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Teacher got mad at me last week.

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

  1. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    Teacher getting mad is just not right. I used to be able to read music, but not so much anymore. I found that 90% of the time, the written music was nothing like the recording due to improvisation. One example is my book of Steely Dan music. The written bass lines are just mostly roots and 5ths. So pretty much useless for learning the songs. I found that learning by ear was more true to the recording and then I could add my own flavor to it if I wanted to.
    rollie 55 likes this.
  2. Most of the best teachers are not the "everyone gets a trophy" types. If you want a real teacher, you better be ready to take a few shots to your precious ego once in awhile.
    Tad and rollie 55 like this.
  3. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    i cant really comment but will put my 5 pen'th worth in im a fly by the seat of me pants player if i like the sound of something i just play what comes to my head i kinda feel it. teachers and a lot of people on here will disagree with me but i did'nt pick the bass up to comform i just wanted to play with no rules at the end of the day i just wanna rock :thumbsup: am i a bassists / a bass player / or rock n roller in my eyes im all three :bassist: if it sounds good then guess what it is :thumbsup:
  4. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I agree with this - when you think back to when your kids were learning to read, the most important thing was to get to where they consistently recognize letters, then words, then sentences. They make lots of mistakes in the beginning then get better and better through more practice (reading more stuff, especially things that they haven't read before. My kids got really good at "reading" things they'd heard a million times before - that's not reading, that's memorization. You want to learn how to read stuff that you are not already familiar with. As Ed points out, there are good sources for this. They'll take you out of your comfort zone and will be hard (you might work on one piece for weeks) but keep at it and it'll get easier.
  5. Kelly robinson

    Kelly robinson

    Dec 30, 2014
    Hi Dr Cheese -
    I admit I only read thru the first page but if a little rebuke makes you work harder I don't see the harm . Perhaps you teacher knows you can do better and is only trying to foster that by any means necessary . whether that is the best method is frankly irreverent if it works for you . Currently our society often gives medals out solely for participation rather than for acknowledging actual merit - I know you are not the kind who settles for giving less than your best - I say continue on !!!! and show the teacher who's boss ..... Kelly
    Tad likes this.
  6. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    Wow, thank you very much for posting that link. So nice to find an antique book from such a high level of expertise.
    Luigir likes this.
  7. Mannyinnewyork


    Sep 28, 2016
    New York
    Doctor, not sure how to comment other than to say that negativity has never worked for me. Encouraging words and understanding are the most wonderful things a teacher can offer. I've taken lessons several times, I'm still inept, but that was is just my journey. I'd opt for a positive approach.
  8. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    mr miyagi got mad at daniel. but i think everyone got mad at daniel.
    Wisebass likes this.
  9. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    For all of you that are jumping on the "fire the teacher"... where did the OP say in the meat of the text that the teacher got Mad?
    There's a huge difference in my book between Annoyed and mad.
    I read that the teacher was annoyed. Maybe the OP should have gotten a hug, and a little reassurance. Maybe the teacher should have given a pat on the back for trying.

    Maybe the teacher has been working with the student and knew that he could and should have done better.
    IN the end, the student improved... funny... isn't that the goal of a teacher, and the student?

    With 36 years of training adults, 15 years of working with kids age kindergarten to 12th grade, you've got to show that there's positive and negatives that come with performance, no matter if it's tying your shoes or designing a circuit board.

    If no one here has never annoyed someone for doing something less than they're perceived to be capable of... you're more perfect than I am.

