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Teachers...a little question for you about my instruction

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JDHolmes, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. JDHolmes


    Jan 6, 2010
    I'm a new player, I know my notes and can read music. I've been through two instruction books. I can keep reasonable time (I think).

    I took my second lesson today and I have a question. My teacher gave me four notes in three different groups (12 total) 3 measures. Instructions were to play first two twice then third continuously afterward.

    The point was for me to play as he played the guitar. My issue was that this was designed so he could play his music and I was to play the bass part.

    I can understand the need for that, but he was playing arpeggios with 16th notes and expecting me to play my four notes at the precise time needed to complement his playing. I understand this is what we as bass players do.

    My question is, do you think it appropriate for a second lesson new player to try and listen/count time to 16th notes and play. It became very frustrating for me as I was a 16th note off and he kept telling me to count and listen for his transition...though at the end of each arpeggio, he had a longer than 16th transition.

    I'm just confused so I thought I'd ask those more experienced.


  2. JasonLamb


    Aug 17, 2007
    sounds strange to me
  3. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Maybe he's testing you and trying to get a feel for what you can do? For learning to play with other musicians like that I would think he would be playing chords for you to play under and not soloing or whatever.
  4. I do not teach bass, however, I taught adults for many years. He is doing this for a reason and I bet it's not the first time he has done it. Once we get with an instructor trust must happen.

    Trust your instructor to take you where you need to be. If it is obvious he is not doing that - then change instructors, but two lessons is to early to make that decision.

    If you don't understand why something is being done ask -- him.

    BTW good luck.
  5. sleepytime


    Nov 10, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    That sounds like a good and valid exercise to me. A problem that might arise with an inexperienced player is having to concentrate on one's own playing so much, that the timing is lost. I would bet that if you practiced your part and knew it well enough that you could concentrate on his playing, you could get the timing right.
  6. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ
    Ever see the Karate Kid? :D As the student was sanding the floor, waxing the car, painting the fence and painting the house He figured he was just doing the old guy's chores. There was a resaon for it though, and he had to trust his teacher.

    Of course, it can't hurt to ask your teacher why he is doing what he is doing. I'd say that if you aren't happy with him after two more lessons you might want to consider another teacher. Some teacher's methods just don't work for some students, you need to find a good match for you.
  7. JDHolmes


    Jan 6, 2010
    Thanks all. I understand the rationale for the type of lesson. My question is the use of 16th note arpeggios. Why not quarter chords?

    And yes, as a new player, concentrating on my part is part of an issue. However, it's just four notes in each of three measures, A F B E A G F E A C Eb F so it's not really that difficult.

    As suggested, I've paid for four lessons and if things don't mesh in the next two, I'll move onto a bass teacher who actually plays bass (this is a guitar player teaching bass)
  8. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Is he giving you nuts and bolts things for bass playing? Lot's of guitar players do double on bass, but also, many have no business at all teaching it. Can he do things like walk a line etc?
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