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Teachers More Necessary for Upright than Big Guitar?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by -executor-, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Is it more necessary to have a teacher for an upright bass than for a big guitar electric bass?
    I am considering getting into double bass. I have some experience with a BG but I want to start playing some rockabilly/psychobilly music on a DB but I would rather not learn from a teacher. Are there any books I should look into purchasing that are for a beginner double bass player?
  2. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    Why would you rather not learn from a teacher? It is important for someone, even with experience with BG, to consult a teacher from the beginning so you can learn it the right way to avoid injury and avoid learning bad habits. A book can't tell you that you're holding your bow wrong or tell you why it hurts and show you how to fix it.

    You really would be saving yourself a lot of time if you just learned it correctly from the beginning, instead of being self-taught, and then later realizing you're doing it wrong, getting a teacher, and working on correcting bad habits before you can actually progress.

    There was a great thread recently on technique books. If you search the forum you'll find it pretty easily.
    Good luck!
  3. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    I'm a bass guitar convert. I need a teacher. Even though I already know how to play the bass guitar. The double bass is a totally different instrument.

  4. You are probably right but I just don't like to take lessons. Even though I am probably going about this the wrong way I just want to know if it is possible to learn with a book and by yourself.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA

    I'd look at www.rockabillybass.com. They'll direct you to better books/videos and stuff. I dunno, maybe RAB/psychobilly is maybe the only style that might be able to get away with not learning from a teacher. But then again, you could still breed some pretty bad (read damaging) habits if you don't have proper technique. Self-teaching on DB will probably end up being very limiting to future styles unless you have someone that can guide you. Maybe just get a few lessons initially and see where it goes? I think that's the smarter thing to do.
  6. Bellbass

    Bellbass Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Aside from the obvious - getting to know the instrument right and keeping from hurting oneself- a teacher allowed me to open up my horizons. I guess it's different for each of us but, in my case, coming from BG self-taught, I was thinking mainly of playing a little jazz with my DB. Now, a few months later I'm entertaining the possibilty of joining a community orchestra! I never tought I could one day - neither was I ever before interested to - play classical music and there it is. And for sure, progress is so much faster when learning is more focused as a good teacher will do. If you haven't done so yet, check the newbie links, I'm sure there's lots of info regarding rockabilly.

    Have fun!
  7. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Yea teachers aren't there just to teach you how to hold your given instrument, or where to finger for what note. They teach you about music in general, the culture, "this is what you SHOULD do, but 90% of the time you would do this" kinda thing. A book will make you a MASTER of scales. But a teacher, will be able to get you out there and play with other musicians.
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A book or video will never be a substitute for a good teacher. I can't tell you how much having a teacher has helped me with upright bass -- mostly because I cannot fathom what it would be like to try and go this one alone.
  9. edvon


    Apr 4, 2004
    Couldn't agree more.
    Even on the topics of scales, a good teacher can tell you a few things you don't find in a book.
  10. If you are serious about becoming a bassist-not someone who can play the bass-you should reread this quote.

    I spent a considerable time "learning" on my own which mainly consisted of watching and imitating guys who had terrible techinque, but at the time I had no idea of what was proper and what was not. Eventually I found a teacher would would accomodate my schedule and he re-started me on the right road.

    The most valuable thing he taught me was to play smarter, not harder. Proper technique will enable you to do more with much less effort. I would never suggest you have to spend years of intensive study to be a decent player, but a few basic lessons is an INVESTMENT that will pay great dividends in the future.
  11. It is 99% likely that you will figure out some ad-hoc ways to play, but you'll hurt yourself and limit yourself.

    How about that?

    good luck
  12. Executor,
    I started playing bass guitar almost 12 years ago and never took a lesson.

    I started playing double bass a year ago and started taking lessons at the same time. I learnt more in one hour than in six months of self study! Whatever aspect of your playing you feel needs improvement, someone, and probably thousands of people will have been there before you and worked out a way forward. Save yourself some time, avoid some of the pitfalls, and benefit from the experience of someone who was in your position 10 or 20 years ago.

    The only reason we have cars, 'planes, computers, and space shuttles is because we, the human race, learn from those that came before us. Otherwise we'd be sat in caves, grunting to each other.

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