Bass Guitar/Guitar Frequent Asked Questions FAQs
Submitted By Madison Smith
What do you like about bass guitar and guitar? (Character, colour, tonality, history)
I have always had a love of the bass guitar and guitar. Although both instruments look very similar, there are a number of massive differences in how both instruments function in an ensemble and how they sound. The bass guitar has a much darker colour to it due to its low pitch tuning and is responsible for laying the sonic groundwork in a song, but can also be used as a beautiful melodic instrument. The guitar is tuned much higher and is generally a much brighter instrument which has a lot more of a in your face usage in an ensemble. I love having the ability to perform both instruments in a number of different musical contexts!
What is your guitar teaching philosophy? How do you make guitar lessons fun?
Every music teacher has different techniques and philosophies to teaching an instrument. My philosophy involves the idea that not all students and musicians learn the same way. What might work for some students may bear no results for another. With this in mind I approach lessons and lesson plans with the individual student in mind to best cater for what they need to develop as a musician!
I always want the students to find satisfaction in their own creative practice by learning new music that interests them, as opposed to just working from a method book. To achieve this I take into consideration the musical tastes of the individual students and bring in pieces of music or songs that will appeal to them, and to see the benefits of their practice very quickly and consistently throughout their musical journey.
Are bass guitar and guitar lessons necessary? Do bass guitar and guitar lessons help? Are bass guitar and guitar lessons worth it? Do bass guitar and guitar work? Why take bass guitar and guitar lessons?”
The question of whether or not bass and guitar lessons are necessary is a very nuanced one and is ultimately up to the individual student. In my experience the benefit of having a teacher extremely outweighs the benefits of self-teaching. It is practically impossible to develop proper technique and ability on an instrument without the oversight of an experienced instrumentalist. I have found that without the help of a teacher, it is hard for an individual student to know when its time to take the next step in their practice onto more difficult music or alternatively when they need to continue working on a piece for a bit longer to get it to an acceptable standard.
I have found that without the many years of lessons that I have received from a number of different teachers, I would be nowhere near the standard I am now. Knowing the benefit of having a teacher I would happily recommend to any new musician to invest in a bass or guitar teacher, even if for just a years worth of lessons to develop the proper technique required.
What age should bass guitar and guitar lessons start? How old should you start bass guitar and guitar lessons? Can adults take bass guitar and guitar lessons?
I have had experience teaching guitar and bass to people of a number of different ages. Generally, from the age of 7 is a good time to start learning the guitar. Students below that age really struggle with the fine motor skills required to press the frets and to coordinate their right hand with their left. The bass guitar I would recommend students over the age of 9 to learn due to the increased size of the instrument. I started learning the guitar and bass at the age of 12 and it by that point I was old enough to understand the intricacies of both instruments. On the other end of the spectrum I have taught many people over the age of 50! I honestly believe that there is no “too old” to learn the guitar or bass.
I would not recommend students below the age of 4 to partake in music lessons. At that point of their development trying to understand the language of music is quite challenging and it is hard for children of that age to remember techniques. After the age of 4 I would recommend students to learn the piano instead of guitar as it is considerably easier for young students as it requires a lot less fine more skills to play!
Why should I take bass guitar and guitar lessons at JZ Centre Stage? Do online bass guitar and guitar lessons work? Can you take bass guitar and guitar lessons online? should I take guitar and bass guitar lessons or teach myself”
I cant speak highly enough of the teachers, staff and facilities at JZ centre stage. Each teacher is hand picked and is extremely experienced and passionate at his or her instrument and teaching. The facility alone is fantastic and a great place to be around music fellow musicians.
There are benefits to looking at online bass and guitar lessons. There is a vast number of different lessons on different topics relating to these instruments but the bottom line is that a YouTube video can’t tell you if you are doing something correctly, it can’t fix poor technique, and it definitely can’t tell you if you have played something well. These are all things that students benefit from in having a teacher. In my earlier days of playing music I thought I had learnt a piece perfectly from YouTube only to have my private teacher tell me it was very poor!
How many bass guitar and guitar lessons do I need before I can play a song?
It depends on the individual student how quickly they want to play their first song on guitar or bass. Playing music all depends on how much practice the student wants to put in. if you practice for 5 minutes a week, it might take you 10 weeks to properly learn your first full song. If you practice for 2 hours a week, you will find that you could be playing songs in a fortnight! This being said, it is important that students set realistic goals on how and what they want to play. A beginner guitarist is not going to be able to play flight of the bumblebee within 2 weeks, let alone 2 years! However, if the student sets realistic goals with the help of the teacher and gradually learns more and more challenging music, the student will find themself playing music that they didn’t think possible just months earlier!