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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2741353 12/16/15 05:09 PM
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Paul K Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Berlin


I'm not sure what human interface means.


I hope I'm reading too much into your posts. But the posts that trouble me* imply a "my way or the highway" approach. And although in the long run that's the way it should be, its abruptness would make it harder to get your point across to the new student. The "human interface" is my way of describing how you get your data from your brain into the student's. I'm afraid that the "take no prisoners" approach will turn them off before the tree gets a chance to bear fruit. I didn't have a plan when I took my first lesson, and don't think I was unique in that. Sometimes it takes a little bit to properly set the hook.

* (Examples of the posts in question were the "Teachers are not required to create any fire in their students......" and "This kind of coddling is what seems to be lowering the quality of bass ed.")

...and I guess I'm a little surprised you'd poo-poo using blues as a gateway to jazz. Seemed like a total winner. Me? I'd probably start with funk as a gateway to blues as a gateway to jazz since funk only has two chords instead of three.


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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Paul K] #2741382 12/16/15 07:40 PM
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jeremy c Offline
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There was no bass education at all when I started playing bass in 1966. I managed to survive.

Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: jeremy c] #2741403 12/16/15 09:44 PM
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Paul K Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
There was no (fill in the blank). I managed to survive.


Hmmm. Might that be a fun O.T. thread? No fair quoting Gloria Gaynor.


Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.
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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Paul K] #2741607 12/18/15 01:39 AM
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Jeff Berlin Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Paul K
Originally Posted By: Jeff Berlin


I'm not sure what human interface means.


I hope I'm reading too much into your posts. But the posts that trouble me* imply a "my way or the highway" approach. And although in the long run that's the way it should be, its abruptness would make it harder to get your point across to the new student. The "human interface" is my way of describing how you get your data from your brain into the student's. I'm afraid that the "take no prisoners" approach will turn them off before the tree gets a chance to bear fruit. I didn't have a plan when I took my first lesson, and don't think I was unique in that. Sometimes it takes a little bit to properly set the hook.

* (Examples of the posts in question were the "Teachers are not required to create any fire in their students......" and "This kind of coddling is what seems to be lowering the quality of bass ed.")

...and I guess I'm a little surprised you'd poo-poo using blues as a gateway to jazz. Seemed like a total winner. Me? I'd probably start with funk as a gateway to blues as a gateway to jazz since funk only has two chords instead of three.


Ha! Some people have mentioned that my straight approach feels uncomfortable to them. I talk to people in a straight manner to cut out the extraneous things and get to the heart of what learning how to play is all about. I always thought that people would like to hear how to play better and get right into it. But I found that this is not to many people's liking. I wish that it were otherwise.

Realize that in most of education, it is a "my way or the highway" manner of dealing with students! Certainly in schools like Julliard or the Manhattan School of Music, teachers run the show and the students fall into line. But this exists outside of music as well. In football practice, it is the way of the coach or get off the field. In the army, in law school, it is the same thing. I know that people want a democracy when learning music, but for the good of all students, it doesn't work like this.

I saw that stating that it isn't the job of firing up students was not to your liking. But it isn't the teacher's job to do this. A teacher dispenses information to interested students. Further, teachers do make a policy of coddling students especially in electric bass education to my way of seeing things. But this doesn't happen in state run music schools.

I hope that you are OK with my thoughts and you are invited to share more if you wish.

Last edited by Jeff Berlin; 12/18/15 01:50 AM.
Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2741632 12/18/15 10:41 AM
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Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Berlin
whatever you practice in academic music isn't meant to be used in performance and it never was.

I don't understand this comment at all. Could you expound on it, please?

Also, just to make sure we're using the same lingo, by "academic music," are you referring to music theory and/or something else? Thanks.


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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2741677 12/18/15 04:19 PM
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Paul K Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Berlin


Realize that in most of education, it is a "my way or the highway" manner of dealing with students! Certainly in schools like Julliard or the Manhattan School of Music, teachers run the show and the students fall into line. But this exists outside of music as well. In football practice, it is the way of the coach or get off the field. In the army, in law school, it is the same thing. I know that people want a democracy when learning music, but for the good of all students, it doesn't work like this.

I saw that stating that it isn't the job of firing up students was not to your liking. But it isn't the teacher's job to do this. A teacher dispenses information to interested students. Further, teachers do make a policy of coddling students especially in electric bass education to my way of seeing things. But this doesn't happen in state run music schools.

I hope that you are OK with my thoughts and you are invited to share more if you wish.


Indeed, I'm OK with your thoughts; that's what discussions are for. The thread was how to make bass education better, and I'm just not buying into the notion that a real music education is mutually exclusive to giving people a little love and a little inspiration. --Whiplash free. Maybe that's why the "other" bass lesson plans and teachers are so popular.
(Well, adding the "Whiplash" reference was clearly over the top. But funny, so I'll leave it in there.)

