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cello teacher: good idea?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Monkey, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I have played URB on-and-off since 1984, and decided I needed lessons to improve my arco technique. I work at a university, so I arranged lessons from a teacher, and found out that he is a cellist who also teaches bass. I've only met with him once, and he gave me some great tips that have helped. I don't start regular lessons with him for a while, and I wondered if you folks thought it was a good idea to learn arco technique from a cellist (I play French style).
    He suggested I play sitting down with a more cello-like position, which does free my left hand more for moving into thumb position, but feels more awkward for pizz. My feeling is that, even though his main instrument is not bass, I can certainly learn a lot from him. Do you agree?
  2. IMHO, this seems like an excellent idea for a player whose basic technique is fairly strong. If the main need is to work on basic technique, then I would opt for a teacher who is primarily a bassist, as they will likely be more familiar with the technique nuances of the double bass. If the main need is to address musicality, phrasing, and other non-rudimental elements of music (and your rudimental chops are solid), then non-bassist teachers seem like a good fit.

    Why? Here's a basketball analogy: Players at different positions often receive very different training initially; e.g., centers are trained to be physical near the basket, get rebounds, and make layups, while point guards are often trained to handle the ball extremely well, direct the flow of the play, and make more outside shots. Both the point guard and the center can learn from one another to make their respective games stronger (assuming that each is already pretty strong at their original position).

    Anyhoo, that's just my $0.02. YMMV
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    A sports analogy. I'm a bit stunned -- almost feeling violated.

    A show of hands for ticketing Mr. Adair -- even though the advice is bass-ically sound, although in poor taste?
  4. A violation? Possibly. Heretical? Maybe. Did it get the point across? Did it make sense? You tell me.
  5. I'm not a big basketball fan, so no it didn't make sense to me, perhaps if you replaced the idea with baseball or football it would.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I usually use musical analogies to try to describe circumstances in the real world when talking with other musicians.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Dave Holland plays Cello as well as Bass - there is a young(ish?) UK, Jazz Cello player called Ben Davis who has studied with him and is leading a very impressive Septet - so it works the other way round! ;)
  8. I have tried that with non musicians, easy way to waste the time of two people.:rolleyes:
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I got it. Of course, I live in basketball country...

    At the smaller of the two schools where I teach, they've hired a really good group of jazz faculty who constitute a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, guitar) plus an alto player. Students who study other instruments and wish to play jazz take applied lessons with a "legit" teacher of their instrument, but take their jazz/improv lessons from one of the jazz faculty. It works welll, as the jazz teacher can then focus more on the musical ideas he's trying to convey and worry less about technique. I had a great time working with a trumpet player a few years back, and we made a lot of progress. I don't see anything wrong with a bassist studying with a cellist, as long as technique isn't supposed to be the main focus of the lessons. If the lessons are about the MUSIC, it can work just fine.
  10. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I'm with Chris: All of my "bass" studies have been with bassists but a lot of my "jazz" learning (formal and informal) was from pianists, guitarists and saxophonists. After all, you don't want your solos to sound like a bass-player, you want them to sound like a jazz musician, right? Is he serious? Is he joking?

    I'd be careful about applying cello position and technique. If it hurts, stop. Besides, whatever you want to sound like, it's definitely not like a cellist ;>
  11. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Doc Morton studied under a cellist while at Juliard (sp?) and he plays good bass!! So, why not. One thing I find troubling is that Mark Morton does not list the cello teacher on his resume -- he says that it would hurt his resume if it listed that teacher even with the cellist being a world calss musican. I guess that then you play at that level it is more impressive to claim Gary Karr on the resume.

    I would study under a penny whistle player if it would help my playing.

    Here is one for you my wife is learning to play cello and she say's that she has learned more from me that from her cello teacher. Go figure I don't hardly know the strings of a cello but I do know what good bowing is and how to finger out fingering.


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