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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by king22, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. king22


    Jul 14, 2000
    middletown nj
    heres a question

    Ive been taking bass lessons for the past 5-6 months. im extremely interested in music theory and its something i want to expand on. my instructor has taught some basic thery such as scales and some modes, but halfway through those theory lessons he stopped and decided to get in timing which was fine. That was two months ago, every lesson i go to now, he insists that we work on timing (which i know is important) but all he seems to do is right down bass tabs and tells me to work on them. My question is should i be pushing to learn theory, like i said im interested in doing so, or should i just go with the flow of the program and let it keep progressing like this
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It's your money. This guy works for you. Your teacher should be able to tailor a program based upon what you want to learn. If he insists on doing something else, demand to know his thinking. Perhaps he wants to start on something that will get to what you're interested in in a round-about manner. Another thing you can do is ask very specific theory questions. There are a variety of resources to do some independant study, (www.libster.com, my lesson), that may get you past the point you're at now, and then you're teacher can clarify.

    Then I have issues with your teacher just writing out tabs and having you play them. You can write out a sentence in Swahili for me, and even tell me how to pronounce it, then ask me to go home and say it over and over, but at the end of the day, I don't understand Swahili any better than I did before. It's crucial to understand what you're playing, and why!

    Further, I'm weary of any teacher that uses tabs. Why is he using tabs? Does he think you can't learn how to sight read? Any legitimate teacher should be steering you away from tabs. (The one possible exception may be "tabbing", or rather, creating a finger chart, some scales for a very beginner). What are this guys credentials, his experience? Does he have a teaching objective or plan? It's time to start asking some blunt, hard questions to your teacher. Demand your money worth.

    If it doesn't work out, remember that you have options. Besides just other bass teachers, piano teachers are excellent for theory. I don't know how old you are, but check with your school, or if you're out of school, check with a local junior college.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Just wondering...is it possible your teacher has taught you ALL the theory he knows? Also, if he is tabbing out examples for you, is it possible he can't read and write standard notation himself?
  4. Yea - I'd be a little suspect of someone who is teaching using Tabs...

    Any good teacher should steer you far away from tabs!

    Its seems like he may be a good player, but limited in knowledge and he has hit his limit.
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, I think it's ironic he's using tab to practice rhythm and timing.

    You need to ask about the lesson plan, though. If he has a set plan for you, and you'll eventually get away from the T&R, then you're ok. He may not feeling you're quite ready for more theory, etc. However, you do need to ask him. If you've sucked all the information he knows out of him, then it's time to find someone else. The least you can do is ask.

    Either way, he shouldn't be using tab! Don't let him.
  6. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Exactly, how do you teach time with tab:confused:
    Has he modified standard tab to add note values?---Then it should be notation NOT TAB :eek:
  7. king22


    Jul 14, 2000
    middletown nj
    what he does is have me learn the song by tab, then after i have the part down, we play the part together, him on his guitar, as to where the bass parts fit in within the song

    part of the reason he uses tab i think is because before i started taking lessons i was following tab that i would get from the internet and he thinks it would be easier for me to understand.

    the problem is the lessons pretty much consist of him writing down these tabs that he wants me to learn, nothing that has to do with actually understanding theory. im kinda starting to get fed up, but i am wondering whether or not im just trying to rush the gun a little too much or if i actually have a valid complaint here.

    to jazzbo. is it in my best interest to take music theory classes at the local college as well as continue with these lessons.

    thanx for your replys

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