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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Jun 27, 2019.
Paying money to be abused is not uncommon.
If you want to learn to read, get books without tab.
Maybe I'm coming from more of a early jazz/rock view here, but ever hear of Mingus, Buddy Rich, or Ginger Baker? Not necessarily teachers, but certainly high level, moderately successful talents who did just as you described.
Spoiler: NSFW: Buddy Rich Tapes YouTube
To each his own really, some people learn better under a bit of pressure. If the student says he's often learning when his teacher shows a bit of frustration, then good on the teacher for not holding back in trying to push his student forward. No matter the means.
We are human beings, not robots. Sometimes you can make mistakes playing things you've played a million times. Making a mistake does not equal being unprepared.
Reading and playing by ear are completely different skillsets.
I can read. But I'm "rusty" at it.
I have learned MANY more songs by ear than I have by reading.
Let's say you needed me to play an "easy" song I've never heard in exactly 12 minutes. I have a choice. I cam either get the sheet music or the recording to work with for those 12 minutes. I'll take the recording every time.
That being said, keep plugging away at it, Doc. It's worth it having the ability to read.
I equate bass teachers with churches in one respect. You're never going to find a church that teaches you exactly the way you want to be taught. But, instead of not going, you pick a good one and do your own homework to get the most out of it. Do the same with this teacher. Remember YOUR goals. Use the skills and advice of the teacher to get where YOU want to go. And, every now and then, you'll have to sit through a sermon *cough* lesson that you don't get much out of.
I've taught college and professional school students for over thirty years. Sometime you are disappointed in how your students are doing and even ticked off when you know they aren't putting the work in that they need to. But nothing good comes from expressing that frustration to your students. Patience for those that are doing their best. For the rest, their motivation has to come from within.
Best way to learn reading: As soon as you possibly can manage it, get with a group that reads. Big Band, church group, community anything. Keeping up with other musicians is always better than a metronome, or just doing it alone.
BTW, you might remind your teacher that you are there to make mistakes, otherwise, you'd be some place else.
You made a mistake. Perhaps he did too. Move on.
Why the focus on reading? Is it a requirement of your current gigs? Is a lack of reading skills preventing you from landing other gigs? Are there areas of focus you could switch to that would have a direct impact on your current playing opportunities?
While earning my music degree and teaching certification I learned to read. I still read treble clef melodies regularly in the course of my day job. But my skills to sight read bass lines on a gig have slipped away in the 30 years since. It’s a perishable skill that has weakened because I’m rarely (no, make that never) asked to do so.
Is enduring expense and frustration in the pursuit of skills not necessarily applicable to one’s situation a wise use of time and resources? Just food for thought not intended as a blanket opinion that would apply to everybody.
You can still have an ice cream cone, Dr. C...
... but, no sprinkles. Sprinkles are for winners, who know a coda from Yoda.
I mentioned the tabs for another poster who cannot read at all.
I've been there before many times. Missing a coda, from my experience, is usually a mistake that is more difficult to recover from. I think or, rather, expect that learning the song form would also be a part of the preparation.
While I get where you're coming from, I would say that it depends on the people involved. Somebody already posted a link to The Bus Tapes - I am sure that there were people willing to go through it in order to play with Buddy Rich. Speaking of other endeavors, I've met (and trained under) people who went through hell with their teachers in order to improve their athletic performance. They're highly sought after and respected teachers themselves now. Being nice is, well, nice, but it can lead to complacency. Of course, @Dr. Cheese and, in the end, all of us need to set boundaries for ourselves. If dealing with anger and frustration is an issue, one can (hopefully) always walk away.
Personally, I'm willing to tolerate someone I trust yell at me. But then again, we're all different.
Please tell me you don't work in academia
That's right! I'd also say that an elegant recovery would render the mistake "invisible". Still, I'm a firm believer in preparation, particularly as a means of reducing mistakes.
Was your teacher really mad, or were they making an observation to try and motivate you? But yes, a teacher should not get mad at a student. Did your teacher include any praise for the parts you read correctly, for following the dynamics markings, or anything you got right, Doc?
I feel a teacher should dole out constructive criticism with praise and encouragement for whatever progress the student has made. That’s how I try to do it.
It’s precious few times a student does everything wrong, and in those cases it’s almost always because they simply did not practice. Which always elecits my talk: “You *have* to play, pretty much every day, to get better. But it is like magic; if you do play, you will get better! The more you play and the more seriously you focus while you practice the faster you will improve. There is no short cut though, you have to play your bass to get better at playing bass.”
Dr. Cheese, don't take slapping lessons from this teacher, I'm jut saying...
That’s called being a student. Students make mistakes. If they didn’t there’d be no need for teachers.
The real task of a good teacher is to make the student think and be more aware of what they’re doing. The subject content is mainly a plus that comes along for the ride.
We each tend to be our own most severe critics. We don’t need a teacher to tell us we’re slow learners, stupid, talentless, or otherwise inadequate to the task. Most of us tell ourselves that about a dozen of times each day. A good teacher is a source of inspiration, a guide, and most importantly, an enabler.
What we need teachers for is to point a way for us to get out from under our endless cycles of self doubt and self criticism rather than reinforce them.
If learning to be a musician was merely a matter of learning subject content, then you could master anything in music just by reading about it. No teacher required.
When you read music the first thing to do is locate where is the highest note and lowest note and plan some shifting. Then break down the structure to identify where everything goes.
Only then you start to read.
You know the shock collar is the next logical step. That'll get you all flinchy and stuff!
If you're not first time site reading for a competition or on a gig, which you said you're not, before you even pick up an instrument you should be reading through the whole arrangement, highlighting and making notes on things like codas, tempo changes, dynamics, etc., that will draw your attention to these little details. It's sheet music, not a sacred parchment! You can write on it! Next, play what's on the paper, not what's in your head. I was a pretty good sight reader back when I was taking classical piano. But if I'd heard the song before or had some dumb thought that I knew how it should go, my brain would take me right of script and into a musical brick wall. At which point I'd have find the place I went of tracks and pick it up again. I don't know which arrangement your working with, but I'm guessing it's not a note for note transcription of the Otis Redding take on that song. Learn what's on the paper before you trying to Duck Dunn it up from memory. Or Dr. Cheese it up. That's the talent in sight reading. Interpretation comes afterwards.
Five Cops Got Drunk At Ernie's Bar
Funny thing... people have been getting chewed on and belittled from coaches, drill instructors, and teachers for decades, if not longer. The key being, knowing when and how to kick butt, when to offer positive reinforcement, and actually caring enough to stand up and choose the right time and place for both.
For those that think being tough doesn't work, and it's a poor method I'd like to offer you an official TB participation trophy. Your contributions to this thread are noteworthy and you should feel proud that you added to the conversation, and potentially to the betterment of mankind.
For those that feel there is a time and a place to kick a little ass, I'd congratulate you for understanding the benefits... but that would be a waste of your time and mine. You don't need it.
He is retired from slapping!