    If I've offended anyone... well.... ... maybe this will make the tears go away.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    Tad and Spin Doctor like this.
  10. Koshchei


    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    Just count the number of sharps or flats in the key signature:


    number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    order: F C G D A E B - Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battles
    key: G D A E B F C - Go Down And End Battles For Charles


    number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    order: B E A D G C F - Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father
    key: F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb - Finally Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles
    Tad and Dr. Cheese like this.
  11. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Why are you trying to read “Dock of the Bay”? I get you are trying to learn to read but you’ll never read that line on a gig. Get some solid methods and learn to read those. Personally I use the Mel Bay’s Complete Electric Bass Method and Mel Bay’s Electric Bass Position Studies by Roger Filiberto as a precursor to anything else. The music is really hokey and old school in those methods but they can do the trick with a good teacher.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  12. fishdreams

    fishdreams Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification and and Martin Keith Guitars
    @Dr. Cheese One of my earliest mentors in his typical way once told me that "every dumb @$$hole can learn to read music" which was a hugely important thing to hear for me at the time, when I had trouble reading music and felt insecure because of it, looking up to all these classical musicians around me who, as another friend put it at the time, could read "flysh#t off the wall", and who often found considerable pretense in being able to do so.

    My mentor simply meant that there's nothing to brag about if you can read music; as @bherman pointed out, it's like learning to read and write English in grade school. Nobody is born with the capability, we tend to forget it became second nature gradually. It can feel cumbersome if to work on reading music in our middle age (I am still working on it at 54) but learning to read music is exactly the same as learning to read English. Yes it takes patience and no, there is nothing innately musical about knowing how to read music.

    Please be patient with yourself and it will become second nature too, and I wish patience on your good friend the teacher too.

    Good luck
    Dr. Cheese and bherman like this.
  13. Uh...in the title of the thread...
  14. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Your teacher totally miss interpreted the point of the exercise. The point of the exercise is to learn read music, and to learn, it’s best to start on something simple. If it were me, I’d find another instructor.
  15. When I was teaching, I avoided using familiar pop standards for sight reading training. Too problematic and often doesn't really test the student's skill level and progress. I found more obscure pieces, still pop/rock in nature, and used primers that avoided the familiar.

    For ear training, I was more apt to rely on TAB. And as the student's ear got sharper, I had them TAB out the parts to a new song so I could find out what they were (and weren't) hearing, check for accuracy, and discuss technique and position choices.

    I'm not bashing the teacher, but it's a conversation worth having.
  16. Part of reading is recognizing the form. He's probably not all that concerned with how well you read the dots. He knows you can memorize. So he was likely looking to see if you had the form down. Your mistake told him you were tunnelling into the barlines without paying attention to the form.

    That's likely what made him mad (?)... Always map out the form of a song before you focus on the phrases (ie: measures, not individual dots).
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Just an aside: Be patient with yourself. Learning to read will take you longer than it takes an 8 year old. Your teacher has to have realistic expectations too.
  18. Why would you use TAB? If my teacher put tab sheets in front of me to scribble out fingerboard positions, I'd quickly find another teacher.

    The whole point of reading is to get beyond that mythical hump that a staff, measures, and dots are difficult to read. Tab doesn't do anything to help the cause. Try giving a keyboard player or a horn player a tab chart...

  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Agreed, it's nothing to brag about, but something to get hired about, if you play genres where it matters.

    What's musical about reading music is that in practical terms, some musical activities can only be experienced by reading, such as working your way up to playing challenging written material. The written music makes it so much more efficient to learn, that trying to learn it without reading, would be an insurmountable handicap for most people.
    Tad likes this.
  20. Well, I maintained 20 students a week on average for a couple of decades, and I had to limit it to that number because of other obligations. I always had a waiting list. The local high school band leaders all new me and approved, because I was sending them some very qualified bass players ready to read and execute intermediate jazz pieces. Most students stayed with me for over three years, so your view would put you in a very small minority. In fact, I never had a student quit because I occasionally used a little TAB tastefully and appropriately.

    Suffice it to say, for my purposes, TAB was incredibly useful in keeping students, who could not yet put two notes together on the staff in standard notation, playing meaningful pieces, making them sound like real musicians playing real music, which kept them motivated, which allowed me the time and trust I needed to introduce more formal topics at a pace they were comfortable with.

    Feel free to disagree, it won't change my enormous success and the many students who went on to do some pretty amazing and rewarding things with their instruments.

    Back to my bigger point, I would not tempt a student with a familiar piece in standard notation. I tried to only use novel pieces, or standards that had been completely re-worked in formal sight reading. That also lead to much success.
    wizard65 and Tad like this.

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