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An epiphany via Clan TABEVIL

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pmkelly, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I was practicing (If you really want to call it that) and I got bored, so I fired up the computer and came to tb... As I was reading the general instruction forum, I realized why I was starting to get bored while I was playing. It is because my knowledge of music and theory is so limited that I stick to playing the same things over and over... and now I am so proficient at playing the same things over and over that I can run through them without even warming up. In other words, I need help... It was specifically reading through the tab/anti-tab discussion that this all came to me. If I want to do anything besides play in crappy bands, then I need to get the background... The little bits and pieces of music I do know is so sporadic that it is almost useless, so it looks like I will need to start at the most fundamental beginings. And so the search for a teacher begins. Most of this is probably incoherent, so let me sum up... I have been lazy for as long as I have played bass (and before that guitar.) So I kept learning just enough to get by... Well, thanks to the discussions by all the proponents for music knowledge, I am moving forward... So, anyone know a good teacher in Kansas City? Or anyone with any resources to find teachers? Thanks for all the help.....
  2. I'd love to be able to help here... I'm going through the same thing myself, and in the middle of trying to get some gear sold I'm wondering if I should just sell it all and give up the bass. I've only looked for a teacher in this area very briefly since I'm going to be heading back to school in August anyway, but to be quite honest there don't seem to be a lot of teachers about.

    I wish you the best of luck! Keep searching, man.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Congrats on your new direction...once you get started, you won't be sorry. Just remember it's still possible to be lazy when you know a whole bunch of theory. :cool:

    As far as teachers go, a couple of suggestions: First, go to or call the nearest university and get in touch with the music department there. If they have an orchestra, they'll have a DB teacher, and if he or she doubles, you're in business. Even if they don't, they'll probably be able to hook you up with someone who could help you. Also, look for good jazz players (there must be a few in KC, I imagine), and try to hook up with them for advice - you can't play that music without knowing some theory, and again, even if you don't find a teacher right a way, you'll be "networking" toward that end and meeting some interesting people on the way.

    Also, if your technique is fine and you just want to work on what's behind the ears, you could always try studying theory from a pianist if you can find one who teaches improvisation. Good luck.
  4. mflaherty


    Oct 9, 2001
    I take lessons from John Hamil. He teaches out of his house in Mission and at Guitar Source in Overland Park. He teaches both upright and electric. He is proficient in rock, jazz, and classical technique and knows theory. He is also a nice guy with a very positive attitude and boundless energy. He is a great teacher and a great player. His home phone is 913-384-0191
  5. pmkelly

    pmkelly Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    outstanding! keep 'em coming, if anyone else has anything....

  6. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    or the basics:p .

    to help you out in you teacher search if i remember correctly i called a place that didnt teach bass and asked if they knew any places that did and they did so it worked out nicely. It just takes some calling and with the tips you've gotten so far i think you'll be all set.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Welcome to the Dark Side Kelly. :D

    Heres a link to a site that I stumbled across one day. bass lessons

    I agree with what Chris said about networking. Find some jazz bands in your area and buddy up with them and pick their brains for what they know. He's absolutly right, you cant not know theory and play that stuff, Hell I know some theory and still cant play that stuff. *embarassed look*

    There are also some good books and videos out there that have valuable information in them.

    One I highly recomend is Ed Friedlands, Building Walking Basslines. He teaches you the theory behind creating your own basslines, then actually makes you create one of your own.
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I just started having lessons a few months back after 12 years of playing. Chris is spot on, theory really is awesome. I've only just started and it's made a noticable improvement on my playing already. Just understanding the real basics of what notes fit where and why allows you to build your lines quicker and make sense of what you're playing.

    I'd advise finding a teacher rather than books. Personally, it helps me maintain direction and being set homework is essential, if you're anything like me!

    Yes, it easy to be lazy.. especially when you have a lot of other musical stuff going on and just want a day off after 4 days of 9to5 work followed by rehersals. You have to maintain a balance or you'll get pissed of with playing.

    Chris also said you shuld go and speak with some local jazzos. I wouldnt do that. It's only my opinion based on my limited experience, but of the jazzos I've met at me local club, some are cool and some are really arrogant and act like if you can't play jazz you're not a musician. I understand from numerous industry friends that there is quite a large trend of arrogance amongst jazzos? I might be 110% wrong tho... hopefully I am.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I'd respond to this, but unfortunately, the subject is far too lowbrow to be worthy of my attention.

    Did somebody say something? :)
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Maybe if I turned up to 11 you'd hear me?
  11. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I had a similar epiphany about music theory and practice not long ago, and had my first lesson with a real, live bassist this past weekend. He told me right off the bat that the ONLY book he would require me to buy is "Building Walking Bass Lines"...
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well, yes, quite.

    I remember my 1st post on TB, mainly because you (Ed F) gave me a right ear bending for asking a real dumbass question. My username was Arthur Daily then, btw.
    I still cringe with embarassment at the thought of it.

    I was talking, genuinely, from my (limited) experience and I didnt mean to suggest anyone on here was un-cool. I guess it's a stoopid thing to say anyway cause it's the same accross the board.

    I suffer regulary from cross genre predjudice from various band mates and it annoys me, a lot.
  13. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    most of the jazz cats Ive met have always been willing to help me with any questions Ive had. Its the rockers who I find to be well smug and arrogent and are often the ones who lack the talent (unlike most of the jazzers) to be that way.
  14. Try the local University, college, or whatever. They ususally can suggest someone that will be very worth your while.

