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Lessons vs. Self-Taught

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ishmael_the_god, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I agree with steve, Even though I am almost 100% self-taught, I do plan on getting lessons again someday, hopeful from an astronomically good teacher, but I'll settle for something less than that.

    I definatly feel that is is valuable to have a teacher, unless you really have the disicipline and dedication to formulate your own lesson plans and execute them...but even then it's still probably best to do it with the guidance of a teacher.
  2. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    what were the costs of your lessons? how long would a session be? 1 hour, 90 minutes, 2 hours?
  3. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    The lessons cost $30 for one hour, meeting every other week.
  4. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    i played the drums for over 20 yrs,many of those years were self taught,and i honestly believe with certain instruments more is needed to master one type than others,with that being said i took a couple of lessons when i got my first bass(they came free with the purchase)i then proceeded to be my own teacher,at first i excelled rapidly then all at once i hit a plateau,and i hesitated for a few months before giving in and going to a pro,
    now i am very glad i decided to go to a teacher,i am learning things i would have never been able to figure out in a millon years,since i've started lessons i took my teachers advice and practiced theory and not worrying about learning all my favorite songs at first,i practiced dillegently and regularly and now those songs i wanted to learn before,now are as easy to play as a blues scale.
    i thinks its worth 20.00 bucks an hour to be a well rounded bass player, not just able to play other peoples famous bass lines.:bassist:
  5. Thanks to my teacher, I can now grasp the concepts of certain things like I couldn't before. I use to check out websites and books for info and all that, but with a teacher, you are forced to focus on goals. I find it easier to be motivated than to try and plan something to practice on my own. Teachers = Good.

    I understand chords now!!! :D
  6. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    I'd like to steal Jacos quote that "I'm formaly self taught".
    By this he implies that you can learn your instrument properly without a teacher.

    I am self made, and it gets a bit ironic for me from time to time, since I have some students myself these days.

    The upside of being self taught is that you don't let anyone elses taste and ideas rule your playing. This also gives that you have to work harder to find your style, which naturally becomes stronger and more personal.

    The downside is that you tend to develop bad habits, technique wise. I worked hard to get rid of some of them in my mid-20's. With a teacher I wouldn't have developed them in the first place.

    Also I had to learn how to read music in two weeks when I was 22, since I got a tour with a big band. When the conductor asked me how well I read I replied "excellent", thinking he ment chord charts. When I had the notated charts sent to me I almost started to cry. I really had to woodshed, but I pulled it off!
    Now, if i'd had a teacher this would have been avoided. :)
  7. I can! I still have to find out with what, though.

    You can also just record your stuff and listen critically. I know I myself am never satisfied with the way I play.
  8. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    I can!
    Yes Josh, I consider myself a gifted player. Not Jaco-gifted, but never the less.

  9. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    i'm not gifted... i kinda suck...
  10. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I don't know if just listening to a recording of yourself playing is going to help improve your theory or clear up some bad technique. Sure, it's always a good thing to hear how you sound. The downside of this, though is, doing this alone, you are your only critic and you may be unconsciously bias and skip over some mistakes that need to be corrected.

    You say are never satisfied with the way you play. Now, wouldn't you want to do whatever you can to improve...like getting a teacher? Why put a limit on yourself? Personally, I come into a lesson sometimes and say to my teacher "I don't like how I'm playing this", "I'm not satisfied", things like that. And he helps me through it. He gives me new ideas and suggestions, opens a new door, so to speak.
  11. Because I know very well what I don't like what I hear. When it's sloppy time, then I will be trying to spend more time with a metronome. When it is playing the same licks too much, I will try a new approach to building licks over changes.

    I am way more critical than other people about my own playing. Teachers will generally just make you play the way *they* think you should play. That is not good enough for me: I want to that *that* good that I can actually be satisfied when I hear a recording of myself.

    Besides: I know way more than by far the most bass teachers in the wide area. This may sound arrogant, but it's the truth. I have been thinking about teaching myself ... but I am just too darn impatient with people :D
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Stephanie - IME, when listening back to yourself, you don't skip over the mistakes & imperfections - actually, the opposite, they stick out like a sore thumb - whereas someone else, not so close to it, would hear the thing as a whole, and gloss over mistakes.

    IME, recording yourself is a very good way to discover technical weaknesses.

    What it won't do, necessarily, is help you take your playing to a deeper level - and that is something someone else really can help you with.

    But from a technical point of view, IME, recording is actually very helpful (and can be painful!).
  13. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I understand. I think what I was trying to explain is if, say, I'm playing a harmonic...or at least I think I'm playing it, but I'm not playing it correctly. I don't even know I'm playing it wrong. It may sound funny in the recording...or it may sound ok in the recording (which is all good if it sounds good...but what if down the road I want to work more with harmonics and I just keep on playing them wrong over and over, never being told I'm playing them wrong? But there's not going to be someone there to say "is that a harmonic you're trying to play there?")

    I'm not disagreeing about recording yourself. In fact I highly agree it's a good thing to do so. I just don't like being my only critic because I'm either too critical of myself and put myself down or just the opposite and think I'm pretty darn good and make no mistakes, when in fact, I make quite a few.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    That's my little sis! Me too...Recording yourself is good. Having a teacher help you critique yourself is good. Having both is better.
  15. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yeah, I'm with ya Stephanie :)
  16. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    There we go. That's what I was trying to say. I seem to be a bit inarticulate lately LOL. You read my mind. :)
  17. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I'll definatly agree to that, since I got a cheap lil tascam 4 track recorder, Ive recorded most every practice. It without a doubt doesnt lie when you listen to the play back. You hear ALL your strengths and weakness's. Now all I gotta do is get a dang teacher.
  18. well for classical atleast, i taught myself and played like ass, then i upgraded to a better teacher like a giging musician around the area and he fixed things i was doing wrong, but then i upgraded to a Pittsburgh Symphony member, Don Evans, and like he has taken my playing apart and just made me so much stronger at only 35 bucks an hour he is providing the foundation i did not have from teaching myself, atleast for jazz and classical, take lessons or else you wont be as good as you can possibly be
  19. Yofclef


    May 29, 2000
    USA Austin, Texas
    I just came to the realization, that you can only take yourself so far by teaching yourself! If you are really Serious about learning music and playing the Bass, I feel that it is a MUST that you find a Good Instructor/Teacher, to show you and help you on your way!
    They have the "Know How" that we all want and need. They can gauge our progress and make correction to what we are doing wrong! I know that have trouble with my Left hand!
    In a very short time since starting lessons, my playing and knowledge of Music has gotten much better! I feel that I am now Truely on my Way to the Low End of my Music!!
  20. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I agree, I wish I had taken lessons back when I started. I have been playing bass for about 25 years or so. I made a living at it for at least ten. I now gig two nights a week and still feel like I have so much to learn. I am confident in my playing but I hear things in my head that I wish I had the chops to play. How old is too old to start taking lessons? I mean, if there are things about my technique that are way off, can that be corrected? Can someone be too far gone?

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