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So... I'm teaching at a school now!!!


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AAAAHH!!

 

I am now officially the intermediate/advanced bass instructor at Rock School here in Seattle. I'm both excited and terrified by this.

 

I've never taught before. I thought maybe they would want me as a helper/consultant/beginning teacher. Nope. They want me to teach the advanced class.

 

Hell and damnation.

 

I want more than anything to teach these kids about music. How to read music, about different styles of music, how to play with your $*!@ing drummer ( :D )... But I've never taught before. I do NOT want to waste anyone's time. I want to motivate. I want them to be excited about learning and practicing. I just don't know how to do this. I have a lot of ideas. I definitely will be encouraging them to play the music that they like and I'll gladly transcribe for them. This is not a problem.

 

The problem lies in motivation. When I started taking lessons, I was HUGELY self motivated to practice; and practice my stupid ass off. I sacrificed many things to sit at home and practice my bass so I could be ready for my lesson the next week with my uber-badass bass instructor. I simply did not want to let him down. I did not want to ever show up for my lesson and have to say, "no Teacher, I'm sorry, I didn't learn that". I would have been crushed to say that to him and even more so knowing that he may (or may not) have been disappointed in me. Disappointed that I didn't put forth the effort to work on, and learn what it was that he had put before me the week before.

 

Jer, Dave? All you other way hip, super-fly bass teachers? What do you do to motivate? I spoke with my father this evening at great length. My father is a music teacher and has been for 30 years now. I also spoke with a close friend of mine who is a high school band director; a guy that I went through college together with. I've had some assurance that my ideas and approach to teaching these kids is on the mark. I really want you guys input too. Both student and teacher alike.

 

I am extremely passionate about music. I really want to pass that feeling along, or inspire that type of approach to music in the kids that I'm working with.

 

What works for you?

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

AAAAHH!!

 

I am now officially the intermediate/advanced bass instructor at Rock School here in Seattle. I'm both excited and terrified by this.

 

We, too, are both excited and terrified for the young people who will fall under your influence! :D

 

Congratulations! Sounds like a cool gig. They've even already got your name on the website as one of the bass instructors, even if they don't have your bio up.

 

Here are some tips that may contribute to "motivation":

*Let your own passion and enthusiasm for music shine thru. This will help you motivate your students.

 

*Be sure to recognize and reward (even if it's just sincere verbal praise) a student whenever he or she meets a musical challenge or overcomes a hurdle that was holding them back. This will be encouraging to the student.

 

*Learn your students names as quickly as you can -- the first class even. When I was teaching (not music, mind you), my connection with my students was always started on "the good foot" by working hard at learning their names right off the bat. It shows you care, and that, my friend, is a motivator.

 

Good luck, mang! Certainly excellent news!

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Bump, if your attitude about this is any indication, I think you're going to do just fine.

 

It is weird. A band teacher friend of mine had me come in to teach her class about how to play a swing groove properly (they were playing "In The Mood" way too straight for a bunch of kids from the Bronx!!!), and it was intimidating as hell at first...I was like: "What the hell can I teach these kids???"

 

My good buddy Mark Portugal just became a high school band teacher. He's loving the prospect of being able to practice a whole lot during the summers and still make a livable wage.

 

Jeremy and Dave, extoll your wisdom.

 

Congrats, Bump! :thu:

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I think Willie's advice is right on. My first thought when reading about your new opportunity was that your biggest asset is your enthusiasm.

 

Remember that many of these students will come with a different set of motivation factors than you had as a grasshopper. Their commitment may vary (some more than you had, some less), but their driving rationale may be different. And that's OK. You don't even have to understand it - just provide what you have to give.

 

I guess it should have been you in the new movie instead of Jack Black. Having seen some performance movies, I'd go to see you...

 

Congrats - I'm sure you'll do great !! :thu:

 

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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Congratulations Bump, I'm sure you will do well with your new career :) . Like stated above, the attitude of the teacher has a great effect on the students' motivation, and you seem to have that one well covered.

