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Teacher got mad at me last week.

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

  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You don't know what problems you encounter with the song? Cool.
  2. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    You should tell your instructor what you are willing to pay for, and what not. The two of you should be in agreement, and if not, your instructor will recognize that he/she is not the best one for you at the moment (unless the instructor is your wife).

    Do it in a constructive way, but it shouldn't be hard to tell those we purchase services from, what we want; but it does seem hard at times though. Got to wonder what this world is coming to, at times.
  3. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Actually, not necessarily. It can be confidence building to read music that you are familiar with. Reading music that you already "know" or play from ear can be counter-productive because you may just be playing what you know and not what you are reading, but being able to connect the dots to your ears will help.

    I did my first foray into reading when I was about 10 and typical introductory reading exercises are simple tunes that all kids know ("Mary Had a Little Lamb", etc). I'm not suggesting that any adult go to that level (nothing wrong with it if that's where you are at!), but reading melodies that you are familiar with is one of the best ways to self check as you move along.

    Etudes a very mechanical, so I if I was a teacher, I would try to find some music that has relatively simple melodies in bass clef to start students off on. Real Book level stuff is pretty demanding and I would not start there, but I'm sure there are books with known melodies for trombone out there. Once you get comfortable connecting the dots to the fret board, then one can venture off and begin working on reading basslines or more advance tunes that they may not know.

    It's not rocket science, but it does take some effort.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    why yes...yes i am. :laugh:
    Tad likes this.
  5. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    Yeah I know the problem. I can't remember the song in any way shape or form. as soon as I learn it it's gone. it's the only song to ever give me this problem
  6. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Unfortunately, it is an effective method.
  7. These.

    A thought to ponder: Why are you getting better? Because you want to? Or because you don't want your "teacher" to be angry at you? There's a difference.

    An important differentiation here is that not being prepared for a lesson and making human mistakes are two different things. Sounds like @Dr. Cheese simply made a reading error. No need to get mad.

    That said, I feel that a teacher who gets mad at a student for anything, well, shouldn't be teaching. The teacher is there (and getting paid) to pass along knowledge, which means it's a job. Which means the student is a customer. Which also means there's a level of customer service that should be maintained, and getting "mad" at a customer isn't good service. What would happen if a waiter/waitress put down your food, didn't give you silverware, and then got mad at you for asking for eating utensils?

    Wanna know a secret? My main band is a 14-piece cover/variety/wedding band of professional musicians, but we're all human and mistakes still happen. No one gets mad.

    Time to find a different teacher. Just my $.02, of course.

  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    A suggestion, if you don't mind: then why try to remember it?

    There are several ways to document a song. Doesn't have to be notation. I use intervals, a bonus is that I can play in any key. Perhaps the simplest is to get the lyrics, double space them and write out the note with the corresponding word.

    Not remembering induces panic in most people. Having it in front of you eliminates that.

    Another thing that might help is humming the bass line along with the song. Do this without a bass in your hands. If you can't hum it you don't know the arrangement yet (barring some sort of documentation).

    A nice by-product of documenting is that by analyzing the song you'll also likely burn it into memory. Like repeating someone's name when they introduce themselves.

    I think in shapes. The intro is root-5 5. The verse is root, up a major third, up a 1/2 step to the 4 then 4 down to the 2 in half steps. The turnaround is 1 to 3 to 6. Twice. Then 1 to 2 to 1 end on the 6.

    The bridge starts on the root to the 4 then whole step to a flat 3. Three times then go to the root, down a whole step (flat 7) and then end on the 5. Verse, chorus then modified intro: 1-55, 1-55 1-55-6. Done.

    This works regardless of what key you do it in.

    If you can visualize this in your head, putting it on the bass should be easy.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  9. I don’t agree with needing to understand all the keys to be an effective sight reader. As a 5th grade beginning band teacher nearly none of my students know what key they're playing in let alone the circle of 5ths, but they can sure as heck sight read better than many veteran bar-band-covers-playing adult bassists. They know that if there's a sharp or flat in the key signature to play that note sharp or flat, and for learning to sight read's sake that's really all you need to know (regarding key centers).

    My advice to improve your sight reading is to forget worrying about keys and focus on reading the actual notes. If you are hung up on keys, maybe start with C major until you feel comfortable reading in that key, then start adding sharps and flats (one at a time).

    Disclaimer: Does understanding key centers and the circle of fifths help sight reading? Sure it does. I'm just saying it's not necessary for becoming a good sight reader (reading notes on a page and playing the corresponding notes on your instrument well).

    My main point is; if keys are hanging you up on basic sight reading, then forget the keys and just focus on the notes.

    check out www.sightreadingfactory.com. This site is awesome! It generates random sight reading exercises, and you have control over the parameters. You can select the instrument, difficulty level, time signature, key signature, and there's an option to just read rhythms if you want. Highly recommend! Best of luck!
    Roxbororob, teh-slb and Dr. Cheese like this.
  10. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    So you pay a guy to get you better...right? but then you want him to to be nice and say well good try.....f@#$%^$# no, that is not a good teacher. He is paid to push you and being nice and saying we'll get em next time is lame....I push my students and expect progress and get it by being demanding. YMMV

    P.S go watch whiplash, that's my point.
    Wisebass and Tad like this.
  11. Dr. Cheese, I think I understand where you're coming from. If the teacher would just say "m kay..." to whatever you do, what would be the metric for success? A teacher, tutor, master, sensei, whatever, shows disapproval when his/her directions are not followed. It's about mutual respect. No one whats to waste time. At least, I hope it didn't get physical!! ;)

    I'm also planning to start reading. In my case, is not about a gig or a requirement, rather a matter of age... My memory is not what it used to be. My former repertoire of 100s of songs has diminished significantly, because I DON'T REMEMBER HOW TO PLAY THEM!!! Reading could get me up and going in no time, since I already know the material. Kinda like the singer with the lyric sheets (BUT NEVER ON STAGE!!!)

