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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Leco reis, Aug 8, 2005.
who is the best teacher you ever had and why?
I've never had multiple teachers teaching me the same thing, so I'm not really sure!
My electric teacher, Zak Colbert, has taught me loads of stuff and got me started on the basics of jazz theory and applying them to the bass. His level of playing also inspired me to be much more than I am now.
My DB teacher has made me make remarkable progress (you should've heard me on my first lesson...) on the instrument, and in ONE jazz lesson (we usually do classical, but we did jazz today) my walking improved several times over.
I have a guitar/theory teacher that I'm resuming lessons with next Wednesday. I last saw him for a lesson in January, but we recorded the thing I have on the TBDB sampler a week ago at his home studio. Partially because I had lessons with him, and partially because I didn't have a job last summer and hence spent all my time practicing, I basically learned to improvise over changes from him. Can't thank him enough.
Those are just my private teachers. I'll be resuming my electric lessons in September, so my schedule will be every other Monday: 5:30-6:30 (DB,) 7-7:30 (BG.) The OTHER Mondays will be 5:30-6:30 (guitar/theory,) 7-7:30 (BG.) I also have my regular class music teacher, my jazz band leader/teacher 1st semester last year/this year percusison teacher, and during 2nd semester this coming year, a guitar teacher (my schedule being music, guitar, percussion, photography.)
Ethan Connor, formerly with the Cleveland Orchestra. He showed me how to properly use my hands so that playing became a pleasure instead of a lot of hard work. The other thing that he drilled me on was to pay attention to all the details on the page. On top of that he only charged me $20 a lesson which usually lasted 2-3 hours.
That's a great deal, jallen.
My BG is $14 for half an hour, DB is $25 an hour, and guitar/theory is $30 an hour (he teaches through a school.) IMO, I really dig the 1 hour lessons. Half an hour just isn't enough time -- as soon as we really dig in, it's over!
Joe Solomon. because he has helped me stop speaking gibberish and start making sense.
You mean musically speaking?
I had a great period of lessons with Nick Tsolianas (Tsolianos?) when he was in Boston. It may seem obvious (...it wasn't to me then... 10 years ago..) but he believed in playing the kind of music that keeps you on the bass every day. In other words, you don't have to be a classical bassist to be a professional musician.
Doris Keyes - my piano teacher way back in undergrad for four years. She taught me many things, among them:
* that the role of the musician is to figure out what the music is asking of you, then to get about doing what it's asking.
* that sightreading is really "playing by ear through your eyes".
* that musical conception and execution are inextricably linked, and that conception should always come first. In other words, FIRST figure out what the music is asking of/saying to you , THEN try to figure out how to do it.
I've been studying with Jordan Anderson (principal of Seattle) for the last three years, and it's been really fantastic. Thanks to him, I can play with confidence and a solid sound, and I'm getting very good at hitting the tougher licks in the orchestral repertoire. He has progressively advanced me from a less-than-average player to what I would consider to be a fairly decent one. I'm glad he takes the time out of his heavy schedule to help me out once a week.
I also studied with Nick for a while when he was in Boston. Half the fun was going into a practice room in Symphony Hall for the lessons. He was great at reminding me what classical phrasing was about, after years of playing jazz. A very musical guy.
When I was 14 (too long ago to mention) I spent a summer studying with Warren Benfield at Northwestern. He would teach me difficult orchestral excepts by ear, then show me the music - music which I would have considered impossible for me to play had he showed it to me first. A wonderful person who had music flowing in his veins.
My teacher for the last year, Pascale Delache-Feldman, seems to have the knack of giving me music that is beyond what I would think I can play, and then working me past the limitations of my technique until I do a creditable job. She is probably having an overall more positive effect on my technique and musicality than any teacher I have worked with.
I've been really blessed because every teacher I've studied with on upright has been great. But two really taught me what jazz was:
Bob Bowen. Man, this cat is such a killin' bassist. He taught me what the role of the bass player is, and I realized a year after I'd stopped taking lessons with him that the things we did prepared me for taking it to the next level. I can't count how many times he stayed extra time in my lessons, and how many free lessons he gave me.
