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Noodling teacher

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Anglerfish, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Anglerfish


    Dec 1, 2015
    Did you notice that sometimes when somebody shows how to play an excercise he just can't stop at the end of it and adds something like long vibrato, a couple of extra notes or even several bars of noodling? I've seen that plenty of times in instructional videos on YouTube and yesterday found my bass teacher occasionally doing the same. He is a great player and explains everything pretty well - that impression I got from our first lesson. But this little thing makes me wonder if there is a reason to worry.
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    They shouldn't. If it affects your time, bring it up, and if he/she is more interested in playing than teaching, it's time to get a new instructor.
    Rapisme, ThatLowEnd and PillO like this.
  3. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Why don't you ask him how he does that -- i.e., that extra little riff or vibrato or whatever it was? Maybe you could make that the subject of the next lesson....
  4. bolophonic

    bolophonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    How much noodling are we talking about? Four or five seconds? What you are describing sounds like your instructor naturally adding a little finesse to the end of a scale or something -- maybe not a bad thing to pay attention to, unless you plan to just practice rote arpeggios with no feeling. What are your goals as a bassist?
  5. Yeah, I'd bring it up if it bothers you. I don't necessarily think it's the hallmark of a bad teacher though. I imagine it's sometimes hard for them to switch modes from, "man this is something I really love to do" to "robot teacher"...
  6. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Depending on the nature of the exercise, say a scale-based fingering exercise or sequence of arpeggios, if the 'noodling' at the end is related to, based on or derived from the exercise then it might well be gold dust - "Here's an exercise and here's an example of how you might apply it to your music." Running exercises with technically perfect fingering or hand position, for example, doesn't really count for much if you then go off and play the gig with your thumb wrapped over the neck and your fingers tripping over each other.
  7. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I think that would be very distracting. The student needs to be focusing on individual aspects of playing, and the instructor should be able to understand that and provide a progression of individual techniques to build a cohesive set of skills in the student. It makes me wonder if the instructor knows and understands this.

    Having said that, I wouldn't bail on the instructor just on this one thing.

    Is the instructor giving you specific exercises to work on?
    Is the instructor providing specific feedback on your playing,
    - is that feedback helping you to know when you're doing it right or not?
    Are the exercises helping you progress and are they moving you toward your goals as a player?
    Is the instructor responsive to your questions, and are the answers helping you as a player?
  8. If it bothers you, talk to the instructor. We normally tag a line (repeat the last line) to end a song. Resolve back to the tonic note/chord to end a verse, etc. it's just part of how music likes to bring about an ending. I suspect the noodling you are talking about is as simple as this. Your instructor is just bringing the riff, phrase, run, whatever he is doing to an ending.

    Ask your instructor whey he is doing that, the answer could explain some things you need to have under your fingers.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
    jchrisk1 and SteveCS like this.
  9. castlev


    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    Actually, I think the noodling is a good thing, it gives you a view of the bigger picture and how a basic lick or scale can transform into something awesome.
    seang15, Leiria, Eric Swaim and 3 others like this.
  10. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    It's a normal thing IMHO.
  11. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    those things can be inspiring or a distraction ... when i teach , any noodle would be directly related to whatever exercise/pattern/scale .. ! some people need to see their is a reason or goal for learning the more basic things .. !

    showing off and wanking around for anymore than a few notes , is waiting Your time .. !!
    SteveCS and PillO like this.
  12. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I always play "Shave and a Haircut--- two bits" on the end so they know I'm done.
  13. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    Usually, the noodling at the end of an excersise is using the lesson in a musical fashion.
    It's normal and often very helpful.
  14. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    If he starts playing with his teeth you might think about moving on.
  15. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    Am I the only one that read the thread title and thought the OP was looking for a teacher to teach him/her how to noodle?

    Noodling, IMO, is never good. Hopefully, your teacher doesn't do it while either of you are speaking.

    To me, finished a scale, etc, with a lick is not noodling.
    McTred likes this.
  16. McTred


    Apr 2, 2012

    I think he is looking for this guy...


    Professor Noodles.
    boghurtgurule likes this.
  17. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    He's just emphasizing how a boring scale can be used effectively once it has been mastered. "... and this is what you can do with the pentatonic scale ..."
    Should never be more than 5 seconds.
    SteveCS likes this.
  18. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    My second instructor did that sometimes. I could tell he would just get into his most joyous place when he was playing, and would just go off on occasion :) It didn't cut into the lesson at all, and far be it from me to be somebody's joy killer :bassist:. It DID make me think 'I want to be able to do that' (though I still don't.)
    Lawuka likes this.
  19. It comes down to the old adage: Those who Can, Do. Those who Can't, Teach. Those who can't do either are music critics. Some teachers are frustrated hack who won't get a decent gig, so fire him now!
  20. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 1, 2021

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