I've been playing bass for about a year now, and im not trying to sound bad, but i think im pretty good, ive learned quite a bit of songs, done some covers and such, but i never really got the chance to have a teacher teach me about bass and stuff, all ive really learned is how to play...i cant really get a teacher because everywhere ive looked i cant find any Bass guitar teachers anywhere near me or anything, but im just wondering, although my self taught, does this mean ill never be able to suceed the way other bassists have that had teachers, am i any worse or anything just because i havent had the chance to have a teacher? any thoughts would be appreciated thanks
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Put sheet music in front of them.

An old joke but there is so much truth to it
I learned by myself and it's going pretty good
It's not always about the teacher but the determination too
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Last edited by soulsablaze at Jul 18, 2011,
Quote by vampire275
im not trying to sound bad, but i think im pretty good

Trying not to sound bad is rather important for being pretty good

Can you find guitar teachers? Ask them if they are also bassists.
Got any friends who are decent bassists? If you know anyone then ask them for some advice. Learn from musicians you know. Jam with people and join bands, the surest way to become a better bassist is to play a lot with other people.
If not then you just gotta try yer hardest to make proper use of the resources avaliable on the internets I geuss. Im more or less self taught on the bass, although im mainly a guitarist and have quite good theory knowledge from that.

Id suggest learning guitar and even getting a teacher to get your theory knowledge sorted, but I wont as this is the bass subforum and I imagine Id be castrated.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
If you have taught yourself well, then you're off in the right direction. If you have taught yourself poorly, then you have a problem. The same is true for teachers. A good teacher can be of great help, whereas a bad teacher is a complete waste of time, money and effort. Sadly, there are more bad teachers out there than good ones.

You're actually in better shape than you think, given that this is the 21st century and we have the internet and more instructional DVDs that you can count. Make use of them. Find the ones that demonstrate what you want to learn, and learn it well. This will help you discover where you are strong and where you are weak, and then you can check out what is available to help you with your weak spots.

When looking for a good bass teacher, put this foremost in your mind: A guitar teacher is NOT a bass teacher! Burn that into your brain at once! It will save you money and consternation in the future. Just because the two have a great deal in common does not mean that they are interchangeable. The bass is a unique instrument and to properly teach it, one must approach it that way. Some guitarists are fine bassists and can teach bass with the best of them, but most have little appreciation of the instrument as anything more than a low-end thud that follows the drummer. You have to nail down a prospective teacher before signing up with them. If they give you the old "I don't teach you to play bass. I teach you to be a musician who plays bass," be very skeptical. This usually means that they will teach you to read music and that's about it. If you want to learn the nuances of the bass; different playing techniques such as slap and pop, or improvisation; forget it. They might be fine bass players, but they cannot convey what they know to someone else. There are a boatload of these guys and girls out there. Buyer beware!

As Doug Marks of Metal Method fame aptly put it, no one is truly self-taught. If you were truly "self-taught," you would have your own tunings; your own scales and chords, and your own rhythms. You'd sound awfully strange. People have done it. Some people are into microtonal music that has about five notes between A and A-sharp. It sounds very, very weird. So you're not self-taught; you've simply learned what everyone else knows on your own. Most of us are like that.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
being self taught isn't bad as long as you are able to recognize that there are things you don't know. if you feel you odn't know chord construction well, then study up on it. scales, modes, etc etc. a teacher is just a tool to learn things faster. you don't need one.
no sir away a papaya war is on
i think it's good to be self taught, find a more comfortable ways for your own stuff, be unique you know, find you own style. just make sure that you know how to play stuff right though, like learn how to do proper Pull-Offs, like some people only lift their finger and think it's a pull-off so yea, i'm self taught so yea. besides i think getting a teacher is only for when your a beginner so that they can teach all those different tricks like Slap-Pop, Hammer-on etc.
A teacher is useful, but not necessary. I would say, get a teacher for a few lessons to see if you need to work on your technique, because bad technique will slow down your learning for anything else you want to do.

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I'd say the eager, enthusiastic bass player with no teacher is going to develop much more quickly than a casual player with one. On the other hand, a very eager enthusiastic bass player who applies that energy to lessons with good teachers (maybe in things like theory and piano as much as actual bass guitar lessons), is going to develop muuuuuch more quickly. Of course, it's not a race is it? So there's nothing wrong with developing at your own pace, especially if you already like the rate of progress you're making.

There are still two major downsides to being self taught IME:
1. Errors you make in technique, theory, etc. take longer to correct (or maybe you never correct them) so that holds you back until you get it turned around or can lead to possible inefficient playing or physical strain.
2.You're much more likely to neglect some very valuable parts of bass playing because they don't interest you as much as what you're actively learning. Does every bass player need to be able to read music or know enough theory to improvise over any chord progression and key? No, but you'll have a hell of a lot more opportunities if you do those things, and being able to do those things well, can actually speed you along in learning other things more quickly.

If you do want a little instruction TS (as it seems when you mention looking for a bass teacher), but definitely can't find any for bass in your area, you might just supplement your bass playing with a theory class, or well-reviewed adult piano lessons (which will teach you all the theory basics anyway and give you a nice way to think of them outside of the bass).
As long as you can stay determined and willing to explore every aspect of any instrument, you can learn the whole instrument inside out.

Coming from my personal experience as self-taught multi-instrumentalist who goes to a school where everyone does everything themselves when learning something new, refusing to take help from anyone.

It's a hard road.
A lot of great advice has already been given, so I'm not going to repeat it, but I'll add something.

Having a teacher is pointless if the student is not willing to put in an effort on their own part to be the best they can. Having a teacher does not automatically mean that the student will become a great musician. The same can be said to self-taught musicians. If they are lazy and not going to put in the effort, they will sucks. Unfortunately though the same people who are lazy also tend to be the same people who don't think they need teachers, which is probably where the bad image of self-taught musicians comes from. You can be just as good as any musician who was taught by a teacher, just put the effort in to learn everything you need to be successful, and to do things right.

Good luck!
Last edited by zincabopataurio at Jul 19, 2011,
My biggest problem with teachers is that every player has a different style. So if you're accustomed to playing in a certain manner that's different from theirs, they're just gonna try to make you play the way they do and call it "technique". Really, everyone has their own technique that works for them in my opinion.
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