 

I don't know if these will help, but I'll list some things that helped me while I still studied bass playing (with a teacher that is):

 

I had a great teacher back when I was still enlisted in the music institute, he wasn't that old, a solid and nice guy, so it was quite easy to pick him as a role model for my own playing (not to mention the fact that he looked a bit like Bruce Dickinson! :D ). Few things that stand out clearly as good stuff from those days was when we played together; he sometimes played the piano, or just chords with his bass while I took care of the actual bassline (we played mostly jazz standards and latin stuff). Bassically (uh hu hu huh that's funny Beavis) this allowed me to apply the stuff I learnt solo in a "real band situation" even if it was just the two of us, making it 100x more exciting than just playing the basslines all by myself. Also learning some songs and playing them with a cassette or CD worked really well.

 

Another huge motivator for me was the opportunity to play with some guitar students (roughly of the same experience level) to finish off their weekly lessons. There were always two guitarists per lesson, and I played with two of such pairs. We played some simple yet groovy stuff like Jimi's songs with the first pair and more advanced stuff like Corea's Spain or Rodgers' My Funny Valentine or Dorham's Blue Bossa with the other 2 Van Halens. It was great!

 

Hope this helped, good luck! :thu:

 

-Pernax

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You will find students who do not practice.

 

I try to let my natural enthusiasm for all things bass motivate them.

 

In private lessons, students do not see how quickly other people learn. If you have group lessons, this will give them some motivation to keep up.

 

It sounds like you've got some good ideas of your own...just go with them.

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Congrats! Sounds like a great opportunity, for you & for them.

 

As everyone has noticed, it sounds like you're in the right mental space for it, & that's half the game. You obviously know what it takes to be a solid, reliable, and original working bassist, so there are no worries there at all; I hope they realize how lucky they are.

 

Thing is, a lot of them won't. Some of them will be wasting your time & theirs. This can really sap your enthusiasm. Forewarned is fair armed.

 

One thing that follows from that is that you shouldn't over-prepare. Don't take too much material at once. The first day teaching, I prepared all this stuff, and we ended spending the whole period on the first basic concept, which I thought was a total no-brainer, but which they really had a hard time accepting & dealing with. After a while, you'll figure out what you can cover quickly & what you'll have to budget a lot of time for. So prepare to get used to that. Be flexible.

 

Also, prepare to be surprised about what might count as "advanced." I'm in a totally different field, but I often have students in "advanced" courses who really should be back in beginning/introductory courses (& might even struggle if they were). After not too long, you'll know about what level to expect in each class. It will not be at the level to which YOU are accustomed to working. Once you've got things "calibrated," you won't find huge variance from term to term, although there are rare exceptions (these are classes you still look back on 5 years later).

 

As folks have said, the best way to keep students motivated is to be enthused & motivated yourself, & let them catch that. Beyond that, you'd have to play entertainer. People have different views about that. Obviously you should let your personality show, & hopefully that's entertaining. But beyond that, I'm not J. P. Patches, dammit. If enthusiasm, creativity, & good work applied to interesting material isn't enough to keep someone's head in the class, that's down to them. Mind you, at the college level it's easier to take this attitude ("If you don't want to be here, then sod off"), so I can't tell you a lot of the tricks that school teachers would know. But keep in mind that you're not making your students be there either. They came to YOU.

 

And that gives you a bit of liberty. It allows you to focus on the ones that have their head in the game, & the ones that will put their head into it with a little nudge. Don't focus on the ones who are wasting your time; they're going to waste it anyway, so let them. (I don't mean students who are less talented; I mean the ones who just can't be bothered with what you're trying to teach them. I've had students who are only modestly talented, but are so dedicated & deep into it that their enthusiasm infects ME!) Maybe this sounds harsh, but when you've got lots of priorities to juggle & you're in it year after year, you find that the thing you've got to preserve the most is your energy & your morale. The time-wasters are the ones that can burn you out & bum you out, & you can't afford that; it's not fair to you or the other students to let yourself get burned out. Stay fresh by keeping your focus where it's going to be productive & positive.

