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Teacher got mad at me last week.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I am really working on getting a handle on reading. I had been working on a fairly “” “easy” song, Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. I say easy in quotes because Duck Dunn was a master of a subtle change here or there that really brought songs to life. In working on the song, I missed a few spots and I made on significant mistake: I missed the coda. My teacher was annoyed in that he said this is a song I could easily learn by ear, and it should not have taken me so long to read it to the extent that I did. Thinking back, I was tempted to say that I don’t need to pay for ear training. I am trying to learn to truly read, I mess up, but I take it seriously. I have learned some pretty hard stuff by ear, but at least reading parts leads to much better results for me than my ear alone.
  2. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Ah, your ornery teacher again ;)

    My question to you is was it sight reading or something you’d taken home? The difference being sight reading is having not seen it before.

    Maybe what your teacher is trying to tell you is learn it: then you’re just reading the part as a guide to refresh your memory.

    It’s also a “fake situation” because if you’re playing in a group you’re not just going to forget the coda and stop while everyone keeps playing. ;)

    Break it up into little bits and get it in your ear. Also an automatic knowledge of keys and the fretboard helps with reading. For example if it’s in the key of D I know there are two sharps which are F# and C# and I don’t have to think about it. I learned that many years ago through visualization exercises while taking transit. Nowadays I have to think about it more than 20 years ago. When there’s a scalar passage I don’t have to think consciously about what each note is: it follows the scale of the key. It’s also easy to recognize arpeggios. Of course this advice is coming at you from someone who used to be a very good sight reader and has neglected it for many years ;)

    Keep up the good work!
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    !. if you're trying to learn to read, you should be reading through etudes etc. not "songs", particularly not pop songs that you're going to be playing along to what you hear in your head already. That's not reading.
    2. you don't need a teacher to teach you how to read music
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    No, it was not sight reading. I have to step it up on getting all the keys together. I know them on the cycle of fifths, but it is hard for me to what is what in each key from the top of my head.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Actually reading the chart was a good corrective for what I thought I was hearing in certain parts.
    MrLenny1, Wisebass, sears and 4 others like this.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    A teacher who gets mad at students for making a mistake is a bad teacher.
  7. BossOnBass


    Aug 11, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Grutzbo, MrLenny1, jay_shoe and 6 others like this.
  8. Luigir


    Mar 15, 2018
    Hi! Just a suggestion. If you try to read take a look at classical double bass methods. Most of them have studies in all the keys and are a good way to learn how to read. In fact, not knowing the song really requires you to read not relying on your ear.

    I've used and I'm using a method from the middle of nineteenth century written by the virtuoso Double Bassist Bottesini. You can find it here:
    Clever Moniker, sears, NigelD and 3 others like this.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    When he gets mad, I often get better.
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Circuses train their animals by beating them. It doesn't mean it's the best way to do it.
  11. JoshS


    Dec 30, 2018
    Good for you. I’m a beginner, but this is my favorite baseline I’ve learned (although you’re right, I’m not sure I’ve mastered the subtlety). I can’t read it, although I’ve most certainly tried. I was more hoping to reverse that and learn to read it by noting what my fingers would do and then associate it back to what I see. Hasn’t really happened, though.
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Get the book Soul Fingers, it has notation and tablature of Duck Dunn lines. It would be a big help for you.
    Clever Moniker, JoshS and jshinal like this.
  13. teh-slb


    Sep 21, 2018
    I'm going to be that guy and disagree. A teacher who gets mad over their students not preparing for lessons is a good teacher.
    redstrand, Nashrakh, Wisebass and 7 others like this.
  14. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    if you are making a legitimate effort, this is the teacher being ineffective, not you...

    edit - felt like elaborating..

    teaching is about assessing current ability, finding the healthy amount of challenge - something the student cannot do today that is possible for them to do within a timeframe (lets say one week.), and evaluating how that went. zone of proximal development.

    I have a masters degree in music education. I see a lot of teaching - some amazing, some horrific. the bad almost always comes from a poor assessment at the first step, misunderstanding either what a student is really capable of, or misunderstanding how many steps are involved in getting to a particular task with reasonable efficiency.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    murphy, lat, Charlie Tango and 4 others like this.
  15. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Show me .... Sand the Floor.
    Show me .... Wax on, Wax off.
    Show me .... Paint the fence.

    ... Karate Kid (1984)
    Smooth_bass88, Loring, diegom and 5 others like this.
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    ^This. Period.

    Displaying impatience and resorting to low key ridicule are not effective teaching methods.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I prepared, but I made student mistakes. I had tunnel vision on the notes, I should have looked out for the coda.
    Spidey2112 and teh-slb like this.
  18. fishdreams

    fishdreams Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification and and Martin Keith Guitars
    Exactly right. Id stay away from material with tabs in them, key for learning to sight read is to work out your own fingering. Simandl book of exercises is an oldie but goodie and John Pattitucci wrote a similar book of studies. Bach cello suites (transposed for bass) the gold standard, and a lifetime of rewarding work.

    Also, dr Cheese mentioned getting Duck's inflections right, and that's not the point of sight reading either - the point is to first play the part in time from start to finish from paper, which is difficult enough. Next is interpretation (making music out of it) , which raises the fantastic possibility to do your own- Duck already did his :)

    Good luck and have fun!
    Bluesman88 and Garagiste like this.
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    People who deal in fear and anger in their chosen profession need to find another profession.

    If anger worked as a teaching method it would be supported by peer reviewed psychological studies. It's not.
    SactoBass, lat, Huw Phillips and 4 others like this.
  20. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I'd say you are the exception here. If you DO get better, it is despite of him/her rather than BECAUSE.. When you think about it, why on earth should he/she get mad ? Surely encouragement and understanding is the way to go ?
    lfmn16 and Dr. Cheese like this.

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