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lightbulb moment: the other side of the fence

Michele C.

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Yesterday we played at a party, friends of guitarist #1. There was an other band, with the guy hosting the party on drums.

The other band were beginners with moments of originality and a lot to study, while we offered a set that we absolutely have under our fingertips.

At the end of the evening, the other bassist made appreciative remarks on my style and technique and asked me if I was giving lessons.

That was a lightbulb moment: I have been thinking only of lessons I could attend until now.

Then I realized: :eek: oh my, someone sees me on the other side of the fence. Than I thought it could be.

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
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At least when I was younger the music store seemed to only require that their instructors were gigging musicians. They taught:

  • basic technique
  • reading standard notation
  • basic patterns/structures (boogie woogie/12-bar blues)
  • chord symbols/charts
  • basic improvisation
  • a popular song or two

At least, this is what I remember.


Since I already knew how to read from being in the school band (trombone), and knew chord symbols from playing guitar, that didn't leave a lot of "meat" for my instructors to teach me. My last music store instructor -- a gigging musician -- told me she didn't have anything left to teach me; that I was pretty much ready to go out and gig myself. I was 12.


Well, there was still quite a bit I could learn. Even after a bunch of DIY woodshedding, I found out just how much I didn't know when I took lessons from a university jazz bass professor (at 21).


So, my point is this: I don't think it's absolutely necessary to know everything there is to know about bass and music to be a bass instructor. Think of it like the teaching assistants (grad students) that teach basics to undergrads while taking grad classes from the professors.


However, don't overestimate yourself, either. Propogating your bad habits and shortcomings, if any, to your students would be a great disservice to them and give bass instructors in general a bad name at the same time. Get checked out by one of the guys you want to take lessons from and see what they have to say, just to be safe.


Even with all that, if this guy wants to take lessons from you, why not? Obviously he thinks he could learn something from you, and is willing to pay you for your efforts. If you run out of things to teach him by week 3, so be it. If you end up instructing him for a long time, even better.


Perhaps other instructors here (Jeremy comes to mind) can offer their wisdom on the matter.

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Originally posted by BargeOn:

Teaching teaches the teacher.

You'll probaby both benefit.

+1 (or really +4)


Short and to the point, and suprisingly one of the discusions (and conclusions) we had at the LondonLowDown get together Thursday night.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin


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