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Friend wants me to give him bass lessons

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bassopotamus, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Bassopotamus

    Bassopotamus Guest

    Mar 22, 2006
    Ocean Springs MS
    so my friend has decided to play bass, and he came straight to me asking for lessons. he hasnt bought one yet, so i have some time to think, but my brain keeps going blank. i know first thing im going to teach him is scales and then basic progressions... but then what? hes really excited and counting on me to make him awesome. i dont know if i should just teach him to jam and play, which is what hes going to want to do, or if i should overload him with theory, which im not even that familiar with, which hes going to get bored with fast and just want to learn songs, but i think theory can really help later on.

    i need some teaching tips and some important things he needs to know:help:
  2. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
  3. Maybe help him learn the basic rock progressions and turnarounds and which songs they represent etc.
  4. i started playin last july at 42 years old. i got me a book and learned all the notes in first position. practiced my hind end off until i knew it blindfolded. so by now im goin crazy from playin lessons, so i get me a classic rock bass book. i found some songs i could play with the notes i knew. money by pink floyd was the first song i learned. now with this im really motivated. i play 2 hours each night and more on weekends. each night starts with a book lesson and finishes with me practicin a song. it breaks up my learning. music theory certainly dont hurt and will give him a good foundation to learn upon. good luck with your new student.
  5. Bassopotamus

    Bassopotamus Guest

    Mar 22, 2006
    Ocean Springs MS
  6. Personally, I would recommend Mel Bay's Electric Bass Method 1 and 2. It starts out super easy, but gets the point across in a clear and concise manner.
  7. Make sure you also pay close attention to correct hand positions - left and right. If you are showing him finger-style playing, make sure you focus heavily on alternating index/middle finger playing. Watch for the left hand 'grabbing the neck' - Look at Adam Nitti's website - he covers a LOT of these issues.


    I was just there yesterday and I am home today practicing a bunch of these lessons. Most, if not all are useful to beginner bass player AND 'experienced' ones.
  8. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Ahh, yes indeed! The venerable Mel Bay... I taught myself how to play guitar from a Mel Bay book, which a friend gave to me. This was around 1964 or '65... I already had a few years of music theory pounded into my brain from formal organ lessons by then, so following Mel Bay's method on guitar was pretty much duck soup. Later on I taught myself bass without the need for books or lessons... just relied upon my ear; however, around that same time I was playing tuba and sousaphone in junior-high, then high-school band, which just made bass playing that much more natural for me.

    I second this recommendation... check out the Mel Bay method! :bassist:
  9. A teacher only has to be one lesson ahead of their pupil;)
  10. JJd2sc


    Jul 31, 2003
    Marietta, Georgia
    Start with making sure you get basic technique down (2 fingers, relaxed hands, etc), then teach him basic songs. Nobody just learning bass will really want to start out with only scales and theory. If he likes Nirvana, teach him something like that. Move up technical lessions as you see fit, but it really is a shame to see natural talent go because they lose interest in scales and modes. Im not saying they arnt very important, you still should teach them, but not start with them. Get note names down and teach him how to learn on his own. Tell him to look at tabs, listen/look if they are remotely close to the song, and to learn what he likes to listen to. As inaccurate as lots of tabs are, playing along to songs and learning on your own will progress someone a lot faster than starting on scales. Just my opinion.

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