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Tips for teaching

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bardolph, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I will be teaching official bass lessons starting soon and I'd like some ideas of where to start. If there's some sort of online free beginner lessons I could look at to get ideas from, or anything else like that, could somebody let me know whatever they think would help?
  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Hey, another new teacher in the area! I'm in Muskegon, and teach at the Firehouse Music there, since July or so.

    The first thing I taught them is hand positioning. Make sure they have decent posture, and then start to play. Then we go on to music reading. They learn to read with me, through various excercizes I give them. Also, challenge them to learn something on their own too- something out of a book you may be teaching them with, or something else. Also, always ask "how much did you practice this week?"

    How old are you? It was kind of akward for me at first- I have a 40 year old student, and I'm 16. You get past that though.
  3. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I guess that's a fair question to ask one of your students, but try to avoid "chewing them out" when they don't give you the answer you'd like to hear.

    I've heard stories from several people, of how they quit their teacher and sold their gear, because they got yelled at for not practicing enough. I think I'm going to start taking lessons soon and I will not stand for someone yelling at me, because I didn't practice as long or as hard as they think I should have.

    Just my two pennies.

  4. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I'm 17, been playing for 2 1/2 years but I'm very dedicated and I practice quite a lot. I don't think I'd be able to yell at a student or discipline one. Just not my style. I'll keep in mind what you told me though, work on developing propor technique and then move onto the actual material.
  5. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Just don't be one of those guys that teach only songs off tab. Get into theory! Do you guys know anybody near Detroit? I'm taking lessons now but this guy teaches guitar and bass, mostly guitar. I'm only learning theory from him. Once he teaches me that then I want to get with actual bass only teacher to learn more technique.
  6. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Oh, absolutely not! Chewing your students out is a good way to discourage them, I agree 100%. When my kids first come in on their first day, I make it clear to them that they will get out of bass playing and musicianship what they put into it. Whatever they don't cover at home, we cover in the lesson. It's no big deal to me; but I like to know how much time they put in on the things that they worked on.

    I agree with the theory part. I don't teach my students songs; I give them the tools they need to go play (and write) songs on their own.
  7. im gonna start teaching lessons for really cheap in hopes of making enough money to buy an effect or 2 every year and in hopes that ill learn lots of new stuff too! im gonna start in the spring so ill have almsot 2 years under my belt and im gonna buy a theory book off my uncle who is a master at theory and dig through that for lessons and i should learn lots of new stuff and hopefully the students will too. i doubt ill have many students because its a small town, how would you go about advertising your lessons? what do you other people do?
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I do it through a local music store.

    The upsides-
    I don't deal with the money myself- if someone doesn't pay, the store gets on them.
    My own room, outside of the home.
    They provide any books I might need.
    They advertise for me- whenever a person goes to the store to get bass lessons, I'm the guy.

    The downside-
    They charge $15.50 per half hour.

    That's pretty steep, especially from a 16 year old teacher, but nobody has balked at the price. To make up for the unfair amount I think my students are paying, I tell them to come a little early, or they leave a little late (I never have more than 2 in a row), so it's more like a 40 minute lesson.

    To advertise- put ads up in local music stores. See if a local cd shop will let you put an ad up. Get a business card- hand it out to everyone who might be interested or knows someone who might be interested.
  9. If you are teaching to make some money, you're gonna suck. Teaching is done for the love of teaching, and because you have this burning desire to help people, not to make money. You will do both yourself and your pupils a great disservice if you go into it for the wrong reasons.
    I would'nt take lessons from someone who has been playing for 2 1/2 years. IMO, you're still a beginner, and a beginner should not be teaching other beginners. To me, this has the hallmarks of a rip-off. Would you want a beginner surgeon to open you up and perform open heart surgery on you, even if he did practice a lot. I sure would'nt. How do you know your knowledge of theory is solid? How do you know your technique is valid and not going to lead other beginners into bad habits? Have you worked out a teaching schedule, whereby your students work on a solid curriculum?
  10. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I'm gotta go along with Marty. IMO, you guys should be taking lessons instead of giving them.
  11. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Giving bass lessons is a bit different from open heart surgery. By the way I have been taking lessons from a local pro jazz player for about a year and a half and he makes sure my theory and technique are solid so I can teach them correctly. He is completely supportive of my giving lessons and so are my several school band directors. I'm not giving lessons primarily for the money, but the money will definitely help me. School teachers make money don't they? Does that mean all they care about is money? Does that mean they are going to suck? Does it mean that if they don't know extremely advanced concepts they won't be able to teach even the basics? No. I may not be at a fantastic level of playing but I'm definitely confident I could do a newbie a lot of good and get him/her a good start, even though I myself am still only 2 1/2 years into playing. And yes, I have planned out time slots for my students to have.

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