books vs vid vs teacher

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lady_incubus, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. i got a bass a couple of weeks ago and i've just been foolin around with it- actually i can play a couple songs but im not sure if im doin it right. i have a couple books, and im printed out some online lessons- people reccommended so i went there. in your opinion, should i get a teacher (for a while, or just a few lessons?) or a video, or should i just keep pluckin my way thru it?
  2. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    If you can afford a teacher, I say go with that. Keep your teacher as long as you feel you are learning new and interesting things! Good luck and have fun!
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I've done all three-- books, videos and teachers. As far as I am concerned nothing beats a good teacher. A teacher can answer questions, demonstrate tecniques, see if you are doing something worng or particularly well, listen for defects in your timing, technique or attack, encourage you, make certain you are working at your level and not trying music or techniques beyond your present level (which can lead to discouragement.)

    Books and videos are a good way to supplement a teacher, but do not substitute for a teacher. Many videos are unsatisfactory. Most are quite expensive too. There are some excellent and comprehensive book/CD sets that will help you, but nothing beats a real, live teacher.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Applause: ON
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    Im with everyone else, if you can afford a good teacher get one first. He'll guide you, and help mold you into a more competant musician. By reasons previously stated by others.

    I think Videos are almost as good as a teacher. A good video is almost like having a teacher right in front of you. Although you cant ask questions or get any mistakes corrected, you can at least rewatch a part you dont understand as many times as you need to until you grasp the lesson. Yes they are a bit pricey, but a good one is well worth $40-$50 IMO They last for years

    I also recomend the use of method books. These will help hone your site reading skills to some extent as well as teach you specific techniques/styles or whatever it is you are trying to learn.

    Combine the 3 and you'll be armed with an arsenal of theory and quite a proficient bassist/musician
  6. I would say it depends on your (musical) background and the best way/method for you to learn. If you don't know the best method, you deifinitively should try a teacher. I never had a teacher and learned everything from books or articles in musician magazines or tips from other musicians. But as I said if you are not sure and if you have the money you should look for a GOOD teacher. If you just can afford a bad teacher, save the money for some books and videos.
  7. Nothing will ever replace that instant feedback and support you get from a GOOD teacher... but nothing is worse than a BAD teacher. A few qualities that your teacher needs to have:

    1. Ability to play the bass better than you. This should be obvious... but many bass teachers don't really play bass, they just teach it.

    2. Have a good handle on a variety of playing styles, techniques and theory... you need to develop you own sound/style, not copy your teachers.

    3. Have good human relations skills... if your teacher has a bad attitude all the skill in the world won't make him/her worth the effort.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I agree with Ed. I feel I have a lot to offer a lot of bass players in the form of instruction, because I'm trained in and understand the concepts of teaching, but there are a great number of people that could easily outplay me.

    Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. :)

    I was just about to make an edit here, and SPECIAL K's post kind of said something similar, but anyway:

    Conversely, many phenomenal players can't teach. The ability to take a concept, break it down, and then explain it back so that the concept can be fully understood is a definite skill, which must be developed. Some people who offer lessons, do not understand this, or perhaps they simply haven't been able to learn it. Also, a teacher must have patience and good people skills. On those points, I think munimula is spot on.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    While you're your teacher 'only' a bassist?
    Does he also play piano, etc?

    ...not that I'm actively looking-
    If I ever find a teacher down here, I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that it'll be a pianist/composer-type.
    Personally, I like books, records, & pickin' the brains of those I play with(the lucky SOBs who went to Berklee, Interlochen, GIT, etc).

    On one hand, I do agree with Minimalist on this point-
    A 'bad' teacher can ruin you or send you down the wrong path'...may take years to recover!

    BUT, on the other hand-
    A 'bad' teacher may also be the "2nd coming of Jaco". That is, he may be 'better' on his ax...that doesn't mean(IMO)that he's 'better' at musicianship(that's my concern).

    I was rapping with one of the bass instructors in one of our local stores...he has some chops, no doubt(wish I had 'em).
    He hasn't heard of Ornette Coleman?!
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Those who can-

    Those who can't(work)-

    Those who can't(teach)-

    Those who can't(engineer)-
    Supervise/manage's no wonder we're so damn top-heavy here @work.