Recently, I saw a video of a popular bass player discussing certain aspects of theory by stating that there are more than 12 keys. It’s not important who said this. Out of respect for him, if you know who I am discussing, please do not mention his name as I don’t wish to make my discussion personal. P.S. Regarding that there are more than 12 keys in music, he was correct! I assumed that the video was meant to explain that, by practicing an exercise in 12 keys, bass players might not be playing the music in the remaining 16 different key types that music includes ( there 30 keys where key signatures are in use.) I commented by saying that since much of the music that bass players play was written in static major, or minor. Thus, transposing the music into a possible 30 keys made no musical sense because the music that was being transposed had to remain in its original major or minor (or modal tonalities.) Hence, the statement about 30 keys wasn’t relevant to anyone practicing the bass. Playing an exercise in 12 keys worked perfectly since most transposition takes place by ear. If one chose to write out the music, then 15 key types would be applicable. Next, I mentioned that teachers that simplify, or make “easy to understand” lessons of music are altering educational approaches that are already perfect in their present forms since they have been proven to education everyone for a long time. I stated that some teachers seem to work harder trying to simplify musical principles for easier consumption instead of encouraging their students to learn them as they are taught. Since effort is made to simplify music education, I assume that bass teachers assume that their students aren’t either capable to learning music as everyone else has done, or, that they believe that their students just don't want to do the work to learn correctly. The reaction to my comments was interesting; people didn't disagree with my educational overviews. No one addressed my views related to my lesson comments, but a number of people expressed real anger for my criticizing an academic principle offered by someone who is viewed as beyond reproach. This action isn't the responsibility of the person or persons being discussed. It is entirely on the people who incorrectly decide that the persons that they most admire cannot be in error in what and how they teach. But, quite often, they are. In viewing anyone who teaches as utterly beyond questioning, bass players have moved from admirers and entered into a mental mindset reserved for members of a cult. In a cult, the “Leader” is perfect, almost omnipotent and beyond any criticism or questioning. Does this sound familiar? This is not beneficial for anyone to be like this if one is seeking to improve their playing. It is possible to love the playing of our favorite musicians and also recognize that those teachers might not be qualified to teach music, no matter how one plays. And, I suggest that people attribute this same view about me. In this day of poor bass education, it might be wise for people to doubt us all and not look to us for sound guidance if we are not teaching according to proven methods of learning. Nothing validates something as precedence does. It seems to be the only reliable thing to rest your musical improvement upon; if something worked in the past regarding learning, then it will work today. Only the information itself is open for change. As an example, Bach learned music as Debussy did, but Debussy learned a different form of its content than Bach learned. It is hard to argue against precedence and it is here where your best guarantee at musical improvement lies. Go to the internet and research how, say, ten people from any period in history that played any instrument whatsoever and try to figure out their academic backgrounds. I will bet that you will discover that every name that you choose, 100%, were guided by other musicians for free and also entirely self taught (or in charge of deciding what they wanted to learn by.) Or they were taught musical content. I don't believe that anyone can come up with a third option on how anyone learns how to play. If this is true, then it would be wise to reflect on the methods that bass teachers are teaching you to see if you are being guided by bass players trained in musical content (which gives their lessons some historical precedence,) or are you being taught lessons newly created by bass teachers who believe that change is a good thing (which technically makes you a guinea pig, your future in music resting on academic experiments.) Here is my list of ten artists that you can check out. If you wish, I encourage you to make your own list. 1. Louis Armstron 2. George Gershwin 3. Lemmy Kilmister 4. John Lennon 5. Daniel Barenboim 6. Gustav Mahler 7. James Jamerson 8. Robert Trujillo 9. Son House 10. Ruben Blades Finally, if you know that name of the person that I was discussing at the top of the post, I am asking you again not to mention any names. I didn't write this post to embarrass or cause harm to anyone, but to point out that teaching comes with knowing the subject that one teaches. Please keep this in mind if you decide to offer your thoughts here. Best regards from Jeff Thoughts?