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pxige
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#1
right, so I've been learning piano (with lessons) for about a year as well as tuba since last year for school, so I have pretty good knowledge of music theory, and I've just learned how to figure out basic things by myself/looking on the internet. so today, I had my first bass guitar lesson. honestly, I hated it... I'm not sure if it was just my teacher or if that's the way all teachers are, but it was hard, he didn't even tell me exactly what to do, he just showed me and expected me to know what I'm doing, and I don't lol, and he was using all these terms like hammer-on and pull-off (which I know the meanings of now) but during the lesson I was just like "what." so when I did try and copy what he was doing, it was really hard for me to remember, like... it's just hard to remember how to play a riff after practicing it once without having it written down or anything. so do you guys think I'd be able to learn how to play bass by myself? he did tell me how to position my hand while playing so I think I could remember that, but do any of you know of any downfalls of learning bass without having actual lessons? I already learned 7 or 8 songs on my own since the 30th or something. I really don't want to have to end up dreading going to lessons every week. :/ thanks to anyone who answers.
Last edited by pxige at Jan 9, 2013,
GaryBillington
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#2
I learnt guitar without any lessons & I didn't have any other musical training like you've had.

People here will be able to help provide advice for anything you aren't understanding.
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Spaz91
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#3
I didn't have any kind of tutor for the first six years and I'm not afraid to say I'm a damn good player.

However, I never had the drive to learn sheet music and theory that I get with tutors.
pxige
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#4
great, okay, i think i'll just try and do it myself then. it kind of seems like a waste of money. thanks! i'll go back to piano lessons though just so i can continue learning theory and obviously getting better at playing.
Alucard817
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#5
You might be surprised at how common it is for bassists/guitarists to be self taught.

I am self taught, all my friends who play are self taught, hell, some of the best bassists/guitarists in the world are self taught.
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#6
I was tutored in the first three years of my musical life then switched to self teaching since the tutoring was a bit boring.

Most of the tutors just taught the basic theory and proper playing posture.
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Sliide90027
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#7
Sure! Sid Viciouis did.
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FatalGear41
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#8
Sure, you can learn without lessons, but you'll need some form of guidance, whether it is books or DVDs or whatever. And it will depend almost entirely on how disciplined you are. Doing it yourself is usually the hardest way, and requires a lot of dedication and effort on your part. A teacher will not structure a lesson plan for you; you will have to discover what you need to learn and in what order. But people do it, and some of them have become remarkable players. You could be the next one.

Good luck! And stick with it!
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#9
Nothing wrong with being self-taught, especially with all the resources the internet can provide you with these days.

I will say that there's something to be said for learning from a good teacher. A truly good instructor is invaluable in providing guidance and will push and challenge you more than you can on your own. You're more likely to learn more comprehensively and you have a second set of eyes and ears to help you.

The key word with that though is "good." A bad instructor will just frustrate and confuse you (and it sounds like you might have already experienced that).
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#10
I'm entirely self-taught on guitar and bass and I'm happy with my abilities. I think you'll do fine on your own, especially with knowledge of other instruments and theory, and I worry that if you continue with your current instructor that you may lose-interest fast. You should enjoy learning your instrument. It can be hard at times, but overall it should be a rewarding, enjoyable experience.

If you ever need help with anything just ask anyone here or search on Google, YouTube, etc. There are plenty of people offering free lessons, advice, etc.
Sudaka
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#11
Quote by Tostitos
I will say that there's something to be said for learning from a good teacher. A truly good instructor is invaluable in providing guidance and will push and challenge you more than you can on your own. You're more likely to learn more comprehensively and you have a second set of eyes and ears to help you.

The key word with that though is "good." A bad instructor will just frustrate and confuse you (and it sounds like you might have already experienced that).

I agree with Tostitos there.

But i'd like to say something. Am I the only one that thinks it's better to learn with a teacher? I played guitar for 7 years and i never came up as good as I am playing bass in little more than one year! And that might be related with the fact that I'm learning with a good teacher!! I think there are some things that you can't realize without someone pointing it out for you. Main example would be techinique. Yes, you can found vids explaining technique, but they won't tell you when, where, and how you're messing it up, nor how to correct it. Also, a teacher explains you how to interpret different styles. For example, slapping for funk isn't the same as slapping for Latin music... Hell, even different latin rythms have different approaches, and they're all slappable! you will have to slap smoothly for Songo, intensly with Son Montuno, and with lots of ghost notes and vibratos for Cha Cha Cha... And you probably won't notice that when you start playing! My point is that it is much better to learn with a teacher, but it is also important to find one that's worth it. I learnt guitar with a teacher for one whole year, and i made some progress, but he wasn't a very good teacher...


