Bass Lessons

Learn songs and let them guide you.... 

Learn songs and let them guide you.... 

I just finished a really awesome lesson with an older student of mine and we had a conversation that really reinforced some things that I believe strongly when it comes to practice and what we should be practicing. One area in particular. 

Now, I have gone through various phases of practice ideologies and schools of thought about practicing and I've wasted a *&^$ ton of time practicing things that didn't matter.  What follows in this post is what I have settled on that works best for me and, honestly most people. Particularly people of a “certain age “who are not teenagers who have mountains of time to dedicate to practicing or learning how to practice. I

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Your music teacher isn't responsible for how well you play.

Your music teacher isn't "responsible" for your progress. You are.

Let me explain.

Good music teachers are responsible for giving you accurate academic information and, when appropriate, stylistic suggestions.

"You", the student, have to practice as prescribed by your teacher, listen to the music that you want to be able play and use what your learn in your lessons as a springboard for further exploration.

I have often told students that I am here to "crack open the door to an extremely large room. You are free to explore any part of it but you've got to walk around." 

I met a guy last year or so who complained incessantly about how bad every teacher he had had was. He was also a guy that found it hard to practice even the smallest things from week to week and one day he got upset with me when I tried to explain to him why he might not be grasping a particular concept. All I could do is throw my hands up and say "I don't think this is gonna work out ". But I was really thinking was "bro, maybe it's not them… It's you." But of course I don't think that would've gone over that well. My whole point is that the student has to be willing to be in charge learning and growth when the teacher isn't around. 

Random thoughts on teaching music.


How to Play "I'll Take You There" by the Staples Singers.

This iconic ostinato is, well, obstinate! It's all keeping time and being the glue that holds it together. Of course, that's a huge part of our role as bassists anyway but this groove has no room for fills or derivation. It is what it is.

There is, of course a little "bass solo" , if you will, to break it up a bit but concentrate on time and consistency. It's not as easy as it sounds.

I've done something a little different -at least for my videos - and added my entire isolated play along after the play along with the track so that you can see and hear more clearly what I'm doing.

I'd be interested in hearing if that makes a difference for you.

How to play "Getaway" by Earth With and Fire

Greetings fellow low end lovers! In this video lesson I'm going to show you how to play "Getaway" by Earth Wind and Fire. I'm giving particular focus to the pentatonic lick in the intro.

If this is something you dig go on and give it a "thumbs up", share with some friends or leave me a comment or question.

Is there a tune that's giving you particular trouble? Let me know. Maybe I can help!