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Question: Guitar players teaching Bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Big Ce, May 6, 2005.

  1. Fellow Players,

    I've been playing bass since Oct 04. This is after owning and then selling my bass some 16 years or so ago and not taking a lesson nor taking it serious enough to learn something useful. I'm 42 now and since I've been playing I have had 2 instructors and both played guitar but taught bass.

    My 1st instructor was a great guy, he actually started you out playing a songs right away! :bassist: But the one drawback was that I could play something but I still wanted a bit more structure (scales and chords). And he was very expensive and looses track of time which will cost you more!

    The instructor I just started with is good to go also. There was something that I picked up on right away was that he teaches young kids I think more than adults. I may be slow but I am not that slow. :eyebrow:

    I guess my main question is find a teacher that is a bass player or settle on whats available, also once you find the "right" teacher how long should you stay with them over course of time. Thanks let me know what you think.

    Is there anyone out there that lives close to Newburgh or Middletown NY that know a great bass player that teachers bass? :confused:

    Big Ce :bassist:
  2. I had a teacher who was a guitar player the first summer I was playing bass, and it worked fine then, but after that I realized that once you learn the basics move on to a real bass teacher. The main problems I had was that he tried to teach me to play bass as a guitarist would want a bass player to play, and second that he did not understand the subtleties of playing bass vs. guitar. Sure any guitarist can pick up a bass and play, but he can't really sound like a bass player. I would try and find a bass playing bass teacher.
  3. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    What he said.....
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What he said, he said.

    Find a bassist, you'll be glad you did.
  5. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    I agree, my teacher is a guitarist...

    I dont really know what we do on my lessons, but i'm looking for another teacher..
  6. akuma12


    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    Ugh, I have major issues with guitarists pretending they can teach bass. Generally they're all of the opinion that basses are big guitars missing the top two strings, so obviously it's an easier instrument to play. Rubbish, is all I have to say. When I first tried getting lessons on my bass, all that was available was the local washed up cover band guitar player teaching out of the basement of the guitar store. He couldn't teach me correct right hand technique at all, and started out teaching me Soundgarden tabs. Considering the fact that I was trying to learn to read bass music, he was no help at all. I ended up going off to teach myself, and did alright.

    I wish I could find a real bass teacher around here, as I'd really like to learn some bass-specific technique. Good luck getting a guitar player to teach correct slap ;)
  7. Depends on the guitar player. True, most aren't qualified to teach bass, really. But there must be a few who can. I play both instruments seriously, and I'd feel comfortable teaching either one (if I were into teaching). I'm not unique in this regard. If you have a guitar-playing teacher who's also a *serious* bassist, you're probably fine. But I agree, those are IME more the exception than the rule.
  8. I don't know about guitarists teaching bass, but I heard one of Dave LaRue's students play guitar at one of the Ernie Ball clinics, and the 17yr old kicked major butt.
    If you have a teacher who is truly a master musician, it doesn't make much difference what his main instrument is.

    Just my$.02

  9. When i first went to take lessons 3 years ago I had a guitarist as my instructor, I had already self taught my self how to play the very basiscs as far as plucking the strings, but he did more with scales and chord progression, arpegios, etc. He was fine for those first couple months but after I stop taking lessons bcuz of school and went bak the next summer, i got a bassists as a teacher, and it was much better, a guitarist can teach you the esestials for playing bass bcuz that is what they can do if they picked up a bass, play the bassiscs, (Although my teacher could play slap guitar, i had no idea how he got his fingers inbetween those little strings but he did it)

  10. +1 That kid was incredible ;)
  11. Everyone keeps talking about needing bass playing bass teachers. I agree with Benzen who said eventually move on to a bass playing teacher. It almost feels more beneficial at first to have lessons from a guitar playing bass teacher who knows all the correct playing techniques, styles, theories and chords, etc. If the main influence you are directly having on your playing doesn't come from another persons bass sound you will have a greater chance in developing your own sound as opposed to starting to mimic and alter your sound to be much like theirs. It is EASY to get caught into anothers sound, mentality, manner of speaking of any sort when you are being direcetly taught or influenced by them. Once you've got your style and feel down THEN in my opinion would be the right time to move onto a bass playing bass teacher to further advance your own groove. A music educator once told me the best vocal teachers tend to be the ones who don't sing you a single note in order to develop your indiviuality.

