#1
Okay, so guys I'm stick in a predicament that I can't seem to get myself out of without good advice cause I don't want to continue my bass teachings on my own since I think it will take quite too long of a time without taking a few lessons on my own but if you can save me from spending the money and can guarantee that I will learn then give me some tips, books, websites, videos, etc. that I can check out to do so. But really, let me explain my whole situation so far before you go ahead and refer me any of these choices. I've been playing bass for about 7 months now and I'd say I've learned quite well, atleast for being self-taught. I've learned how to identify the same sounding notes all across the fretboard and have practiced in locating them as a test to my skills for remembering quick on my feet. I've also learned how to read music tablature which is very easy and have learned very few music notation which I really do want to learn, but the problem is many people say you don't have to learn music notation and many say you do so I need some experienced bassists opinions on how these things can effect me in the long run if I do or do not learn music notation. I've learned how to slap and pop, but my technique isn't that great since I need some guidance in the department. I'm pretty decent overall I would say but I think if I can find a way to learn without a teacher that is just as effective I'll go with that. If anyone has some good advice on whether I should or should not find a bass teacher please tell me because I never take the initiative to do my own research because I seem to always be playing games or sleeping and since i always look up guitar pro tabs on this site and I usually log in to try to learn something new here every 2 weeks or I figured why not find the info I need in a extremely active musician home/community for bassists?

ANSWER ASAP PLEASE!
#2
Paragraphs and full stops are your friends. Use them.

And get a teacher.



stratkat
#3
It really depends what sort of bass player you want to be. I you want to be a session bassist, a teacher or play in an orchestra/jazz band you'll need to learn notation.

On the other hand, if you're looking to be in a cover band or even an original band you'll need to learn to rely heavily on your ear.

If you don't plan on doing anything serious or professional, you're best off focusing your time and energy wisely, as to learn notation efficiently it will take some time to get confident in.
#4
thank you for both the answers, I'd like to persue more of a musical career and I will study in a school of music for college since I still have 3 more years of highschool. Let me say that I want to play professionally so maybe you can tell me what I should pursue now as to whether I should learn self-taught or get a teacher. EuBoat, you didn't try to help my predicament in any way and I realize I didn't use full stops; I just wanted to get this done with ASAP.

Well, please answer back, Sincerely, DariusBassist.
#5
If you learn by yourself you won't really have anyone to critique your playing/technique. If you pick up a bad habit, you may not notice until it'll be really hard to fix. And if you want to study music at college you really will need to be able to read sheet music.

Why are you in such a rush, may I ask?



stratkat
#6
In my opinion, a good teacher would give you a metronome and tell you theory and scales, and how to play with a drummer, and some technique.
You could learn how to do all those things by yourself.
The main thing you want to learn is groove, and how to play in a band setting. That you learn from experience and playing with other people. If you play with a friend or someone better than you, you'll learn so much more. You want to assure that you're not picking up any bad habits though.

And learning notated music is pretty handy. I would learn how to do it if i were you.
#7
I would get a teacher, books cannot do what a good teacher can do for you!!
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#8
OOh, man these answers just made my decision much easier. Ty Brent especially for showing me all the benefits of a teacher. Well, to answer your question EuBoat it's because my uncle will be leaving to Peru and he said that he would pay for my lessons for bass or just go ahead and buy me books to self-teach myself. And ty for telling me also that nobody can critique my playing. All Your answers have been very helpful, thank you all very much. Sincerely, DariusBassist.
#10
well i was in the same sort of situation as you are now. firstly, i know people say that you dont need to be able to read music to play guitar / bass - and you dont. but as soon as you learn, it becomes a whole lot easier to understand scales etc and improvise in a band situation. even if you never read music again, it is still useful. so, you can either get a book to teach you how to read music (thats what i did, i turned out fine) and just keep teaching yourself OR just find a decent teacher who can improve you playing and teach you the fundimentals of music reading.