    Keep on!

  12. Skillet

    Skillet Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Teacher was playing a Pbass with Tort in the clip. He's bound to be an ok dude..... just sayin.
    SLO Surfer likes this.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I had a good lesson today. He says I am a challenging student because he feels I am musically inclined, but I seem to shut something in my mind when reading that flows freely when just playing.

    He says will work on etudes for a while instead of Pop songs. I am taking down his video because he does not do TB, and it was a mistake to show him when he is not speaking for himself.

    As I said before, I know him and we have a genuinely friendly relationship in addition to the teacher/student situation.
    Wisebass, Roxbororob, Tad and 2 others like this.
  14. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    OK, Coda is actually Italian for "tail" and it is always the "tail" of the music. Charts often call it the "outro" but with written music it is the coda.

    And often on sheet music there are A, B, and even C sections with repeats keyed to those. Those are all really formatting notes, not musical notes. The whole reason there are there is so they don't have to actually write out and supply 15 pages of music or so to play one song. It is imperative that you understand that formatting and that you go to the coda when you see the formatting that tells when to go to the coda.

    Sounds to me that if you just had to read the musical notes, albeit on 12-15 pages of music or so, you'd do fine. It's really the formatting of the music in the 2 to 3 pages of music that is throwing you for a loop. Before you even start to read the first notes on sheet music you need to check out the formatting so you understand where you need to go to repeat different sections and where you need to jump to the coda (remember "tail" of the song). Don't hesitate to put little tabs on your sheet music to facilitate jumping pages as required by the formatting of the song.

    Always learn the song in the order it is formatted. Learn the first section and repeat it until you have it down. Then learn the second section. Once you have the second section down, play the first and second together. Keep learning and adding sections until you finally play the coda. Learn the coda the same way you do the rest of the song. Normally the coda is a different ending for one of the sections and you really need to play that section with the coda to get the transition to the coda down.

    At that point you should play the entire song from the start through the coda with no problems, and you won't accidentally forget the coda. This is all just formatting of the song and by the time you get to the coda, odds are you'll have the song memorized anyhow, including the coda.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    Wisebass, Tad and Dr. Cheese like this.
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Shilling? That's a little harsh. I didn't say he should buy it, I didn't say it would answer all his problems, I didn't say it would wash away everyday dirt & grime. It's in my profile signature as a DISCLOSURE.

    Likewise, nowhere do I say that learning fundamentals is unnecessary. What I did say, and feel free to quote me, is YOU DON'T NEED A TEACHER TO LEARN HOW TO READ MUSIC, that's one area that you can really teach yourself. If there are issues you are having, certainly bringing a problem in for a teacher to help you towards a solution is a Good Thing. There are any number of books that are put together to help someone improve their reading in a consistently progressive manner, Jim Stinnett has a number he publishes, Charles Colin Studios as well (the one I spent the most time with was RHYTHM STUDIES). Those are PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS, not SHILLING because nobody's paying me to have that opinion.

    But since I did write a book AND that book contains musical notation, pretty much anybody who wanted to practice reading musical notation could actually use it to do so.

    They just don't need pay to sit in a room with someone to do that.
    Tad likes this.
  16. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    It's all good. I just saw irony in your response. I'll have a cold one in your honor. Have a good weekend.
  17. This is not uncommon, and it goes both ways. Some classical musicians can't play with the same feeling/emotion, remember any music, or improvise and will freeze up when you take their sheet music away. Like anything, it just takes practice... the right kind of practice.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  18. JC Nelson

    JC Nelson Supporting Member

    May 30, 2015
    Without knowing the keys, you can read and play but this puts you at the disadvantage of hunt and peck like many people type.

    This was the way I learned the circle of 5ths that made it easy for me to remember.

    Count your steps
    Start at Zero

    A String 3rd Fret C (0 Sharps)
    E String 3rd Fret G (1 Sharp)

    A String 5th Fret D (2 Sharps)
    E String 5th Fret A (3 Sharps)

    A String 7th Fret E (4 Sharps)
    E String 7th Fret B (5 Sharps)

    The next move gets you ready to step up a fret

    E String 2nd Fret F# (6 Sharps)(6 Flats)

    A String 4th Fret Db (5 Flats)
    E String 4th Fret Ab (4 Flats)

    A String 6th Fret Eb (3 Flats)
    E String 6th Fret Bb (2 Flats)

    E String 1st Fret F (1 Flat)
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    JC Nelson likes this.
  20. MichelD


    May 19, 2014
    As someone who loves to play bass but is cursed with a tin ear I would be close to slugging anyone who told me I should have learned something by ear.

    I'm persistent and have had a bass of one kind of another for 43 years have been playing with others and in bands for 42 years. I've learned how to play by every which way, from being shown parts, to learning them on paper, faking, learning to read, everything and yes, I have tried and tried and tried to develop my ear too, but it is a struggle. If I put on a simple blues or three chord country record it takes me ages to find the key, never mind the chord changes. But as I said, I hung in there and despite my handicap, I play with some pretty accomplished other musicians these days. But I would have walked out of that lesson and not gone back.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    Tad and Stumbo like this.

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