I'd say look for a good teacher. And regarding your actual one, I'd spend some more classes with him before discarding him. He may have been enduring a bad day, or maybe he IS a bad teacher. IF it doesn't work out, just look for another one.

For me it's so obviously better to learn with a teacher, that it quite surprises me how many Internet taught guitarist/bassist there are (self taught is a nice name, but it is false).
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GaryBillington
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#12
^ Yes, a good teacher can definitely help, but it isn't necessarily vital to the learning process.

You can learn a lot on your own, especially if you have friends around who also play and can help you out when you get stuck.

Like you said though, learning on your own does come with the risk that you may develop bad technique that a teacher would spot early on and help you fix the issue.
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Spanner93
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#13
TBH, I think the internet as a whole is probably the best teacher going. It's an infinite resource of information, and if treated properly (so don't believe everything you read and use some common sense) it is the perfect resource.

Also, the internet allows you to learn at your own pace. Due to uni I don't have much time to practice/learn, but when I do have time all I have to do is google some techniques and I'm set.

I'm self taught on 3 instruments (guitar, bass, drums) and have never really had a yearning to be taught by a teacher. I'm competent at bass and drums, and eventually lost interest in the guitar (there was always more demand for a bass player )
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John Swift
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#14
I bought my first Bass on Saturday and gigged the following Friday at Peter Stringfellows (UK Night Club Owner) first venture in 1962, 6 months later we lost the support slot on the toss of a coin to support the Beatles when they came to Sheffield.
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#16
Quote by John Swift
I bought my first Bass on Saturday and gigged the following Friday at Peter Stringfellows (UK Night Club Owner) first venture in 1962, 6 months later we lost the support slot on the toss of a coin to support the Beatles when they came to Sheffield.

Did you post this in the wrong thread or are you just bragging?
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John Swift
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#17
Quote by GaryBillington
Did you post this in the wrong thread or are you just bragging?



Just pointing out that you don't necessarily need lessons if you've got enough gorm.
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chatterbox272
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#18
Unless you count being told "this is how you play a note" *shows walking fingers* "and this is how you change notes" *shows fretting* by a piano teacher, I've never had a bass teacher. I learned all the useful playing techniques I have through the internet, or by watching how others play and imitating. And the only people I know who are better than me have been playing 5+ years longer and are professional musicians. I know plenty of people who have been playing as long or longer with a teacher and aren't as good as I am. It really comes down to you and how you learn best.
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#19
Quote by John Swift
Just pointing out that you don't necessarily need lessons if you've got enough gorm.

Fair enough - I'm guessing you already played guitar if you started gigging as a bassist that quickly though. It just seemed (to me at least) like it was a bit off topic, but with that statement added I can see the point you were making.
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Rule Britannia
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#20
absolutely you can, you'll learn at a slower rate but you'll be learning all the same. If you have music theory knowledge then it'll be even easier; though it's not imperative for you to have.
MaggaraMarine
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#21
Quote by Sudaka
I agree with Tostitos there.

But i'd like to say something. Am I the only one that thinks it's better to learn with a teacher? I played guitar for 7 years and i never came up as good as I am playing bass in little more than one year! And that might be related with the fact that I'm learning with a good teacher!! I think there are some things that you can't realize without someone pointing it out for you. Main example would be techinique. Yes, you can found vids explaining technique, but they won't tell you when, where, and how you're messing it up, nor how to correct it. Also, a teacher explains you how to interpret different styles. For example, slapping for funk isn't the same as slapping for Latin music... Hell, even different latin rythms have different approaches, and they're all slappable! you will have to slap smoothly for Songo, intensly with Son Montuno, and with lots of ghost notes and vibratos for Cha Cha Cha... And you probably won't notice that when you start playing! My point is that it is much better to learn with a teacher, but it is also important to find one that's worth it. I learnt guitar with a teacher for one whole year, and i made some progress, but he wasn't a very good teacher...


I'd say look for a good teacher. And regarding your actual one, I'd spend some more classes with him before discarding him. He may have been enduring a bad day, or maybe he IS a bad teacher. IF it doesn't work out, just look for another one.

For me it's so obviously better to learn with a teacher, that it quite surprises me how many Internet taught guitarist/bassist there are (self taught is a nice name, but it is false).