thats my opinion anyway.
#11
Okay, I will. Sorry for any of the inconveniences I may have made for any of you while reading my thread. In the future I will keep in mind to go ahead and use paragraphs as well as full stops.
#12
rw3jca, I think you answer is a good one too.. I seem to have turned out fine so far but I will go ahead and get a teacher as well as buy some books to learn on my own.
If you can tell me of any books that can help me as well as to where I can buy them that would be great. Also a price estimate would be riveting.
#13
If you were happy to be a hobby bassist I'd say go ahead and get some books and use the internet and learn by yourself. But if you want to go to a music college you really are going to need to get lessons and make sure your technique is pretty standard.
#14
I don't know any books, but you could always check out some videos.
I started out watching the John Patittucci video (over. and over. and over. and over again.)
#15
I got an answer out of what you wrote and that is that you want a teacher to push you to learn, to guide and develop your playing skills. I say get a teacher and take the time to learn properly. Theirs no point in not learning notation even if you never end up needing it.
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#16
I say a teacher is a good investment, make sure you get someone good who fits your needs.
As for other things to try, try to get charts and stuff of fingering positions off the internet and whatnot, they can help a lot.
#17
Thanks also fatgoogle and carrda00 I guess I'll just take my time with lessons to build the proper technique by trying to forget all the technique I picked up on my own cause I don't want to play sloppily since I know a teacher can teach me much better than I taught myself. If you guys also know any books of which you own and helped you out maybe you can tell me , I would highly appreciate it.
#18
Teachers, if you have the money and are comfortable with advancing at your teacher's pace (not your pace), are very benefitial in learling ANYTHING. That's why we have teachers in schools. Unless you are like me - a person who can't dance to another persons flute, as the saying goes. A teacher will guide you on your way, stopping from learning a bad technique and giving tips on learning proper ones.
If you can offord, get a teacher who not only can teach well, but is known to be profitient that genre of music that you love and want to learn to play. What good is a rock bassist for a guy who wants to play technical death metal or classical music? Sure, he can teach rock, but if you want something else than he's offering, find another teacher.
#19
You've been playing only 7 months, college is 3 years away, and you think you want a career in music and want to go to school for music yet do not know how to read notation?


....seriously?


okay, to be less mean:

if you want a career in music performance,
you have to be able to read sheet music.
if you want a career in music education,
you have to be able to read sheet music.
if you want to teach music,
you have to be able to read sheet music.

I'd advise a teacher, as this will help you with reading a lot more than you practicing without guidance will. I'd recommend the same for technique.


My question to you is, if you're, essentially, a freshman or sophomore in high school and haven't even been doing music for a year, how are you so sure you want to
" persue more of a musical career"?
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#20
Let me point out that I said I wanted to be a "professional musician", UtBDan. Not sure if you noticed me saying that. I also said I would like to go to a music college but not sure what music colleges offer yet.. i want to mainly study a lot of theory and off of the top of my head I assume you are practically saying a pursuit for a music career is useless or just much more difficult without being able to read sheet music. I won't deny that because in my highschool I have music classes and since getting into the classes for teaching me music notation I've come to find it's a lot easier to learn. I've learned scales, tunings, how to read notes on bass clef and treble cleff and time signature is a significant help for me as well.

Why am I so sure I want to *pursue* a career in music you might ask? It's simple for most people.. they love listening to music and once they pick up an instrument and start making music of their own(which I have)they begin to wonder "Hey, I love music and making it is great and all, but if I can do this professionally as well then that's just an extra for me.
#21
If you're pursuing music in any capacity don't walk, RUN to get a good teacher. That is a non-negotiable fact. When you get to the teacher tell him/her your plans and make sure you work towards achieving them. This means learning theory, proper technique, ear training, reading sheet music etc. All of those things are absolute necessities.
#22
^Bales has it dead on, and I don't have much to add.

Dan's advice comes from someone who is in a music program and he's the experienced voice you were seeking btw.

As bass players, many of us are big fish in very small ponds, where we get constant positive feedback from our peers and friends. However, the real world is non-too kind. If you can't sight read music, you won't make it past the auditions for most music programs. Frankly, you couldn't get in the high school orchestra I was in without being able to sight read moderately hard music straight from the score and have some basic understanding of how to interpret it from a musical standpoint.

In a nutshell, you need to learn to be a musician and not just a bass player.
#23
Quote by DariusBassist
Let me point out that I said I wanted to be a "professional musician", UtBDan. Not sure if you noticed me saying that. I also said I would like to go to a music college but not sure what music colleges offer yet.. i want to mainly study a lot of theory and off of the top of my head I assume you are practically saying a pursuit for a music career is useless or just much more difficult without being able to read sheet music. I won't deny that because in my highschool I have music classes and since getting into the classes for teaching me music notation I've come to find it's a lot easier to learn. I've learned scales, tunings, how to read notes on bass clef and treble cleff and time signature is a significant help for me as well.

Why am I so sure I want to *pursue* a career in music you might ask? It's simple for most people.. they love listening to music and once they pick up an instrument and start making music of their own(which I have)they begin to wonder "Hey, I love music and making it is great and all, but if I can do this professionally as well then that's just an extra for me.


Yes, and I was pointing out how a career in music without being able to read music is very nearly impossible unless you get very lucky with a rock band (or very, very committed and consistently driven with an indie rock band).

