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Pushing me to hard?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Theodeus, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Theodeus


    Jan 18, 2004
    I read the "First Upright Lesson Report" thread and started thing 'mabye my teacher pushes me to hard'? I started playing upright (DB?) for about half a year ago. Im already in the VI position, if that´s what is´t called :rolleyes: I´ve got some minor problems and some major. One major is that my teacher travels at the speed of light, and so does the teaching. To add to the problems, he´s not a native swedish, and since swedish is a hard language to learn it´s not always the easiest thing to understand him... Trying to express himself fast and poorly, that´s no good combination. :meh:

    He´s expecting me to play with him in one of Swedens bigger symphony orcestras in 6 months, so we´ve got work to do... Now, is that resonable after a year of playing?! :ninja:

    And please, yell at me! I´ve got the lousiest selfdicipline on this planet. If isn´t the electric bass, it´s the computer or TV. I feel that i really should practise, but I haven´t had any "aha-experiense" yet. I just don´t make the effort to lug the big (4/4) bass out and play. :crying:

    BTW I´m 16 years old, have played electric for 2 years and, if I´m not to selfconfident, I´m really good at it! Plays german style if that helps to =)

    Peace :ninja:
  2. Pöl


    May 31, 2003
    I live in Belgium, I'm 21 tomorrow and I don't have the money to buy a decent upright. If you don't like the upright, send it to me, I'll pay for the postal costs :D :D :D

    No, seriously, practise man, I bet you'll be happy you did when you turn 21 (or maybe 10 years older, ... I don't know, but in the end, you'll be happy :cool: )

  3. T Sony

    T Sony

    Mar 5, 2004
    If you find your teacher is going to quickly NOW is the time to notify him. If you proclaim playing in a symphony in 6 months is questionable to your abilities notify him of that too.

    I'm going to suggest a few things to help motivate you alittle further.

    Listen to other Double Bassists see how they play, try to work up in your personal practice to accomplish alittle piece of what you like about they're playing. Maybe it could be bowing a certain passage you wanted to learn.Try to learn other styles of music with the instrument. It seems you are mainly studying classical which can get boring at times, why not try Jazz? Ask your teacher about a Real Book (In Bass Clef) and work through melodies and basslines.

    Being 16 and playing a 4/4 shouldn't be contributing factor in not practicing as you had 6 months experience, IMO.

    I'm not going to tell you to practice more, that drive has to come within the person to achieve his or her own goals. But stick with it and see how the road fairs for you. Your just scratching the surface on the double bass, no musician was Ray Brown in the first six months! Its a long process of accomplishment, good work ethic, dedication and the ability to utilize weaknesses and turn them into ones strength.
  4. Theodeus


    Jan 18, 2004
    Ok, can you tell of some upright players that´s intresting/fun to listen to? I´ve got no clue at all :help:

    What I find most boring is that I havent played a single song or piece yet. Sofar there has only been steping through the different positions with different practises. I wonder if that really is a good thing for my intonation since I can´t really hear when I play false, since I don´t know how it´s supposed to sound... And I´ve never really played melodies on bass! Nor electric or upright, so that´s an interesting idea! :hyper:

    The 4/4 thing is just that it´s so HUGE :) Though I´m 192 centimeters, it´s still a bit to big I think, so I´m going to exhange it for a 3/4 at my musicschool (that´s where I borrowed the 4/4) Or am I doing something stupid then?

    And are there any online lessons that steps through the basics so that I can read it and really understand?

    I´m going to speak to my techer tomorrow! Keep pushing me! :ninja:
  5. T Sony

    T Sony

    Mar 5, 2004
    Some Double bassplayers to listen to:

    In any order:
    Ray Brown - Charles Mingus - Dave Holland - Scott Lafaro -Christian McBride- Jimmy Blanton - Red Mitchell - Palle Danielsson - Niels Henning - Oscar Pettiford - Sam Jones - Paul Chambers - Michel Donato - Micheal Downes - Wilbur Ware - Chris Fitzegerald - Brian bromberg - Ed Fuqua

    You can find some helpfull links right here if you do some searching. Hope the list helps!
  6. Theodeus


    Jan 18, 2004
    :hyper: Thank you very muchos!
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    If you have been playing with a teacher for six months, I think it is reasonable to ask him to offer advice on some pieces that would be a stretch but playable for your skill level. I started playing pieces very soon after beginning study for the same reasons you suggest.

