Re: Thumb Position

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Posted by quadrau on October 21, 2000 at 21:56:40:

In Reply to: Re: Thumb Position posted by Rich Laird on September 28, 2000 at 16:34:28:

: :
: : : : 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?

i realize this is an old post but i would like to comment on all the drama. I agree with both parties, i think teachers are great and i also think that you can learn a lot on your own. I think music would be a lot more interesting if everyone was locked in a room with their instrument for their whole life and not aloud to hear other music. Then it would always be totally original. This however is not the case. As far as playing "what feels good," yes this is what it is about. To say it is not and to say it is about what it sounds like to the audience is a very non rewarding reason to play. I mean I play music for myself and I play what feels good and what sounds good to me and frankly I don't give a #&*( what anyone else thinks. And yes i may never be a millionaire, but I make a living, am comfortable and am happy. This is what is important to me and also what makes music change. It is what makes art reinvent itself over and over, evolving and revolving throughout the past thousands of years. I think you will never be a genius by playing what people want to hear. You will only be a genious by playing what people have never heard. This is all I have to say. I hope it is read and if I spelled something wrong eat me.

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