So first you played guitar for seven years and then bass for a year? Guitar and bass share the same techniques. The only thing you really need to learn is to play the right things in right parts. If you are a guitarist, you can play bass (technique-wise). You just need to learn to be a bassist, they have different roles in a band. So I think it's pretty obvious that you got good at bass in only a year because you had experience with guitar before that.

But yeah, a teacher can tell if (and how) you could improve your technique. He sees what you are doing wrong.

TS, seems like you should have told the teacher that you don't know what a hammer/pull off means. A teacher should ask you if you understand what he is saying but if you don't say that you don't understand, it's your own fault. He's teaching it for you and you should decide how fast you can learn stuff. If the teacher is teaching too fast for you, tell him about it. The teacher might have assumed that you are better bassist than you really are. Tell him to slow down and that you don't understand everything he's saying. Playing by ear is a good thing though (of course you can't remember the riff instantly, but really tell him about that too and he'll play it slower and you'll figure it out). I would maybe try to take another lesson and if it's like the same and he can't explain things so that you understand them, then it's time for another teacher. I would maybe first get a bit acquainted with the instrument before taking lessons. Learn some basic stuff before starting to take lessons.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jan 13, 2013,
Spaz91
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#22
Just a quick though, ignore if its already been said.

Learning on your own can lead to horrible technique which can lead to tendinitis, RSI and death. I learnt to play with my hand at a forty five degree angle to the strings, rather than ninety; it's a wonder how it didn't **** me up.
Hooker84
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#23
Yes, you do! Buy a good technique book and exercised every day consistently
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#24
Self-taught for around 6 years. I'd say I'm pretty decent, but not known to blow my own trumpet (so I may be better?)
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John Swift
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#25
What many don't seem to be aware of is that technique was never on the agenda way back in the late 50s early 60s and onwards.
I played guitar for about 18 months and decided to change to bass using the knowledge of chords that I'd learned on guitar.
Ask Andy Frazer, Jack Bruce, Macca if they had lessons in technique, don't think Bill Wyman or John Entwistle did.
I bought my first bass on Saturday and played my first gig the following Friday and in no time at all we were gigging 4 to 5 times a week.
None of my contemporys in Sheffield at the time studied technique, some of whom played on Woodstock with Jo Cocker.
I may have been lucky but bass playing seemed logical and natural to me with the most important part being able to get into the groove of the genre you are asked to play in.
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Robbgnarly
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#26
Quote by Sliide90027
Sure! Sid Viciouis did.

But TS wants to actually play the bass, SV was a horrible musician. I love punk, but the Sex Pistols suck.
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pxige
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#27
wow i didn't expect so many responses lol. thanks.
i quit the teacher though, he really was terrible, there were a couple other bad things he did during the lesson that i didn't mention in the first post, he just wasn't a good teacher at all. i'm going back to piano lessons (i can only afford one type of lesson) so i've decided to try bass on my own! i think i can get the basics down, i know how to position my hand and stuff, and if i screw up then it probably won't matter that much cus i'm just doing it for fun anyways, it's not like i'm aiming to be in a band.

i have another question though! what should i start to practice first? the teacher started to show me the C major scale so i'm gonna keep practicing that and other scales, but what else should i do? there's gotta be more technique kind of practicing i can do.
food1010
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#28
Learn to play the major scale in all 12 keys. Also, learn chord construction. It may sound like the guitar player's job to know chords, but a bassist has to understand the chord progression in order to play a good bass line.
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splitvocal1
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#29
hey, i taught myself, i consider myself fairly apt, not the best but far from the worst

i bought the bass for dummies book, and worked through the first chapter one week, then week two did chapter one and chapter two, 1st chapter now being easy, then third week chap 1, chap 2, chap 3, and so on and so on until id finished. probably about 1 to 2 hours a day. i was pretty keen

after about 2 months i started playing with a band, you learn all sorts by doing that, timing, adf feeling for the music. and most importantly a bit of confidence hearing yourself playing with others.

and after 3 years im just starting on the theory side. not as interesting to me so taken a lot longer than the practical side of learning to play the instrument

good luck
John Swift
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#30
Quote by splitvocal1
and after 3 years im just starting on the theory side. not as interesting to me so taken a lot longer than the practical side of learning to play the instrument
good luck


