1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Teaching?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by hublocker, Apr 6, 2009.


  1. hublocker

    hublocker

    May 17, 2007
    I'm a journalist and on a recent job I was talking with the photographer and told him I'd been playing bass for 32 years.

    He just started last year and wants lessons.

    I showed a friend last year some basic arpeggios and patterns to play along with chords and how to just play one note per chord if she wasn't sure what to do, expand to Root-Fifth and then Root- Third -Fifth kind of stuff and that worked.

    So now the photographer wants a lesson tonight, and I don't know what to show him.

    I play country and classic rock and roll and he's into Lenny Kravitz and AWB and I've never listened to those bands. Ever.

    What do you do with a first lesson?

    Assess the student to see what he knows before trying to show them anything?
     
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    Find out where he is. Ask where he wants to go. Plot a path and make a plan that removes all the stumbling blocks between those two points.
     
  3. funkmangriff

    funkmangriff

    Dec 29, 2007
    +1

    its important they know the componants of the bass first and plucking hand technique, leave the fretting hand for later, getting the rhythm is first, in my opinion anyways! maybe im wrong!
     
  4. hublocker

    hublocker

    May 17, 2007
    Thanks. It's a lot easier to see where to go now after one session.
     
  5. CRONOS

    CRONOS

    Jun 30, 2008
    let him show you what he can do and go from there.
     
  6. FWIW, and not to be the dissenting opinion here, but...

    If you're going to accept the role of "teacher," I think you have to accept with it the obligation to be the driving force. Sure, you need to evaluate your student, but you need to be able to take the appropriate actions based on that evaluation, which include at least a medium-term plan to keep the student motivated, inspired, and moving in the right direction. Since this particular student recently started, the curriculum would (could) include a lot of basic technique, and hopefully harmony, reading, etc.

    Not to be critical here, but I wanted to comment because I didn't read a high level of confidence in your posts. IMO/IME, there's quite a difference between meeting with a fellow player to share & pass along ideas and actually forming a teacher/student relationship with mutual expectations and obligations. The latter requires (again, IMO) a bit of time and energy to be done well. While I've taught in the past, these days I prefer to stick to the more informal relationships, simply for that reason - I can't find/make the time needed to invest.

    Good luck with your efforts, and above all, kudos to you for helping along a fellow bass brother!
     
  7. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    Teach rhythm. Set a metronome at 50 bpm and show him 1/2 notes, 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes. It suprises me how many players don't have a concept of rhythm.
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Knowing your own limitations is a good thing. There have been plenty of cats that all they could do is pass along the tricks and licks that got them where they are. And there's nothing really wrong with that, personally I would have a hard time justifying charging any bread for that. One of the reasons I don't currently teach privately is because I recommend MY teacher to anyone who approaches me for lessons. Why not go to the source, right? The thing that a good teacher is gonna do is give a student a good musical foundation so that THEY (the student) can apply that to absolutely any kind of music they want to play. Any number of folks I've had lessons with over the years may have been great players, but in most cases they didn't really have a clue how they ended up where they did. So lessons tend to be about vocabulary or a specific approach ("here's how I do this") rather than getting to the musician inside each student.

    But if there's not anybody else around to get any kind of info from, you get what you can from who you can.
     
  9. derekd

    derekd

    Feb 16, 2009
    KC
    A number of things come to mind. Theory stuff of course. Circle of 5ths, knowing notes with accidentals in every key, knowing how to transpose, being able to read standard notation, basics of chord construction, scale/mode knowledge, common chord progressions, etc.

    Fretboard knowledge. How much of the board does he know? Do you have a practical way of learning? I teach/was taught to learn the low E and A strings by rote and then by using octaves learn the rest.

    How to listen. Can he hear a tune and pick out the bassline easily? Can he pick up the key quickly? Can he tell you what the drummer is doing, and how he could respond/compliment that.

    Technique stuff with both the right and left hands. Proper position playing to avoid RMI later on. Plenty of playing together to facilitate working on ideas you come up with in lessons.

    Teaching him how to practice. Using tools like BIAB, loopers and play along or backing tracks. How to sort out what practice time he has. I find that most students don't know what to practice, or how much of their time to devote to the different aspects of playing.

    Working with a metronome can be a an art in and of itself. Dunno if any of these are helpful, but are some things that come to mind. Good luck with it.
     
  10. paul_wolfe

    paul_wolfe

    Mar 8, 2009
    London
    I think Ed just said something there that was incredibly profound.

    I've had a ton of lessons down the years - ranging from the early days of put your left hand here, hold your right hand like this to all the modes of the melodic and harmonic minor scales in two octaves from the arch deacon of modes himself - and I've read an absolute ton of music literature (and not just bass stuff either) and the only bass player I've ever heard say anything like the above (my italics and bold) was Victor Wooten.

    I know you have to teach people the basic techniques - it's what I do in my teaching, and then I apply it to songs - but if you could work out a way to teach how to get to the musician inside everybody you could write your own cheques.

    I'd be really interested to see what other people have to say???




    Paul
     
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  12. paul_wolfe

    paul_wolfe

    Mar 8, 2009
    London
    Ed

    Thanks for the link.

    It's late here (and I'm knackered as i swam a mile this evening) so I've bookmarked the article and I'm gonna have a good read tomorrow when I'm fresh.

    Thanks once again - I scanned the top few paragraphs, looks very interesting.




    Paul
     
  13. derekd

    derekd

    Feb 16, 2009
    KC
    Can't argue with the above at all. Some of that is the responsibility of the student. As a teacher, I can show the way, but the student makes the break thrus. I try to be as creative as possible in making it all about the music, even when we are talking technique or theory.

    Let's face it, people take up an instrument because they want to play songs. I try to never teach anything without it being related back into a tune. Whether or not that helps them get to the musician inside them or not, I don't know.

    It is a good point to always have in mind though.
     
  14. paul_wolfe

    paul_wolfe

    Mar 8, 2009
    London
    Hey Ed

    Thanks for that link.

    I've read the article three times - plan to print it out and read it again later. It's full of great stuff. Thanks once again.




    Paul
     

Share This Page