Self taught???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ldiezman, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Well... I guess i would say that I am self taught... I never had formal training... I am a music major and I know alot about theory and what not. I never did have a teacher.. I just practiced all the time when i first started and learned songs that i thought I liked.... Then I joined a band and practiced twice as hard to keep up with those guys... then I became too good for that band and moved on. I like to go see other bassist perform. I see what they do and try and learn something from them.... I think teaching myself was a good thing, I believe I have my own unique abilities at playing bass and I always thought If some one was telling me what to do then that would hinder me....

    but now I get together with the few excellent bass players here at college and jam with them. I think talking and playing with other bassists helps a lot...
    Any body agree/disagree
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I agree to the fullest.
    Im completely self taught to this day.
    I even learned to slap by hearing "Higher Ground" played by Flea.
    I begun hitting the strings with my hands with bad results until I finally figured out how to do it..
    Sometime later I watched a guy doing it and corrected my technique.

    What you say about when you started playing in a band is the same that happened to me.
    I became better faster than them, and moved on to progressive music.
    (I started playing Grunge and some Iron Maiden)
  3. I am self taught too. Although i come from a very heavily musical background, which is cool because they encourage and give that little nudge everynow and again.

    I am in my second band, i started this one and the members all have talents above me. The guitarist has been playing for 9 years, i have been playing for 4. So i am learning all the time. Even if its just watching someone else play can be a lesson in itself.

    I see some people come on here and they say "i just bought a bass" and people reply with "get lessons!". I agree with that, simply because if someone's bought a bass and they are lost already, then they need a teacher to set the initial path down.

    Teachers IMO are there to keep ppl on the right path, apart from that bass is self taught anyway, no matter how many lessons u have, if you don't practice and have the patience to nut things out, then a teacher is worthless.


  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Shouldn't this be in General Instruction?
  5. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    maybe it should be in general instruction.. but i'm relatively new to talk bass... please pardon me :)..

    Yeah I didn't just pick up a bass one day b/c i wanted to be a part of music. I started with the violin when I was 4... then i quit and started playing trumpet.... then continuing trumpet joined the chorus and now im a vocal performance major.... but I love to play my bass. i spend more time playing it than i do singing ( don't tell my teacher that.. )
  6. I'm self taught too (besides talkbass), I had 2 years of piano, 1/2 year of guitar. then bass.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Depending on who makes the coffee at Ed's workplace tomorrow morning, this thread could get interesting by about....oh, 11:30 or so.
  8. Orco87


    Mar 26, 2000
    Then I shall post now....

    I'm a lil' self taught. I just read a page in one of the forums about scales and stuff. Thank you Jazzbo, I'm highly grateful that he typed all that instruction for those that don't know. I'm slowly grasping the whole scale thing still. I'm in a band right now and I've been in this band ever since I started playin' bass. So I basically just learned the songs that I liked from tabs. Memorized em', and went from there. The down side of memorizing tabs is that the person doin' the tab will rarely ever get everything of that particular song. So after a year or so, the skill of picking up basslines has come to me, and I've re-vamped the songs I know and learned new songs as well. Mostly 311 and Incubus right now. I haven't learned any new songs cuz I'm tryin' to learn scales and theories and modes...oh my! :) Anyway, I have the background knowledge of music from 3 years of trumpet. So I'm tryin' to learn how to read music as well. I'm wondering if I should get the feel of the neck before I go to the bass clef, but then I think I can teach myself both at the same time. It's just that if I do that, getting the feel of the neck will take longer. Oh well, my decision. But being self-taught is pretty damn cool, and talking with other bassists is what gets a persson to still learn. That's why I'm at talkbass! :D
  9. I played piano for around 4 years when i was seven or 8. It seems many people started on a "classical" instrument before bass. Could it be that because people such as ourselves have loved music from early on, grasped some of the finer techniques that we simply for-go a teacher??

    Its just i know people who just one day "pick up" an instrument, and my word they need a teacher, they need someone to help them dive into music in general.

  10. I to can see a pattern arising. A poll is in order. See who is self taught and previously played another instrument, I know I am. And then who has lessons and hasn't played an instrument previously. Or something. Just an idea.
  11. The teachers (2 of them) around here in Hick-burg WV don't know anything.
  12. I am self taught...self teaching rather because I am still learning. I am not to the point where I think I am a great player or even a good player, but I can get by. I think that self teaching is a slower process than being taught by someone else. Ed I must disagree with your statement about teaching yourself something you don't know as opposed to someone who knows teaching you. Everyone learns things differently and at different paces. In college my professors taught nothing. They lectured hours on pointless crap that they did not test on. If I learned anything it was from doing things myself, and I think the bass can be the same way. I do agree that talking with and watching other bassists can be a great help. But to say that someone can't be good or great because no one taught them is just stupid. Sorry for using a guitar player for an example, but did Hendrix take lessons? I find it hard to believe that all the greats would have taken lessons. This is my opinion, and is not directed at Ed personally I just disagreed with his statement.
  13. Yep, I learned me to ride a tricycle when I was 3, I should be able to jump in an airplane an jes scoot...