    Also try: www.musicstaff.com - thats where I found my teacher.

    I agree, find a jazz player to teach you. Thats what I did when looking for a teacher and it's paid off BIG TIME. My teacher plays Upright and Elec. Being a 'real' jazz player the man knows more than you could imagine, and anything I want to learn he is more than willing to teach. Perhaps thats even more important - finding someone with the knowledge, but also the right attitude.

    Good luck.
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Hey Ed, thanks for bringing something to my attention that I totally ment to put in my post that I didnt.

    The biggest advantage of a teacher is that they can answer any questions you may have on the spot. As well as correct any mistakes that you are making, with is of course something books and videos cant.

    If you notice, I also said that books/videos are almost as good as teachers. Nothing is better than live one on one instruction with a real person.

    this is'nt a stab at you, but it seems that alot of people hear make it sound like or give the impression that if you dont take lessons you'll totally suck. At least thats my opinion and a couple of others that I talked too. Teachers are a great asset this is true, but not mandatory IMO.
  16. jblake


    Aug 30, 2001
    Gray, ME
    I'm in a similar situation but a little different. I actually graduated from Berklee but with an engineering degree. When I was there I practiced just enough to get through my proficiencies. Sad I know but I was working on my studio tan alot of the time.
    I've got the theory but I haven't really made the connection between the theory and the instrument. So I've just got to sit down and get back to the nitty gritty of learning the basics.
  17. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Gang up on Cass! Gang up on Cass!

    No, just kidding, but in reference to this book, "Building Walking Basslines", which is a good book, no real problem with it. I bought this book after about 4 weeks of lessons with my teacher, and when I opened found it far too remedial. Everything in the book, my teacher had already explained, and explained well. Much more personally and articulately than the book did. I haven't opened the book since. Anybody wanna buy it?
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I never said I didnt want to take lessons. I just said I dont think they are madatory. When I said Id like to get to where cats like Durrl, Pacman and yourself are, I meant it in a theory standpoint. Im one of those guys who can play pretty well, I just didnt really have much of an idea behind the theory to why it all worked. My playing has gotten 10 times better since I started learning all that too.

    I also plan on taking lessons once I can afford to spare the extra cash. Right now I make every penny of my income off of playing bass. I dont make much, but i at least make enough to cover my bills.

    I bought it when I knew jack **** about theory so i thought it was very educational. Had I had some lessons under my belt, perhaps Id have found it remedial as you did. But in my case I found it challenging and educational.........Would you be interested in just selling the cd?
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    ED F: I found it the other day when I mentioned it, I'll dig it out again and PM you. It amused me no end to re-read it. You were 100% right, but I do get the feeling you were having a bad hair day! :)
    I really felt stupid though when I heard that short track of yours on ActiveBass, can't remember the name now (voc, piano, db), and realised I really didn't know what I was talking about, I only saw one side of the argument.

    I retract my original statement regarding the jazzos, because on reflection I have met as many arrogant metallers as I have jazzos :rolleyes:

    Back on topic... I bought a book yesterday, my teacher recommended it to me, Improvisors Bass Method by Chuck Sher. I read through the 1st couple of chapters last night (mostly what I've learnt in my first few lessons) and then I skipped to the back of the book (like you do) and took a look at some of the later lessons and transcriptions.

    Every time I have a lesson I get a glimpse of the bigger picture and realise how much more I want/need to learn/understand... but looking at the back of this book just blew my mind. I felt completely humbled by my lack of knowledge, but also optimistic because I know I can get there with the help of my teacher.

    The topics in the back of this book looked like bloody quantum physics or something and I can't believe anyone could learn and understand it to the best of their ability without the help of a teacher.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yup - over the last 5 years or so I have found the exact opposite - all the Jazz players I have met have been very friendly, very open and ready to share their knowledge.

    There is a bit of prejudice about DB sounding better than BG and that BG players are always too loud; but I've never experienced any arrogance. I think my experience has been that arrogance is inversely proportional to musical talent/knowledge!

    So those with the least, seem to be the most arrogant - maybe it's just defensive, protecting their egos. Anyway, of the people I've got to talk to, the best players seemed also to be the nicest guys - even the women! ;)

    I think we are very lucky in Brighton, that our Jazz club gets genuineley talented bands, who play a mixture of great stuff; from those who are really into 60s hard bop, to avant-garde, to Jazz Funk, classical cross-overs etc.

    A lot of the best Jazz players I see are also teachers and I have been lucky enough to spend whole weeks with them on Jazz Summerschool or at one-off workshops during the year - I think that like Ed, they really value teaching/learning and the best players seem to alway be learning themselves and trying new stuff.

    I'm really looking forward to my next Jazz Summerschool at the University of Glamorgan, which is at the end of July - a whole week concentrating on nothing but music!!

    So the tutors are also some of the best Jazz playesr in the UK and if you see their names mentioned I would recommend going along and they are also the sort of people who will talk to you and are in no way "arrogant" - they want to turn more people on to this music.

    So if I mention a few names - I will probably forget somebody really important but (in no order) these are some of the people I have had lessons/workshops with : Paul Gardiner, Dudley Phillips, John Paricelli, Geoff Simkins, Pete Churchill, Julian Nicholas, Steve Watts, Jason Yarde, Alex Wilson, Chris Batchelor, Dave Wickens, Simon Purcell, Nikki Iles, Julian Siegel, Lee Goodall, Alex Maguire, Terry Seabrook etc. etc.

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