But I don't how. I'm thinking about starting off with the string names, notes in first position, how to play with a two finger plucking technique, start off with an easy song he wants to learn, talk about the role of the bass in music, parts of bass. Is this a good start? Anything else I should do?
Quote by rocking bassist
Scales, Modes etc, etc

probably not the best stuff to start out with, especially if the kid's got no musical knowledge.

I'd go with the stuff you listed, that kind of stuff should at least keep him interested and start him off having fun. THEN i'd say introduce scales and modes and the more complicated stuff.
a guy told me that the tremolo bar was called the "distortionator"
I would teach him the guitar part to Smoke on the Water. It's got a bit of everything for a beginner - sounds good, has a proper rhythm to it, he can go home and show it to people and they'll recognise it (this will boost his self asteem). Then maybe teach him the notes in that line and how they're in Eb (I think) at next weeks session.

I would explain then how you can use scales to make bass sound cool and once he's got technique down pretty well and he knows minor pentatonic and major scales, play some 12 bar blues. It's simple, it sounds really good and its a good start for him to compose basslines. Then he can go home and say "I wrote my first bassline today" and be really happy with himself.

You can always keep things fresher by introducing more techniques later and stuff.

I would lay off the hardcore theory and introduce it slowly through fun to play songs! And at your lessons I would aim to spend at least 75% of your time playing, even if it's just teaching him Seven Nation Army or American Idiot.

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Last edited by Jonnomainman at Aug 14, 2007,
Just how little is he? If young then just stick with fun songs and minimal theory. If say, twelve or whatever then what Jon's suggested sounds good.
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Keep it casual and for gods sake don't start off with any difficult theory, when I started learning the teacher only wanted to teach me 2-octave scales and it almost put me off.
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Well, the important thing is do alot of things that are fun, and alot of things he can practice in your 2 or 3 first lessons.
To keep him motivated you know.
Its very important to have him practicing chromatic exrecises for atleast several times daily when he begins, and not having any bad habits.
But you should also teach him things he'll enjoy, fun little songs.
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And balanced on the biggest wave
You race toward an early grave.

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Ask him what style of music he likes to start off, then once you have the answer to that, you know what to teach him. He may want to be the guy that just does 8th notes over 3 or 4 chord changes, he may want to be a progger, or a jazz player, then you'll know where to start off teaching.