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help with my playing

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Stephen S, Apr 10, 2002.


  1. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    im 14 and ive been playing for about 8 months i love music and i love bass i have taught myself everything possible i bought books movies all that and taught myself all these things but i dont know were to go from here im very good for only playing for 8 months but i would like to enhance my playing ability i want to take my playing to the next level any tips?
     
  2. Chip

    Chip

    May 2, 2000
    get a teacher :)
    they will teach you more than any books
    ...looking back at my book, its pretty simple (well most of it :D ) and books cant see what places you need to improve in and give you advice on how to fix it
     
  3. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    As chip says, the best way forward is private tuition, if you can a) afford it and b) find a good teacher...

    What you're asking me is what I get paid to show people hour by hour, one on one, listening to their playing and responding to their problems, questions, mistakes, strengths and weaknesses etc... It's not really possible to give you an answer that'd be worth having from such a broad question (that doesn't mean it wasn't worth asking, just that in this answer, hopefully you'll find some kind of way forward... :oops:)

    If you have more specific questions about aspects of playing, they may be easier to answer in this forum...

    sorry not to be more conclusive...

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  4. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Yup. A teacher is so valuable.

    And agreed, maybe you can be a little more specific on telling us what you already know so maybe we can tell you where to go next. Do you know your major scales? modes? chords? Can you site-read? How's your ear?

    Well, lil_bass_kid, welcome to the wonderful world of bass.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie
     
  5. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    the only things i need guidence in is slap and pop and im traing myself by ear those are the only hard things im learning now everything else i can find im teaching myself
     
  6. Chip

    Chip

    May 2, 2000
    there are some things that you need a teacher
    also you maybe doing something wrong and only a teacher can point it out
    there are so many good points why a teacher is necessary

    also if you wanna try playing something hard, have a go at bach, a teacher will really help your fingering (thats just what im doing now)
     
  7. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    the whole point of me asking was that i couldnt afford a teacher and my parents wont pay for it also im a lil skeptical about what a teacher whos charging 18 dollars per half hour every other week can teach me
     
  8. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It might be worth seeing if you can have a lesson every now and then - what you're paying for is not someone to wave a magic wand and make you better but someone who can help you understand where you're at and suggest ways in which you can both stretch your skills and develop stronger foundations.

    However, even if you can't afford a lesson, it will be invaluable to spend time with other musicians. It doesn't even matter too much if they're not bass players.

    Get involved in making music with other musicians; at age 14 you might not have the resources (or parental permission) to hang at all the muso spots in town, but there are probably still opportunities, even if they don't seem to be quite what you're after. Playing tuba lines with the school band? At very least you'd get some sight reading skills and be making contacts...:)

    Wulf (who was about 14 when he started...)
     
  9. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Bass lessons are expensive, but as Wulf says, worth it, even if you have to spread them out - I have a lot of students who come for a 2 hour lesson every 3 or 4 weeks, and some who just come for a 2 hour lesson when they've run out of ideas and need a kick-start (hello Wulf... :oops:)

    A good teacher is easily worth the money and is worth saving up for, but do your research first. Some teachers offer a free meeting, or even a free lesson (I used to offer first lesson free, but just don't have the time for that now, though I'm more than happy for someone to call in for a coffee for 20 minutes to find out what I'm like...)

    Start saving... :oops:)

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  10. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Hello Steve... I say, that sounds a lot like me doesn't it :)

    Better do some more saving myself...

    Wulf
     
  11. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I had a two hour lesson with Steve over a month ago and I have not internalised all the things we covered. BTW I have been playing in bands for 20 years.

    Steve-I will give you a bell when I'm ready
     
  12. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Wulf/Chris,

    it'd be great to see you both (not at the same time - small group lessons don't work, though you should definitely meet sometime soon, you'd get on great...)

    When you're ready... :oops:)

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  13. Chip

    Chip

    May 2, 2000
    i've been getting lessons for about 2 1/2 years now, they started off $20 for 30 mins, but as i got to know my teacher better, he gave me extra time for free, now i get 1 1/2 hour lessons for $20
    they have really made me a good player, i have far surpassed another bassist in my same year level who has been playing for about a year longer than me
    they do pay off in the long term
     
  14. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I take lessons once a week for 30 minutes. Sometimes it goes over the 1/2 hour. Sometimes my teacher, when he has a bunch of cancellations that day, let's me stay longer. My lessons cost $15/wk. Not bad.

