Lessons: What You Pay/Payed

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Vox Populi, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I've been investigating getting lessons. The problem is that they're ungodly expensive.

    There's a guy in our area who pretty much has a monopoly on the business. He want's $55 an hour. I think that's a little steep, especially considering he's not even a bass player, he's a flamenco guitar teacher most of the time.

    What do you usually pay?
  2. Yeah, that is pretty steep for someone who doesn't really teach bass. Isn't there any other bass teachers around where you live?

    I remember when I first started playing I paid $12 for half-an-hour. Good deal, but I was just beginning. Next teacher it was like $20 for half-an-hour, but then I started taking 45 minute lessons, so it was more. The teacher I take from right now charges $50 an hour, which is a really good price considering how good he is and how much I get out of the lessons.

    Best of luck finding a teacher! You might want to try asking at your local music store. Usually they have a list of local teachers that you can get.
  3. My bass teacher used to be on this board. Perhaps he still is.
    Laurence Mollerup.
    Back in the days when I took lessons from him it was 40$ canadian an hour. That was a couple years ago though, but he is highly regarded and was an EXCELLENT teacher.
    Also a bass luthier, and a college music teacher.

    So I am guessing that is what the rate should be for a good bass teacher. About 20$ canadian for 30 minutes.

    My first teacher was a lower level. A younger guy who played bass in a fusion band, still pretty good, but not nearly the level of teaching as above, but he was 17$ canadian for 30 min. So again that is likely the range.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Well, $55 for a top-notch teacher isn't too bad, but one who isn't primarily a bassist is a little weird. Personally, I've always felt that it's best to go with people whose primary instrument is bass; however, there are always exceptions to the rule.

    On the other hand, I can't believe that there isn't a qualified teacher in Seattle that isn't charging around $35-40 dollars an hour. Is Seattle too far a commute for you?

    Remember that there are lots of ways to find teachers. Try craigslist, and if you still can't find one, go to jazz gigs and ask the bassists if they either teach or know somebody.
  5. I pay $50 for an hour now, which is pretty cheap compared to what some other people I know pay. He plays bass though. I'll never take lessons from a guitar player again. I started with one for like $15 a lesson at Music and Arts and thought I was doing OK. When I started with my bass teacher I realized how bad my technique was and got a *lot* better in only a few weeks.

  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Joe charges $55 an hour for lessons. You pay whether you show up or not. You get a discount if you pay for a whole month's lessons at once.
  7. Scooperman


    May 28, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    If you are looking to find somebody who will teach proper "bass" technique, then you should take lessons from a bass player.

    However, most of what you learn from a good teacher is musicianship in general, which knows no instrument boundaries. Some of the best musical lessons I have received were from non-bassists.

    Either way, $55.00 an hour is not very much to pay for a first rate teacher.

    The only concern that I might have in taking lessons from a non-bassist is that they will probably teach you 1-2-3-4 fingering (which is what guitarists and many electric bassists use). That's fine, but if you have small hands like I do, you might find it easier to finger the bass like it was an upright (1-2-4) in the lower positions. If the teacher is not a bassist he probably won't teach that to you. Then again, you might not want/need to learn that kind of fingering.
  8. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I'd pay that for a good bass only teacher!
  9. Wow, talk about inflation. My electric bass teacher only charges $20 for one half hour; he has been playing for 30 years! I would consider him a first rate teacher too. The thing is that he gives the lessons at a music store all in one slew so it isn't that much of a waste for his sake. In the rare occasion when I give lessons, I only charge $10 for a half hour; but then again, I'm starting to make business cards so maybe I'll start teaching more people. (I don't do it for the money, as you may have noticed.)
  10. I pay something like 16.50 a lesson. lessons ar ehalf-hour once a week. aswell thats in canadian dollars. my teacher is a very good teacher (or atleast i think so) and he has been playing for over 20 years, and although he has never taken schooling i think the way he teaches is very good. as well he also teaches piano but i think that helps me, because he helps me with theory alot relating it to a piano.
  11. ivanthetrble


    Sep 9, 2002
    About $20 an hour and worth it.
  12. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    I used to take lessons in a music store. It was something like $17 per half-hour lesson. Recently, I was taking private lessons for $35 an hour, which was an excellent rate considering how good the teacher was.
  13. That's just like how my piano teacher works!

    According to him, he has the "pay whether you show up or not" thing because the only money he gets to support his family is from gigs and lessons. He will, however, give a make-up (no jokes, please :)) lesson if you can't make it to a lesson and you've warned him within a certain amount of days.

    Is this the typical attitude for teachers of that caliber?
  14. I gave up looking for a "real" bass teacher a while ago. Instead I called the music departement of a nearby university and asked if there were any third or fourth year bass student (jazz interpretation) willing to teach an intermediate student. Sure enough, the next day I got a list of 4 or 5 names. I called them all and picked the one that seemed the most interested.

    The guy asks $20/hour and is worth every penny! No "pay in advance" or "pay whether you show up or not". We just call each other the day before to confirm. Sometimes he can't make it, sometimes I can't and we both enjoy the flexibility.

    Unless your looking for "pro" teaching, this might be a good alternative.
  15. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Good advice!

    The best instructor I ever had was primarily a jazz guitarist, back in the day when I wanted to be the next Jimmy Page or Eddie Van Halen.

    The guy taught music, rather than guitar, and although the price was steep for me at the time, it was money well spent.

    In your case, my only concern would be that the instructor should at least know enough about bass technique to help you avoid hurting yourself - which is easily possible with poor technique.
  16. Scooperman


    May 28, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Another way of saving money would be to only take weekly lessons in the very beginning when you most need constant monitoring to make sure that you aren't picking up any bad habits. After a few months of this you might want to move to taking lessons every other week.

    It's not that taking weekly lessons isn't helpful - it is, but a lot of times teachers will give students in one lesson enough challenges to work on to keep them busy for a long time. My old teacher would frequently give me so much to work on, that the only reason that I went every other week instead of once a month was because he wanted to be able to check in and give me guidance.

    I'd rather have 2 lessons a month from a great teacher (which isn't the same as a great player) than 4 lessons a month from somebody who is just OK.