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Two teachers with radically different styles?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by thrash_jazz, Jun 18, 2003.


  1. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hi all,

    So I went to the jam yesterday, as I do each and every week, and another bassist, the neighbour of one of the guitarists, turned up to play.

    And all I gotta say is DAMN. The guy was all over the place in a chop-heavy manner, yet tasteful as can be and so cleanly executed that whistles are covered with crud in comparison. Think Victor mixed with a bit of Jaco here.

    So needless to say, after the set, after my jaw was able to counter gravity once more, I asked this guy if he taught. He did, so hopefully soon I'll be able to learn from him.

    My concern is that his style is completely different from my current teacher's. This fellow is all about technique (doesn't know much theory and doesn't read, apparently) whereas my current teacher's approach is more theoretically grounded.

    I think that this is an opportunity to become a more well-rounded player, but I have also heard the opinion that it is better to stick with one teacher.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. Tnavis

    Tnavis

    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't think there's anything wrong with taking lessons from another teacher. You're getting the best of both worlds, in this situation. You can get theoretical background from your current teacher, and technical info from the new teacher.
     
  3. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How many people study at university with just one professor? You dealing with experts and normally expect to sit under the tutelage of several to get a well rounded education.

    Therefore, with respect to your bass studies, as long as you can affort the $$$ for the lessons and the time to assimilate another source of new knowledge, go for it ;)

    Wulf
     
  4. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I suggest you stay with the theory grounded guy.If the chops heavy guy is'nt fluent in established,formal,musical concepts like reading,harmony,ear-training,rhythm,transcription,analysis:what's he going to teach you?His physical approach to the instrument?Vic and Jaco licks?If he is good as you say he is,maybe 1 lesson is sufficient to see where he's coming from in his emotional approach to the instrument.
    But if he can't help you with the musical tools we all need:reading,harmonic function,developing your ear....I ask again,what can he teach you?If it's HIS approach to the instrument,you can get that in 1 hour tops.
    Solid technique is built on solid musical concepts,if he got his another way,I doubt he can show you how.
    Point:Ask your teacher to learn some "burning" technique over a short period of time and ask the other guy how to read or deal with ii-V-1's in the same period of time,who do you think will get there first?
     
  5. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    ConU - that was kinda what I was getting at. From what the guy said it sounds like he knows a fair bit less theory than I do, but physically he is a cleaner and more able player than I am.

    Since I want to become the best player that I can, I want that ability - and learning straight from him how to do it will be quicker than doing it on my own.

    You make a good point - a lot of that is just licks and physical practice, and that can be learned more easily on one's own than theory and such. I'm not suggesting I ditch my other teacher for this guy; just was wondering whether anyone else had gone with two teachers before.

    I suppose that is a good idea - take one lesson, see how things go, and take it from there.

    Thanks guys :)
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    ConU,

    Aren't you asking that both teachers play to their weaknesses? Why not get them to play to your strengths, so that you can develop your own strengths, including areas you've never considered before?

    Of course, that assumes that you will have time to make the most of learning what both teachers show you, but if you can my vote is still 'go for it'.

    Wulf
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    FRESH JIZZ,

    When I was studying composition back in undergrad days, the school had an actual requirement that students study with more than one teacher on a regular basis, and I think that's a good thing. I say if the guy put your jaw on the floor, go soak up what you can from him whether it's "theoretically sound" or not. The fact of the matter is that great players - if they truly sound great - are exhibiting a sense of theory in motion when they play whether they can communicate it in mathematical/verbal terms or not. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?
     
  8. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    PIZZLE SPRITZJIZZLE,

    Well, I suppose my main concern is that I might get conflicting information. I asked the dude I met yesterday if he had any pointers, and he said I had to work on my RH technique. My regular teacher (who has also made my jaw drop on multiple occasions, BTW) has not commented on my RH technique to date.

    Then again, I suppose it's my job to assimilate the information I get, no matter what the source. So if it's conflicting, it's up to me to figure things out. Goodness knows, that never happens at TB ;)

    At any rate, my regular teacher is so busy that I can only get lessons with him every once in a while...
     
  9. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I remember some of your earlier posts about unions,playing sessions,doing "pro" work etc. Thrash,and if that is indeed your goal and your "math" is better than this guys,you'll be wasting your time.Your current teacher has'nt mentioned you RH technique I would assume,because he has'nt seen a problem.The other guy mentioned it because he has nothing else to say musically.I studied with Don Habib for 2 years in Montréal,a first call session guy on DB and BG,we talked technique approx. twice in those 2 years.
    By all means check the guy out for other things,there's also lot's of videos on the market that do the same thing,more cost and time efficient IMO.
     
  10. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Sounds like you already know what to do. Fo'shizzle.
     
  11. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Yeah, I would at least check this other guy out, wouldn't hurt. You'll be able to determine yourself whether he has any knowledge to offer or not.
     
  12. Nameless Poet

    Nameless Poet

    Sep 4, 2002
    Even if you decide he doesn't have anything to teach you its always cool playing with someone who really makes you:eek:
     
  13. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I'm curious as to what kind of jam it is,what style is it?
     
  14. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Total improv. Funk, blues, rock, reggae and hip-hop for the most part. Not many thrashers or jazzers usually, but a lot of variation regardless.

    There are some sound clips at www.cafedekcuf.com/main (click on Jammer Tuesdays). I don't know if it's me or someone else playing on them because I have no sound here, but that will give you some idea.
     
  15. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    OK I git it now...

    I'd leave you with one last thought on the subject though...in 4 years I had 18 different music teachers...RH technique was rarely discussed,nor was Vic,or slap,or tap...from Sept. to April of my first year studying ear-training with a guy who did'nt play one instrument really,really well,my bass skills shot through the roof...literally,I never touched my bass in that class and double-thumbing was'nt part of the syllabus.
    You want the home-made pie,baked from a recipe that's been passed down for generations,a recipe you can take anywhere in the world and bake again?
    Or do you want the fast-food one,because the packaging is more impressive,and it's faster to cook.Unfortunately,with that one though,the wrappers get thrown out,and it won't keep in the fridge,and every few months or so there's a new brand.:)
     
  16. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    If he's as good as you say and were that in awe, then you're bound to pick up at the least 1 thing from him that you didnt already know. Even if its something technique related. I say go for it.

    I like how Chris said it was theory in motion. Youd probably take notes on what he was doing and then use the theory you know on top of what he showed you to piece it together.
     
  17. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How about trying a one-off lesson to start with? Afterwards, reflect on how useful you find your teacher's approach, whether you feel you've learned anything, and whether you'd expect to learn anything different the next time.

    Wulf
     
  18. Teaching is about sharing what you know.. at least in this case.. If the two guys teach different, but they're both good at what they do, take both.. as long as they do not contradict each other..
     
  19. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I want it all! I'm a hungry bastard! :)

    I'm going to do one lesson with this guy (if he shows up again) and see what he has to offer. Stay tuned, I'll let you all know how it goes.

    I have left teachers before because I wasn't getting anything from the lessons; rest assured I am not afraid to do it again!