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I Quit My Bass Teacher for Two Reasons

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kalo, May 23, 2005.

  1. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Yet another teacher I have quite....I lasted only two weeks with him....

    This was the dude who played the drums while a student plays bass....

    The reason why I quite:

    FIRST REASON: He told me that practing scales and learning theory was really a waste of time and that I should be learning tunes...He went onto saying that he played for YEARS not knowing any theory but new tons of songs and played in lots of bands....People don't want to hear theory they want to hear songs...He did tell me that he eventually went to college and got his degree and knows everything now, but he didn't want to teach me any theory...

    So learning theory and arpeggios (I know how to figure out them out anyways) was out of the question....

    He also INSISTED for me to learn how to read music...Great, I am willing to do so, however, when he TRIED teaching me songs, he didn't want to write them in tab, because he wanted me to read music, however, being that I am new in reading music, I am not a proficient sight read...So when teaching me a song I would have to memorize what he did :eyebrow:

    What a waste......


    Some of you may have known (through a thread I posted last week) that I got my self in a sh....ty band....Bad attitudes, lousy musicians, that accepted sh....ty gigs for the sake of playing out and showing off when they weren't ready to gig, and two of these gigs were without pay :meh: Well, I bailed/quite that band big because I didn't want to hang with
    with musician's with bad attitudes who didn't want to practice before accepting gigs.....Not to mention the attitude of this band was very poor...

    Here is what my teacher said to me...He felt I did a BIG mistake in leaving that band, and that if I want to be a professional musician that I would have to put up with bozo like that....

    I replied "even if meant that band sucked (didn't care if they sounded good or not) and got sh....t gigs, plus the fact that the singer and rhythm guitarist were both jerks, and insisted on playing a gig with a drum machine not to mention the lead singer thinking she is all that and wasting 3 hours of my time because she was late (twice) isn't a reason to leave"?

    He said "there were always be jerks in any type of band that I will join and that he worked with a lot of jerks and sucky bands and sucky gigs to pay the rent"......Basically, my teacher is a bassist for hire kind of thing....

    He asked me what I did for a living and I told him and then he replied, "well I am sure there is people at your job that are some what jerks, but you put up with it because it's your job... Well, music is no different....

    Ya know what I told him? "That's why I am not a professional musician"....I never want to have to hang out with loosers just because I need the money"...

    "I do music for passion, and IF I can make a semi living playing by playing out twice a month with good musicians who are cool hang out with and want to be good before accepting any gig then fine"...

    I expressed to him that if I was going to have to hang out with muscians on my spare time meaning (tuesday rehearsals, and Saturday rehersals) that it better be worth my time and that I didn't want to waste my personal time hanging with jerks who have major attitude and can't play worth a damn not to mention get horrible gigs with no pay....

    Music is my therapy and I look forward to coming home and playing and getting good at my instrument....

    I would never want to turn my passion and love for music into a job I hated just for the sake of making a buck...

    Then I got up right in the middle of lessons packed up my bass and told him that a professional musicians life wasn't the life for me, especially IF I had to COMPRISE hanging with jerks...Needless to say I walked out :hyper: .

    He wasn't really teaching me anything worth while anyways, LOL!!!!

  2. LowEndLobster

    LowEndLobster Bass reviewer and youtube dude guy. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Your teacher is RIGHT. Sad, but true. There were jerks in every band but one I played in. Some started out fine, but became jerks when the chips were down.

    Maybe I was a jerk, too. I was a jerk when band members were consistently late for rehearsals. I was a jerk when our drummer was so late for a gig that our band was made to perform dead LAST in a lengthy out of town venue. I was a jerk when our drummer made me fill up my SUV with HIS drums, unload them and carry them in to the gig so I could my own gear out of the car, but he was so late he was of no help.

    Here's the truth of life...the world abounds with jerks, everywhere, all the time. Sometimes, in fact, people who are not jerks otherwise become jerks when they feel they are being treated badly by a consummate jerk. (Though I surmise that you are never a jerk.)

    You say you want to play a few gigs a week as a semi-pro, but you will still have to deal with jerks in your semi-pro band, in the audience at gigs, the venue owners and promoters, studio owners if you record, and so on.

    Set your goals and time lines, but do not allow jerks to cause you to give up on your dreams. Learn how to deal with them. Get them on your side. Don't quit bands or teachers at the first adversity. Stick it out awhile and luck will come your way.
  4. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Thanks for the awsesome advise Boplicity....

    In all reality I know people including bandmates can be jerks....People are people no matter what profession one choose....

    Seriously, this band that I currently was in wasn't for me, and on top of it the people weren't who I wanted to hang with and weren't good musicians that wanted to get better before accepting gigs (without pay)....

    With that being said, I want to stick it out with my new teacher, however, he really doesn't teach me anything...

    This was my second lesson with him and I haven't learned a thing..Write now, I am teaching myself....Learning songs, studying theory and heck I am even teaching myself to read music....

    He refuses to teach me theory, as for songs he teaches them only half way and I have to memorizing songs by watching what he is doing....

    I know what I want and I am not giving up, but in all reality I don't care if I don't play out professionally either....I am doing fine, by teaching myself and recording.....

  5. You sound like you're WAY over-sensitive.

    The stuff your teacher said/did/taught you makes perfect sense to me.
  6. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Okay, maybe I am waaay to oversensitive about the band thing, but forget about what my teacher has told me about the music bizz.....

    I am not disrespecting him for that....I am willing to accept that there are jerks in every aspects of life...

    But what about his teaching skill.....Am, I being way oversenstitive on the ways of his teaching...