 

Rock on.

 

PS I lived in Kirkland (& then Bellevue, bleh) for a few years in the 80s. And I guess that's all there is to say about it. :D (For fun, we always headed to the OTHER side of the lake!) (Also lived in Tacoma, Federal Way, & Eatonville/Graham. My wife grew up in Lake Forest Park, & now her family is in Monroe & Snohomish. In case you were wondering. Does this mean we're homies? ;) If you got the J. P. Patches reference, it does!!)

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Hi Bump,

Congratulations! My suggestions from my experience as a public school music teacher is to always keep systematic lesson sequencing in mind when you develop a lesson plan.

 

Always be thinking very concretely of the skills sequence that your student(s) will need to accomplish for the next 3 concepts/lessons.

(IF they practice!) Most of this is obvious and you'll find it natural to do this. You don't have to have it all figured out for the first lesson, but by the second one it's a good idea to have a folder for each individual student that applies to their needs. That way you'll be able to remember where everyone is at when their lesson comes around again. Example: Todd:

open string name recognition followed by cross string playing, followed by arpeggiation, followed by scalar playing, etc. Sally: (Who is more experienced: Chord substitution followed by scales that would apply to those substitutions, etc.

 

I also recommend finding instructional books from your own collection that you can use with your students at various skill levels. It's a lot of work reinventing the wheel if you already can make use of what you know and have in your possesion. Best yet, if you can find an entire series in the music store that you like and feel is hip enough, that's the easiest/best thing.

 

As far as motivation goes, the truly motivated practicers like yourself are unfortunately going to be in the minority.

I always found a short listening (to recordings) assignment to be a great motivator and a roadmap for the student to see where the technique you two are working on will take them! It's important for the student to know WHY they're working so hard on often boring excersises and where they are headed. "OH! That's what it'll sound like or that's what it'll do for the band if I learn this!"

 

I've had lessons with teachers who just have me play for the first lesson so that they can see "where I'm at" and go from there. That's fine BUT be sure that you have some written lesson material to work on once that first five minute listen is over otherwise it can turn into just another jam!

 

Lastly, it's important to remember that everyone has a different learning style/method.

Some learn fastest by ear, others by sight.

Some will respond and advance fastest by your oral explanations while others will require you to write out spur of the moment diagrams, etc. It's best if you can tailor your lesson folders to each individual student's learning style.

 

It's great that your Dad is available to advise you if you feel stuck or what you can try next with a confused student. Just relax. It'll all come naturally after a week or two. You will require a lot of patience, secret eye rolling, etc.

Some people are natural teachers who love to share what they know and help others to grow but if you find that you'd rather just play and not teach, later, that's ok too. Different strokes for different folks. Hope you find it enjoyable.

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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Yep...your personal magic will be the strongest motivator.

 

Remember, the students will want to know a bit of the measure of your success. They will want you to play, a bit.

 

One of the hardest things to remember is that it's not about you...but them. You celebrate and share in their success. Then you fade away and let them shine.

 

Have a plan; rigid enough to have structure, flexible enough to recognize individual desires. Emphasize reading, theory, all you know to be important. But allow them to direct a bit of their own instruction.

 

Remember the cyclic pattern of learning....

 

1. Deliver new information

2. Student practices to absorb

3. You test...

4. Redeliver original information or move to the next step.

 

Make lessons about several things rather than one thing. I generally spend a bit of each lesson on some LH technique, another bit on RH technique, another on theory and bass line construction, a bit on performance. Toss in some personal experience.

 

Always praise success, but never castigate failure. Remember, any accomplishment, no matter how tiny, is the spark that is to be fanned. A single negative word or suggestion of "you're not good enough" will extinguish that spark.

 

There is no such thing as talent.

