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Formal musical education

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 88persuader, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Self taught

    14 vote(s)
  2. Less then a year of private lessons

    10 vote(s)
  3. Many years of private lessons

    7 vote(s)
  4. Music college education/degree

    13 vote(s)
  1. 88persuader


    Aug 5, 2007
    How many of you have had formal musical education and if so how extensive was it. A year of private lessons? A college degree in music?

    I play 5 instruments and have been playing professionally my whole life. (I'm 50YO now) I've had some DRUM lessons and some piano lessons. I've learnt bass and guitar on my own and am currently learning the Chapman Stick on my own. My chart reading skills are low but I can follow the REAL BOOK no problem and am comfortable playing with very educated musicians. So that's my story ... what's yours?
  2. Chipsonfire


    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    Umm, none of those apply to me >_> I'm a self taught bassist, but I've had a few classes in music theory.
  3. 88persuader


    Aug 5, 2007
    You'd probably fall into the "less then a year of private lessons." I checked off less then a year of private lessons but as you can see my lessons were on piano and drums, not bass. If it were stricty bass I'd say SELF TAUGHT but I think ANY musical education has an impact on the poll. Guess I could have added "Lessons on something other then bass."
  4. CapeBass

    CapeBass Guest

    Self taught, my first 5 years I really studied a lot of theory while working on my technique. I learned listening to Steve Harris and it rubbed off, I needed my own identity which I believe I have now.
  5. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Self-taught. I would still learn it myself too if I had to do it over again. Sure I don't know theory and can't do crazy stuff like Vic Wooten, but dang can I get Funky and Groove like a mother and that's something you can't learn in school.
  6. steddy2112


    Aug 19, 2007
    Newark, DE
    Self taught.

    Almost no theory at all...I understand structure and what not...I just listen to what's in my head and make my fingers talk...
  7. rfclef


    Jan 19, 2007
    Woodburn, Oregon
    BA in Music Ed. Several years of private study on Tuba, Euphonium.

    A couple months of lessons on Bass.
  8. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    I went to a performing arts high school in Dallas and then I was a jazz major at the University of North Texas. I think it is important to really understand music and the language of music. This can learned on your own, and the most important skills are learned by playing. Musical instincts are mostly learned by applied knowledge. So I learned more by being around sick players than in classes BUT I can also read music, have a refined ear, can get around in any key, can improvise over hard changes and know a bunch about our history of music. School really helped tie that all together. Plus I made a ton of connections at UNT.

    I've been on the same tour as some famous rock bass players that were intimidated by school and theory and were afraid that learning it would ruin their style. Fearing they would over analyze music and not feel it anymore. I never really got that. Seriously, I rarely think about anything when I play. I just listen and feel it. Sometimes in the studio I'll substitute a third for a root note or come up with a descending line substituting notes over 1-4-5 chords but I usually just hear it that way and never over-analyze like the guys in question thought I would.

    So I think the way to go would be lessons or school and LOTS of self discovery. There is no point in trying to reinvent the wheel. Take some lessons and get the fundamentals down and then go for it as an artist.
  9. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Voted less than a year of private lessons. I've had 4 or 5 bass lessons in my life (private lessons).

    However, I did study music theory and played the flute in music school at the age of 8-14, approximately. Never became any good though. Studied electric guitar in the same school at the age of 16-18 with a jazz guitarist who taught me lots and lots of chords. I didn't know how to use them directly though, it took me a few years to become familiar with them and how to build up chords yourself.

    The guitar background was really helpful when I switched to bass. I guess that's why it took me a 4 years before I realized I might need some private lessons. That was about 2 years ago. I was in need to improve my technique and the lessons I had really helped me, and made me aware of how important technique actually is.
  10. Chipsonfire


    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    The thing about that is I've never had private lessons for any instrument, but I've had more than a year of schooling in theory... So there really isn't anything I can logically choose :meh:
  11. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I took music theory and composition classes. But as far as the mechanics of physically playing bass, self-taught. I just learned on my own to get the notes under my fingers and I carefully watched what other players did technique-wise and learned from that.

    I can't recommend enough at least some theory classes. Or at least grab yourself a copy of Music Theory for Dummies or something. ;)
  12. 82Daion


    Nov 14, 2006
    I took a couple years of private lessons when I still played tuba, and taught myself the fundamentals of bass before taking about 6 months of lessons for that.

    I might resume taking private lessons in the fall; I'm also minoring in music at college.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I actually don't fit into any of these categories. I'm self-taught on the bass. But I've had years of school band experience during grades 5-12, where I played tenor sax. Plus a little music theory in college. I can read.

  14. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    I'm self taught in most everything. The closest I've come to lessons is concert DVDs :D

    I have a better than average ear and can play most things note for note after I hear them the first time if my chops are up to it. There are some things I acknowledge I can't do, like tapping double thumping, etc but to do those things I'd have to learn some more tricks and change the way I play bass (I have HIGH action and jamerson flats)
    I don't know many bass chords but I'm learning.
    I can sight read pretty well and I can come up with my own lines to songs.

    I've been playing for almost 4 years now, and bass is just one way I focus my creativity. I play banjo, classical harp, violin, viola, cello, learning EUB, harmonica and I sing a bit.

    Playing banjo actually helped me a lot in playing bass.
  15. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    I got a B.A. in jazz performance along with one in history from UW-Madison.

    Thank goodness I know lots about computers! :D
  16. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    about 4 years of private lessons. My teacher had a music degree though, and he would pull out old lessons he had in college. As a result, I'm reasonably well versed in theory... it could be better though...
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm in my 3rd year towards a BM in Jazz Performance. On electric-i started off self taught, but got lessons as soon as high school hit. Upright bass-i've been studying it heavily for going on 3 years now-i took lessons on it before but i didn't put enough into it to get past just learning what i needed to to get by.

    Where i go after my BM depends a lot on what's goin on financially. I'd like to head out to either Musicians Institute, Berklee, or the Abersold Camps for a summer session. Maybe work on a Masters in Education after i graduate.
  18. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    A few years lessons as a kid on clarinet, played in school bands, pretty much self-taught on bass.

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