Teaching Beginners

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bass Catcher, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Hello -

    Not sure if there are any private teachers on here . . . but we'll see.

    I have several beginner bass students and I'm looking for more ideas as to what to do with them.

    Currently - they're working on simply alternating their plucking fingers in their right hand - going up and down all four strings.

    Then I'll add in their left hand playing a simple finger excercise 1-2-4-2 (#s = fingers in left hand)

    Then we'll work a little out of a Hal Leonard bass book by Ed Friedland.

    After that we might work on a song they like - but most of the time - they never have one they want to learn.

    I'm wondering what anyone else does? Keep in mind - these are absolute beginners. A major scale is way beyond their abilities. I'd really like to teach them some easy songs with good bass lines - any suggestions?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I'm not a teacher and it's been many years since I've had a lesson, or even my first lesson. My first teacher was a guitar player. He introduced me to a few scale tunes. It helps basic blues foundation. But the first song I learned: message in a bottle. After that, it was come together by the beatles. Not exactly basic, but it pushed me early on in regards to time and rythm without complex basslines.
  3. RiddimKing


    Dec 29, 2004
    I think one of the best first lessons is to teach a basic 12 bar blues. Have them try it in G, on the E string. They can start with sustained roots, listening and practicing the changes, then progress to rhythmic roots, then to the arpeggios (3 part). After a month or two, they'll be amazed when you show them that they have learned not only a basic blues pattern, but about 10,000 rock and blues songs.
  4. brothertupelo

    brothertupelo Guest

    Aug 7, 2005
    i'm not a teacher, but this is what i'd do, before showing them scales.
    sit them down in front of a piano and explain to them a little theory, such as the C major and A minor scale, and the names of the notes (probably in the other order). show them how it correlates to the bass. let them know that if they ever get mentally stuck, that a piano keyboard will probably clarify their question.
  5. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    Usually my beginer students are kids so I always teach them excercises but I always show them something fun to play. You have to do that to keep their interest going.
  6. seanlava


    Apr 14, 2005
    I am a full time private teacher, and what you're doing is EXACTLY what i do with young beginners, right down to the Hal Leonard method book. As far as songs go, i've recently been using the Green Day "American Idiot" CD. Most of the songs are within the technical reach of beginners, and the songs are still popular with kids (especially "Holiday"). The right and left hand exercises you're doing will keep their attention focused on good technique, and the Hal Leonard book will teach them music essentials that they probably wouldn't learn otherwise. Have you been using the play-along CDs that go with the book? Those are great for giving kids the experience of playing with a band.