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When did you stop taking lessons?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pontz, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    I've been playing music for a long time but I've been playing bass for less than 4 years. I took some lessons for a while to learn about technique, but I stopped taking them last summer. I feel like I can take it from here, as long as I keep up with practicing. So I'm curious, those of you who have been plying for a while, if you started off taking lessons, how long did you stick with them for? What was the most beneficial aspect of takling lessons? And if you stopped, how have you progressed since?

    Enquiring minds want to know,

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't see why you ever need to stop...?

    I heard recently that Rufus Reid who has been at the top of his profession as a Jazz Bass player for many decades has taken time off to have lessons....
  3. TreeChild


    Feb 28, 2005
    Wimberley, TX
    i stopped harcore lessons after about 8 months i think. but every now and then i have a few so that i can ask some questions and learn some new stuff that i may have missed on with my own studies. lessons are good.
  4. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    Good teachers are hard to find here. I've been wanting to take lessons (started 6-7 months ago) but I've yet to find someone that will teach me what I want to learn rather than what they think is more fitted.
  5. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I'm not currently taking lessons. I've played for 30+ years and taken lessons from all kinds of really fine players and teachers. I don't have any short term goals in bass playing right now that I can't plot a course for myself.

    But, that said, I do have some hopes of being in a musical situation that will require me to improvize some solos in styles that I'm not total comfortable with, and so if that happens, I'll be looking for someone to help. In the case of solos though, I may find a guitar or sax player to be more of a help than a bass player.

    I've also just started to deal with fretless, and so far I'm good progress, but if I hit a wall on that project, I'll be looking for a bass teacher.
  6. I didn't get to take lessons, but learned using skills from other music lessons privately and in school on other instruments and applying the ear training I did on bass to that. Given the opportunity, I'd love to get in with an advanced teacher and get a good critiquing! Find out what I'm doing right and wrong and stuff like that.

    In your case, if you feel the teacher has taken you as far as you can go with him/her, then it's time to move on, but we never stop learning new stuff. At the very least, keep tabs on your local music stores, etc, and watch for clinics. Here in this area there's a drum shop that my drummer goes to and they bring in all the big name drummers, (Weckle, Garibaldi, and the like), to do clinics when they're in town for gigs. That's a great chance to see how they do what they do and learn techniques from them that you've not mastered, yet. Keep your eyes, (and ears), open!:bassist:
  7. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I have been playing for 27 years and continue to take lessons on and off. There is a benefit (at least to me) in taking lesson from a few different teachers. I have picked up something different from each one and all of them have been great.

    I say as long as you play, there is always someone that you can learn from.
  8. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Great feedback so far. I just want to make clear that I don't think I know it all, or even that I'm very good (I'm not really). The reason I stopped lessons is because I feel like I have a lifetime of concepts in my head that I can work on on my own. I am affraid that I'll loose the decipline of practicing without a teacher to push me, but I feel like the $50 I've been spending each week is a lot to spend for discipline.

    A bunch of you said that you've taken lessons on and off. Do you see a direct corrolation between your progress and the lessons? If so, in what way do the lessons push you to improve? Technique, theory, both?

  9. I took lessons, got formal training, whathaveyou throughout my teenage bass-playing years (over 15 years ago) - so for a good 5 years I was getting daily 'lessons' through school and from private teachers. Then I stopped and rode on that until now. I recently (at the last Victor Wooten show) ran into another bass player I know who also happens to be a really great teacher. I am now on a waiting list to start up full-blown lessons once again. I feel like I have maxed my ability to self-progress and need a good mentor/teacher to help get my on the right track again.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've been taking lessons on and off for over 5 years. They always stop when I feel my current teacher is no longer capable of advancing me in any way.
  11. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I plan to taking lessons when I get to NY. I took lesson about 7 1/2 years ago. I've been playing for 8. I stopped for 2 reasons:

    The guy that was teaching me used to be in a band called Friends & Love in Denver. That band included Phillip Bailey, Larry Dunn, and Andrew Woolfolk. Well, Maurice White recruited them to join Earth, Wind, & Fire, and since he played bass, they couldn't use him. He's still bitter about that today. Anyway, he heard me playing an E,W,&F cd, and started treating me like crap, so I stopped going to him. Keep in mind, I found out about his band after he heard me playing the cd.