Dave Lalama. He's not a bassist, but a piano player. He taught me to never accept second best; to compare myself with Ray, PC and OP, and use that as my measuring line. To strive for this art form at its highest level (and believe me, I'm still far from it!) He also taught me the value of transcribing, and jazz theory.
Two hard-a** guys who expect a lot, but amazing teachers and great human beings.
I'm guessing that Bob Bowen stayed late because he heard all the great s**t that was coming out of you, and wanted to be part of the process of developing that. Teaching ( and learning from) a good student is as much a buzz as is playing a great gig.
Hotchkiss, good to hear you mention Warren Benfield. He had retired by the time the internet became widely used, so most of the younger players don't know much about him. But he was one of the greatest bass players and teachers of the 20th century. He studied with Anton Torello, and he and Roger Scott were co-principals for a brief time in Philly before the job was awarded to Scott.
Did you ever see that thin-ribbed bass he played with the CSO? I've always wondered what it was and who has it now.
When I finally got around to studying Double Bass in college. Phil Albright
got my act together we spent a little over five years together. He had the patience of Jobe. Over the years I had many fellow Bass Guitar players ask me "how do you play on a instrument in tune, without the benefit of frets. My response is always the same. You spend one hour a week with a very kind and generous bass teacher, who patiently guides you as you make all kinds of intonational, rhythmic, bowing and fingering mistakes and lovingly corrects each one.
Todd Coolman showed me more in one lesson, when he was attending fishing trade show here in St. Louis then several other more prestigious players. Todd made one comment to me that has always stuck. "Ric when I hear St. Louis bass players names talked about, your name should come up
in the conversation." I've never forgotten those words, it was pretty a humbling experience from a great teacher. Within that lesson he gave me the tools that I needed to form as a Jazz bassist.
Years later, he visited St. Louis once with Hal Galper who is a teriffic player, but a demanding leader. Todd took all of that in his stride like the professional he is. A great player indeed.
Thanks so much for the compliment, Marcus. I know that's what I do with my own students.
I believe that would be the 1630 Giovanni Paulo Maggini bass that is now owned by my former teacher, Joel Quarrington, principal of the Toronto Symphony. That bass is very thin but it has incredible power and punch in the orchestra but I'm sure it's also the way Joel plays. He uses that bass for his solo recordings too.
Thanks, Don. You wouldn't know of a picture of that bass available online, would you?
I'm pretty sure that Joel Quarrington is the current owner of that bass. My old teacher was a Warren Benfield student, and I recall him saying something about Joel playing Warren Benfield's old bass. But don't quote me on that, I could be wrong.
You must know my boy Chris Roselli, he has done a BUNCH of playing with Dave (and Ralph), he's out there on the LI side of Queens.
I have really good pictures of this bass in an old ISB.
I'll dig it out and try to post them.
I think this is a more difficult question than it appears at first - so I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of different teachers at Jazz Summerschool each year and what fascinates me and what keeps me coming back, is how different they all are!
So when you say "best" - would that be the person who you get on with best, the best player or person whose playing you admire most - the nicest human being... or maybe the person who is best at teaching?
And even that last is problematic - so there have been some sessions, where I haven't really enjoyed it , but got a lot out of what happened - there have been teachers who are easy to get on with, make the session enjoyable, have loads of amusing anecdotes, but I felt I didn't get as much out of the less enjoyable sessions.
Another thing which may be subjective - but is just my impression - there are great Jazz players whose playing I really admire - but who come across as terrible teachers!!
Conversely, I have met teachers who are not rated as highly , as players - but who are very sympathetic, very switched-on and who just seem to be better teachers?
Obviously you want both - but again there is the question of do you want to be stretched - maybe too far , which can be unpleasant, uncomfortable - or do you want to work at a reasonable rate...?
So anyway - lots of things to consider - how can you choose?
So my regular Jazz teacher has given me a huge amount and gets the most out of most people I've met - but I have been inspired by people, I've only worked with for a week or less, at Jazz Summerschool - like Stan Sulzmann, Pete Churchill, John Paricelli... amongst others....