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Starting to Teach

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by SixString, May 5, 2003.

  1. SixString


    Jul 20, 2002
    Hey, I'm a 18 year old whos been playing music for the past 8 years nad bass for the past 3 i'v progressed on the bass quicker thne alot of peopel around me in my current school jazz band and concert band because i have alot of dedication to the instrament and to vast styles of music.

    The other day i was approched by a 13 year old boys father and he asked me to give his osn music lessons after i told him my expecience on the instrament and with music in general.

    I currently have a great music theory/bass teacher now who is willing to help me with this also but I thought i'd hop on and ask for any tips any teachers out there may have, or any students who wish they would be tought things that they havnt been so i can teach him the best i can

    Any tips on first lesson ideas would be a big big help, thanks
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    If your student is a TOTAL BEGINNER, you will need to orient him to the bass guitar (or double bass) and tell him the names of the parts of the bass. Show him how to tune it. Teach him the names of each string. Show him how to fret notes.

    If you are going to have him do fingerstyle picking, get him oriented to that. If he insists on using a pick because some bass hero of his uses a pick, show him how to do that...hold it, rest strokes, alternate picking, etc.

    Have a friendly little talk with him to find out his objectives and music preferences. You will need to know that so you can guide him and keep him happy. Ask him if there is any song he'd like to learn to play. Show him a simple bassline for it.

    Don't try to force YOUR musical preferences on him. If you love jazz, but he loves metal core, try to please him or he will quit. However, you have to think of the father, too. Maybe the father expects his son to develop an interest in jazz or classics. You will have to balance every one's interests or the father will pull him out of the classes.

    You might want to give your student a diagram of the fretboard with the names of the notes. You could teach him the pattern of a major scale for starters and show him how to play that at various postions on the bass. You might also try to get him started on learning to read standard notation which he can do simultaneously with fretboard familiarization. He may resist and just want tabs, but encourage him to read music if you can.

    I'd be a real bear too and give him homework. He must be able to play the C major scale by next class (or whatever you deem fitting.)

    I think fretboard familiarization is important. So is learning scales, but the student may get bored quickly if he doesn't feel he is learning to play at least simplified basslines to some of his favorite songs. The trick is to balance instruction with fun.

    In the first several classes, you should introduce your student to keys and to intervals and later chords. Progress at the student's pace. Don't overwhelm him with too much theory, but you should plan classes well, so that your student goes home with new material each time and demonstrates some progress from class to class.
  3. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    While it may be flattering to be asked to show your stuff, good teaching is not found in the answer to the question of "what do I show this guy".

    Suggest to your friend (and his dad) to seek out a professional teacher.

    Many young musicians learn from their friends while jamming around but this is not the same as taking lessons.
  4. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Decide what kind of teacher you want to be.There are 2.
    1.The music store guy who's doing it for cash and does'nt teach music,but licks and tunes.Dad sends Johnny there and for $20 an hour he learns Lynkin Park tunes and how to whack,slap...nothing wrong with that,just don't call it music lessons.
    2.The private teacher who introduces the student to theory,reading,transcription etc.and gives that student ultimately the tools to teach himself.This means turning away students who want what the first teacher does.=less $ cash for 2nd teacher.

    Depends how bad you need the cash.Personally I like the second guy better.