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Marvin

Plain silly statements by those who should know better.

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1/ One of my customers is just learning to play guitar, he's in his mid 50s. His guitar tutor asked what his aim was and the chap said he just wanted to play one gig. The guitar tutor replied that he'd need a better guitar. The guitar in question is an Epiphone Les Paul copy. It's in good condition and very playable. My customer asked me what I thought, I said I thought his tutor was talking out of his rear exhaust pipe.

2/ The music teacher at my son's school told my son that bass players don't play with plectrums, so he should only use fingers when he was playing the bass at school. My son told me this so I suggested next time he 'plays' bass at school and the subject of plectrums comes up he just says Bobby Vega or Carol Kaye. I then told my son, who is learning to play guitar, that anyone who wants to be a well rounded player should try to get to grips with all techniques on their instrument.

Being deadly serious, I don't think people, who regard themselves as Music Teachers, and make such nonsense statements should be teaching at all. They're doing a disservice to those they are supposed to be teaching. It may seem minor, however, such narrow minded ridiculousness...well, it boils my waste water!!! 

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Add to that the dreaded

3/ Oh you are left-handed? Nah, just learn right-handed, it's always difficult at the start anyway, and there are more right-handed models available on the market. :facepalm:

[More or less the equivalent of: 'Oh, you are gay? Nah, only sleep with the opposite sex from now on, it'll make your life easier']

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30 minutes ago, Marvin said:

1/ One of my customers is just learning to play guitar, he's in his mid 50s. His guitar tutor asked what his aim was and the chap said he just wanted to play one gig. The guitar tutor replied that he'd need a better guitar. The guitar in question is an Epiphone Les Paul copy. It's in good condition and very playable. My customer asked me what I thought, I said I thought his tutor was talking out of his rear exhaust pipe.

2/ The music teacher at my son's school told my son that bass players don't play with plectrums, so he should only use fingers when he was playing the bass at school. My son told me this so I suggested next time he 'plays' bass at school and the subject of plectrums comes up he just says Bobby Vega or Carol Kaye. I then told my son, who is learning to play guitar, that anyone who wants to be a well rounded player should try to get to grips with all techniques on their instrument.

Being deadly serious, I don't think people, who regard themselves as Music Teachers, and make such nonsense statements should be teaching at all. They're doing a disservice to those they are supposed to be teaching. It may seem minor, however, such narrow minded ridiculousness...well, it boils my waste water!!! 

Me too. Let’s face it though, particularly in the case of bass players playing with plectrums, a fair percentage of musicians (including many bassists) seem to think the same! 

I learned to play with a plectrum first and foremost and it has saved my bass playing life. The prolapsed discs in my neck affect the nerves in my arm and make a lot of fingerstyle things that I used to be able to play very difficult, if not impossible, for me. If I’d only played fingerstyle, I’d now be incapable of playing many of the bass lines I’ve written over the years. I remember when I was starting, a more experienced mainly- fingerstyle player told me to stick with my plectrum playing as it could become my “thing”. He’ll never know how prophetic that was!

Oh, FWIW, I had an (admittedly exceptional) Epi Les Paul Custom Plus for awhile. For some reason it was chambered. It remains one of the 3 best sounding LPs I’ve ever played, and I’m an LP nut. It cost £320 used. The other two were well in excess of £2.5k. I sold it because I thought I needed the real thing. Wrong! Admittedly the hardware was ropey and the finishing a bit iffy, but it sounded fabulous. I wish I could get it back!

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37 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Add to that the dreaded

3/ Oh you are left-handed? Nah, just learn right-handed, it's always difficult at the start anyway, and there are more right-handed models available on the market. :facepalm:

[More or less the equivalent of: 'Oh, you are gay? Nah, only sleep with the opposite sex from now on, it'll make your life easier']

Well thats taught me something. I thought it would be easier as your left hand would naturally be stronger and make playing chords easier. You live and learn.

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Um, try applying the same logic to playing right-handed then. Your right hand is the stronger hand, isn't it? So it should be on the fretboard, shouldn't it? So most guitar or bass players should play what we call left-handed instruments, shouldn't they? ;)

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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I sort of wonder why the off hand has ended up being the fretting hand. I would have thought that the dominant hand would be stronger, more dextrous and other wise better all round for fretting. I'm not changing BTW ;)

 

Oh well, crossed in the ether.

