should i take lessons

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by CaptHowdy7606, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. i have been playin for about 4 months and so far i think im decent but i have pretty much come to a stop with learning what i think i can. the guys i play with take lessons and they are like 10 times better at the instruments then i am at the bass. should i take lessons so i could keep up or just keep playin along see what happens
  2. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    taking lessons improves ur playing dramatically. it opened up whole new aspects of the instrument to me and improved (and still is) my knowledge about the instument i love.
  3. lpbassics

    lpbassics Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
  4. I say take lessons. Every person adds something new to the technique of playing bass because everyone's soul is different. Taking lessons won't make you a replica of your teacher if that's what you're worried about; it will bring out the player in you and you'll be much better for it. And besides, the only drawback to taking lessons is that when you get good you can't say that you taught yourself how to play... WHO CARES. There are lots of guys out there who are great who never took lessons- props to them. But there are a lot more people out there who suck heinously and never took lessons, so not taking lessons doesn't make you suck less. I'd much rather listen to a great bassist who took lessons (we'll say Victor Wooten for example) than someone who can't play along to Matchbox 20 but never took lessons. I say go for it.

  5. Yeah, but I think you should take some time to learn some things and make some theory's of your own before you start taking lessons. That way, when he starts teaching you those things you can apply them so much better.
    BTW, when you've come to a stop like you say you have, start looking at new music or tabs.
  6. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    the teacher you choose can mean tons regarding this so if you have a bad experience, don't be shy to try someone else. you have to remember too that you're only acquiring tools for the tool box. eventually, you'll have to go it alone to find your own voice. like you can learn grammar in school but you can't be shown the novel you're destined to write, this must come from inside. a good teacher is one that can inspire, not just tell you what do or worse, narrow your mind so you'll reject all other perspectives except the one they're showing you. those who can inspire and keep the mind curious and exploring are righteous individuals to come upon.

    I'd also say to be a "student for life" - whether it's on your own or learning from someone else, the important thing is to keep your mind open and ready to absorb good stuff so you'll always keep growing. a good teacher will instill this. that's my opinion.

    on bass, watt

  7. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Lots of great advice already so I'm just going to add a few thoughts: A good teacher is valuable to you as a person and a musician. My advice to you is yes, give lessons a go. Find the teacher that is right for you. You will learn so much. Don't take the lessons just so you can "keep up" with your fellow bandmates. Do it for yourself. Do it because you want to improve. Granted, it is a good idea to do something for improvement if you are unable to keep up with the other musicians.

    If you've come to some halt in your playing/learning it's a definate sign you need a challenge or...tada! a teacher to teach you new things.

    Best of luck to you,

    PS: Tabz are bad mmmmkay? :D Now's the time to learn ear-training. Imagine learning all your favorite songs by ear then showing them off, wowing, your bandmates. Believe me, it's great feeling when you learn a whole song on your own.
  8. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    there's some middle ground too - learning from books. worth a try. take a look at this link:

    on bass, watt

    p.s. thanks to everyone helping out here. the main point I think is that one should be open-minded about learning from any opportunity that might present itself. absorbing any kind of bass knowledge is not in the least a waste of one's time, I think.