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My first incounter with a bass teacher...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Feda, Apr 15, 2004.


  1. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Here it goes :
    I saw an advartisment at a local music. It said, experienced bass teacher for a reasonable price blabla.
    I though, this looks good, so I called the guy and made an appointment.

    When I first entered his house I was met by a hallway from hell, looked like a nuke had exploded in there. Then he took me to this tiny room, with some crappy drums and a little behringer pratice amp in it. He then was away for a couple of minutes to get some chairs.

    He asked me if I could play something, I first played some funk grooves and then spain. He said my timing was a bit off but nothining much , so i played with a metronome for a couple of mins and got it right. He then took his Squire bass out and started playing...I can't say he sounded much better then me, and that says alot! Now why would such a guy ever think about teaching?? Too bad though, he was really a nice guy and had a good taste in music...sorry for the lenght of this thread, and my bad english:)

    Anyone had these kind of experiences?
     
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Thankfully, never. I got a good teacher on the first try (thirty seven years exp :O).
     
  3. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    So.....he considers himself an experienced bass teacher and his gear is a behringer and squier and he's not much better than you.


    What a douche bag. :rolleyes:



    How long has he been playing? I wouldn't even consider teaching until I'd been playing for 5+ years and been gigging.
     
  4. A persons equipment doesnt make them better or worse than anyone else in terms of playing.
    Maybe this guy new lots about theory and not as much about playing?
     
  5. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    i study theory with my aunt who is a piano teacher so i dont really need that. I think he has been playing for a long time but it didnt look like he did a lot of playing.. I couldnt find anything about him on the net, and you always can if they have done a couple of gigs here in Norway.
    No big deal though, im just gonna start looking for a new.
     
  6. LumpyGravy

    LumpyGravy Guest

    May 8, 2002
    He sounds like a real Nutsy Perkins. Was he wearing a stained white t-shirt? Have that 2 day non shaved look? Carry a alcohol/BO aroma?
    He sounds like a bunch of people in Southern California that pose as teachers. You can usually find them in run down apartment buildings and alleys.
     
  7. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Hehe, he wasn't that bad:)
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It's really hard to tell from your post what this guy''s approach is. I didn't check your profile so I don't know where you're posting from, I'm not sure which sports analogies are going to make the most sense. I guess we'll stick with soccer/football.

    The coaches of any football team DO NOT have to be the best players, DO NOT have to be better players than anyone on the team, DO NOT have to in as good a shape etc etc etc.
    What the coaches have to be able to do is put together a program of work, practice and study that will allow each player the opportunity to become the best player than can be.

    It doesn't matter if this guy could outplay you and everybody else in the world, if he is unable to give you a good foundation in the fundamentals of music and the tools to continue to grow as a musician he's a bad teacher.

    If he has insights and knowledge that you don't have and is able to communicate those to you, he can be a good teacher. If he has the ability to evaluate your weaknesses (in physical approach, understanding, conception, execution) and put together exercises that will turn your weaknesses into strengths, he can be a good teacher.
     
  9. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Many people don't seem to understand these principles. Jaco was never a good teacher, I would bet a helluva lot of money that Jamerson never was either.

    Conversely, being a good teacher is a definite skill. Not many people have this skill. As a great teacher, you must be able to understand how people learn, and that different people learn in different ways. You must be able to take complex concepts and break them down in ways that make sense to people. And not only make sense, but will be able to stick with them.
     
  10. Bull_Nasty

    Bull_Nasty Banned

    Apr 23, 2004
    You can't learn bass from a teacher. I do know that. You have to feel the groove...and you have to hear those basslines in your head.

    Take that energy and play with some soul. Screw music threory. As long as you are playing within key, your soul will not guide you wrong.
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I vehemently disagree with this post.
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Jeff Berlin couldn't have said it better.
     
  13. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I vehemently agree with this disagreement.



    Yes, I know that that was bad grammar. But I wanted to say that jazzbo is right.

    AMEN, JAZZBO!
     