Then you'll know why don't get minor 5ths
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MaggaraMarine
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#31
I didn't practice any scales or techniques until recently (though I already knew theory because I have been playing trumpet since 2001). I only played songs that I liked and they all used techniques that I learned by playing them. And I liked to play the guitar because it kind of was my fun instrument. I could just play the songs I wanted to play and didn't need to play those boring scales up and down and practice technical etudes that weren't musically any interesting. But now I have got more interested in learning technique so I started taking lessons on guitar. Guitar and bass are pretty logical instruments and easy to start playing by yourself. (And what I mean by logical is that each fret is half steps, same as in piano, every key is half steps. Also, you don't need to know any technique to get a sound out of guitar. Compared to trumpet or some other wind instrument guitar is very easy to start. You can instantly play all the notes, you don't need to learn any technique before being able to play the high or low notes. My range isn't that great on trumpet, even though I have been playing for over ten years.) Maybe start taking lessons after you have learned the basics. Some basic songs/riffs and some playing technique. And if you are still interested, then start taking lessons. But the sooner you start taking lessons, the better your technique will be and you won't be wasting years to correct your bad technique that you had learned ten years ago. The teacher can notice bad technique immediately and you don't need to waste your time to fix your technique.
Quote by AlanHB
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jan 14, 2013,
John Swift
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#32
One of the main reasons budding guitarists learn scale is because it is an easy route to soloing, hence when you go from pub to pub (bar to bar) these days when younger bands are on you hear virtually the same guitar solos, loads of notes very little music.

The chord structure of a piece of music is more important than the scale.
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Last edited by John Swift at Jan 14, 2013,
Sudaka
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#33
Quote by John Swift

The chord structure of a piece of music is more important than the scale.

This a million times. I highly recommend NOT TO learn any scale, but chords and how they are created...
Quote by FatalGear41
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OtamotPuhctek
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#34
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Swift
The chord structure of a piece of music is more important than the scale.


Quote by Sudaka
This a million times. I highly recommend NOT TO learn any scale, but chords and how they are created...


It's all related.
Sudaka
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#35
Quote by OtamotPuhctek

It's all related.

I know it's all related, but learning as chord formation implies learning where the notes come from, and what are they supposed to do, while learning scales is just play this notes on the fretboard so you can be in key... That's why I think the scale approach is more limiting than enabling.
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



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John Swift
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#36
Quote by Sudaka
I know it's all related, but learning as chord formation implies learning where the notes come from, and what are they supposed to do, while learning scales is just play this notes on the fretboard so you can be in key... That's why I think the scale approach is more limiting than enabling.


Agree 100%, I could give loads of examples to explain what I mean but the usual comeback is "I don't like that genre of music" which is not the point being made, which is, that the instrument should compliment the song.
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corrda00
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#37
Being self taught does work. However lessons are good for some things.

If you want to read music, or prepare yourself for post secondary study a teacher is a must. Also learning proper technique is important to avoid injury. Also it gives you motivation and goals, such as learning a new peice by next week, or getting you to learn peices you wouldn't normally learn (like classical repitiore)

It also depends how serious you are about it. If you want to make bass playing your life, then lessons are important. If you just want to do it for fun self teaching is probably the way to go.
John Swift
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#38
Quote by corrda00
Being self taught does work. However lessons are good for some things.

If you want to read music, or prepare yourself for post secondary study a teacher is a must. Also learning proper technique is important to avoid injury. Also it gives you motivation and goals, such as learning a new peice by next week, or getting you to learn peices you wouldn't normally learn (like classical repitiore)

It also depends how serious you are about it. If you want to make bass playing your life, then lessons are important. If you just want to do it for fun self teaching is probably the way to go.

I taught my self Bass, after 4 years (1962/6) I still couldn't read a note of music but I'd played all over the UK on average 4.5 gigs per week during early Beatlemania (our singer worked with Jo Cocker).
In 1966 I joined the British army and arrived in Cyprus to join my regiment, my brother (already serving) told regimental band senior NCO that I played Bass and had played throughout the Beatlemania explosion.
I was invited to join the regimental band, this was initially to get a Beat Group (that's what they called them back then) formed from band members.

For military band duties I took up Saxophone which included a 1 year coarse at 'Kneller Hall' (The Royal Military School Of Music).
Google 'Kneller Hall' it's very impressive.
So yes studying does help but it is not written in stone.
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FatalGear41
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#39
Quote by John Swift
I bought my first Bass on Saturday and gigged the following Friday at Peter Stringfellows (UK Night Club Owner) first venture in 1962, 6 months later we lost the support slot on the toss of a coin to support the Beatles when they came to Sheffield.


So...who won the toss?
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John Swift
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#40
Quote by FatalGear41
So...who won the toss?

Another local Band, Roy the drummer at the time still has the setlist John Lennon left on stage that night.

They'd (The Beatles) got 'From Me To You' at the top of the charts at the time.
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