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Questions to ask an advanced bass teacher...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by FatPhalanges, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. FatPhalanges


    Jun 1, 2014
    New Jersey
    So, I have gotten the oppourtunity to take lessons from one of the best and busiest upright/electric bass players in my area. I take formal lessons at my college, but I follow their lesson plans. Now I have this complimentary private instructor but he isn't cheap or super close to me geographically. So there likely wouldnt be more than 2-4 lessons. I've searched around and have found a lot of good threads for beginners, but as an intermediate-semi-pro player, I need to find questions to ask him beyond the basics. For now, all I can think to ask are:

    - His favorite bass books
    - A collection of songs that provide the most bass insight and learning and how he got his experience from them

    I want to get the most out of these lessons, because it will make a HUGE difference in my portfolio, network, and experience. Help me with things to ask him!
  2. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Make sure to ask for his take on whatever things you had been learning at college and that do not fully make sense, or any holes left uncovered.
    Secondly, I'd ask for what general topics/segments of the overall music knowledge need to be emphasized in study, in order to set the best possible foundation and take you farthest. Maybe how to organize the optimal practice session...
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I'd ask about reading tips, repertoire development, and how to always be a solution on the bandstand instead of a problem.
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    If I was in your position I would give this teacher a general idea of what you have been studying/practicing and a brief history of your bass playing so far. Also try to provide him with a sample of your playing. If he is as good a teacher as he is a player, then he should be able to get a fair idea of where you are presently. From this, he should be able to point out flaws or where there is room for improvement, and advise accordingly. IMO this would be more beneficial than asking him what his favourite books are.
    BassChuck, geoffbassist and Lee Moses like this.
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Make a list of things about your playing that annoy you and ask him about those. Also just play a little for him and let him go after the things about your playing that he would like to see improve.
    GastonD, fearceol and geoffbassist like this.
  6. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    I think the real value isn't the new knowledge he can share with you, but the feedback you get on your playing. I would go in with a clear idea of the area you want help with such as technique, improv, reading and let him review where you are and suggest how to improve them.

    Best of luck, it sounds like a great opportunity and don't forget to take notes in the lesson.
    bfields and fearceol like this.
  7. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    I jus posted at the same time as jallenbass so missed his post but +1 on his ideas.
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    His opinion on the value of networking and how to get involved with that from your location.
    Your goals for 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 10 years? And what is his opinion of those goals.
    How to take advantage of your situation in college and the town you live in.
    What missteps did he make in his early career?
    What kind of practicing is a waste of time? What is the most useful technique? How to plan/construct a practice routine, and when to change it.
    How can you market yourself and what do you need to have together to do that effectively (I'm talking music here, NOT website info).
  9. Do NOT ask him 'What's the best bass for metal?'...or he might kill you....
  10. Why not just ask us ;)
  11. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I would go into it with an open mind and with complete honesty. But remember this: What works so well for him, might not work as well for you. Yes, he knows scads more than you, so take him seriously. But he's not the word of God. Absorb everything he has to offer, but meld it to what you know and understand. Only you can teach you. What 'teachers' can do is open your eyes (ears) to things you hadn't hadn't previously considered. So if he offers something that contradicts what you had learned elsewhere, engage him on the differences between them.
  12. 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.

    Feb 27, 2021

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