    But then again not everyone needs a teacher nor should go to a guitar playing teacher. SOme I guess really need a heavy bass influence. :)
  12. screwball


    Jul 25, 2004
    Manchester UK
    I've been taught by a guitarist (with a degree in music at the Guitar Institute) for over a year now and for what i want to learn it's great. I started lessons quite late on, so my techique was already getting there but I really needed to improve my theory and ear. IMO you can learn more from a really good guitar teacher than you can from an average bass teacher.
  13. Minimaul


    Jun 22, 2003

    Would you take finacial advice from a bum?

  14. Hekbass


    May 21, 2005
    Zephyrhills, FL
    I think a real bass player is better qualified to teach bass...so here I am!! ;)
    I have ONLY played bass (starting in 1992) , I am a total bass freak, and I teach bass privately. Not to sound braggish, but I also hold a BA in Music, so I think I can do the job. Anyone in Tampa, FL (or adjacent areas) that needs a true bass teacher, contact me.
    hectorsuperbass75@yahoo.com :bassist:
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Yeah he was. I wouldn't hesitate to take bass lessons from him.
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    A guitar player gave me my first bass lessons and was adequate for an introduction to the bass, music theory and reading. However, later I was blessed to have lessons for three years with a bass player who was both first chair double bassist in an orchestra PLUS played electric bass guitar in a top rock band.

    What an incredible difference! First he had a true love for bass playing. He knew many bass players by name and style. He taught me who his bass heroes are and introduced to many I nver knew but came to admire. He knew all kinds and makes of bass guitars and the relative merits of each kind. He knew strings. He knew sound equipment. He knew bass lines from so many styles of music and had transcribed hundreds himself. He knew bass techniques, slap, tapping, fingerstyle, picks, string bending, pull offs, etc.

    He was able to inspire me in a way the other teacher never could have. He had such respect for the instrument, its role in bands and orchestras. He had deep respect for its contribution to the music of our time. He was proud to play bass and made me proud to play bass. What guitar player/bass teacher can do all that? Very few? Maybe some, but you may never meet such a teacher.

    If you ever find a teacher such as the wonderful one who taught me, take lessons as long as you can afford them because it takes a lifetime of learning to ever know it all, if then.
  17. golden_boy


    Dec 27, 2004
    My teacher plays the guitar as his main, but he used to play bass - but hasnt for a good few year. He used to play it live quite a lot in a jazz band.

    Thankfully he understands that the bass is just as difficult as the guitar and realises its subtleties (SP??). Unfortunately I have pretty much outgrown his teaching (he even said so) and I need to find a new teacher. Im off to Uni in September though, so will wait until then
  18. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I don't think what your teacher plays is as important as what they know. My main teacher for the first few years I played bass was a classical guitarist. I learned TONS from him and he did a great job of steering me outside every box I built for myself. Each time I got comfortable doing something he made me do something else. I wanted to learn Metallica, so we did, then he threw jazz charts at me and made me learn how to walk a bassline over chord changes. As soon as I was getting the hang of modes and soloing he started me on the Bach suites. Once I got a couple of them down he made me dissect them and learn the theory at work under my fingers. It didn't matter that he was a guitarist by trade, he knew music and knew how to challenge me and constantly was introducing new angles to what we covered. I had to really learn, not just play.

    That's what makes a good teacher, not the instrument they play.
  19. +1
  20. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    My bass teacher is a guitarist but he is an excellent musician(degress from MI and NTU) and I know anything he gives to me to learn is going to improve my playing. Even as a guitarist he taught me proper right hand technique,slap,walking lines, staying in the groove, all that stuff bassists need to learn. I wouldn't even think of changing teachers now.

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