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Do I need a new teacher?


FunkALunk Kitty

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I have been taking lessons for about 2 months now. At first it was great. My teacher showed me some warm-ups and even a few simple tab lines to get my fingers moving on the fretboard (I was having problems getting comfortable moving up and down).

 

But on my third lesson he wanted me to write my own song. I know that to you this may seem simple but up until May 2003 I have never played an instrument. I know nothing about chords and arpeggios. I really thought that I would be learning that first. The Bassics.

 

It has gotten to where I do not enjoy sitting down and practicing anymore because I feel pressure to learn things that I don't really understand. I appreciate learning a song by tab but I want to know why that song sounds good. Why do those notes go together well? What makes a good sound?

 

And when I am at my lessons we spend more time talking about his band than anything else. I walk in and he asks if I learned whatever song he assigned. He answers any questions I have about that song. We talk about what is going on in his band and then he gives me my next song. He doesn't ask me to play the songs for him so he never sees me actually play.

 

Am I being to finicky here? I took one week for myself and didn't practice his lesson at all but spent the week working out of the two books Bass Logic and Bass Fitness and had a blast. I learned quite a bit regarding chords and song composition also.

 

So what should I do? Keep the teacher and give it more time or quit and work on my own until I find a replacement? And yes I asked him about learning the Bassics. He said it was more important to start playing first. Thanks in advance.

 

-Kitty

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He's teaching you in tablature? Yeah, I'd get a new teacher. There's a whole world of music that cannot be taught without the pains of learning rhythms, keys, scales, intervals, chords, etc.; these are not well taught in tab, if at all. also, I've never heard of a teacher making you write a song on bass. By itself, bass is a solo piece but after 2 months, such a challenge is not in the proper scope of difficulty. It's akin to writing a song on a drum kit. Bass is an accompanying instrument and should be taught as such.

I can say this. My teacher and I might spend half our lesson talking about our performing groups, but it has a relevant point in my bass education. He also talks as much as he listens.

 

Just out of curiosity, does your teacher also play guitar? Your situation sounds a lot like many of the guitar lesson experienced my friends have back in the day.

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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What a poo poo excuse for lessons. Grrr!

 

Ask him to explain the circle of fifths and why it's important. Also ask him to teach you how to sight read and give you examples to practice on. Ask him to explain chord theory and how that will help you to know what notes other than the root you can use when playing. Ask him to teach you the modes and how to use them. Ask him to show you the proper form for slap/pop playing. If he can't do these things, then he has no business taking your money and calling these get-togethers "lessons". Ticks me off.

 

I know that tab for playing Greenday songs is all some people want from their lessons, so he might be assuming that's all you want...or maybe he has nothing to teach. You can get tab off the web for free if that's all you're going to be doing.

 

Keep thumpin' that bass.

Hey you white boy there

Go play that funky music

"ok...what's it pay?"

 

first smoke, then silence

your very expensive rig

dies so gracefully

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Originally posted by matt C:

He's teaching you in tablature?

 

Just out of curiosity, does your teacher also play guitar?

Yes he is teaching in tab and yes I told him I wanted to learn how to read music. He says that all comes later.

 

No he doesn't play guitar. He plays drums and bass and can get along a guitar if he needs to but doesn't play very well.

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

-Kitty :wave:

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In the school where I supervise neo teachers, those characteristics are simply evident of a teacher who isn't well rounded with his teaching skills. He may be a good player but a lousy teacher. Sad thing is if he's only doing it for the buck.

It's a great thing to know that you had that initiative to explore on your own to substantiate the lack of learning you get from that teacher. In any learning situation your interest should come first to be guided by the teacher. I might sound pragamatic but I found it more effective with most of my students than by just being teacher-centered.

Looking for a replacement would be good but try asking people who went under the guidance of specific instructors yourself. Meanwhile, studying on your own is also a good way of building a strong foundation for further learning and a starting point for finding your identity.

Just keep on working on those chops and good teachers would soon come when necessary.

If Jaco's bass sound farts, please forgive me for doing it always!

 

ONCE A LEVITE, ALWAYS A LEVITE.

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A good teacher will push you and motivate you, and give you a good grounding in the fundamentals... this guy doesn't sound like he's doing any of that... don't dismiss a teacher just because he's tough or does things in an unorthodox manner, but at the same time, don't pay a teacher who is holding you back...

If you're responding better to studying books on your own, you won't need a teacher for awhile...

"Tea & Cake, or Death!"
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Wow...get a new teacher.

 

One...you dont enjoy learnign from him. You dont really need any other reason. If you dont enjoy it, you wont enjoy playing. If you dont enjoy playing you wont practice, if you dont practice you wont get better. Wow..that was Yoda-esque.

 

I cant imagion why a teacher would teach you tabs anyhow, the first thing I would think a good music teacher would do is teach you the notes on the bass cleff. If you cant understand notes and scales I dont see how you can move on to learn how it all fits together.

 

He doesnt even listen to you play? Are you kidding me? How can he guide you if he doesnt see what your doing?

 

Forget this guy. Get a teacher who inspires you, motivates you and listens to your concerns. If you are from the NY area I can reccomend an amazing teacher.

