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Jeff Berlin asks - What Is Taught Without Only Teaching the Facts!

Discussion in 'Ask Jeff Berlin [Closed]' started by JeffBerlin, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. JPaulGeddy


    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    Music is a foreign language - to everyone. Some want to learn it in-depth enough that there is no trace of an accent, and they will be viewed as native-speakers. Others just want to be conversant - the ones truly 'in the know' will always notice that they're not fluent, but they can hang. Others still just want to know enough so they can be in the culture.

    Some just want to learn the dirty words.
    Drgonzonm, AlekB, Rich Emme and 5 others like this.
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Well it sure was in 1994-95 anyway
  3. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    The answer is Listen to lots of recordings.

    Can you explain the difference between a Count Basie and Thad Jones big band without listening? Can you explain the difference in articulation between Janos Starker and Yoyo Ma on the Bach Cello Suites?

    Ultimately a music teacher teaches you how to teach yourself. They aren't there to download their experience to the student.
    VerryBerry, fdeck and Whousedtoplay like this.
  4. 5thsand4ths


    Mar 16, 2014
    Cooking? You can't be a good cook unless you go to an academic cooking school?
  5. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    IMG_0299.PNG This is my new favorite course from the 2017/2018 Musicians institute catalog
    I laughed out loud.
    Then wanted to cry
  6. I'll tell you what, if they're really teaching One-Click Flare Orbits than it must be the real deal!!
  7. With all due respect, you guys are all talking above my head. I'm self taught and am an 'ear' and 'feel' guy that's been playing for 50 years. I don't read music and have a good reputation as a bassist that can be called on to jump in and play in most situations. I noticed through the years that one reason people give up playing their instrument is they 'don't know their tools'. What I mean is they don't know how to choose and set them up properly ie. intonation. The instrument gets too hard to play and they give up. I wish music teachers, at least for bassists, would teach them hands-on how to take them apart, re-assemble and set them up, like a gun in the army, how to maintain them. I think the student would feel more comfortable with the tool in his hands and would be more confident in learning and playing the bass. Does this make any sense?
    4dog, bebi, Willy B and 2 others like this.
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  9. 5thsand4ths


    Mar 16, 2014
    As a kid one of the the first things I learned during classical guitar lessons was how to position my left-hand thumb. That was by far the best teaching I ever received. Positioning of the hand should be the first thing anyone teaches. I see plenty of guys who can read and play a chart but everything they do is a chore because their thumb is in the way.
    AlekB, Whil57 and Clef_de_fa like this.
  10. I think any child with a guitar should have been doing this on their own from day one. Kinda like tearing down and rebuilding the old radio! I'd compare that to driving a car and not knowing how to switch a flat or something.. Which is common nowadays I guess... :facepalm:
  11. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I get what you’re saying now. I re-read the thread and it makes sense. I think I was referring to different starting methods themselves: books, teachers, videos, Suzuki methods... Stuff like that.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    With all due respect I’m still having trouble parsing whatever points Mr. Berlin seems to be positing despite my reading through the entire thread two times now. The premise seems to meander around without quite coming to a point about anything. Could Mr. Berlin or somebody please clue me in on precisely what Mr. Berlin is saying here?
  13. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Exceptions aside, being taught musical content is the only reason to pay to learn with anyone! I don't see anyone actually improving as bass players by studying anything other than musical content. This means that if you are paying to learn and you aren't being taught how to read music or how to play harmonic music, I feel that you won't improve as bass players.
  14. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Here is a point of thought that is important to share with people: Your teacher needs to know the answers to practically any question about learning that you have. . This is one reason why you pay them to teach you; they are entirely responsible for your improvement, or they should be.

    I will correct one thought of yours if I may. A teacher doesn't teach you how to teach yourself. A teacher teachers you what you can't figure out for yourself. Of course you can choose what to learn on your own. But, the job of a teacher (a bass teacher in this instance) is to teach you how music works and have you practice it on your bass by reading it. Reading music synchs up your brain, eyes, hands, and instrument. It is THE most perfect way to learn where good time comes from (hence my negative views about metronomes) and it will get you to realize almost in an instant how to play some of the ideas that I know that people reading this get but have trouble playing. There's a reason for this.
    Whippet and Smoove-Groove like this.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    So you’re basically saying that anything outside of “musical content” by which I gather you mean music theory and technical skills such as reading, fingering technique, etc. is the only justification (aside from the inevitable exceptions) for paying for what is commonly referred to as a musical education?

    Thank you! I agree with you 100% on those points.
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    This is the honest truth. :thumbsup: Every time I see the name "Jeff Berlin", the following statement immediately pops into my mind:

    "There's no such thing as warm up exercises."

    I remember reading that statement (that Jeff made) in a bass related magazine a long time ago, and for some reason, that statement stayed in my brain for all of those years! :) It might have been in a monthly column called "Chops" in Bass Player magazine, but I'm not quite sure.

    (I must really be showing my 61 year old age by posting this!!!)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  17. madbanjoman


    Feb 23, 2011
    I totally agree. Most bass/guitar teachers that I have encountered in my local area are guitar and bass players looking to supplement their income by teaching. They teach licks and and tab and in my experience a complete waste of money. They are not teachers. I have learned more about music on my own.
    Fergie Fulton likes this.
  18. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    I really believe that music schools that teach the electric bass are more entertainment than educational. If anyone wishes to know how to learn the bass correctly in a school or with a teacher, find a bass teacher that teaches as a trumpet, violin, or saxophone teacher does.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  19. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    After a very long time here I can tell you that Bass Player and a lot of rock player in general want to be entertainer. They want to put a show the music is very secondary.
    They’ll know just enough for it to work.
    Fergie Fulton and Bentfield like this.
  20. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    My musings on the facts of bass playing
    1. Reading bass clef makes it easier to play
    2. Reading treble, lead sheets is a big help
    3. Knowing minor and major thirds, triads gives expansion.
    4. Keeping time, is important, knowing triplets, 4/4 6/8,
    5. Natural talent trumps items 1 thru 4
    5thsand4ths likes this.
  21. 5thsand4ths


    Mar 16, 2014
    I recently watched my daughter's jazz ensemble. They sounded ok but the guy on bass could barely put three notes together with his thumb hanging over the neck. It looked like he was fighting a cramp just to play anything.

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