  14. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Okay now that I jave caught my breath. Theory is HUGELY important. Just because you can groove to the stuff you already know doesn't make you a bass player. And music theory is what tells you how to play the stuff you don't already know.

    About a year ago, the guitar player from my old band called me up. He had gotten a call from another friend who had found a singer/songwriter with what looked like a lot of potential. She ahd a good voice, decent lyrical ideas, and , at least on first listen, decent keyboard abilities.

    The problem came when we were jamming as a group to learn her songs. The original plan was work through the songs for a couple of hours to learn the progressions and then set up to cut some demos. All very straightforward.

    We couldn't do it. I was ready to strangle kittens by the time we decided that we wouldn't be able to record her. She had good mechanical technique on the keyboard. But she had no theory. She was a moderately competent 'ear' player, but she didn't understand that if you take the notes of a chord and rearrange them so that the top notes are now an octave lower THEN IT IS NOT THE SAME CHORD!!!

    She was incapable of playing the tunes SHE HAD WRITTEN the same way twice and didn't know she was doing anything wrong.

    There are no words to describe the horrible dissonances that would pop up in the middle of a verse when the rest of the band is playing the chord that she used last time around, but she had changed C-------C-Eb-G-Bb to C-------G-Bb-C-Eb because it "felt more comfortable to play it that way. What? It's the same notes. I just moved 'em around. Why did all of you play a wrong note there at the same time?"

    *heavy heavy sigh*

    Yes. Theory IS imporatant.
     
  15. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Sweet! Best line ever.
     
  16. Feda

    Feda Screwed up pitch

    Jan 12, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Haha! Nice one Bard2dbone!:)
     
  17. LumpyGravy

    LumpyGravy Guest

    May 8, 2002
    If Jaco was my teacher, I wouldn't care how bad he was. It would be worth the money to watch him go. As long as he would show up for the lesson, I think it would be worth it.
    I settled for Bob Piorun. He was good, but very impatient. I sometimes think he dreaded me coming to his lessons. I got to him a couple times, especially when learning classical guitar. Sometimes I would smell alcohol and cough drops on his breath. He did once tell me that I learned real well, and liked how I played with other players.
     
  18. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I would bet that even BAD lessons from Jaco would have been a worthwhile experience. But GOOD lessons from a decent teacher who isn't famous are worth more in the long run.

    If you are very very fortunate (like I was for a while) you can find an incredible player who is also a good teacher. I took lessons from Chuck Rainey for a little while in the late '80's. I wouldn't have traded the experiaence for a new bass. I didn't retain much in the way of flashy technique, as I had hoped to originally. But I did learn a lot about being a pro.

    Chuck Rainey is still my hero. I still remember him telling me that, while I would probablt never be able to play some of the stuff one of his other students could do, If he had to recommend someone for a gig he would pick me over that other guy. Because he knew I would take it seriously and work it like it was my only job.
     
  19. Tnavis

    Tnavis

    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    No offense, but that is the absolute worst advice I have ever heard. Don't get me wrong, playing with soul, or emotion, or whatever you choose to call it an integral part of music. However, a good solid background in theory will make you a much better musician in the long run.

    Back to the original topic of the thread. Finding a bass teacher can be extremely frustrating. You also have to accept that fact that you just might not mesh with a teacher on a personal level. I've experienced that from both sides, both as a student and as an instructor. Try out a couple of different teachers, and see which one works for you the best.
     
  20. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    You know, I think I've played with this person - only when I had my experience with him, he was a man and played 12 string guitar. ;) Actually my guys major malfunction was that any given section of a song might be a 16 bar figure one time, 15 bars the next, as few as 11 sometimes, other times 17 bars :meh: - I just hope he never wondered why I would sometimes blow right through the changes. On a positive note, he did know what chord he was playing as much as 55% of the time :rolleyes:
    Anybody can play music by themselves without any theory - and it can sound really good - but if you ever want to play with people, theory will help and for God's sake - consistency is a must.