    The other reason is, I started gigging and touring about 8 months or so into my playing. I got thrown to the wolves early. My schedule got tight, and I no longer had the time to take lessons, but I DEFINATELY plan on taking them again. Maybe someone here in the NYC area would like to take a rodent under their wings?
  12. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Hmmm....sounds like teachers sometimes run their course. Maybe a different teacher would inspire me to explore different directions or open me up to new concepts that I don't know about right now.
  13. Whatsa lesson? ;) I never took traditional lessons from anyone... just learned music theory from an encyclopedia (before I had the internet, and mostly sitting on the toilet :ninja: in the beginning) and wore my uncles old vinyl out. I wish I had taken lessons because I think I could have gotten to where I am now a lot quicker...
    There is a sense of self accomplishment in teaching yourself things as opposed to having the wisdom handed to you.

    To answer the original question.... No..... and yes, thank you, I have progressed quite nicely.
  14. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    I've never taken lessons either.. and like WoodChuck I was thrown into the wolves. I had 3 days to learn 40 cover tunes and that was my crash course in ear training.

    Anyway, I do want to get a teacher but I am in a (lack of a better term) "snob crux" where if I see flaws in a potential teacher's ear skills I lose interest in asking them.

    Damn... ah well... I learned alot by watching good players though. If that helps anyone out, pay close attention to the good bassists.. Their licks, how they approach the strings.

    Hope this helps,

  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I didn't start by taking lessons, I played electric bass in the high school "jazz" band and learned to read music. In college I started taking the legit theory classes, but nothing really seemed to relate to what I was doing. While in college I was playing mostly "fusion" music. In 1979 I did a boat gig for a year, came back and bought an upright. 2 years later I was in Berklee, studying with John Neves but mostly cutting classes to play sessions. I moved back to GA in 83 and was working (mostly on upright) with pretty much everybody in town. I moved to NYC in 1987. Everything that I had learned up to that point STILL did not give me any clue as to how to do anything other than speak gibberish. I started studying with my current teacher, Joe Solomon, about 9 years ago and he's the guy who has really set my feet on the path of making musical sense.

    Beginning the path to being able to communicate intent and express myself in my own voice. Being able to continue getting deeper into music in a focused, progressive and consistent way. Having an objective guide who's "been there before", who is interested in helping me find my own way. Being able to see that there is a path to my own voice/expression, that music is too deep to get to the bottom of, that no matter how deep I get there will always be more "there" there.

    The only reason to stop would be if you just didn't want to go any deeper. There will always be somebody out there who has a deeper perspective on some aspect of music. The more you can hear, the more you can hear that there's MORE to hear, on a deeper level.
  16. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    I stopped when the last real bass player who taught left town. I took them from a guy who actually played bass, not a guitarist who thought he could teach bass. He was a great guy. He moved back to LA and I haven't taken lessons since. Going on a year without now.
  17. I take lessons for guitar with a bassist that also plays guitar.

    I teach my self bass and I might take lessons for the summer.
  18. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I never had private lessons, I only had my 5 years of HS Bigband class. But now that's done and I am without any teacher. I think I should try harder to find a teacher, because I would really like one. Anyone here in MTL willing to give me lessons?
  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Dude, you've got to be kidding me. You're in the city with McGill University! I'm taking lessons from a McGill grad right now (Mike Perlin) and he's been incredible. You've got not only the students and the grad students to teach you, but you might even be able to wrangle a few lessons with the teachers there. If you can't find a bass teacher in Montreal (or Toronto, Seattle, New York, etc.) you just aren't looking.

    Anyway, I don't see a reason to stop taking lessons unless someone can't help you any longer -- and then it's time to find a new teacher.
  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Never started

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