#1
For christmas my family promised to pay for 10 bass guitar lessons, and I have a few questions about bass lessons in general. I have been playing the bass guitar for about a year now, and all I have really been doing is learning songs, from tab. What I want to be doing is writing my own songs and basslines to other peoples songs - actually sitting down with the bass and figuring out the perfect line - I also want to learn how to spontaneously jam with people - Hearing someone play something maybe once, and just join in with them with a nice bass line that compliments their playing, and have it sound decent.

So, with that criteria, what should I be looking for in a teacher? What questions should I be asking of them?

How did you find your perfect teacher?

Thanks.
#2
You might find it better to get some theory class's.
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#3
I called up the first guy I heard about that lived near me and struck gold. For you however, I would ask what kind of credentials they have (playing college or university, how long they've been playing etc.) After that I'd just ask about the stuff you want to learn and see what they'll do to teach you.
#4
Im self taught, after 2 years of learning other peoples songs from tab, i took it upon myself to learn theory. it has really helped. plus i read all EVERYTHING i could get my hands on...
as for a teacher, Im cool with not having one =\

o and plus, after seeing so many bass lines, i figured out the patterns and progressions, then i changed the rhythm, threw in some octaves and presto, i was making decent lines =\
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#5
Dont take lessons. they are a waste of time. Everything I've ever learned has been taught to me through books and songs that were at one time too hard for me to play.
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#6
Quote by JeremyKing
Dont take lessons. they are a waste of time. Everything I've ever learned has been taught to me through books and songs that were at one time too hard for me to play.


lessons are never a waste of time. how do you know that your technique isn't so bad that it'll cripple you in the future? a teacher is almost necessary even just to tell you how your technique can be improved and made more efficient. I went to my first bass lesson about 2 months ago the first thing he said to me was that my right hand technique needed a lot of work. Now my technique has worked for me for the last 5 years without any problems but as soon as i took note of what he was saying my playing became much more fluid and less stressful on my arm and hand.
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#7
If you lived in London (ENGLAND...), I give lessons and business is REALLY slow right now.
#8
What most people forget when they go out to find a teacher is that YOU are hiring the teacher and therefore really have a great amount of control of the situation and relationship. It is very rare that a teacher will refuse to take on a student or drop a student. Unfortunately, its very rare as well that a student will complain to a teacher when things aren't going too well.

You need to seek out names of teachers in your area and spend some time "interviewing" each one. You should go in with a clear view of what you want to learn (technique, theory etc). You should ask them their experience and how long they've been teaching and playing. Also, ask them about how they teach, not just what they teach. Studios or teachers will sometimes give a "free" lesson with a teacher; take advantage of this. If the teacher is brilliant, but you don't "click" it may be wise to look elsewhere.

If you can find a bass teacher who plays bass primarily--this is the best situation. My first bass teacher was a guitar and bass teacher (primary on guitar) and he was good but my second bass teacher was first and foremost a bass player, and there is a difference.

I have been taking lessons for over 2 years and the benefits are countless. My technique is much better and my understanding of music and theory has improved beyond what I learned in college as a music minor. Plus I have had the opportunity to meet and play with some really wonderful people through the studio I go to as well as help younger players learn and develop their playing.
#9
I'm gonna mention personality. you want a patient, friendly, and nice teacher. if they don't smile very much, walk very briskly and fast, or talk nothing but business, chances are they are making money and don't care particularly much if you make it.
they should smile, joke a little, try not to be overtly impressive, or in any other way overpower you. if they are overpowering you, you will not want to ask them questions. they are going to act a bit like a friend, but still have a good idea of what you should know.
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#10
^That depends on what type of teacher you're looking for. My teacher is as you described, nice, friendly, personable. My drummer's teacher is all business when it comes to lesson. When my drummer asked if they could learn a specific song in class he said no because it's a waste of time and you can do it on your own. There's something to be said for that though. My drummer is being groomed specifically towards a career in music and going to a playing college. My teacher on the other hand is way more laid back and while I like that, sometimes I wish he would push me a little more. So it's all relative.
#11
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
^That depends on what type of teacher you're looking for. My teacher is as you described, nice, friendly, personable. My drummer's teacher is all business when it comes to lesson. When my drummer asked if they could learn a specific song in class he said no because it's a waste of time and you can do it on your own. There's something to be said for that though. My drummer is being groomed specifically towards a career in music and going to a playing college. My teacher on the other hand is way more laid back and while I like that, sometimes I wish he would push me a little more. So it's all relative.

well, I would suppose TS is currently just having fun. in addition, I have met musicians, great musicians, who are awful teachers because they don't connect with their students.

most teachers can be asked to push a student.

I like having someone I'm not a little scared of, I might be afraid to ask a stupid question that could result in my practicing with bad technique.
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I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


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#12
Everyone learns differently and is looking for something different out of lessons. This is why I really stress interviewing the teacher and seeing how your two views of "bass lessons" come together or not.

When I was in high school, I took guitar and classical guitar lessons from a Berklee graduate. The man was intimidating as Patton and had a similar personality. His motto was do as I say, practice what I say and ask no questions. I was miserable for 12 months of lessons because he had me doing things I didn't like and couldn't connect to from a playing perspective. If he had taken 5 minutes to explain why he was having me do a certain exercise or listen to a certain group or player, it would have made a huge difference. I am more than willing to put in hard work if I can see how it leads to a certain playing objective. It was a bad marriage all round.