    I will tell you, I've been taking these lessons for about 2 years now. My teacher is moving away soon and a new teacher is taking his place and I've been looking back on how much my teacher has taught me. How much these lessons have meant to me. I'm quite sad that he's leaving. :( He told me I might not like the new teacher b/c I might be too advanced for him (HA! :D). Heh, that's not really a good sign, eh? For him as a teacher, I mean. And my teacher is recommending me to his[/b] teacher...just in case.

    I don't think I'd be 'advanced' as I am if it wasn't for my lessons.

    Anyway, lil_bass_kid, as for learning slap and pop, as a beginner, you really don't need to be concerned about doing 'showy' things yet. But there are a lot of slapping threads in the Technique forum you might want to check out. I don't know how to slap for the life of me. LOL.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie
     
  15. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Steph,

    in your quest for a new teacher, do some research - don't study with the new guy just 'cos he's got the job now, especially if it seems like he might not be up to it... You need someone who's going to guide you down the musical path you've chosen, not someone who's going to say 'well, I don't know much about that, so let's do some rock 'n' roll bass lines instead'... no good, go elsewhere... :oops:)

    Ask around - see who other players in town might recommend... a good teacher will be able to point you in the right direction whether what you are playing is their 'thing' or not - I'm not a huge fan of speed metal but if someone came to me wanting to play like that, I could show them what they'd need to know without any problem at all...

    I hope you manage to find another teacher who can inspire you as much as your current guy seems to have done... :oops:)

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk (new CD available for order here)
     
  16. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Thank you Steve. And I do understand what you mean. I haven't even met the new teacher yet. I just think it's fair to give him a chance first. The studio (music store) where I take my lessons is very reputable (so reputable that when famous bands come to town for concerts, this is the store they like to check out) and has great ppl and friendly teachers working there. I'm sure they wouldn't choose a teacher to come in that doesn't know what he's doing. But, yeah, if I don't feel I'm advancing with him, there's nothing I can do about it and will have to look elsewhere. I'd hate to leave a great place, though. :(
     
  17. heres some encouragement for the lil_bass_kid

    i started to take lessons about 5 yrs ago,i started out with a half hour lesson for ten bucks then i went to a 1 hour for twenty bucks,i went every week faithfully,and tried my best to always practice what my teacher taught me ,i now play bass for my teachers band Victory in Heaven blues Band www.vihband.com ,we have just finished recording another cd which will be out july 9,i still go for a lesson every week,to keep learning,my lessons are free,i never planned any of this ,all i did was had strong desire to accomplish to learn how to play,i started to play when i was fifteen but quit until i started again at the age of 30,i am now 42 and i really want to be the best bass player that i can possibly be it takes a lot of hard work to do this you are young just think where you will be since you are so young,if you do not have money for lessons just keep teaching yourself until you can get a job and then get lessons,the main thing is to go every week,and practice don't waist your teachers time,or your own, most teachers want there students to be good only it is up to us students.
    frank
     
  18. Hey guys
    Obviously i agree that a teacher is the way forward, for more reasons then one!.
    I'm currently taking 1 lesson every 2 weeks, with a local session guy called Lincoln Anderson (Steve, heard of him?, plays in london a lot) not only has he taught me a lot about theoy and its application to the bass, but he's taught me about how the bass really fits into a band situation, the industry, broadened my musical horizens, and even thrown a few session gigs my way. And his style is very much my style, which helps...all for £10 an hour (usually just over)
    So yeah, lessons are the way forward, a good teacher is worth their weight in gold!

    *Si*
     
  19. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    That's great news about your lessons, Si - indeed, a good teacher is worth their weight in gold (and what's more, worth a heck of a lot more than 10 quid an hour!! Whatever you do, don't let the MU know about that, he's charging almost a third of what they stipulate as the minimum - I only charge 19 an hour at the moment, and that is seriously low (especially for in London))

    I've not heard of Lincoln, but then I've not heard of a lot of players - I'm pretty well plugged into certain scenes, but beyond that...

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
    www.pillowmountainrecords.co.uk