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Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2122302 10/06/09 12:28 PM
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Well Ross, for me, I would just feel utterly at a loss without my bass at the lesson. But maybe somebody else can try this for you... it isn't necessarily wrong for everyone but I'm quite sure it's not right for me.

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Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: 1111000] #2122323 10/06/09 01:32 PM
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Ross Brown Offline
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agreed. You should do what is right for you...


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2122339 10/06/09 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
I, of course would agree that the physical aspect is required. I would say just not use up instruction time. I say, go home and do it.

Here's my line of thinking on it:
If you're learning a new skill, chances are good that you won't remember all of the details and finer points from a demonstration so if you go home and try it you stand a good chance of forming bad habits. If you try it for the first time under the watchful and corrective eye of a teacher, they can make corrections and suggest better ways of doing it rather than waiting for the next lesson and shaking their heads and saying "Nonono...like this."

Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
Remember, this is just something to try. I don't claim to have the answer and in fact I do defer to better judgment by those experienced in teaching. (I am just being the devil here...). I have never found a teacher willing or able to do this. Is it because it doesn't work or is it because of "never done that like that" thinking?

I'm just going at this for the sake of discussion as well and, honestly, I don't have any kind of definite answer either.

Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
I did learn to throw a baseball by watching someone and then going home and trying it. I have a good curve ball and an ok fastball.

But imagine how much faster the learning process could have been if you had an MLB pitching coach watching you and making suggestions...

Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
When I teach someone complex equation/formula solving at work, I show them and then tell them to go to a quiet room and figure it out. Most do. The others never get there... Does that mean I am a crappy teacher? Yes, to some... Others think I am good... We all learn differently. I teach like I learn. I am not a professional teacher though....

Yes, but at work you can see if they understood and learned by observing their work whereas in lessons where the student doesn't demonstrate their newly learned skills, the teacher has no way of knowing whether they will be able to effectively build upon those skills or not. Let's say a teacher is teaching a student how to slap. If the teacher has no idea if the student is solid enough on the fundimental skills, there's no way to know if some other bit of knowledge or instruction could help firm up those skills or if it's time to start delving into up-and-down slaps or anything else.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2122361 10/06/09 03:04 PM
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We have hundreds of books available and also the interwebs where you can get wonderful instruction and then try it out in the privacy of your home.

You could learn tons of theory and technique in that way.

After four years of music school, my mentor/professor said, "now you can spend the next ten years learning how to use what you have learned here."

Come by for lessons some day, Ross. I'm sure I could come up with something for you to work on, whether you bring your bass or not. Not all my students bring basses (some come on public transportation, bicycles, or a long walk away.) Of course, I just hand them one of my basses to play. wink

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: jeremy c] #2122370 10/06/09 03:18 PM
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Jeremy, I will take you up on that.... Next time I am out that way I will schedule a lesson or two with you. If you'll have me.

My wife and I were out last summer (2008). I thought about seeing if you were available for dinner or just to say hello but we opted to sightsee (only had one non-working day).

Davio, you make good points. Thanks for engaging me on this... it is fun to think out of the box. Most folks won;t go along.


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: jeremy c] #2122488 10/06/09 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
We have hundreds of books available and also the interwebs where you can get wonderful instruction and then try it out in the privacy of your home.


That's exactly what I want to get away from. I've been doing that for almost ten years now (lemme count... I guess I've been playing bass for 9 years!). I think it's time for some flesh and blood individual to put me under a microscope and say, "Hey, this is why you suck, novice." I want someone else to examine me and give me a new direction, because I don't think it's possible for me to see everything I need to improve upon by myself, nor to know where to look for it. Yes, playing with good players helps, but I need another bassist to give me guidance.

J, if I was in your 'hood, I'd hit you up for sure. But I don't really feel like traveling that far for a bass lesson.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: 1111000] #2122836 10/07/09 07:21 PM
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I had a good experience taking bass lesson classes while I was a student in college. From the jazz studies program from someone with a Ph.D. in bass. Thankfully they were open to non-music majors. Does your uni have a music department, Joshua?

As far as thinking outside the box goes, I'd say Davio mentions a great idea: dance lessons. They won't directly improve your bass playing, but they will give you a different perspective on music.

It's a long road from mechanically stepping "LRL RLR rock step", for example, to being able to control all of the subtle momentum changes to pull off a convincing East coast swing. It's like getting the notes right but the feel wrong. Part of the secret is knowing when to really put some weight into a "step" versus making a "step" more of a tap. That kind of thing. There's something similar going on with each "note" we play/shape on bass: loud/soft, long/short, etc.

So here's the plan.

"Compromise". Offer to "begrudgingly" take some sort of partner dance classes (e.g. ballroom) with your lady if she'll let you take your bass lessons. wink

It'll also be your secret weapon when you are a famous bassist and you are asked to be a contestant on TV's Dancing with the Stars. grin

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Eric VB] #2122897 10/08/09 12:26 AM
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Thank you Eric... it's all coming together...

Actually, Megan really wants to take salsa dance lessons together, which I'm cool with. I'll try out your suggestion!

As for my university, at my particular campus it is 100% science graduate and medical schools. However there are three-four other campuses, and one is actually closer to my house than the one that I work at. They deal in the humanities. I'll see what I can figure out. On another note my "science-y" campus has a full orchestra the is directed by someone from the Colorado Symphony, but I missed auditions because I couldn't get away from an experiment in the lab that night.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: 1111000] #2122939 10/08/09 09:48 AM
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a PhD is Bass...??? Horsecrap.....