Edited by Si600
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Oh we've had threads about that. Originally, the stronger/most important hand was the picking one. Virtuoso stuff on the fretboard came later, when the concept of right-handed and left-handed instrument playing was already defined.

I would not know where to start on a right-handed bass, and I felt exactly the same when I was a total beginner. Lefty made immediate sense.

PS Thank you, Sir Paul McCartney, and Mr Jimi Hendrix - we would probably not have lefty instruments without you.*

* Or at least, widely-available lefty instruments.

 

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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49 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

... Oh you are left-handed? ...

My great-niece wanted to learn guitar. She's left-handed and left-footed at everything. I told my niece to get her a lefty guitar.

Left-handed guitar arrives. Great-niece insists on playing it right-handed. 😞

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Maybe she'll learn to play both ways? That would be one hell of an achievement, and very possibly fully within her reach. :)

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Just now, Silvia Bluejay said:

Maybe she'll learn to play both ways? That would be one hell of an achievement, and very possibly fully within her reach. :)

Let's hope so.

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5 minutes ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

PS Thank you, Sir Paul McCartney, and Mr Jimi Hendrix - we would probably not have lefty instruments without you.*

Or in Jimi’s case, upside down right handed guitars strung and set up for left handed playing, which have given us tribute right handed guitars with upside down headstocks. Plus a few home made right handed Hendrix tribute guitars made by turning a lefty upside down and restringing it. Not sure if the last one is a compliment or a insult if you’re left handed? Hmmm I quite fancy resurrecting that idea now I’ve mentioned it. 

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I guess, seeing his struggle, guitar makers realised there was a market, and produced some lefties, and now we've got quite a decent choice, especially on guitar.  :)

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1 hour ago, Marvin said:

1/ One of my customers is just learning to play guitar, he's in his mid 50s. His guitar tutor asked what his aim was and the chap said he just wanted to play one gig. The guitar tutor replied that he'd need a better guitar. The guitar in question is an Epiphone Les Paul copy. It's in good condition and very playable. My customer asked me what I thought, I said I thought his tutor was talking out of his rear exhaust pipe.

2/ The music teacher at my son's school told my son that bass players don't play with plectrums, so he should only use fingers when he was playing the bass at school. My son told me this so I suggested next time he 'plays' bass at school and the subject of plectrums comes up he just says Bobby Vega or Carol Kaye. I then told my son, who is learning to play guitar, that anyone who wants to be a well rounded player should try to get to grips with all techniques on their instrument.

Being deadly serious, I don't think people, who regard themselves as Music Teachers, and make such nonsense statements should be teaching at all. They're doing a disservice to those they are supposed to be teaching. It may seem minor, however, such narrow minded ridiculousness...well, it boils my waste water!!! 

Agree, if someone finds an instrument they gel with, and learn to play it, irrespective of make or technique then well done to them.

1 - Nowt wrong with an Epi Les Paul, some of them are great guitars, virtually all of them are good.

2 - Plectrums, add Bruce Foxton & JJ Burnell into the mix, neither are particular slouches in bass, and using a plec doesn’t seem to have held them back.

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Epiphone LPs punch well above their weight, and many of the older ones are genuine classics in their own right.  The guy clearly doesn't know his guitars as well as someone who teaches the topic should.

And the old pick bass player thing leaves me scratching my head every time I hear it.  It's such an oft touted opinion, yet so many bass players play with picks.  I reckon the ratio of players who use a pick some or all of the time compared to non pick players is probably greater than left handed folk to right handers, yet this stupid, Ill informed, and utterly ridiculous opinion is trotted out so much.  Weird.

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There was a tutor on my BMus course who kept making stupid comments about me playing a 6 string bass.

You just ignore these people, if you’re happy playing what you play, how you play, then that’s all that matters. The problem is, novice players take notice, and end up spending money they don’t need to spend.

