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Lessons vs. Self-Taught

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

  1. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Wow, if that's the case, that is good!
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think he's saying that - to say that you don't need a teacher to be a great musician, is like saying that there are vast numbers of potentially great poets out there; who because of their refusal to accept being taught by a teacher, can't actually write a word or hold a conversation - so what chance have they got of being published and us finding out how great a poet they are!!

    You may have more profound and greater ideas about music than a Mozart, Mahler or Beethoven - but if you can't articulate them, it doesn't matter a damn, as we will never know!
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Lessons suck. Learning stuff is for idiots.

    As soon as you know the tiniest bit of theory every ounce of creativity you once have had is crushed out of you. Fact.

    I'd never take lessons.

    So what are we talking about?
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Howard reverse humour is dangerous.

    lifted from EDCASE's overworked fingers

    He not only can show you the way, he can provide you with the knowledge and tools to find your way by yourself.

    I have highlighted the important bit. Using Ed's desert analogy; not everyone who travels across the desert is a good guide. Find a good guide who is willing to spend time and effort so you can achieve the stuff I highlighted using italics.

    I have an agenda (thanks to Ed) and that includes a teacher, learning to sightread and learning music styles I have absolutely no interest in.

    I'm responsible for my development and part of that responsibility is finding a good teacher (living 30 miles from Steve Lawson helps).
  5. This is all that need be said on the topic, and I wish it'd been said 200 responses back.
  6. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    I'll be that proverbial one person who is inspired to lessons thereby theoretically making the effort in this thread worthwhile, though in my case it's been preaching to the converted. I had to stop lessons a couple years ago due to the school I was going to closing and my very increased work and gigging schedule making proper devotion difficult.

    After very much gigging in different projects, as a performer (this distinction needs to be made!) I have advanced considerably ... to the point where my flash exceeds my actual skill. For what I usually play that's no problem, but for what I'd like to play it is a brick wall impeding my progress. So, despite work not getting and easier and gigging still quite steady, I'm going to redouble my efforts to learn and develop. Once I review what I'd learned before I'll be going to a teacher because while I've come to be seasoned as a *performer/entertainer*, without guidance I have not progressed as a bassist/musician !

    Deepest thanks as always to Ed, Chris, and the rest of the voices of reason on this site.
  7. if you can afford it get a teacher definatly.

    if your self taught (like me) u develop bad habits and it takes longer to learn things.
  8. bonzai_bassist


    Mar 19, 2003
    well i was self taught and i am managing ok sure i would have really like a teacher to show me the basics at first and stuff like that even though i haven't been playing long i found it help to sometimes find someone who can play and pick their brains for a while but sometime u can develop ur own style when selff taught
  9. Me too - fortunately, my teacher and I both gig at that bar!!:D
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'm self taught....for the most part, I had a teacher once a week for the first 6-8 months of my playing. He set me off, teaching me all the "correct" ways of playing, and gave me some excersises I still use today.

    But other than that I'm pretty much self-taught, I taught myself how to slap, how to tap, strum, double thump, harmonics, how to walk a bassline(this I had some help with...and I could use more still)

    basically all my advanced techniques are self-taught, I'm sure they might be sloppy, but they work for me, and I can still keep good time, which is really all that matters ;)
  11. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    What's the best way to go about seeking out a knowledgable and reputable instructor?

    Though I had a decent foundation in theory back in my early college days, I've never had a bass instructor at all. I also left the music major altogether before getting into the finer points of composition and harmony. I changed to something more...practical. :rolleyes: Sadly, having made that mistake, I've forgotten most everything I ever learned about the language of music.

    Plus, once I hit 20 y/o, I did not touch a bass for over 10 years. It's been about two solid years since I picked it up again, and I'm looking to apply myself more effectively. I feel like there's a wealth of untapped potential, but I need someone to help cultivate any ability I might have.

    Now I suppose I get along ok for someone who's never had a lesson on how to play, but in recent days, I've been thinking more and more about an instructor. Someone to help take things to the next level, turn me on to things I hadn't considered.

    The only problem is, how do I go about finding a good teacher? I live in south Jersey and rehearse/gig in Philly and surrounding areas. If anyone knows of a good instructor local to the area, I would really appreciate the info. Thanks! :)
  12. I would love to have a teacher. I'm completly self-taught and while I don't think I suck....much needs to improve. For almost 2 years now, I've read lessons of the internet and used them. The end result?

    Not bad...but still lacking. For one, I still can't slap right. It always sounds...muddy or buzzy. While I can play most songs you hear on the radio, I feel like I need direction.
  13. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    Good topic.

    I'm a believer in both sides of learning music. Some instruction and some experimentation. Developing your musical "tools" with instruction and then taking it to a new level in your own way.
  14. Hey.... I actually read the first 4 pages ;)

    But really, I don't want to be "just ok"

    I'd like to...have someting resembling skill one day. A question....how do you find a good teacher for bass?
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    good point.
  16. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Thanks for the info EF, I ran the search and found him. I'm definitely going to follow up on this because while I'm confident in my ability, I suspect my playing remains vastly underdeveloped. Having put the instrument down for so long, I want a teacher to help set new goals and offer new perspectives. I just never knew where to find one.

    I'm a late comer to the thread, and I confess to not reading through the entire thing. I saw the thread featured on the front page, hopped on over, then saw how many pages. :eek: I figured I would just ask about instructors or where to find them, and as it turns out, I got some help! Thanks again.
  17. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    Mel Bay: Electric Bass Guitar Method I or something like that...
  18. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Back in the day you could probably get by being self-taught only. Today you need ALL the tools you can get just to be average!!! Self-taugh, Lessons, Theory, Videos, Jamz, Aebersole, Gym, long-hair, good-looks, nice-clothes, big-hands, attitude!!! You need all and moreeeeeeeeeeeee!!!:rolleyes: :D
  19. Well, I am totally self-taught and look where it got me!

    *ahem* :rolleyes:
  20. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Nick, I'm getting into this thread late....I started playing bass in a band in 1967 when I was 17 years old. I never had a music lesson, just listened to records and learned all of the basslines. I played in probably 15 bands since then, just learning the songs via records. In 1999 when I turned 50, I took my first lesson because while I could copy any song, I was frustrated trying to figure out lines for songs that didn't have an established bassline...originals. I had five lessons and learned more in that time that the almost three decades of playing. I constantly slap myself for waiting so long to take a lesson....If I had done this years ago, it would have opened up so many more opportunities to play with different musicians. I also had to unlearn bad playing habits which was a real b....!

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