1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

guitar teachers posing as bass teachers

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Youngspanion, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. :eyebrow: How important is it to have a bass teacher that is strictly a bass teacher. I've seen guitar teachers teach bass and I dont think this is too good. But can some one be both a guitar player and a bass player and teach bass? Does the the teacher have to know upright too? how do we decide which is right?
  2. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    IMO it's not important at all to have a teacher that is strictly a bass teacher.

    Of course some can teach bass, and guitar. Mine does, and he is amazing at both.

    I don't think a teacher has to know how to play upright. I mean you are learning the electric bass aren't you?
  3. at the beginning you should have a teacher who knows the techniques well, so he/she should know how to play bass well (my teacher also teaches electric&classical guitar but is a good bassist as well)

    as soon as you are proficient in all the techniques required it really doesn't matter what instrument your teacher plays.

    EDIT: About the upright thing: if you don't intend to play DB why care?
  4. For electric bass teaching, upright is unnecessary, though it doesn't hurt. But your teacher should really know something about playing electric bass.

    Yes, someone can be a guitar player and a bass player and teach electric bass. I consider myself both a bassist and a guitarist, and I think I could teach either one about equally well. But some guitar teachers don't really play bass--they just figure it's easy because "the strings are the same as the lowest four strings of a guitar." I would tend to avoid those guys; by and large they can't help you much with playing the bass. Some of them do have a good understanding of music and theory in general, and so may have something to teach you in that regard, but I still would look for a real bass teacher if I were a beginner or intermediate student.
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002

    My teacher is a bassist who also plays guitar (apparetly REALLY well, I've never seen him) and for about 5 months, I took lessons from a guitar/drums/bass teacher. I took lessons in all three instruments from him -- only a couple bass lessons though. Although he has a fantastic sense of groove and time, I'd been taking lessons for a couple years by the time I'd gotten to him so instead we started doing guitar lessons that focused on theory and chord voicings. Later we did some drum stuff with reading some rhythms and stuff (helped me with locking with a drummer a LOT) but we spent most of our time on guitar chord voicings and theory.

    Now, I think it is imperative that you have a bass teacher for at least a year so that you've got a really good grounding in not only the technique, but relative pitch and the bassists' role in a band. Then, go to town. Take theory lessons from a guitar or piano teacher, phrasing lessons from a horn player, latin rhythms from a hand drummer, and vocal lessons to make your playing more melodic and lyrical. Do what you want and what you can afford.
  6. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    + 1 Same here... AMAZING at both... Better at guitar... Gigs with bass... Strange...
  7. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    My teacher just does gigs whenever he gets one.. Someone will just be like play "so and so in all harmonics man!" and he'll do it, using fake harmonics and stuff. Crazy.. Having a masters from berkley school of music might be why. :meh: He's a hippy too.. Hippy bass teachers are always the best.
  8. krazy_olie


    May 10, 2004
    Well a bass teacher should be able to play guitar so you can play along.

    My teacher teaches bass, guitar, piano and vocals. I wouldn't say you need a strictly bass teaching teacher, my teacher is mainly a guitar guy now. However he was a pro bassist for several years.

    Often guitar teachers teach bass and aren't very good so be careful
  9. Perfect-Tommy


    Mar 28, 2004
    I think as a new player, a strictly bass playing teacher is not needed at all. I think we all agree that the first year or two of learning to play any instrument is basic theory and basic technique. Once you grow and become better, you might want to change teachers. Not because for the fact of not being a "bass player" but because that's how you learn. Multiple teachers and different schools of thought.

    It's all about growing. Who says that learning to make a bass sound more like a guitar doesn't have benefits? Learning to play "basslines" when doing accoustic guitar fingerstyles makes you a better player, why doesn't it work both ways?

    Just some late night ramblings from the head peanut of the gallery...
  10. My last teacher is a Killer Bassist, for every groove and style under the sun......also happened to be an excellent Guitarist.
    He was able to teach Students striving to learn both instruments........hard stressing Theory, and perfect form on one's given instrument(left and right hands).

    He Loved(and continues to Love)Music as a whole, it matters not that one doubles.....what level of quality do they offer?
  11. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    Take lessons from a bass player. If the guy is a guitarist who also teaches bass audition him and make him play 4-5 songs for you from simple to complex. Make him prove he can play bass with proper technique.

    Too many guitar players teaching bass that really don't know how to play a bass at all. They have their head filled with ideas that its just a guitar with 4 fat strings. And while from a theory standpoint they are correct; from a technique practical applicaiton standpoint they are dead wrong.

    When you start learning getting fundamantals of proper technique are the most important. Don't learn from a poser, you will just have to spend 3x as much time fixing your technique later.

    And before you flame me ask yourself this. Would a guitarist take lessons from a bass player? Its just a 6 string bass with smaller strings and screwed up tuning on the high string right? ... wrong.

  12. Would someone who uses both Pick and Fingerstyle qualify for example???

    Would someone that has been gigging 35+ years as both a Bassist and Guitarist qualify??? Even if they play both...so what?????
    They are those folks in this world that can play both instruments to an extremely high level of proficiency.
    What level of proficiency do they have to offer???

    Proper Technique?

    There certainly are alot more items to consider than whether one plays both Bass and Guitar.
    What does the Teacher have to offer??
  13. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    Exactly my point, this is why you make them prove they can play before you waste your time and money with them. There are obviously people that are more than qualified to teach bass and guitar. This doesn't mean everyone who plays guitar is qualified to play bass because they think they can. Make them prove it.

    Most everything about playing bass or guitar or any other instrument that’s cerebral in nature you can learn from other sources. This includes everything from basic theory to note positions on the instrument to learning scales. Much of this knowledge is transportable between instruments.

    The one thing you can't learn from reading or the internet or even a video adequately is basic technique. When you start learning you begin programming your muscle memory to perform the actions required to play the instrument. It's critical to learn them correctly the first time. Avoid having to come back later to unlearn the wrong way and fix your muscle memory.

    There is a common belief amongst many guitarists that have never played a bass that they can teach people to play one. What they can teach is all of the cerebral type of information that is common between bass and guitar. What they can not teach is technique.

    This is the most important reason to have a competent teacher when you start. He will save you in some cases years of relearning later simply by starting you out the right way.

    So to answer the question. Learning to play bass from a guitarist is a bad idea.

    Learning to play bass from a person who is a guitarist and a bassist is a good idea. But the quality of the lesson is only as good as his bass skills.

  14. JonTheBassGuy


    Dec 12, 2004
    I had this problem a little while back. It's only a problem if they're just one of those people that figure that bass is just a guitar with less strings. If he's good at both its all gravy.