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!  

Is it time to change bass teacher ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Toctoc, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Toctoc


    Jul 8, 2017
    Hi guys,

    I wanted to ask you when do you know it's time to change bass teacher ?

    For the context:
    I have been playing bass for around 3 years now, I started music late, in my 20s. I picked up bass with one bass teacher that I have been taking lessons from since then. He's a good player, qualified, went to berklee and can play well a lot of genres. I am myself very interested in jazz, which is the only genre I've been playing for the last year, and my teacher knows it.

    I can't help but feeling currently a bit disatisfied with the lessons I get, I feel we focus on the wrong things and the things I care about, I have to teach myself. For example we've spent some time on techniques like Jaco constant 16th notes, galoping with two fingers. Technics that I feel are quite specific and require a lot of time and repetition to nail down, which I am not giving them since at home I practiced my own things: learning how to read/sightread (Teached completly by myself, since we've never seen it in class), learning how to walk a walking bass, trying to be better on 2/5/1s, learning standard ...
    I have been playing in a jazz trio and without I mentioned anything about my bass teaching they adviced me to go get a jazz bass teacher.

    Since I've had only one teacher I wonder if maybe it's normal to see really different stuff with your teacher that what you're aiming towards ? I guess it makes me more polyvalent than if I had somebody that would push me specifically in one direction only ? But at the same time I feel that if you want to achieve greatness, it is better to focus. Especially since I have so much to learn on basic things that would make me a better jazz musician ..
    I didn't mention it like that with my teacher but I ask him questions about reading, about transcribing, about different topics we never saw in class and I get quick answer that don't really satisfy me, and we never focus on those things afterward in the class.

    Thanks for your time :)
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008

    Or have two teachers. One with weekly lessons in what you are studying on your own and the guy you have now, once a month.
  3. Experienced teachers know the curriculum better than their students, so you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. However if your requests and desires are being completely ignored, then I would consider a new instructor.

    The best instructors take your goals, and deliver a systematic method to achieve them.
  4. csc2048b


    Apr 4, 2010
    just my 2 cents. save some money and use this forum as a textbook. lots of learning material here to keep any bassist busy for months. there's also youtube. woodshed what you like, then visit the teacher and have him give you tips on how to 'refine' what you've been working on.
  5. You have to trust your instructor to take you where you want to go. If he/she is not taking you there, yes, it's time to change. It's a trust thing, if you no longer trust your instructor, it's time to change.

    Ask why we are doing what we are doing, if there is a reason, and he does have your goals in mind, then you are probably in good hands. Learning all this stuff is a journey that you and your instructor must take together.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
    bfields likes this.
  6. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    So he's trying to get you to run without walking. Pun intended. If you don't know all modes and improvising around key centres then the current plan of study is not going to work well. In any case I strongly suggest you check out the following:

    Mark Levine's Jazz theory book (book)
    Paul del Neros playing the changes (book)
    Gary Willis fretboard harmony (book)
    Tony Grey's YouTube channel
    Anthony Ms YouTube channel
    And then check out Jacos Modern Electric Bass

    The content mentioned above will get you much further than focusing on specific techniques.
  7. Toctoc


    Jul 8, 2017
    Thank you everybody for your input ;
    I really have this dilemma between the "trust your teacher, he knows where he's getting you" and the "I know where I want to go, I'm not sure i'm getting there with this teacher" - it's a tough call ; maybe taking Stumbo advice for some time could be a good idea. Trying somebody new could help decide, and at same time keeping my teacher at a slower tempo to continue the things we've been working on ..

    By the way Ba55i5t thank you for all the good references there, i'll definitely check them out. Currently I'm working on my own on Todd Johnson "Improvision Module Method"; and following musical oriented youtube channels like Adam Neely, Janek Gwizdala, Bob Reynolds , ...
  8. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Guitar lessons are similar to Golf lessons. Once you have the basics down, that's all you really need to get started. However, when you get good and need to overcome speed bumps, lessons can be the solution.

    At 3 years of playing, you know exactly what you need improvement on. If your request for specifics of technique are not delivered, or you're being instructed stuff you already know, the Student has become the Teacher.

    Thus, listen to your band and seek out a teacher who specializes in Jazz to see if he or she can meet your requests. And if, not, seek the all mighty free info online or YouTube.

    Like Golf and Guitar, there are money making machines out there, you keep their students hanging on. Money can be a huge factor in a relationship.
  9. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Get a new teacher. Nailing Jaco 16th notes and a galloping bass line are things you could do on your own if you wanted to. You should be learning how to read, music theory and the basics of improvisation. It sounds like you're doing THOSE things on your own when it should be the other way around.
    12BitSlab likes this.
  10. bfields


    Apr 9, 2015
    Ann Arbor, MI
    You should. I mean, you could almost just show him this question.

    He may well have a good reason for working on these things. Which he should be able to explain, if he's a good teacher. Or he may just not understand what you want because you haven't told him explicitly. Or maybe you told him and he forgot or he's just not very good at listening--being good at something isn't the same as being good at teaching it. Hard for us to tell from a distance. But maybe you can find out if you ask.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 24, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.