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Time for some professional instruction

October 3, 2012

It’s tough to get professional instruction in the upright bass. There are a sum total of no teachers available in Kern County. There are only a couple of teachers in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area. The good news about playing a somewhat unusual instrument like the double bass is that not everyone does it, so you are a little unique. The bad news is that, unlike with a violin or a guitar, professional instruction is just not available except in the biggest of metropolitan areas.

Well, let’s hope the internet comes to the rescue. I just signed up for jazz bass lessons online with the “Artist Works” company. They have a jazz bass instructor, John Patitucci. He is a professor at the world famous Berklee College of Music in Boston and has won two Grammies, so he is definitely an expert in the field. Interestingly, they also have a bluegrass bass professor on staff. The format is to review the approximately 200 lessons (currently) online, do video clips of yourself playing, and submit them for review and comment.

I have watched an hour or so of the videos today, and it is definitely different than the scheme I have been studying. His fingering system is totally different, and he is big on musical theory. It’s a little intimidating for a rank beginner like me. However, there is definitely a lot of material to review and learn from, and since I know nothing, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Also, it’s an efficient way for me to learn bass from a Berklee College professor without quitting my job and moving to Boston and spending God knows how much money.

The “Bass Campus” is only three months old, so the program is in it’s infancy. I know if I can absorb the theory behind jazz bass music, it will be a snap making up my own solos to go along with others jamming.


From → My music

  1. Georgann Greene permalink

    Sounds interesting. Keep us posted on your progress. I am quite surprised to hear you cannot find a teacher in town. There are several bass players with the symphony. Surely one of them is available for lessons. Learning correct form is essential when beginning an instrument. Constant feed back is important in getting the basics established. Try contacting the symphony for referrals if you would prefer personal instruction.
    Love, Mom

  2. Donald Greene permalink

    Good luck with learning to play the bass. You certainly love a challenge! I cannot believe that no one teaches bass in Kern County. Where have you enquired?

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