Studying with non-bass players...who has done that/suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by glocke1, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Has anyone here studied with non-bass players?

    Pre-Covid days i was thinking of studying with a sax player based out of NYJA, but thats unlikely to happen now...Seemed like a logical thing to do to address some problems i had soloing/improvising.

    Now Im thinking about doing some 1:1 studying with a local jazz drummers to address some areas I know Im weak on (timing, latin rhythms and grooves, etc).

    Has anyone here done this?
  2. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35 Supporting Member

    Do it! A drummer's one on one will be time well spent.
    design likes this.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Formally "Studying with," I've never done, but I pretty much learned everything I know about bass from non bassists. One jazz drummer I played with about 20 years ago in a rock band (she taught me all about playing behind, on top of and in front of the beat), and a few guitarists who were way out of my league. Those people taught me things I'm not sure another bassist ever would have been able to.

    I think its important to study with other musicians, for sure.
    Malcolm35 and Beej like this.
  4. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I have, too...including learning from an accordion player. Lately I am gravitating towards guitarist Dana Rasch, and the latest thing is that he has a great Patreon site, with awesome material for ridiculously low membership.
  5. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Hmm, not with the direct intention of improving my bass playing but I have considered it (a piano player would be my first pick followed by a guitarist). I have studied percussion and a bit of drum kit and I think both have helped me as a bassist - but that’s not the same thing as what you’re talking about. Great idea though.
  6. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I got a Masters degree in Composition several bazillion years ago, and to this day I think about stuff I worked on with my Composition professors when I'm playing bass. If you only ever studied with bass teachers you'd only ever think from a bassist's perspective.
    12BitSlab likes this.
  7. AFalseDichotomy


    Jun 11, 2020
    I mean, learning more about music is never a bad idea. Especially an established drummer will have probably played with more bassists than a bassist would, so they might have more ideas about what makes a bass player fun/not fun to play with. A lot of what I know about bass and music in general came from a friend of mine that played drums, so it seems like a really good idea to me!
  8. jdthebassman

    jdthebassman play to live live to play Supporting Member

    When I was at the new England conservatory I studied and worked with jimmy Giuffre sax, wood winds. Mick goodrick guitar. bob Moses drums. They helped me look at music and the role of the bass and think out side the box, take chances.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
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  9. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    @jdthebassman What years were you at NEC?

    (MM Class of '95 myself)
  10. jdthebassman

    jdthebassman play to live live to play Supporting Member

    BA class of 1986 it was a great experience, worked with a lot of great players. the scene was great, now it is pretty lame in the boston area.
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  11. I’m surprised more bassists don’t do this. We all learn to groove, play roots, and walk, but there’s so much more we could benefit from.
    • Jazz melody. In my opinion, the saxes were always best at this. Something about the layout of the keys—very piano-like in how they fall. Bassists could all use some help interpreting jazz notation. We need someone to tell us the basic rules of swing interpretation (like quarters are short, and accent when you change direction).
    • Theory. Trust me on this: take theory from a pianist. You can see it and visualize it, all laid out in front of you, in note order. To this day, when I visualize a chord, I see it on a keyboard—not a bass.
    • Voice. Want to step up your game? Learn to sing correctly, and harmonize by ear.
  12. White Beard

    White Beard

    Feb 12, 2013
    Wait a minute... you studied with THE Jimmy Guiffre? Woody Herman, Four Brothers, Lee Konitz, Shorty Rogers, etc?

    That is effing awesome! Did you learn any arranging from him? Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
  13. jdthebassman

    jdthebassman play to live live to play Supporting Member

    yes I did, for the entire time I was there.He was a mentor, friend and the most down to earth man you could know. Jimmy thought completely out of the box and taught me more than just playing music. I was in his ensemble and we played most of his compositions including four brothers. We even worked on a big band arrangement for jacos continuum featuring yours truly. One of my favorite things we would do is call and response,it really got me thinking like a horn player. We kept in touch over the years and I got to talk and thank him for all he did for me a few weeks before he passed.
    Bob_Ross likes this.