    Calm down Ed Fuqua. Blimey, it was just a suggestion. It was the idea of being interested and gifted in music generally. Going from Piano to bass would help a lot. The ability to read music, in the bass and treble clef. Understanding chord structure. You need to have a sit down.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I'll be taking MY front row seat now. This ought to be good.




    Anybody got any popcorn?
  15. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    The only thing I can add to this thread is that just because you've been playing for a while and taught yourself, it doesn't mean it's too late to take lessons.

    I wasted about two years of my time "teaching myself" how to play bass. I read tabs, learned one major scale pattern (that's the pattern, I didn't bother with useless information like the notes), and could play songs out of time, and, thinking myself cock of the walk, played five minute bass solos with my band. I watch our old show videos and cringe. It's sad, scary, and just plain bad.

    I ended up starting to take lessons, and I went leaps and bounds beyond what I had learned in two years in two sessions. It was quite a humbling experience when I went to my first lesson. If I hear the words "Don't rush" too many more times, I think I may have to hurt someone. Oh, and playing a fretless bass with a teacher who has perfect pitch is also quite interesting. Luckily, he's a great guy, who's very patient, and gave me the college student special rate of $20/half hour. Man is it ever worth it.

    That's not to say that it's impossible to teach yourself. I have respect for people who can pick up an instrument and play. Playing an instrument beforehand definitely helps, but I think everyone should try lessons, if only a couple. You'd really be surprised at what you can gain, and you always have more to learn, and you have absolutely nothing to lose.
  16. donward spiral

    donward spiral

    Jul 19, 2001
    I've been playing piano for around six years and am basically so far teaching myself at bass cause there aren't many bass teachers i my area... I don't know, I am playing decently for the amount of time I have been playing but generally scuk.
  17. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I don't think you can teach yourself something you don't know, but you can certainly *learn* something you don't know (actually, that's the only kind of thing you *can* learn), and that learning doesn't always have to take place in the formal teacher-pupil setting. You can learn whenever you encounter any source that has something or knows something you don't, provided that you have the sense to recognize that.

    Whether it seems plausible or not, there are a number of superb musicians who are essentially self-taught. One is the late great Andres Segovia. (He used to joke, "To this day, teacher and pupil have never had a serious disagreement.") Not having been formally taught is not the same thing as not having learned.

    I say the "formal" teacher-student relationship because in a sense, anybody from whom you learn anything can be thought of as your teacher. If you go watch Gary Peacock play and pick up something you can use, hey, for that moment he's your teacher, and you've learned something. If you're playing in a group, and the drummer yells at you to stop rushing, same thing. It's possible to learn a great deal from listening, from reading, and from watching.

    That said, it doesn't mean that newbies shouldn't take lessons. For the most part, I think they'd be better off doing so. There's no particular *inherent* merit to being self-taught, or to being highly schooled for that matter. Lessons don't stifle your creativity or any of that crap, except maybe if you have a really terrible teacher. On the other hand, being able to discuss theory all day or play tap solos at 400 bpm means nothing in and of itself if you're not creating worthwhile music.

    IMO music is, in the end, about the results: whether you create music or not. And it really doesn't matter how you get there. It's indisputable that some people get there without lessons; but I think it's probable that most folks would get there better and more quickly with a teacher. A good teacher is one of the best and most efficient ways I know to get some tools that will help you do make music.
  18. Okay so if I'm not self-taught then I am self-learning.

    [QUOTEThat said, it doesn't mean that newbies shouldn't take lessons. For the most part, I think they'd be better off doing so. There's no particular *inherent* merit to being self-taught, or to being highly schooled for that matter. Lessons don't stifle your creativity or any of that crap, except maybe if you have a really terrible teacher. On the other hand, being able to discuss theory all day or play tap solos at 400 bpm means nothing in and of itself if you're not creating worthwhile music.[/QUOTE]

    I agree, it doesn't mean newbies shouldn't take lessons. I think if you can find a good teacher and afford the lessons, go for it. But I do think it can be done, and effectively. Sure I wish I had somebody to teach me, but I don't so I have to learn on my own. That doesn't mean that I will never be good. It just means I'll have to work harder to get there. And I will get there.
  19. TonyS


    Dec 13, 1999
    I've met several young guys recently that think noodling around with a book of scales is an in depth study of music. When I mentioned that "if" they were serious about playing music long term, they needed more theory. ... They pounced on the "I won't have anyone stifling my creativity with a bunch of rules" crap.

    In fairness, I was a pretty big jughead when I was young, but these guys make me look open minded. Whether it's a generational/hormonal thing or laziness ... All I can say is ... Ed must be busy.
  20. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    everyone is self-taught, and no-one is self taught.