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should i give bass lessons

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by melvin, May 12, 2001.


  1. melvin

    melvin

    Apr 28, 2001
    that last thread about guitarist as instructors got me thinking about giving bass lessons. the 2 guitar teachers that teach bass have moved or are moving so i was thinking that might be able to teach the kids that want to learn. ive been playing for 2 years but with my two years of jazz band i think its really boosted my playing skills. and another thing im 15 so i dont know if thats gonna push people away from taking lessons. what do you guys think?
     
  2. DarkMazda

    DarkMazda

    Jun 3, 2000
    NJ
    Well go for it.. Any kinda lesson helps a beginner. Everyone can learn from each other.. Just try to teach them the "Right" way of playing and don't give him/her the bad impression of playing bass.. "Example: Pick Playing.. LOL :D" Well seriously like. where to place the thumb.. not around the neck etc.. etc.. if you dont' teach him the wrong way, there is nothing wrong with giving lessons.. just don't charge him anything or if anything.. very small amount.. Your not really certified to teach bass/guitar.. so just teach him/her. any advice will help anyone .. i myself so far haven't had any lessons but talking to ppl and getting advices (Example: TalkBass!! THANKS GUYS :D) I've improved myself on playing bass.. even doh im still horrible at it hehe but anyways good luck to you

    DM:D
     
  3. benjamintowle

    benjamintowle Guest

    Apr 3, 2001
    usa tewksbury mass
    i am teaching my dad and i been playing for 2 years or more i cant rember it like between 2 and 4.like alot of older peeps tell me i good when i go to mars with my bass with the trem i built like mismacthing parts are like dam and stuff like cant belive i that good for my age and how lon i been playing.as said befor any thing is good for a begginer.i not saying i not the best i just good
     
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Sure, you could teach friends maybe, but I don't think you've got the knowledge or experience behind you (ears...possibly, but far fetched) to make a worthwhile professional teacher. The 2 years of playing says that more than your age (though that says something too).
     
  5. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Translation to English, by Jazzbo:

    Currently, I am teaching my father. I have only been playing for approximately 2 years; however, I cannot recall, I may have been playing for up to 4 years. I will often times bring my custom bass that I built myself when I visit Mars music store. A good deal of older people at the store exclaim that I am a talented bass player. Many are shocked to hear my talent level given my relatively young age and my tenure as a bassist. I have said before, that anything is good for a beginner. I certainly am not the best bass player; however, I am good.
     
  6. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Now, in regards to Melvin's post:

    Teaching is very different from playing. If you feel you have the ability, I encourage you to beginning giving lessons. I won't lie, I think many people will be turned off by your age. I would not accept lessons from a 15 year old. Of course, you're speaking of teaching children, so it might be a little easier. Remember, you've also got to gain the trust of the parents. You have to convince the parents that they're not wasting their money. Some advice.

    1) Construct a lesson plan. Don't go in blind. The key to teaching is preparation. You have to do all the additional work to make it look like the lesson is effortless. This involves planning and organizing curriculum.

    2) Have a diversified lesson plan. Teaching is not showing off licks or just teaching the kid how to play their favorite bass line. It's about rhythm training, sight reading, ear training, fingerboard drills and exercises, and theory development.

    3) Keep the kid interested and having fun. Although you may not be happy about it, you may have to teach the kid "Nookie" to keep him coming back. Again, this shouldn't be the only thing you teach though. Just make sure that the lesson plan keeps the kid involved and interested.

    I'll post again later when I have more time, with some additional thoughts. Good luck!
     
  7. td1368

    td1368

    Jan 9, 2001
    Philadelphia
    I would think your comfort level with teaching is relative to your teaching credentials. I would bet being a good bass teacher is a lot different than being a good bass player. Still if you have a good grasp of theory and technique and can communicate those ideas. I'd say go for it.
     
  8. Well I was going to start a new thread by its almost the same subject here. I've only been playing 8 months but everybody who has never heard a real bass player thinks I'm really good. Now my friend's girlfriend loves the bass and wants me to teach her so I told her I'd teach her what I could. Of course, I have no idea how to teach someone, especially someone who has hands 1/3 the size of mine (no, I'm not a sasquatch or anything, she's just really small).
     
  9. td1368

    td1368

    Jan 9, 2001
    Philadelphia
    I quess I'm thinking of something different when someone says teach bass. I think hanging out and sharing info, and jamming is cool. Some people/ students have never even picked up an instrument. But I think if your talking about teaching in a professional environment i.e. getting paid, thats a different story. I'd be very reluctant to pay for lessons from someone who has been playing for a short time, and never seriously studied music. I don't know what anyones background is so no jab intended. I've read some of Jazzbo's post and he has a serious musical background. Just check out his thesis on scales and chords and I think you'll know what I mean.
     
  10. Exactly, teaching is much more than sharing information. It's about the student being able to use the information; it's about being able to hear where a student is and helping him move forward or in a direction; it's about being able to recognize problems with a student's playing and showing him what to do to correct it; it's about helping a cat get to the point where he no longer needs a teacher, not to say that he's good enough to not need one because he can't get better, but that the student reached a level where he's able to teach himself effectively, ie. is able to continue to develop steadily on his own, doing for himself what his teacher formerly provided.

    Everything I mentioned above takes knowledge and experience that only years of playing can provide. But that's not enough. None of it's anygood if you can't communicate it. Communicating to a student is much more difficult than you might believe. Don't assume that because you understand a concept you can explain it effectively to someone who doesn't. You have to have analyzed your own playing. What is it exactly that you do when you're playing? Can you tell someone else how to do it? What if it's a concept that takes time to develop? Have you analyzed it to a point where you can teach it in very small increments over an extended period of time in a way that, provided the student practices, he'll be ready for the next segment when he returns?
     
  11. melvin

    melvin

    Apr 28, 2001
    ive read most of the posts and i think ive decided. im gonna wait till next summer since ill have another year of band to learn more theory and another year of jazz band so itd probably be better.
     
  12. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I applaud your honesty Melvin. I'm sure if you keep developing as a bass player, you will find yourself one day in a position where you feel more comfortable teaching.

    One thing I love about teaching, and that's anything for that matter, is when you teach, you force yourself to become a subject matter expert. So, if you prepare to teach, without even realizing it, you'll improve as a bass player dramatically.
     
  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Teaching is an art, and you REALLY have to know what you're doing to be a worthwhile teacher.

    BTW, claps for Jazzbo. He's right, teaching will really show you how much you really know your stuff. There's no better test or guage of your knowledge than when you try to teach it to someone else. Teaching can greatly improve you and help you figure out what you need to work on, but you shouldn't teach others just to improve yourself.
     
  14. Teaching is something that should only be done out of a desire to impart knowledge to others. If ya want to do it to make money, that's the wrong reason. I suggest a few more years of experience under your belt first. Just my opinion as a former teacher. ( I love teaching, but dont have time for it anymore)
     
  15. gweimer

    gweimer

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I've been playing bass for over 30 years, but when my son wanted to learn, I sent him to a teacher. Being primarily self-taught, I didn't have a clue about where to start (well, a few...), but mostly, I didn't have a plan on how to teach. When you learn things shotgun style, it's hard to pass on knowledge. The point of teaching isn't to show how good YOU can play (although we've all seen teachers that think that IS the point), but rather to pass on knowledge, and be able to support it by demonstration.