 

Okay, that's not exactly true. But you should always teach with the belief that your student will succeed, and that success does NOT depend on native ability but on their work ethic.

 

Have fun. Laugh and cry. Remember: in a music studio, students trust you enough to expose their strongest insecurities to you. This means that you and they will grow extremely close...maybe uncomfortably so. Deal with it. You are in charge.

 

And remember, tomorrow's another day.

"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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Hi Bump!

 

I want to go to Rock School and I want you to be my teacher! :cry: )

 

What you have expressed as your goals are awesome! I feel motivated to be a better bass player just reading your post!

 

The only info I can offer is from a students' perspective. I've been taking private lessons for about 3 years now. First on acoustic guitar and then on bass.

 

Since I've been in a band most of the time, my lessons have mostly consisted of me bringing in the songs that I needed to learn, and he tabs them out for me and shows me how to play them. It's worked out quite nicely, and this is why...

 

during this process, he is able to throw in some theory. Pertinant theory. And often because I ask stuff like, "I've heard about a pentatonic scale... could that help me in bass?"

 

He's explained things like the "blue note" in the scale, and lots of chord theory. And he's taught me how to try playing the riffs in different positions to make them more efficient to play, although he always encourages me to play the lowest notes when at all possible, which I like to do.

 

He also gives me nice basic bass riffs, and then will show me some fancier ways to play them if I am up to it.

 

My suggestion would be to give them a project to learn, and during that process, you'll get to explain some technique and some theory. I checked out the web site, and it seems as though they are going to get opportunities to perform in public and record. Maybe you can tie your lessons into some practical real-world performance that they need to study for.

 

Also, I would really like my teacher to "test me" on what I am learning. I know it is boring, but I want him to watch me play what it is that I am supposed to be learning, especially regarding theory.

 

Even stuff like this would help... he could call out a note and I could play it. It took me forever to learn where my notes are, and I still only really know up to the 7th fret and on only on the EAD strings. (Since you are going to be teaching advanced bass, knowing where all the notes are has probably been covered... but maybe not!)

 

I am going to ask him to do this at my lesson tomorrow.

 

Best of luck to you, you are going to do GREAT! :thu:

 

... connie z

 

P.S. Please let us know how it goes.

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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Hey Bump,

 

I don't know very much at all about music, but I'm a pretty good teacher. I think that good teaching features certain elements that transcend subects. In my experience, I find that students eventually respond favaorably to the following efforts on my part:

 

(1) I'm enthusistic about my subject area. I truly think it is fascinating, interesting, and worth studying.

 

(2) I treat my students in a friendly and respectful manner. I go out of my way to avoid picking on or embarassing any students. I also make an effort to learn my students' names quickly.

 

(3) I work hard to be organized. Some claim that teaching is 80% effectively organized management (of presentation material, grade data, examinations, etc.).

 

(4) I'm genuine with my students. I talk about my real life at the grocery store, going to the dentist, ironing my shirts for work, etc. I let my students know when I'm tired, excited about a topic, angry about a parking ticket, or over-caffeinated. They seem to respond much better to a PERSON than a teacher.

 

(5) Humor. Man, you've got to be able to toss out a joke every 10-15 minutes. I find that even making fun of my own mistakes is effective.

 

(6) I work hard at this job. Students really can tell if you're making an effort and are much more likely to work hard themselves when they see this.

 

Good luck and have fun!

 

Martin

C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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I know this suggestion will be difficult and selfish, but I'd love a running diary of your experience teaching (a la CMDN band stories). Your successes and almost-successes would be interesting reading for bassists and teachers alike.

 

Originally posted by MartinJ:

(5) Humor. Man, you've got to be able to toss out a joke every 10-15 minutes. I find that even making fun of my own mistakes is effective.

Hmmmm..... maybe I should consider a career change :eek:

 

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 Tom Capasso:

...