 

My teacher first taught me the basics (although I already had a prelimianry music background). Then he told me to bring in any music I wanted and he would teach me how to play it. Not from tabs, but from listening to it. You may have to get some less than fun things out of the way now and then to progress, but your learning process should be one in which you look forward to your next lesson, not dread it.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Pirate- Idnarb
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New teacher. Are you learning to play better by hearing about the teacher's band? That's fine (if you want to hear it) after you spend your full lesson time on notation, technique, theory, and everything else.

 

Too bad your are over 2 hours from Ed F, but I bet you'll find someone that will meet your needs.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

If you're anywhere near Phoenix, go to The Bass Place in Tempe and ask Dennis for recommendations.

Actually jeremyc that is where I bought my bass. Got it from Lee Miller. I love those guys. Wasy to talk to and always willing to answer any questions I have.

 

-Kitty :thu:

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Originally posted by FunkALunk Kitty:

Yes he is teaching in tab and yes I told him I wanted to learn how to read music. He says that all comes later.

What?!?!?!?!?

 

Reading music doesn't come later... It comes FIRST!

 

What a moron, ask for your money back then hit him in the head really hard.

"Bass isn't just for breakfast anymore..."

 

http://www.mp3.com/Addix_Metzatricity

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My own Yoda like advice.

 

There is no right or wrong way to learn or teach. There is what works and what does not. If it is not working for you I suggest a change. This does not imply that this method would not work adequately for others.

 

For what its worth what you describe would not work for me either.

 

Some teaching methods have been shown to work more consistently than others. Generally these involve little things like scales, music theory, technique, sight reading, ear training, and building repertoire.

 

I'd look for somebody else seeing as your asking these questions.

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Originally posted by FunkALunk Kitty:

 

And when I am at my lessons we spend more time talking about his band than anything else. I walk in and he asks if I learned whatever song he assigned. He answers any questions I have about that song. We talk about what is going on in his band and then he gives me my next song. He doesn't ask me to play the songs for him so he never sees me actually play.

 

Okay. I don't believe in Tab, but okay. A person could learn that way.

 

Okay. So he talks a lot. Sometimes you learn a lot from that. I do too...but I don't count it against the "lesson time" my students paid me for. But, Okay.

 

Okay. He doesn't inspire you as much as a videotape. Well..sometimes teachers complain that students expect too much "dog and pony" show. I personally believe inspiration is the hallmark of great teaching, but, okay.

 

Then you said the most telling comment of your post: "...he never actually sees me play."

 

New Teacher time. Any music teacher who doesn't hear the student perform is simply not interested in their progress, and incapable of forming cogent teaching thought.

 

So I ask, tongue-in-cheek, but a little seriously. Are you a hot babe that this guy is really interested in, uh...personally? 'Cause that's what this story sounds like to me...some guy getting some girl to pay HIM for the opportunity of chatting her up!

 

And if that is indeed the case, this is more despicable than ever.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Absolutely, Time to find a new teacher.DBB's point about the guy never listening to you play was exactly the same thing that cinched it for me when I first read your post.It is true that there are many methods of teaching and a good teacher should challenge you, sometimes push you beyond what you feel you are capable of.However,ours is the art of sound and this person is not listening!If one does not listen one cannot teach.

My teacher listened to me play from the moment the lesson began. He would occasionally pick up his bass to demonstrate something but the lesson was about improving MY playing not his. A good teacher should inspire you to want to practice and improve. Find someone who will!

Good luck to you and keep us informed.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Originally posted by basshappi:

He would occasionally pick up his bass to demonstrate something but the lesson was about improving MY playing not his.

Another thing....he plays his bass quite a bit during lessons. Mostly his own songs and never to where I could learn them. In fact when I ask him to slow his tempo so I could attempt to follow he said that he didn't want people learning his songs. His doesn't want them to steal his bass lines. :rolleyes:

 

Whatever...

 

-Kitty

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Originally posted by davebrownbass:

So I ask, tongue-in-cheek, but a little seriously. Are you a hot babe that this guy is really interested in, uh...personally? 'Cause that's what this story sounds like to me...some guy getting some girl to pay HIM for the opportunity of chatting her up!

 

And if that is indeed the case, this is more despicable than ever.

DDB..I don't think I am hard on the eyes. But he knows my fiance'. I would hope that this would not be the case. But thanks for giving me a different angle.

 

-Kitty

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Another thing....he plays his bass quite a bit during lessons. Mostly his own songs and never to where I could learn them. In fact when I ask him to slow his tempo so I could attempt to follow he said that he didn't want people learning his songs. His doesn't want them to steal his bass lines.

Whatever...

It's worse than I thought. Get out of there.
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Originally posted by davebrownbass:

Okay. I don't believe in Tab, but okay. A person could learn that way.

 

Okay. So he talks a lot. Sometimes you learn a lot from that. I do too...but I don't count it against the "lesson time" my students paid me for. But, Okay.

 

Okay. He doesn't inspire you as much as a videotape. Well..sometimes teachers complain that students expect too much "dog and pony" show. I personally believe inspiration is the hallmark of great teaching, but, okay.

 

Then you said the most telling comment of your post: "...he never actually sees me play."

 

New Teacher time.

Exactly what I thought. That guy's no teacher.
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