    Not teaching me theory, and when learning songs I should memorize what he is doing by watching, I am also learning how to read music on my own....He is not teaching me how to read music..

    I think I am doing better teaching myself....I am learning theory on my own, learning how to read music, plus learning the tunes....

    A part of me wants to try him again, however, I don't want to keep shelling out 30 bucks 1/2 lesson to wait and see if things will get better....

    I do appreciate everyone advise though.....I realize that maybe I need to chill out to some degree....

    I am not looking for that perfect band, but IF I am going to deal with jerks in the band, I would at least like to play there music and play with musicians who want to practice to get good and not get in a band who just accept any gig WITHOUT PAY.....

  7. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    look man, in my opinion, you have a point and you don't.

    A teacher should give you a challenge. If he isn't, then you are not learning. He wasn't teaching, so quit. good idea.

    You are also rigth abotu quitting a band that her jerks in it. I was in a band that had one jerk, and I stayed in the band for 9 months, and what they do? the band yells at me for hanging otu with my girlfrined instand of band practice when they didnt tell me when band practice was, then not telling me I was out of the band, btu started looking for bass players behind my back ( they couldn't find a better one, I quit, the band broke up )

    BUT the whole semi-pro band that you dotn want tro be in ebcuase you dont get paid. GET USED TO IT! I play in a semi-pro band, played at a prog festival with this band, and we are playing at the Florida Folk festival. Did we get paid for the Prog fest? No. We did it for the music.

    You are saying you play music for the passion, then say you want money when you play live. If you get paid great, but if you want fans, and get yoru name out, play shows that you don't get paid too, becuase then more people will know who you are. To me, itr sounds like you are selling out when you say you play music for passion and then wont play shows unless you get some money.
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Including the "practicing scales and learning theory is a waste of time" part?
  9. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    You are cool...Thanks....

    Let me clarify this I do play music for passion and seriously, I don't mind NOT getting paid....However, deep down, and then again I could be wrong, I don't like going out in public playing in bands that sounds lousy....This band that I was in didn't care if they sounded good or bad.....

    I feel that if we are going to play out at we should least sound somewhat decent...

    Okay, I do need advise on one thing? I practicing scales and theory a waste of time? If so, I will just learn the lines.....I need some direction....Kalo!
  10. The answer is no.
  11. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    If a teacher isn't teaching you what you want to learn, get a different teacher. YOU are paying for the service, and if you are not getting the service that you want, find someone who will provide it.

    I find it interesting that your teacher wants you to learn to read music but not theory. I think the two go together well!
  12. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    I am starting to believe that there aren't any good teachers left anymore....

    Maybe the saying "that we are our own best teacher" is true..

    I am veeeery dedicated and practice religiously.....
  13. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    there is a great bass teacher in Florida. lol.

    Anyway, larn scales and modes, they will help!
  14. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY

    Walk before you run. I think reading music is essential to understanding theory. You can't do the latter without first learning the former.

    As far as sticking with a jerky band - I hear you. If you're not going to be playing music professionally, it's you're choice of who to play with. There's no point in turning an otherwise enjoyable hobby into the drudgery of a second career, complete with moronic or disagreeable co-workers. That's what I presume you have the day job for.
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA

    I don't know what thread some people are reading, I think you made a very wise decision.

    And yes, there are good teachers out there.
  16. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003

    You TOTALLY understand where I am comming from...Exactly my point ;)
  17. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I haven't read every post in this thread, but thought I'd offer my 2 cents anyway.

    One problem I see with many new musicians is that they don't do enough to be self-learners - they look for everything to come from the instructor rather than digging in and discovering at least some things on their own.

    With today's technology and resources like this forum (which is superb!), most people should be able to discover numerous things on their own.

    A good teacher is worth the investment, but all of us should be as self-directed as possible.
  18. kalo,

    i think you kinda over reacted with your teacher... maybe even to the point of him thinking you were one of the jerks he has to get along with, BUT it totally agree with you leaving the band and the teacher. Just didn't like the way you did it. If you love music keep at it. I know I do and because of that I do alot of sacrifices to keep practicing/playing/reading about/learning music. Just don't let this kind of thing get in the way of your dreams.

    Keep at it duuuude :)
  19. powerslave

    powerslave Guest

    Feb 24, 2005
    United States
    You have made the best decision that you could have, and I firmly agree with jazzbo.

    “Kalo, I don't know what thread some people are reading, I think you made a very wise decision. And yes, there are good teachers out there.”

    Don’t let spineless people who just get off on being jerks get you down, there’s plenty of them out there and few of them happy with themselves witch is why you get the brunt of it – you know what you want and others who don’t are pretty much jealous that they don’t.

    If there is anything you learn from this it’s - Never settle! Never live other people’s lies!

    Don’t settle to play with poor musicians with bad attitudes, or pay someone to teach you what they want you to learn- that’s completely stupid. What the hell was he a marine or something, what a joke. Find a teacher with passion and genuine interest for what they do so you learn what you want from it.

    Good for you! Don’t be a sheeple
    So what if others “don’t like the way you did it” sounds like this “teacher” needed some light shed on him to set him straight in his role as a teacher not a Nazi wanna-be instructor.
  20. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO

    There are plenty of excellent teachers out there, and most of them stress sight reading as a necessity in order to make it as a semi-pro or professional musician. Example: Applying for a cruise ship Jazz trio, my instructor was led into a studio, given notated music and told to play the bass line for the song. They hit play on the cd and you are to play the song as best as you can. They don't tell you what the song list is composed of, you're expected to be able to follow all songs by sight reading exclusively .

    Just one example of many that would require good sight reading skills.

    Oog :p

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