Originally posted by MartinJ:

(5) Humor. Man, you've got to be able to toss out a joke every 10-15 minutes. I find that even making fun of my own mistakes is effective.

Hmmmm..... maybe I should consider a career change :eek:

 

Tom

Tom,

 

Maybe this only applies to the teaching of Chemistry. :)

 

Martin

C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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If I may throw in my two cents......The one thing that motivated me to practice the most was knowing how good my teacher was. The first day he let me know he was a certified bad ass with a few choice licks and some other tasty chops. It gave me someone to look up to and aspire to be like. He knew everything I wanted to know. He knew all about jazz, funk, and R&B and how to make it work theoreticaly. Plus, he was a bad martha focken player with flawless form. Sadly, he never taught me how to read or write music. He did, however, teach me tons of theory that applies to bass playing (chord structures, progressions, time signatures, leading and passing tones, ect.) This kept it fun and interesting. I still strugle with reading but write out the changes and you've got yourself a bass player right here.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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Thanks all for the encouraging comments and advice! I really appreciate the input from all you nutty kids.

 

A few things:

 

I have taught before, just not bass/music. I teach classes on my subject matter for work quite a bit. I'm a ninja with Microsoft Server Clusters. Huttah!!! ;) The things that I've picked up along the way teaching these classes definitely apply here. Keeping things upbeat, recognizing any sort of improvement, staying away from negative side of things, lot's of (bad) humor, etc.

 

I was planning on doing some "showing off" the first day with them in an attempt to get their attention. Not a lot, just a bit... I'm definitely going to whip out "Teen Town" on 'em. As I recall, this was one of the things that inspired me so much when I took lessons; my teacher executed some bad-ass stuff while showing me a few things during our first lesson. I walked away from that lesson knowing he was an ultimate badass. I actually was noodling around a bit this last week when I was discussing stuff with the beginning bass teacher. I showed him some of the middle of 'Portrait of Tracy' and a few Tower of Power songs. Whilst I was playig for him, I was watching the students out of the corner of my eye and several of them had stopped what they were doing and were suddenly paying attention to what I was playing. I thought that was somewhat encouraging.

 

A running diary... hmmm... hadn't thought about that. I think that could be done. I've only got them once a week, so it's not like it would be too terribly time consuming. I'll be changing the names to protect the innocent, well, except mine... and I'm hardly innocent.

 

Oh, and Connie, one of the first things I asked them last week was about familiarity with the fretboard. None of my kids know it past about the 5th fret. This is going to be a first quarter goal for all of them, to learn the entire fretboard. Even if you can't read music, you should at least be able to play a "G" if someone asks for it.

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Speaking of Rock School, everyone should go see "School of Rock" with Jack Black. It had me and my musician friends rolling all over the sticky theatre floor at points.

 

"OK, maybe I'm not a licensed teacher. But your kids touched me. And I'm pretty sure I touched them, too."

All your bass are belong to us!
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Alright. You asked for it. These may ramble for friggin ever or they may be really short. I'm not really sure how much I'll have to say from week to week. But here it goes.

 

Rock School - week 1

 

So last week at orientation, there were 5 bass students that showed up. Officially there were 6 students, one of which they knew couldn't make it to orientation. No big deal. I got a chance to talk with everyone last week, as some general questions about where they were at, etc. It was determined that 3 of the students were int/adv and the others would be in the beginning class.

 

Now, my initial thought of what int/adv would be was something basically like this: You know the fretboard, you can read music in one clef (preferably bass), and you have a very basic grasp of theory. I was expecting that they would know at the very least major and minor scales and some very simple chord structure.

 

Not the case.

 

One of the two students, we'll call him 'Johnny', was "sort of familiar" with the notes on the fretboard, but he couldn't play me all the E naturals if I asked him to. Johnny also knows how to read bass clef, but he admits he's not the best at sight reading. OK, no sweat, he's promising and has a decent enough foundation.

 

Mind you, as a quick side, Mixerman-type names for all the students are tempting; but somehow very unappropriate. I will not be going that route. Back to our story.

