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new player with questions

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by bulldogbass, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. bulldogbass


    Sep 13, 2006
    Gusy (and gals):

    I have played bass guitar for over 25 years mostly 4 string fretted). I am a decent player, and although my reading is somewhat rusty, I can read a chart and real books.

    I am returning to jazz for the first time since college, and am thinking of getting an EUB. Obviously I am going to need some lessons to deal with the longer scale and such. Other than "it depends", how long will lessons be advisable to get me in a position where I can explore and improve on my own? I am not looking to be a pro, just play with some other musicians and get where I can get some gigs and enjoy myself.

  2. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I view lessons as a life long thing. For many years, I took lessons every week. Now, I do about once a month. Sometimes a few months will go by because our schedules don't line up. The hardest thing to do, however, is to overcome a bad habit that was picked up and never corrected. It is like practicing something wrong for several months or years and then trying to 'un-learn' it. We waste so much time trying to correct our flaws, when we could be moving on to other concepts.
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Boy, other than "it depends"? Sheesh! Because, really, it depends! It sounds like there are two topics for you to work on, the upright and jazz, or is it just the upright? Depending on how much time you have for practice, you should probably study the basic techniques of the upright with weekly or every other week lessons for a few months. In my case that lasted 6 months but I would have gone longer if my teacher had been more flexible. Still, I got enough of the basics to practice on my own for a year or so before I needed further instruction to get to the next skill level.
    If you need to study jazz yet, I think it's a life-long pursuit but you don't need a teacher after you get started. It'd be useful to study with someone who can show you combo etiquette and walk you through reading Real Book charts and transcribing tunes. They could also practice with you which is useful. That could go on for a year or so, again depending on how quick a study you are, how much time you have to practice, and how much of the work you want to do yourself. Ultimately, IMO, there really aren't any shortcuts; jazz bass requires great ears and that requires consistent focused practice and transcribing.
    Okay guys, flame away!
  4. bulldogbass


    Sep 13, 2006
    I am playing with a jazz combo right now (quintet - trumpet, tenor, drums and piano, players better than I). Yes, ultimately I hope to take lessons to improve my jazz playing, but I am considering trying to play upright rather than/along with bass guitar, and I am trying to figure out what it will cost me to get the EUB along with enough lessons so I can at least start being able to use both instruments. I guess the issue is getting to where I have the basic techniques for upright.

    I am gigging right now playing blues on the electric, and don't know where this jazz project will take me - just trying to see if it is worth the expense to try this. Ultimately I would like to continue lessons for both upright techniques and jazz knowledge if I have the bread and time.


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