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1 hour ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

3/ Oh you are left-handed? Nah, just learn right-handed, it's always difficult at the start anyway, and there are more right-handed models available on the market. :facepalm:

 

I once had an extended - and heated - argument on this very topic with a fellow tutor (who was a senior figure in the Registry of Guitar Tutors) through the pages of the Registry's monthly newsletter-cum-magazine. In the end the editor had to step in to put a stop to it because he insisted on being a complete d*ck about it. It's bad enough when a jobbing tutor comes out with something that crass, but for a senior figure in the country's primary professional body at the time to be spouting it was - and is - unforgiveable.

That was 20 years ago, and one would like to hope that we've become a bit more open-minded about it since then... :/

Edited by leftybassman392
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1 hour ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Um, try applying the same logic to playing right-handed then. Your right hand is the stronger hand, isn't it? So it should be on the fretboard, shouldn't it? So most guitar or bass players should play what we call left-handed instruments, shouldn't they? ;)

Actually that makes far more sense to me. It seems strange as a right hander that it’s my left seemingly doing the complex stuff. Sadly short of inventing a time machine there is no way of determining whether it would in fact be easier to learn to play on a left handed bass.

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1 hour ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Maybe she'll learn to play both ways? That would be one hell of an achievement, and very possibly fully within her reach. :)

 

505d458ca3efd68653b03484b73d8b13--custom-guitars-unique-guitars.jpg

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I remember being a teenager and being told bassists should use their fingers. I fell for it hook line and sinker.  Then as I got more experience under my belt I realised that using a pick is just another technique that gives a different sound. To be honest I  need to spend more time with a pick as I am starting to love that tone more and more.   But I totally agree it’s scary we have “teachers” spouting this nonsense...

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The thing is with “pick tone”, it can be a million different things. I have loads of different picks and they all sound different, even before you start changing the angle of attack, how hard you strike the string, etc. I remember many years ago I was playing some fairly technical bass in a guitar shop and one of the assistants, who had been playing Teen Town shortly before, came over and asked “how are you playing that?”. I just held up the pick. He couldn’t even tell I was using one!

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3 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Add to that the dreaded

3/ Oh you are left-handed? Nah, just learn right-handed, it's always difficult at the start anyway, and there are more right-handed models available on the market. :facepalm:

[More or less the equivalent of: 'Oh, you are gay? Nah, only sleep with the opposite sex from now on, it'll make your life easier']

Well, I'm left handed and play right handed.  When I first joined this forum I explained that it went back to when I was trying to learn to play the classical guitar.  I had never played guitar before and my teacher told me to try right handed as classical guitars are braced to have the strings fitted in that way.  He also pointed out that you don't find left handed pianos (although someone did post a photo on here of one!) or trombones etc. Plus, as I had nothing to unlearn, it wouldn't make much difference to how I progressed.  I'm glad I took his advice.  I cannot even attempt to play a bass as a lefty or even hold it correctly.  I do everything else left handed (except using a knife and fork).  Playing as a right hander has not affected my playing - I'm just rubbish anyway!

Back to the plot about daft things some people say.  I was chatting to someone at church on Sunday and I said that I would have to go and check my bass before the service as it was near a radiator and it may need re-tuning.  Her amazed reply was, "Do you have to tune a bass?"  I'm sure it was a genuine question and not a comment on my playing!

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Teachers are as prone to prejudice as anyone. The problem is that they are in a position to influence/affect others with those prejudices.

Re comments above about using the stronger hand on the fretboard, I've always understood that the stronger hand should be the one that creates the rhythm/timing. If you're right handed, try holding a solid rhythm with your left. Not easy (unless you play drums/percussion and have already trained both your hands).

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Another left-hander who plays 'right-handed' here. Seems advantageous to me for some of the reasons mentioned above (including some of those that were getting ridiculed 😉 ). Additionally, it's much more likely to be possible to make temporary use of someone else's guitar/bass if the occasion demands it.

Whilst I agree that people need to be free to make their own decisions about which way round they want to learn, I think it's perfectly reasonable to suggest the option of learning 'right-handed' style to left-handed beginners that don't have an immediate preference for 'left-handed' style.

Edited by paulbuzz

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5 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

Add to that the dreaded

3/ Oh you are left-handed? Nah, just learn right-handed, it's always difficult at the start anyway, and there are more right-handed models available on the market. :facepalm:

[More or less the equivalent of: 'Oh, you are gay? Nah, only sleep with the opposite sex from now on, it'll make your life easier']

But what about piano players?

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