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Importance of a teacher?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bassline_Delux, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Exactly how important is having a teacher?

    I've been playing for about 4 years now. I had about 6 lessons when I first started, and my teacher wasn't even a bass player, just a good guitar player teaching bass, which was ****. So anyway, that was crap, so I decided to just teahc myself. So, now, 4 years later here I am, doin' pretty well I think but I'm wondering if it would make a big, positive, difference to my playing, and would there be significant improvement if I got myself a bass teacher?
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    you would probably know ALOT more theory if you had a teacher. my only teacher is a general music teacher. i think i want to get bass lessons though.
  3. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Definitely go for lessons. The first 1.5 years I played I took lessons and it helped me to bloom as a bassist and started me on the path to finding my own "voice" on the bass.
  4. dave_clark69

    dave_clark69 Guest

    Jan 17, 2003
    I would say that you are correct. My mate doesn't have lessons, i do. He has been playing a year more than me. i am better than him- because of lessons. Your right, you do learn more theory. But! The main reason i am better than him is because of technique. Simple thing like slap. My teacher said that if you do a muted slap you must make it sound like hitting a bald man with a herron.
    Bit random, but lessons do help on
    1. Technique
    2. Theory
    3. Getting those important grades
  5. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    I have been working with a teacher for the last 6 months, for the first time ever. My playing has improved DRAMATICALLY in all areas - Rhythm, groove, note choices, technique, solos, all the subtle stuff, finding my own sound, and I am learning Jazz, which I wouldn't have braved alone.

    It would've taken me years on my own to do what I have in the last 6 months with a good teacher. I highly recommend you find one if you want to take your playing to the next level.
  6. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    Record yourself while playing and then decide whether you want a teacher or not.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Bassline Delux, even though you have played for four years, one thing a teacher--a good bass playing teacher--could do for you is evaluate your present level of playing in a way you really can't do yourself.

    He or she can see if you are doing some things in way that can be improved and hear if you are playing in a way that can be improved. For example, maybe you are fingering notes on the fretboard in an inefficient or clumsy way that can be made easier for you. Maybe you are plucking notes ineffectively. Maybe your timing is ever-so-slightly off because either your right or left hand is somewhat slower than the other.

    Your teacher can observe stylistic and technical facets of your playing that are nearly impossible for you to notice yourself. Even if you do record yourself, a very good idea, you may hear problems, but not know how to correct them.

    A bass playing teacher can really set you straight on a path to rapid improvement. Such a teacher can point out your strengths, too. You may actually be better than you thought, at least in some areas of your playing. Learning that will be a great confidence builder.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    *snif* I'm so very HAPPY....
  9. mnadelin


    Apr 6, 2003
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I think it depends on the person. Lessons have never appealed to me. When I first started, I had an excellent bass teacher, definitely the best in the city. He taught me a lot about technique, but after a little bit, it started seeming too much like school (this was summer, at the time). At the time, I was more interested in drums anyway and just wanted a minimal understanding of bass. The next year, I got in a band where I was a bass player, and obviously that piqued my interest in bass once again. Now, I'm glad I don't have a bass teacher because I think I've learned more about bass and music theory on my own than I ever could have in a class going through books. It also depends on how much time you have. I'm going to be a senior in high school and it's summer, so I pretty much spend all day practicing and studying bass. My dad, who's also a bass player, took lessons for quite awhile, and it really helped him because he's used to that kind of setting, and needed specific direction from an accomplished instructor (he has the same instructor that I did). The way I practice and learn is just to take a song, and learn it, or see how I can improve on it, and I keep learning tougher and tougher songs. For instance, I just started learning Teen Town (and it's hard as all hell).

    Anyway, I think it depends how serious you are, as well. If you want to be a professional musician or play a lot of gigs where if you don't know your stuff, you don't get paid, an instructor probably would be a good idea. If you're just playing as a hobby maybe doing a few birthday/bar mitvah type gigs, having an instructor probably isn't as important. So I really think you just have to assess how deep you want to get with bass playing.