Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kaboom133, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    i was just wondering, what do you really get out of lessons? my grandma just told me she would pay for any music lessons i want, and i'm seriosly considering taking lessons, but i first need to know what i would get out of it, and if it is really worth it. thanks for any help.
  2. Yes...it's worth it. You get theory, reading, technique, and immediate feedback. Take the lessons, but make sure you find a good teacher!

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    A good teacher will...

    help you focus on the things that are important, that you need to be able to play in a band context as opposed to flashy noodling.

    spot flaws in your technique that you probably wouldn't notice yourself and will help you correct them.

    help you learn theory and reading faster than you will be able to on your own.

    give you tasks to learn until the next lesson, so you will be forced to REALLY practice instead of just noodling in front of the TV.

    introduce you to good and important records and players to be inspired by and learn from.

    Conclusion: A good teacher will enhance, improve and speed up your learning process.
  4. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    ok, thanks. i'm going to get lessons now, i've decided. next, i need to know what to look for. are there different types of lessons? should i find some sort of class, or get an instructor? what's the difference? and what should i look for in a class or instructor? thanks again for the help.
  5. steve2


    Sep 23, 2001
    Piney Flats, TN
    The best thing to do is find a teacher that knows music theory. Learn to read the Bass Clef. I have played for several years and I never learned to read music. My first lesson was yesterday. My teacher said that in the area were we live (east TN) said bass players and teachers that can read music are nearly extinct. It took me a while to find this guy he is a Cal-Berklee music grad and is extremely musically inclined and he said that he really wants to make me a better bass player than he is and that impressed me the most. I also ordered the Standing in the shadows of Motown book about Jamerson and what I understand the book is not in Tabs just standard notation. So my advice is look around and find the best teacher you can find.

  6. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    This is what I suggest. Don't walk into any music store and find the first guy that says he teaches bass.. More often than not these guys aren't qualified, they mostly teach beginners or less. That is my experience anyway... never took lessons when i lived at home b/c I never could find anyone around to teach.. Now that I'm at college, well.... they are everywhere. Just look around.. it may take some searching. but finding a good teacher is important
  7. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    But how can i tell a good teacher from a bad one?
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Ask questions. Lots of them.

    When I think of a teacher, here are some of the things I want:

    - Patience. Any teacher in any field must have patience.

    - Honesty. I want a teacher that will tell me when I sound like ****! Mine often does! I also want a teacher who will tell me when something sounds good, or just simply improved. Don't lie to me, if it doesn't sound good, you're not doing me any favors, in fact you're hurting me, by telling me "it's fine."

    - Keen Perception. I want a teacher that recognizes my strengths and weaknesses. Part of the problem with me always be able to tell my teacher what I need to work on, is that I don't always know. How do you ask a question about a problem if you don't know there's a problem.

    - Diversity. I want a teacher who can teach me to develop my ear, to sight read, to know and understand theory and harmonic function, to show me rhythm and good time, to help with articulation and feel, to teach me jazz, classical, funk, R&B, country, blues, zydeco, gregorian chants, etc etc etc.

    - Insight. I want a teacher with the ability to understand the foundation of being a good bassplayer, of knowing what are the pieces of the puzzle I need to work on and develop.

    - Flexibility. I want a teacher that is willing to switch gears with me if I'm getting stuck in a rut or bored with a program.

    - Structured. While this seems to counter the above statement, I feel that a teacher with a sense of purpose is important. Sure, they need to be flexible to adapt, but I also want them to know when to stay the course and when to move to something new.

    - Experience. Performing, recording, teaching. Anything.

    Here's what I don't want!:

    - Crazy Chops. I don't care if my teacher can play Jaco's Donna Lee or Portrait of Tracy or Salt Peanut's at 450bpm. I don't care. I don't care how impressive he is at playing himself. While I expect him to be decent, I don't need Jaco to teach me, I need someone who understands

    - Showing me Tunes. I don't want you to show me how to play SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT. I want you to teach me how to learn any song on my own.

    - Stimulating Personal Conversation. Hey bud, I'm paying you to teach me, not to hear how your week went, in extreme detail. If I develop a friendship with you over the years, fine, but I don't want 5, 10 minutes or more, of my lesson taken up on you jabbing.

    You won't know what your teacher has good about her/him or bad about her/him at first. Feel the waters. Go by instinct. If you get some wanker who's showing you his chops to impress you, run! A teacher should never do most of the playing in any lesson, ESPECIALLY the first one! Be patient. There are good ones out there.
  9. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    i know everyone has siad this but its so true, they help so much. i wasnt sure whether i wanted lessons at first but they have improved my playing a incredible amount and have made me more knowledgable(sp) on the instrument i love.