 

'Jane' is student number two wasn't really so hip to the fretboard and she can "sort of" read treble clef. Hmmm.

 

Skip to today (jeez jackass, get to it already)

 

I show up expecting 3 students, Johnny, Jane, and some other guy that I haven't met. Johnny was the only one that showed. Jane is totally MIA and the thrid guy that I never met apparently was only taking bass as a second instrument and was no longer interested in taking bass. Bummer. I'll try to convert him to the dark side...err.. the low end yet, dammit.

 

I had completely arranged my initial lesson plan on having more than one person. So we could have group discussions, talk about goals as a group, as well as individually, etc. So Johnny wound up getting an hour and a half of 1:1 before I ran out of stuff to do with him. I was already presenting WAY too much information at once, and if I kept going, it was going to turn into a ridiculous amount of information. There is a fine line between stupid and clever you know.

 

It turns out that Johnny really wants to learn how to play 3-chord blues walking bass lines. This is excellent news, since this was a basic concept that I was going to encourage as a first goal. It incorperates the basic theory that I had in mind to teach them, it opens them up to the ability to just jam with a drummer forever on blues changes, and it will allow them to see immediate results on learning the fretboard; it sort of helps to know what notes you're playing when walking a line instead of just sticking to patterns. Also, Johnny has already had some lessons on this very topic, so he has a rough idea of how it all works already. So, "yay!", I thought.

 

I gave Johnny a CD that I made of a bunch of extremely random music that has interesting bass parts and/or really good players. I asked him to give it a listen and let me know what he thought at the next lesson. The CD consisted of, in this play order (hold onto something solid):

 

song - artist - album

 

Portrait of Tracy - Jaco - Jaco

Teen Town - Weather Report - Heavy Weather

Soul Man (live) - Blues Brothers - Briefcase Full of Blues

Stomping Grounds (live) - Bela Fleck & the Flecktones - Greatest Hits of the 20th Century

What is Hip? - Tower of Power - Tower of Power

Echidna's Arf (of you) - Zappa - Zappa's Universe

Shining Star - Earth Wind and Fire - That's the Way of the World

Ramble On - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

Battery - Metallica - Master of Puppets (or 'Pastor of Muppets', as I like to call it)

Killer Queen - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack

Circumstances - Rush - Hemispheres

Jerry Was a Racecar Driver - Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese (Steamy!!)

Boogie On Reggae Woman - Stevie Wonder - Song Review: Greatest Hits (so I don't have the original album, kill me)

Substitute - The Who - Live at Leeds

Squib Cakes - Tower of Power - Back to Oakland

Roundabout - Yes - Fragile

 

16 luscious cuts of wonderful mayhem. The 'Ramble On', 'Battery', 'Killer Queen' part just kills me every time I listen to this song list.

 

Johnny's homework for the week consists of:

 

* working on learning all the notes on all four strings for the first five frets

 

* practicing blues in F and G

 

* some basic chromatic warm-up excercises

 

* keeping his left hand thumb behind the neck where it belongs instead of wrapping it around the top of the neck like some g**tar player

 

He seems excited about working on the stuff and seems like a motivated kinda guy. I talked with him about listening to the CD I gave him and really paying attention to what the bassists are doing, and how they are playing with the drummer. We listened to 'Soul Man' and I was explaining to him the uber-hipness of the phatty groove in that song. He could dig what I was saying, I could tell he dug it; this was encouraging. We also listened to parts of 'Portrait of Tracy', 'What is Hip', and 'Squib Cakes'.

 

I spend about 10 minutes just playing some stuff for Johnny. Some of the warm-up stuff that I use, played little bits of the stuff that we listened to from the CD. I also showed him 'The Chicken', which is roughly-sort-of based on basic blues changes. He really seemed to dig The Chicken. I'll be transcribing that for him.

 

So, lesson is over, I'm getting ready to leave. Johnny has met up with his friends and has gone.

