it. If its from a parent, it just don't fly, if it smells like "teaching" at all.

    My four-year old is doing swimming lessons, among other things. Any stranger that we meet on the street could probably get her using a kick-board in the pool within five minutes, but with dear old dad, she doesn't even want to talk about it...and she's only four; what will the teenage years bring (shudder)?

    Actually went to a little seminar yesterday on this very subject. The gist of what the leader said was, "Don't teach, include, inquire, and collaborate." General guidance, but it sort of made sense to me, when dealing with the resistance you mention...
  9. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Isn't that something! Well show him how to play "Jailbreak" or "Up to my neck", these are pretty simple, a little obscure, really fun and easy on DB.

    I saw the BallBreaker tour, it was great, my buddy got knocked out by the flashing lights (had a seizure) in Thunderstruck, ha ha!