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2123013 10/08/09 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
a PhD is Bass...??? Horsecrap.....

I know a couple. Most of the bass players in major symphonies will have at least a masters in performance. What's wrong with somebody going beyond a BA or MA in music? Do you think there isn't that much you can learn about the instrument?

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2123021 10/08/09 02:19 PM
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I just looked it up and found that there are only six universities in the U.S. where one can get a PhD in double bass.

AFAIK, Roy Vogt was the first person to get a Masters in electric bass (Univ. of Miami) and he had to work to convince them to let him do it.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: jeremy c] #2123035 10/08/09 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
I just looked it up and found that there are only six universities in the U.S. where one can get a PhD in double bass.

Is there a way to find out world-wide? Or at least between the U.S. and Europe?

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2123042 10/08/09 02:51 PM
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I looked it up here. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the page.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: jeremy c] #2123062 10/08/09 03:24 PM
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Advanced degree in music, sure.... a PhD in bass.... come on....


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2123066 10/08/09 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
Advanced degree in music, sure.... a PhD in bass.... come on....

Scoff all you want...I've seen and heard the results and I believe.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2123069 10/08/09 03:35 PM
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In my experience, the only people who scoff at higher education are those who haven't done it.

Besides, if I didn't go to college, I probably would have ended up married to some bimbo that I met in a bar.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: jeremy c] #2123088 10/08/09 04:17 PM
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I have a PhD in Molecular Biology.... I am a snob.... not a scoffer.


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2123092 10/08/09 04:29 PM
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Ross, you should try to find a symphony bass player and ask them what their thoughts are on the subject. Boston Symphony section players (not even the principals/section leaders) make more than I will probably ever make in a year. I know a paycheck is hardly proof of legitimacy and probably a small fraction of them hold PhDs in their instrument compared to the whole, but dang...if I had the talent and the money to pay for the school, I'd subscribe to their fallacy.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2123100 10/08/09 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ross Brown
a PhD is Bass...??? Horsecrap.....


What is wrong with that Ross? There are way more things you can get a Ph.D. than just the sciences and there is nothing wrong with that; it is a good way to distinguish those who have greatly achieved in their field. And this is coming from a Tox Ph.D. student; but I see no reason why science should be the only field where Ph.D.'s are awarded for recognition. And when you boil it all down, many of the things people do can be looked as both art and science; there's an art to what a scientist does, and a science to what musicians do, and vice-versa. Remember that science is just our constantly-evolving attempt to explain the way things are and to elucidate good decisions with that theoretical knowledge.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: 1111000] #2123118 10/08/09 05:33 PM
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Now I stirred it up.... sorry....

No offense meant to anyone... It was the idea of PhD in "bass".... Funny to me... I am otherwise well aware of the significance...

You are right on the "art" of science. We could talk for quite a while on this. Many people assume that science and art or disconected... nope... you are off to a good start.


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2123126 10/08/09 05:49 PM
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My son's flute teacher has a doctorate in flute performance. I think she's a pretty great teacher, but not because of the degree. However, the degree does give me confidence that she's learned a thing or two about music over the years from people who know a thing or two about music.

Jimmy Johnson played the flute. (Does he still play?)

It's all connected.

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Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: _Sweet Willie_] #2123166 10/08/09 09:32 PM
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I think the greatest difference between "science" and "art" degrees is the percentage of jobs that require said degrees. Few jobs that I'm aware of require any art degree beyond a BA...except maybe other qualifications in marketing or management for design degrees, etc. or a masters for teaching at an educational institution. Where art degrees are rarely required (in comparison), they can often help quite a bit in landing a job. When it boils down to it, symphony players audition behind a curtain. They can either cut the mustard or they can't...but the education they might have received may help them cut said mustard. When it comes to teaching, though, the degrees certainly help inspire the confidence of students and younger students' parents (as Willie pointed out).

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Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2123202 10/09/09 01:43 AM
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After doing a brief google search on orchestra salaries, I wasn't terribly surprised by what I saw. In smaller markets the salaries can range from $30 - $50K. But in the major cities? Starting salaries are around $110K. How many working musicians are doing that well for themselves with one gig?

Higher education in music is not something to laugh at. Julliard has a number of music performance masters programs. Carnegie Mellon is another university with a world renowned music program. And I have no doubt that some of the graduates that come from these schools may be actively recruited by symphony orchestras around the world. Structured curriculum has a much valued place.

As for not bringing an instrument to a lesson? That's just crazy talk.


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Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Nicklab] #2123218 10/09/09 04:23 AM
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Yup, IIRC starting salary for a section player in the Boston Symphony is a little over $120k. Bass players might get more than that...I'm not sure.

Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2123344 10/09/09 01:52 PM
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I make $3000-$4000 a year playing bass and I get to play whatever I want.... beat that!

(I live in a cardboard box.... in the park...)


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: Ross Brown] #2123348 10/09/09 01:57 PM
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...in a van...down by the river!!!


Re: "Strategy" for going into private lessons? [Re: davio] #2123355 10/09/09 02:23 PM
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YES!!! Exactly...


"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there"
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