But boy, you know what music education really sucked the big one for me? Grammar school band instrument lessons. They just taught us how to push buttons. That's a crime. But it's been a long time since I've been in grammar school. Has it changed at all, or is it still "Breeze Easy" Books 1 thru 3, then graduate to "Rubank's Intermediate Method"?


Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.
https://soundcloud.com/paul-kempkes
Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Groove Mama] #2741692 12/18/15 06:09 PM
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Jeff Berlin Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Groove Mama
Originally Posted By: Jeff Berlin
whatever you practice in academic music isn't meant to be used in performance and it never was.

I don't understand this comment at all. Could you expound on it, please?

Also, just to make sure we're using the same lingo, by "academic music," are you referring to music theory and/or something else? Thanks.


Good question! Imagine your earlier lessons in English. They weren't meant to be used, but practiced. "Hello Mother! Hello Father" were points of learning, not literal fact to be used. In music, the most impactful way to grow as a player is to figure out the varieties of musical ways to navigate your instrument. It is by demystifying where to put your fingers on the neck that will free you to create or repeat bass lines necessary in performance.

An error that some players make is trying to use modes, or use scales, things like this. This is not what the modes or scales or much else that we practice is used for. They are used to ENLIGHTEN us! The more that we figure out music on our instrument, the more that we will come up with the right music at the right time in whatever we are playing, which, by the way, is best learned via a self taught route. Did this help?

Last edited by Jeff Berlin; 12/18/15 06:10 PM.
Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Paul K] #2741694 12/18/15 06:11 PM
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Jeff Berlin Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Paul K
Originally Posted By: Jeff Berlin


Realize that in most of education, it is a "my way or the highway" manner of dealing with students! Certainly in schools like Julliard or the Manhattan School of Music, teachers run the show and the students fall into line. But this exists outside of music as well. In football practice, it is the way of the coach or get off the field. In the army, in law school, it is the same thing. I know that people want a democracy when learning music, but for the good of all students, it doesn't work like this.

I saw that stating that it isn't the job of firing up students was not to your liking. But it isn't the teacher's job to do this. A teacher dispenses information to interested students. Further, teachers do make a policy of coddling students especially in electric bass education to my way of seeing things. But this doesn't happen in state run music schools.

I hope that you are OK with my thoughts and you are invited to share more if you wish.


Indeed, I'm OK with your thoughts; that's what discussions are for. The thread was how to make bass education better, and I'm just not buying into the notion that a real music education is mutually exclusive to giving people a little love and a little inspiration. --Whiplash free. Maybe that's why the "other" bass lesson plans and teachers are so popular.
(Well, adding the "Whiplash" reference was clearly over the top. But funny, so I'll leave it in there.)

But boy, you know what music education really sucked the big one for me? Grammar school band instrument lessons. They just taught us how to push buttons. That's a crime. But it's been a long time since I've been in grammar school. Has it changed at all, or is it still "Breeze Easy" Books 1 thru 3, then graduate to "Rubank's Intermediate Method"?


Good thought. I just might add that I never knew a mean-spirited or limited music teacher (emotionally speaking) in my life. I imagine that they are out there. But any loving teacher will sense the enthusiasm that comes from their students if the student has it. If they don't, a loving teacher encourages the student to follow through in working on the exercises. In this area, most teachers are wonderful.

Last edited by Jeff Berlin; 12/18/15 06:12 PM.
Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2741788 12/19/15 12:02 PM
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Groove Mama Offline
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Sorry, but no, that didn't help.

Let's try it this way: Assume you have a new bass guitar student, with no prior musical experience. Where do you start?


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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Groove Mama] #2741984 12/20/15 04:44 PM
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Jeff Berlin Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Groove Mama
Sorry, but no, that didn't help.

Let's try it this way: Assume you have a new bass guitar student, with no prior musical experience. Where do you start?


Where does anyone that takes any vocation or hobby start? Where does a student new to Spanish or cooking or golf start? You know the answer!

Last edited by Jeff Berlin; 12/20/15 04:45 PM.
Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: Jeff Berlin] #2742108 12/21/15 03:18 AM
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lug Offline
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Golf starts with a lot of cussing. grin


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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: lug] #2742134 12/21/15 09:51 AM
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Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: lug
Golf starts with a lot of cussing. grin

Well, OK. Now, THAT I understand!


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Re: The Dumbing Down of Bass Education [Re: lug] #2742250 12/21/15 06:31 PM
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Paul K Offline
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Originally Posted By: lug
Golf starts with a lot of cussing. grin


And it ends there, also.


Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.
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