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when do you stop taking lessons?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by parksung, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. parksung


    Sep 2, 2007
    I'm a beginner and have had 4 lessons so far. The lessons are now moving into listening to favourite songs and mapping them out myself on bass. Luckily, I have a very good ear and can do this fairly easily (well, pretty straightforward rocks songs at least!).

    If we continue to do this, it seems like I could save my money and do it at home because I don't really need someone to help me here. But I still need to learn other things like chords, arpeggios, etc. don't I?

    When can you tell you don't need lessons and need to figure things out and experiment on your own? What are the basics I should get before quitting lessons?
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    There are virtuoso concert violinists who still take lessons. I stopped taking lessons when I graduated from college, moved to a different town, and just didn't get back into playing for a while. Of course money was an issue too. Nowadays, day job, family life, and gigging, get in the way of making the time commitment. Still, I would like to find a teacher who would be willing to give me an occasional lesson and critique my playing.

    With that said, I am glad that I have 10 years of classical lessons under my belt. The guys I am "competing" with have music degrees.

    What makes this hard to answer is that one doesn't "need" anything, but it's a matter of how much better you want to get.

    On the other hand, there are other learning opportunities like playing in a good band, that could serve the role of pushing you forward and giving you new challenges.
  3. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    One stops when the lessons have nothing left to give, it's up to personal taste, skills and ambitions where the line goes. The virtuoso players take lessons to keep some perspective to their performing and stay virtuoso. A punk rocker with strong attitude doesn't need lessons at all to play the music he loves and wants to play.

    In my case the line was approx. 3 months from lesson one, I'm just not the type that enjoys learning by lessons, I enjoy learning by myself. It's ineffective and slow but I enjoy it far better than being taught by someone.
  4. Depends, I would say. You could never quit.

    There's always something new to learn.
  5. davec

    davec Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 4, 2006
    bartlett illinois
    Owner; Cody Electric Basses
    I think a better question is when is it time to change teachers?

    If your current teacher is using this method to get somewhere maybe learning some theory then cool. If your just learning tunes.... well

    The longer you play the harder it is to find quality teachers....
  6. Being 42 when I started playing, for me probably never.
  7. As noted before there are virtuoso players of all sorts who still take lessons. It really does depend on how you feel as well if you're not willing to put the effort into going to a teacher and learning the material anymore then it is pretty useless to be paying them to do nothing. I for one still take lessons and it's been six years since I started playing. So it is really never to late to start or too long to continue playing.
  8. A lesson should be like opening a door.
    Learning how to learn is very important.
    Go to a lesson with a question.
    A good student, one that practices and has a desire to learn, should be going to one lesson a month.
    The answer to a good question would take at least a month or more to explore before another question arises and needs to be answered.
    Learning how to open ones own doors is the key.
  9. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Yeah if you want to know about arpeggios and chords then you have to ask...Any good instructor would start adding them in to the lesson plan.

    I've been taking lessons with the same guy for a year now and I'm not even close to done...I came in thinking I was going to give it a year, now I'm pretty sure I'll be giving it at least 2 if not longer. There is stuff to learn you (or I) don't even know exists yet.
  10. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've been playing for 30+ years, 22 of them as a full-time pro. I'm still taking lessons, and trying to learn something every day.
  12. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    When you have learned everything from every teacher everywhere on the planet. Thats when you stop taking lessons. Money and time notwithstanding.
  13. brake


    Jun 23, 2003
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    You don't stop taking lessons. Ever. Ever. Ever.
  14. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    Never had even one lesson after 11 years I'm thinking I should. Just really hard to find a BASS teacher not a guitar player with a bass.
  15. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Music is a lot like golf or skiing in this regard. Many skiers that I know of are happy to just go down the hill in relative security or goof around. For them, 10 lessons is usually enough.

    Others want to start racing Masters at 30. These skiiers, they'll probably get coached until they stop racing or until they die.

    There's always something new to learn. The only time I'd advise someone to stop taking lessons is if they weren't able to make a commitment to practice the material/do the work beforehand. Lessons aren't magic and if you can't put in the time between meetings, you are basically throwing money away.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    Where do you live?
  17. Years ago I did this pick up gig. And the drummer on the gig was bad, real bad, so bad he'll never know how bad he is so there's no use telling him he's bad. That, kind of bad. But, right away after the first set, when all the other musicians are half smiling and turning away cause they know it's going to be a long gig he announces, so all can hear him, he's been taking lessons from Danny ......., a very well know Toronto area drummer, for over 20-years. First thing I think is that he must have slept thru those lessons, cause I've played with Danny ...... and the cat can play and I know he's written some complex rhythm instruction books. Then this drummer says Danny charges him over $200. a lesson. How can I stand up and tell the guy he's wasting his money? So, I smiled and got thru the gig.
    Some time later I run into Danny ..... and ask him about this guy. Danny admits the guys clueless and has been upping his rate for years to discourage the guy from coming to him for lessons.
    Some people are teachers.
    Some people are students.
    Some people are neither.
    Knowing is half the battle.
  18. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    Bassmickeyd - lol i love how danny said YEARS and the guy still sucks.
    I just started my lessons last night with a TBer. after one lesson, im confident im staying with him as my teacher for at least a year. my theory on lessons is, if you dont learn something new every 2 sessions (every1 if new) you have the wrong teacher. hell simple things like explaining hoiw scales are relevant to my CURRENT playing gave me a much greater understanding of music. hell im even listening to music differently
  19. I said it before you have to learn how to open doors. Once those doors open and we walk thru them that's when we learn. A teacher can show you those doors but he can't walk thru them for you.
    If our school systems taught children how to learn as opposed to "how to be taught", they'd be a lot less clueless people with framed paper hanging on their walls.
    "There's no brains in hanging frames."
  20. Martin Bormann

    Martin Bormann

    Sep 20, 2007
    Here is the thing, nobody on this forum is one of your parents. We don't particularly care if you learn anything about bass or music. So that being said, it's up to you when you want to quit taking lessons, I mean if your current teacher doesn't have much left to teach you, you could go looking for a better teacher. You could also try to wing it yourself. Hell, you could just shut yourself off to learning all together and just stick with your current ways. But, you know the saying "there is always somebody better?" Well, it might be in your interest to always be looking for that person and taking lessons from him/her.

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