 

Then, in walks New Guy with one of the people who runs the school. I am informed that New Guy, we'll call him 'Skippy', is going to be in the advanced bass class. Neat! I now have at least 2 students, and possibly 3 if Jane decides to show up. I stick around and rap with Skippy for a while. Skippy is a typical 18-ish year old. He is insanely confident that he is 'The Shit' and knows all there is to know. He informs me that he knows the fretboard inside and out, knows all his basic scales (rambles off ionian, mixolydian, dorian, locrian, etc...). Skippy informs me that he really wants to get into the more 'out there' modes, I suggest 'super locrian' and he starts to froth at the mouth with excitement. He is interested in learning more about double-thumping, two hand tapping, and various other solo bassist techniques that I am just short of worthless at doing.

 

I hand him a copy of the CD that I gave to Johnny and he knows most of the artists that are on it. He is hip to Jaco, where Johnny had no clue who Jaco was. I inform him that if there is anything on the CD that he'd like to work on learning, that we could definately make that happen. Thankfully, I already know how to play all the songs on the list, with the exception of 'Stomping Grounds'; and I'm fairly certain I have sheet music for that somewhere.

 

So, jeez, where does that leave us? Both of them have some stuff to work on. I'm picking up the 'All Blues' Abersold for Johnny to start working with this week. I'm going to make Skippy play for me next week so I can figure out where he's really at and we'll move on from there. Skippy may turn into a handful for me. I'm certainly going to have to spend some time with my theory books again between now and next week. I just don't use the stuff that he's interested in on a regular basis, it's not what I'm into playing and the gigs that I get never require me to know how to solo in Ab lydian minor.

 

This is quickly becoming a huge kick in the ass for me to stop being a slack-ass and re-learn all the theory that I just don't think about anymore. Weeee. Onwards and upwards.

 

Time to unwind and spend some quality time with the sheet music that His Hipness Sweet & Low gave a link to today. "Birds of Fire" is calling my name... so is "Eternity's Breath", because I'm a sucker for any piece of music that has a tempo marking of 'as fast as possible'.

 

Edit: For anyone who survived through all that stuff. Currently, cycling about the rumor mill in LA, Yogi & Half Zaftig will be sharing a bill with the Mike Keneally Band and Spock's Beard at a currently unknown location in California sometime in February. NOTHING is set in stone yet. More details as this thing actually comes to happen... if it happens. That is all.

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Thanks for the report. Very interesting.

 

You have fewer students than I had expected. Is the Rock School a relatively young school, or is it really a small program overall?

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

...and the third guy that I never met apparently was only taking bass as a second instrument and was no longer interested in taking bass. Bummer. I'll try to convert him to the dark side...err.. the low end yet, dammit.

:D

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

I had completely arranged my initial lesson plan on having more than one person. ...So Johnny wound up getting an hour and a half of 1:1 before I ran out of stuff to do with him. I was already presenting WAY too much information at once, and if I kept going, it was going to turn into a ridiculous amount of information. There is a fine line between stupid and clever you know.

Nice recognition on your part, and congrats for adapting to the unexpected. You should expect the unexpected at every single class!

 

By the way, I walk that fine line every day. Some days I manage to stay on the "clever side" better than others. :(

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

It turns out that Johnny really wants to learn how to play 3-chord blues walking bass lines. This is excellent news, since this was a basic concept that I was going to encourage as a first goal. ... So, "yay!", I thought.

I'll second that "yay!" :thu:

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

I gave Johnny a CD that I made of a bunch of extremely random music that has interesting bass parts and/or really good players. ...16 luscious cuts of wonderful mayhem. The 'Ramble On', 'Battery', 'Killer Queen' part just kills me every time I listen to this song list.