I go to school for music. I'm currently entering my junior year despite it being the spring semester because of how transferring from the first university I went to worked out. I maintain a 3.7 (or really, 3.6, but I'll get it back up) GPA and next year I intend to begin contacting grad schools, as I've already begun to look into them.
I want to teach music theory on the university level, not on a high school, middle school, or elementary school level. I also do not want to teach music privately, really, unless its private theory / jazz harmony lessons.

I think you have misread my previous post as insults.
Allow me to reiterate:

you will not get into a music school without being able to read music on your primary instrument.
You will not get a career in music performance without being able to read music, and if your primary instrument is bass guitar, you may if you are an *amazing* jazz bassist who does it all off lead sheets... but even then, in big bands you are given sheet music for the basslines, NOT lead sheets.
You will not get a career in music education without being able to read music, as you will be expected to teach music. How can you teach something you cannot do yourself? I was a music ed major at first, and I can tell you first hand they expect you to be able to play every instrument adequately when you finish a bachelor's program, and if you pursue a master's you're expected to be better than adequate at everything for a music ed degree.

Let's say for a moment, you want to pursue a career in music performance without being able to read sheet music.
Your instrument is bass guitar. Where are your performance opportunities?
If you can play upright, you could play in an orchestra... but that requires reading sheet music. You're not going to improvise the bassline to Beethoven's fifth, needless to say.
If you can't and only want to do bass guitar, you're stuck to populaur music and jazz.
Jazz, you can actually make a career out of playing low-key gigs, as bassists are frequently in demand and there about 80 times more jazz trumpeters / saxophonists / pianists then there are jazz bassists.
However, for anything outside of small (trio, quartet, etc.) work you will be expected to read sheet music.
Even if you can do chord changes, unless you are the absolute best in your area, you can kiss that gigging job goodbye.
I have a friend who's a great sousaphone and tuba player, who got a paying gig playing French horn. I have another friend who is a better French horn player. The tuba player got the gig playing French horn because he was a better read, and thus was able to get up to par on a shorter notice for the piece he was needed for.
With paying gigs, it will almost always work this way.
What about the rock/studio world?
Well, odds are you know a few local recording studios.
Odds are, the owner either doesn't have any studio musicians on hand and expects incoming bands to provide all their own musical ability, or has studio musicians on a short phone call's notice and he's not interested in hiring.

What I mean to say is, studio owners tend to trust "their guys".
You'll be hard pressed to find a place where you can walk in and be like "I'm a bassist, call me if you need a bassist" that doesn't already have someone they trust in place, that may or may not be better than you, that is prepared to play along by ear regardless of style of music, that is prepared to follow a lead sheet in any style of music, and is prepared to read sheet music perfectly nearly by site.

My original bass teacher was a jazz guitarist who does this.
My bass teacher at my college is a bassist who works for 2 orchestras on upright (one local, one regional), several jazz bands, and is virtually the only gigging bassist in the area.
Not because there aren't any other bassists...
...but because why have any other bassist, when you can have the best in the area?


Music education, I'll get to later.

Music management, you'll have to essentially be a business major with a music minor.
Any program in it, will make you take your basic theory and aural skills classes and several other classes, most likely a music history and a piano proficiency and stuff like that. But you'll have to AUDITION.... which includes reading, which includes performing composed works rather than rock songs, which involves an entry theory exam, which involves musicianship and the like.
Or you could intern for free (or being paid dick - I looked into it once, and the average is $100/week) at an indie record label and hope to eventually get lucky and score a paying job there, in which case you'll have some 50 hour work weeks, have a below average salary, and won't really have "music" in your carer so much as you will have "management" in your career.


I'm not suggesting "don't go for a career in music".
Shit, music education, although shrinking compared to other fields of education, is still a relatively easy field to get a job in.


I'm suggesting, to have any real career in music, you need to be able to read music.
And, if you want to do music performance instead of music management or music education....
....then you need to be the best bassist in your area.
Maybe you already think you are.
Find your local jazz scene, and tell me if you can play what they play (and better), and then get back to me on that.


Other common music majoring things on the bachelor level include Music in general (in which case, you have no specialty and it's expected that you figure it out when you want to go to grad school), Conducting (in which case, getting a job as a conductor is very hard and very rare - there are forums dedicated to this, in which case there are probably 5 or 6 openings a month NATIONALLY... and think of all the qualified candidates from all the schools with conducting programs, and the competition between them), Composition (useless unless you can also teach something, as you'll never get a chance to be commisioned to compose something unless you get a lucky break or get to teach for a high school/university where you get to compose for them too), Film music (ditto), or Music theory (which is basically what I'm doing, which is useless unless you get a master's and just as competitive a field as conducting except its very much on a teaching only level.)


My point is, I'm not being mean.
I'm being honest.


Yeah, sure, it would be nice if because music was fun it could be your career.

I think basketball's fun. I don't bank on joining the NBA, do I?
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