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Teacher question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Alexvs, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. Alexvs


    Oct 18, 2000
    Kalmar, Sweden
    I've just started teaching, and ran in to some problems that I hope someone can help me out with!

    When teaching my students the names of the notes on the neck, I don't really have a good method. I printed out an image of the neck with the note names written out, but I found it messy and crowded... Is there any good way to teach them this? I know how important it will be to them, so I feel like this is one of those things they can't walk away without!

    I'm sure I will have more questions at some point, I've only been teaching for a month or so. It's great fun to see my students improve (they actually do!:D ) but it's much harder than I thought!

    I'm thankful for any help and advice you can give me, either with this particular problem or just something general that I should think of while teaching!

    Thank you
  2. bassmantele


    Jul 22, 2003
    Boston MA USA
    There's two different problems for total beginners - learning the notes - A , Bb, B, C, C#, etc, and learning where they are on the neck. Once they can recite the notes with accidentals withoug thinking, then they're ready to start learning the neck. You might make up a chart with just the natural notes - no accidentals - A, B, C, D, etc. That wouldn't be as crowded. It also makes five fewer notes to think about at first. Each week you might assign them one note one the fourth string and it's octave on the second string. Later, do the same thing on octaves on the third and first string. At the same time, you can have them learn the notes on all four strings at the same fret marker, starting with the fifth fret.
    Another approach is to say "lets play this lick starting on "D" and give them a phrase to play. They can learn the notes of the phrase, and then play it one octave up. For a four note phrase, now they know eight note names.
    Different people learn in different ways, so don't get stuck on one method. Sometimes people have no idea what you're talking about, and when you rephrase it they say "why didn't you just say that the first time?"

    Teaching is fun - good luck.
  3. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    just show them the first five frets go one string at a time. show him the basic flats and sharps and octaves. and then start reading music. for all this i recommend HIGHLY Melbay's Electronic Bass Method 1. Its small informative teaches alot. great excercises and leaves time for you to spend time with the kid
  4. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    When teaching it is important to use material that the student recognizes. Too many folks promote all sorts of excerises with pitch groupings that do not create musical phrases. Some how the idea is perpetuated that random sounds or mechanical excercises are good because they are difficult. The truth is that most of these types of exercises are very ineffective. It is very important to begin with "music".

    Start a beginning bassist with the major scale: One octave, one finger per fret, no open strings. Everyone recognizes the sound of this group of notes and can correct themselves when practicing. You can easily then teach the concept of alphabet letters for the pitches and can then simply choose different starting notes. This will bring you to learning half-steps and whole-steps, the names of notes at specific points on the fingerbaird, and of course, fingerings.

    When teaching it is important to learn how to use a simply task to teach many things. This will allow you to focus on one aspect of learning at a time. It is important to master a simply thing and develop a solid foundation before moving on to the next task.