You know that posting that list would raise some criticism. So, while it is definitely an admirable list -- and I mean that most sincerely, I was definitely searching for some P-Funk and JB. What can I say? What's a list of bass-worthiness without some P-Funk or James Brown? Time for the mothership connection -- hit me! :D

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

He seems excited about working on the stuff and seems like a motivated kinda guy. I talked with him about listening to the CD I gave him and really paying attention to what the bassists are doing, and how they are playing with the drummer. We listened to 'Soul Man' and I was explaining to him the uber-hipness of the phatty groove in that song. He could dig what I was saying, I could tell he dug it; this was encouraging. We also listened to parts of 'Portrait of Tracy', 'What is Hip', and 'Squib Cakes'.

I think this is encouraging, too. Teaching how to listen is really important in my opinion.

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

...I also showed him 'The Chicken', which is roughly-sort-of based on basic blues changes. He really seemed to dig The Chicken. I'll be transcribing that for him.

Good call.

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

I'm going to make Skippy play for me next week so I can figure out where he's really at and we'll move on from there. Skippy may turn into a handful for me. I'm certainly going to have to spend some time with my theory books again between now and next week. I just don't use the stuff that he's interested in on a regular basis, it's not what I'm into playing and the gigs that I get never require me to know how to solo in Ab lydian minor.

 

This is quickly becoming a huge kick in the ass for me to stop being a slack-ass and re-learn all the theory that I just don't think about anymore. Weeee. Onwards and upwards.

Skippy may really be a handful. Or he might be talkin' loud and sayin' nuthin' (or playin' nuthin'). Either way, he's probably more advanced than Johnny, and that'll challenge you to meet the needs of students at different levels. A good challenge, and thankfully one you face with only a couple of students rather than a class of 24-30!

 

Teaching anything always forces you to learn it better. No doubt!

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Time to unwind and spend some quality time with the sheet music that His Hipness Sweet & Low gave a link to today. "Birds of Fire" is calling my name... so is "Eternity's Breath", because I'm a sucker for any piece of music that has a tempo marking of 'as fast as possible'.

Look, mang, I aim to please. We anxiously await to hear you play some Mahavishnu orchestrations arranged for solo bass. What's that? You don't think you can do it? Simultaneously slap Billy Cobham's drum parts, play Rick Laird's bass parts fingerstyle, and two hand tap the violin and guitar harmonies? I'll cut you some slack on Jan Hammer's keyboard parts. :D

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Currently, cycling about the rumor mill in LA, Yogi & Half Zaftig will be sharing a bill with the Mike Keneally Band and Spock's Beard at a currently unknown location in California sometime in February. NOTHING is set in stone yet.

Cool.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Yep. Great start.

 

And the relatively disorganized and disinterested student population is typical, and what I'd expect. I'll bet it starts that way at Berklee (But I'll bet it doesn't last long there!)

 

You exhibited the one primary trait that a great teacher possesses: adaptability.

 

That'll take you a long way.

 

Great start!

"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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Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

Thanks for the report. Very interesting.

 

You have fewer students than I had expected. Is the Rock School a relatively young school, or is it really a small program overall?

Ain't no thang!

 

Yes, the school/program is still very new. I believe this is only their third year. There are of course a gaggle of guitarists (~25 of them).

 

Oh yes, and the P-funk and JB stuff is going to be on Bass Class disc 2: In Search of the Almighty Groove.

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Originally promised by Bumpcity:

Oh yes, and the P-funk and JB stuff is going to be on Bass Class disc 2: In Search of the Almighty Groove.

Whew! What a relief! I can rest easy now that I know you will be sure that your students will learn to tear the roof off the mutha sucka!

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Oh, and Connie, one of the first things I asked them last week was about familiarity with the fretboard. None of my kids know it past about the 5th fret. This is going to be a first quarter goal for all of them, to learn the entire fretboard. Even if you can't read music, you should at least be able to play a "G" if someone asks for it.

The WHOLE fretboard!!!! You are a mean and relentless teacher! :mad::D:D:D

 

Now I guess I'll have to learn the whole fretboard. Damnit.

 

... connie z :thu:

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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