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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jackmurray, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. I want to start giving bass lessons in my local area, but I don't know how to get my name out. I have good ideas for teaching and I've even made a few lesson plans, but I don't have any students. How do I get known as the best bass teacher in the land?

  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    By actually being the best bass teacher in the land?

    Siriusly, what are your credentials? What's the thing that is going to set you apart from EVERYBODY else who is teaching?

    Most kids find a teacher by talking to the bass player in the band they like to listen too; that's kind of haphazard as good players aren't necessarily good teachers. I found my teacher because somebody handed me an article he wrote on practicing and playing and it spoke to exactly where I was in my playing at the time.
  3. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    his credentials would be he is 16 and still in high school.
  4. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    You probably should be taking lessons instead of giving them.
  5. Pretty much. I still do take lessons but that doen't mean I can't give them.

    I liked the idea about writing a bass article. I am going to try and do one about all the virtues of bass. That'd score me points.

    I havent been playing that long, but I would consider myself (and I know I'm going to get flamed for this one) a talented bass player. My students, I assume, would be around my age or younger, which makes it easier to communicate and understand each other. Also, by still getting lessons myself, I have a better understanding of what a teacher does right and wrong. I have lesson plans, I know what I'm going to do, and I'm going to be good at it.

    Does anyone have any constructive advice?
  6. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    A good balance between the heavy stuff (theory and technique) and fun (playing stuff, practicing basslines) is always a good idea imo :)
  7. Go For it. It wont hurt to try. You dont need to be a great bass player to teach. All you need to do is listen and learn how to communicate. Just remember that it is a big responsibility to teach. It is about your student not you. That means no fooling around. Doing the right thing will improve your reputation among your peers and you will be respected. Likewise, doing the wrong thing will ruin your reputation.

    Good Luck
  8. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    imo, if i was giving my kid lessons. i would want to be paying someone that i know has a real grasp on the bass. techniques, theory, styles. etc.

    not someone who could possibly be in the same math class

    sorry if that sounded mean. i'm not saying that you aren't talented or anything like that, but i honestly think that your age could bring about a hard time getting you students.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    An article about the virtues of bass may be entertaining reading, but it doesn't really speak to your qualifications. Teaching is about giving someone a good grounding in the fundamentals of music so that they can progress as an individual. Not teaching them the tricks you've learned so far.

    Age doesn't have anything to do with it; experience and knowledge do.
  10. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    It seems like that would be the limiting factor in someone so young giving lessons. Not the preventing factor, but the limiting factor. The original poster can be an awesome teacher with great potential as an educator, but it seems like the subject matter for said lessons would run thin pretty quick.

    I suppose it would be possible to continue one's own education at the same time and still teach, but I personally might be more keen to the idea of taking lessons from someone whose walked around the block and is coming up behind me as opposed to someone who is only one step ahead.

    Still, teaching what you know is still a good experience in teaching, and beginning young is a great way to beginning the glamourous life of the pedagogue.

    Then again one could just seek for an even younger teaching audience, such as interested grade schoolers who need to learn basic motor skills and super basic theory.
  11. You all make very good points.

    First off, you seem to have the impression that I don't know my stuff. My theory is at least as advanced as my playing, if not more. I have lessons plans and ideas about what to teach. I don't need help with this aspect. I've taught one-offs many times before to begginers and even people who I consider better than me, and I've always been described as a good teacher. I belive my skills are in communication and I believe that I will be/am a much better teacher than a bassist.

    I'm also very good with parents. My Dad always says that I could sell snow to an Eskimo. My problem isn't there either, adults love me.

    The only thing that I would like help in is "getting my name out there."

    I don't know how to get a student base to start with. I've asked both my bass teachers to refer any student that they can't find a place for to me, but nothing has come up yet.

    I just wanted to know if there were any good tricks to getting known and getting students.

    Thanks, Jack
  12. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Best way to do it would be to advertise in Drum Media.

    However, some good points have been raised. If I was a parent looking to fund my kids lessons, no offence to the youngsters, but I wouldn't be picking a kid to give lessons. I would want someone who looks and seems experienced as I would want to ensure my kid was getting value for money. That said, good luck!
  13. Very good idea, thanks.

    Like I said, I can handle parents. I'm not going to advertise the fact that I am a kid, and when they turn up, I can convince them. I do the speech about 'bass is the most important instrument in the band. By letting Little Jimmy play bass, you're ensuring a lifetime of enjoyment and profit.'

    It might not be strictly correct, but it does the trick.

    Thanks, Jack
  14. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    You may wish to consider that parents are likely to "interview" a potential teacher over the telephone and will quickly reaslise that you are only a teenager. If you dont disclose this they are likely to be pretty upset on meeting you - that wouldnt' be good for business.

    Secondly, many parents prefer the teacher to travel to the student. Do you have access to a car that you could use for lessons?

    Your confidence is admirable, but there are some serious issues that you will need to think through before embarking on this endeavour.
  15. Yes, I understand, but how are you meant to disclose this in an ad, or even in conversation? I still beleive that parents aren't an issue. Once I start talking to them they'll see that I'm educated and on the straight-and-narrow. I also live in a big new house in the upper-class side of town.

    I need to give lessons to afford one.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Another idea I'm having is to go into a 'lesson company' with my 2 friends. The singer and guitarist in my band are both very talented and communicative too. It would cut the price of an ad by 3 and give our company a much more broad spectrum, for people wanting to learn guitar, bass or vocals. What do you think?
  16. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Well if you mean an actual company (ie a Pty Ltd) then you are looking at a startup cost of about $1500 to purchase and register the company with ASIC plus your ongoing accounting and auditing fees etc. Given you are also under 18 you are not eligible to be a director of a company in Australia so you would need your parents to act as directors and you as shareholders (perhaps with your parents as nominees). All in all, not the way to go.

    However, if you are just talking about an ad-hoc partnership with your firends then it might be a way to go. However, you still have the issue of convincing parents to entrust their kids into your company for a hour or so each week and being comfortable that the money spent with you is "worth it". Knowing a lot of parent I think that will be a hard sell. But, you can only give it a go and see what happens.
  17. Yep, that's the way to go. Thanks for the advice. I'll talk to them tomorrow about it.

    I still think I can handle the parents though. I'll show them my lesson plans and stuff. I can manage older people pretty well I think.

  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    In order to get people to even consider you at your age, you REALLY have to make a name for yourself locally, and that comes from playing shows, knowing people and the like. I've known two people under 18 in my area to teach, and both of them carry a local "guitar God" status, work with the school music departments a LOT and advertise through the school.