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Bass Lessons for the Experienced?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by RickyWoo, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    I wasn't really sure where to post this, though another thread got me thinking about this...

    Here's my deal.... I've been playing bass for 20 years and guitar for 25. I've smothered myself in many musical genres and playing styles. I learned all on my own. Never took a lesson. Never learned to read. I've played by ear my entire "playing life". The problem is, I'm not bad and I (hate to sound cocky) don't have anyone to turn to locally, aside from learning theory. I'm wondering where do I (did you) begin when you finally decided you actually wanted to learn to play, in the truest sense of the word? I can learn to read online at a very slow rate, but I need more than that.... I need to understand better and know music more. I've got a great grasp on my instrument, but I want to learn to be able to mix playing by the rules and putting my own flavors in there, and to be able to know the difference. Can any seasoned players guide me in the right direction? Am I over thinking this?
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    There are plenty of seasoned professionals who give Skype lessons. Jeff Berlin, Ed Friedland, Anthony Wellington and Janek Gwizdala are just a few. I'm sure any of them could teach you a thing or 2.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    remcult, okcrum, JimmyM and 2 others like this.
  3. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    Thanks for your reply. How does that work? Do I email them an inquiry?
  4. GnarwhalNick


    Jan 18, 2011
    Tiger Woods was quoted by saying "No matter how good you get you can always get better. That's the exciting part." Everytime I feel like I have reached a level of comfort I always try to find the next big step or challenge. I have always been interesting in reading and learning music. I'm right there with you! There are plenty of music shops around me that hold classes and workshops, I just have to set the time aside to actually do it. Good luck in your learning!
    RickyWoo likes this.
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I'm sure they all have a website with contact information.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  6. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    Take some Piano lessons. Learning keyboards is a great tool that will teach you alot about the structure of music.
  7. noagreement


    Oct 12, 2006
    Yo Philly!
    Find a local teacher that plays professionally. Ask around at local music shops, fellow musicians, etc... Sometimes, these instructors may be ones teaching younger students at a local music shop. Go and meet them and talk about goals. I found a local jazz bassist that immediately started lessons from his home so that we could spend more time and do lessons every other week due to my schedule (I'm older than 18!). He immediately honed in on my weaknesses, both with theory and playing, and was always concerned about what I wanted to pursue. It opened up whole new levels to my understanding way beyond what online videos could do. And it made my personal practicing focused on select items of study. Of course, I stopped lessons after a couple of years, but I keep meaning to get back into them again on a regular basis.

    Good luck.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  8. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    Join Scott bass lessons site, free for 2 weeks. There's so much on there that I've only scratched the very surface. In addition to the lesson courses, there's guest seminars roughly one per week with some amazing teachers, so at least one new hour of video each week, plus a podcast, discussions, and new lessons Scott posts. I've found it to be really good even though my job this year hasn't allowed as much time as id like to really get into it more deeply.
  9. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    This gives me something to work with. Thanks for the input so far, folks!
  10. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    While you're working out the details start learning to read now. It's a pain but it's really worth doing (for several reasons).
    RickyWoo likes this.
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    If you just want to learn theory you can probably get good lessons locally. I learned most of my early theory on guitar from a pianist. Once you have the fundamentals you should be able to get yourself rolling.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  12. bass71


    Nov 18, 2007
    Learn to read. Thought I knew it all but boy how wrong I was...reading has enabled me to play jazz/big band etc and loads of other interesting stuff.
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    yes +1 learn to read
    I always recommend starting with Latin Music like in Oscar Stangoro's Latin Bass Book, because
    • The notes are mainly Root / 5th / octave
    • The rhythms are syncopated, so you gain command of rests and ties
    • The "resolution" of the rhythms is mostly quarter note, dotted quarters, and eight notes (no 16tr-h note figures to confound you)
    • and of course: it sounds cool

    someone recorded an entire Anthony Wellington Bass Clinic and posted it on you tube

    If you are experienced and want to know where the holes in your knowledge are: this will show you.
    remcult likes this.
  14. Ahhh well, people always say that... I played piano for 15 years before playing bass and studied with several good pianist and one touring concert pianist.

    I picked up playing bass on a whim (didn't even own one even though I'd signed up) and started studying with Anthony Wellington and within 3 months he had totally blown away what I though was my "deep" knowledge of theory. I haven't touched the piano since.

    My point is, music is music. Get a good teacher and it doesn't matter what instrument you learn it on. The only advantage piano has is that everything is laid out in a very linear way that's easy to see. I guess it could be helpful if you really don't understand chord structure or can't picture intervals.

    To the OP, I'd recommend lessons with a World Class Bassist. Not that local guys can't be good, but most are not, compared to having instant access to the best bass teachers on the planet. Most are really nice guys and this is the only time in the history of the planet where anyone could study with any number of master teachers and not even leave his house.

    It's a no brainer to me...
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    remcult and Lee Moses like this.
  15. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    I have both a physical copy and a Kindle version of the book Jazz Theory by Mark Levine.

    It isn't written with any instrument in mind - it is simply the best reference for theory that I could find. As you read it, it progresses from a medium advanced level to an 'OMG, WHAT THE HELL IS HE TALKING ABOUT?' level, that as you advance, grows with you.

    An ability to read is required, but you can walk yourself slowly through it, if you have a basic ability to figure out the notes.
    aprod likes this.
  16. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    there's always stuff to learn ... sometimes finding 'that' stuff in the manner You're looking for is tuff ...

    here's a site i've looked at a bit ... Home - My Music Masterclass

    i'm kinda in a different boat ... started on piano - 1963 , trumpet - 1968 , bass/gtr -1973 , theory thru-out ...
    now age 58 ... still wanna learn stuff , but i can read music ... which helps ...

    i've finally started working on those patterns / scales on gtr the last couple years ... which does make me look at piano/bass a little differently ... but i'm still 'converting ' stuff from my piano brain , to the fretboard ... trying to break that habit has been hard after 52 yrs of piano .. !

    learning new stuff is fun and great for the brain .. !!
    Cowboy in Latvia likes this.
  17. After playing for 20+ years you probably have developed "bad" techniques that teachers will want to work on. I started lessons after 5 years of playing and had to relearn how to play. If you are an accomplished player, you may do better to enroll in a music theory class at a local community college or something. My playing grew exponentially just learning theory in school.
  18. DChalo


    Dec 16, 2015
    Austin, TX
    Take a lesson from a Jazz musician with a degree. They probably have the widest range of skill out of all other bassist genres that you could learn from.
  19. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'm with all of the above^

    one of the reasons a piano teacher/theorist/player/reader can be cool is that you and the teacher can use the same instrument (piano) from the same physical perspective: eye/hand/brain.

    Spin Doctor suggested that it doesn't make any difference what the instrument is, and i actually agree: but, i'm saying that since the piano is 'common ground' (in the universe as we know it), that instrument affords a lot of perspective which can be easily generalized to all --- or most --- other instruments. enhancing reading (recognition) skills and music theory chops is 'easier' on a piano, IMO.

    i do a lot of composing and arranging for 7-9+ piece bands: piano (any keyboard) is essential for me. :thumbsup:
    Remyd likes this.
  20. CGremlin


    Nov 1, 2014
    Palm Bay, FL
    Carol Kaye and Bobby Vega are two more that offer Skype lessons.
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