Re: Thumb Position

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Posted by Rich Laird on September 28, 2000 at 16:34:28:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Position posted by Mr.Snob on September 26, 2000 at 07:57:24:

: : : Let me add that there are bassists who have studied and succeeded WITHOUT the benefit of a teacher and are NOT fools.
: : : Here's some simple advise ... if it feels good - do it! If not, seek advise, but not from some snob from Berkeley who thinks they know it all.

: : Unlike electric bass guitarists, I'm sure doublebassists who studied without a teacher
: : and succeeded are very rare and exceptional talents. The benefit of having a teacher
: : not only speeds progress, but is important to the prevention of bad habits or
: : improper technique that will lead to physical injury. I learned the hard way on both counts.
: : If calling it like it like I see it, and experienced it, makes me a snob, so be it, I'm a snob.

: To bad you never learned how to spell Berklee!!

This website is great! All kinds of terrific ideas and information...but this little debate on teachers is the best part.

Charlie Haden would be a good example of a successful bassist who purportedly is self-taught. And he's beautiful, no doubt. After years of lessons, I'd give anything to be able to play like him. But for every Charlie Haden, you have Ray Brown, Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Richard Davis, and - I'm sure - a host of others who have studied the instrument diligently.

"If it feels good" don't cut it in the music profession. Because there ain't nobody who's going to pay a cover charge or buy a ticket to watch you do whatever it is that makes you "feel good". The question is what "sounds good". And that's what a teacher is all about. His/her mission is first to be your biggest critic - to tell you the things you're not hearing - to point out when your out of tune, missing rhythms, or just not getting accross musically. Then the second mission is to make you your own biggest critic. Because one day you're going to be on your own - and it will be up to you to figure out if your getting it accross or not.

The big question I have for the people who think that just because they can play the electric bass they should be able to play the double bass is this: Other than the fact the the strings (usually) are tuned the same, what is it that they have in common? If someone can play the mandolin, do you assume they can play the violin? I really don't think many people would.

They are very different instruments. If you can play one it doesn't necessarily mean you can play the other. And if you taught your self one - it doesn't mean you can teach yourself the other. Why waste your time?

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