    There is plenty of work out there that is simple to learn and play but very musical and enjoyable.

    You may also wish to consider a new method book. Some methods like Simandl can be rather non-musical at times. Many of the newer methods use common melodies and phrases as part of their exercises. This is nice in that you are more easily able to recognize intonation. Although, I think it is also important to play things that you don't recognize and may not be seen as musical. It will force you to concentrate on hearing pitch and intervals.

    As for the speed at which he moves, this may or may not be a significant factor. Much of it may be due to your limited commitment to practice.

    A teacher will not teach you how to play bass. A teacher will guide you in teaching yourself to play bass. No one can explain in a 1,000 hours of conversation or demonstration how to feel the bow or hear a note on pitch. The teacher's role is outline a practice routine, listen to you play, observe your tendencies and offer feedback to steer you toward success. He should shape your technique, not demonstrate his.

    You should be leaving each lessen excited about a few new concepts to take into your practice routine. It's your responsibility to incorporate those and work to ingrain them in your playing. Some are absorbed immediately, and others take a while. My teacher has yelled "faster bow" so many times, he must think I am a total idiot. But they come, and as you develop, the concepts will become more complex.

    I wouldn't sell the teacher short until you have your own head straight about what you want to do with the bass. If you are not interested and committed to the process, the teacher is not important.

    If you are not committed to growth as a player through practice, you are simply wasting your teacher's time as well as your own, not to mention someone's money.

    Once you get your own head where it needs to be, maybe you should then think about and maybe look into a different teacher.

    I was recently advised to go with "the teacher that inspires you." At the time, that advice was a little bit out there for me, but after meeting with my current teacher, it was obvious what was meant. Hearing him make my bass sound like I want to be able to make it sound and playing for him and responding to his ideas has been a wonderful experience. I have listened to a bunch of CDs, but he is the guy who put the sound in my head that I am working toward.

    It was the best advice I have ever been given by anyone on any subject here at TB. So, I pass it along hoping it might mean as much to you as it did to me.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I leave mine out all the time. That way I can just pick it up and start playing. You should do the same.
  9. Ditto. Get a stand, or put it in a convenient corner, out of its case, ready to pick up and play in seconds. Regular practice is essential, and I'm of the opinion that half an hour twice a day is better than two hours every other day. The more you practice, the faster you'll progress. And you'll probably find you plateau for a while, then hit a stretch where you seem to be improving in leaps and bounds.
    Assuming your bod is physically up to it, you can't practice too much.
  10. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA

    Ron Carter!

    and Ray Brown should be on that list twice.
  11. You can't sit on your couch and watch TV while you practice DB. Its not "easy" and I think all people are saying is that you must make the obstacles between you and practice small. But once you get into it, you will think nothing of pulling it out of the close since that takes only 1 minute whereas you will need at least 10 minutes to even get the blood flowing and the intonation warmed up. You need to invest time and mental/physical energy every time you play, or you're learning nothing. The more energy you put in, the more reward you get. Your teacher is setting goals for you - but ideally you'll be setting them for yourself down the road. If the goal is too big, say no. But if you think you might be able to achieve it, give it a whack.
  12. bassborg


    Oct 17, 2003
    La Crosse, WI
    >Ok, can you tell of some upright players that´s
    > intresting/fun to listen to? I´ve got no clue at all :help:

    Apart from particular players, check out some classical literature with prominent bass parts:

    Ludwig van Beethoven - 5th Symphony, 3rd movement
    (beginning and B-Section)
    Beethoven - 9th Symphony, 4th movement
    (beginning until the vocal part starts)
    Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique, 5th movement
    (similar to Beethoven's 5th, Basses and Celli start the
    fugal 'Witche's Dance' Theme)

    Excerpts from those and more are included in the Appendix in the Simandl method book. They are standard excerpts and worth taking a look at.

    I have played DB since last September only, but I already had my first concert with the college orchestra. Although technical excercises help with playing actual music (especially bowing patterns), I often experienced it a greater challenge to play in time with the other basses and pay attention to the conductor, which can make a technically easy part pretty hard to play. Still it is a lot of fun, and if you have the chance to play in an orchestra, at least try it out for a rehearsal or two. I was sceptical too, but I'm glad I did it.

    Andreas Borg
    La Crosse, Wisconsin

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