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Al Krow

Paid online bass courses you've done & can highly recommend

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ambient said:

A lot of extremely brilliant bassists all over the world are currently sitting at home. Now’s the time to message them via their website or social media, and ask about private lessons via Skype. Much better in my opinion than a one size fits all video lesson.

I suppose that's down to the individual. I had a few one to one lessons a few years ago and absolutely hated it. For me it was a total waste of time and money. It just felt really awkward and I really didn't take anything in. I personally learn much better from online tutorials where I can rewind and restart the video as many times as I want, and learn at my own pace, in my own time, without feeling like in being watched or examined. I highly rate Mark from Talking Bass. For me his lessons are the perfect balance between pushing you along, and breaking things down into bite sized chunks. Plus they're excellent value for money. 

I'm not taking anything away from one to one lessons or tutors, but everyone learns differently. 

Edited by Newfoundfreedom
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Hmm. I guess we’re all different. I was a private teacher for many years. I had a wide range and ability level of students from young kids to retired. The point about taking on a personal tutor is that you’re going to put in the necessary effort to learn. Honestly, if you’re ambitions don’t reach to that level, don’t bother. It’ll just be a waste of your time and money. I’d like to think I did my best and adapted to each student’s personality and skill level, but regardless of ability, across all the students I had (probably close to 100 overall), the ones who improved the most (and appeared to enjoy it) were those who went and woodshedded. The only way to improve is through regular and structured practice. Theory, harmony, technical ability and basic playing are NOT dark arts - it’s all there for you to find either with a teacher or via online courses. Improving and being a good player is decent tuition and a lot of hard work - and it’s within the reach of everyone. Talent has very little to do with it. It can be as little as 15 minutes a day, but every day (or as much as possible)
I find some say that courses or online tuition fail to sustain their interest. Is it the teacher or is it the pupil? Or is it our collective inability to concentrate or remain interested in something in this age of instant gratification (this is not aimed at anyone on this thread, just a general observation)?

The quality of online tuition is streets ahead of anything I had when I was learning - but I had a private teacher from about 15 for 4-5 years and it remains the best teaching I’ve ever had. He could be a bit moody and didn’t say much, but he had an amazing depth of knowledge - from piano to upright to electric, and introduced me to styles, bands and knowledge that set me up for life. Rather than be annoyed at his personality or even intimidated, I made it my mission to get better. And I went from knowing nothing to being able to read charts, play a variety of styles, gain a good sense of time and feel and got gigs and studio work as a result.

Nowadays the issue is that teachers like this are very hard to find in person, so it’s really online where you have to go. Put the teacher’s personality or delivery aside and look at the content - is it worth sticking with? Then stick with it :)

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@krispn what was the actual course name you took? I've currently got a [          ] in my OP for that one! 

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Posted (edited)

@FDC484950 really good post, thanks.

It's interesting that the personal tuition that you had in your teenage years were the most influential / productive lessons you received. I similarly had regular lessons on classical guitar from 12 through to 17 and I was equally passionate about that instrument as I now am about bass playing.

Just wonder if there are some general themes here?

- Formal one to one lessons seem to me to be particularly beneficial when starting out, in terms of getting technique and "good habits" embedded and knowledge of some basic music theory; once we have this baseline (excuse the pun!) tool-kit, we're much more able to progress under own steam and bit of structure / guidance is perhaps all that we need. As you say, the quality of online tuition is streets ahead of what we had in our formative years and for many of us who have progressed beyond 'beginner' that could well be more than sufficient to focus our practice time?

- Some instruments / styles seem to lend themselves more to personal tuition e.g. pretty much all classical musicians will have had lessons throughout their 'grades'. I wonder how much personal tuition bass players and rhythm / lead guitarists, both amateur and  professional, have had and how many of the successful touring musicians are actually self-taught?

Edited by Al Krow

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I bought her book which has videos to support the learning within. It’s maybe not relevant for the specific ‘paid courses’ you’re looking at. The rules were very specific after all. 

However the book ‘Music Theory for The Bassist Player’ now has a paid, accompanying course which one could use but my experience is limited to the book so I can’t vouch for that specific course. 
 

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Good question @Al Krow OK so hands up who's actually signed up over these last few weeks and how are folk getting on with it? Be good to hear progress stories and such.

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On 22/03/2020 at 15:58, thebigyin said:

Rufus Philpot and Joe Hubbard be it a tad advanced, SBL, Talking Bass, Ariane Capp all great a chap on our BC forum called Greg has some useful lessons and tips, there are so many.

Thanks for the recommendation. 

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On 24/03/2020 at 12:01, Al Krow said:

With age comes wisdom Mr Black. And given that his courses are of sufficient quality to warrant being normally paid for, it would be churlish to exclude your and several other folks' recommendation, particularly if he's been big-hearted enough to make them available for free temporarily. 

Although for the sake of balance - worth sharing some separate feedback I've had from a couple of BC'ers on this particular course, particularly in relation to his use of 5 string basses to illustrate his points:

"I found it hard to concentrate on what the guy was saying and kept losing interest. Also the fact that he was doing the classes on a 5 string meant there were gaps in being able to follow him. Not knocking the guy at all, but he isn't in the same league as Mark from Talking Bass when it comes to keeping you interested. Maybe it's just me." 

... I guess it will be interesting, therefore, if any of us decide to go ahead and take paid for courses from Zoltan when they cease to be free. 

I’m sure a paid course by Zoltan will be worth the investment. He’s a great teacher/player with a wealth of real life experiences playing and teaching. He is also an amusing guy! 
 

But it’s all a matter of taste. We all like different teachers. 

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On 28/03/2020 at 11:20, Al Krow said:

Mark at Talking Bass is currently offering 30% off all his courses for one week.

Are you working in Mark’s marketing department? 😜

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On 28/03/2020 at 13:08, FDC484950 said:

Hmm. I guess we’re all different. I was a private teacher for many years. I had a wide range and ability level of students from young kids to retired. The point about taking on a personal tutor is that you’re going to put in the necessary effort to learn. Honestly, if you’re ambitions don’t reach to that level, don’t bother. It’ll just be a waste of your time and money. I’d like to think I did my best and adapted to each student’s personality and skill level, but regardless of ability, across all the students I had (probably close to 100 overall), the ones who improved the most (and appeared to enjoy it) were those who went and woodshedded. The only way to improve is through regular and structured practice. Theory, harmony, technical ability and basic playing are NOT dark arts - it’s all there for you to find either with a teacher or via online courses. Improving and being a good player is decent tuition and a lot of hard work - and it’s within the reach of everyone. Talent has very little to do with it. It can be as little as 15 minutes a day, but every day (or as much as possible)
I find some say that courses or online tuition fail to sustain their interest. Is it the teacher or is it the pupil? Or is it our collective inability to concentrate or remain interested in something in this age of instant gratification (this is not aimed at anyone on this thread, just a general observation)?

The quality of online tuition is streets ahead of anything I had when I was learning - but I had a private teacher from about 15 for 4-5 years and it remains the best teaching I’ve ever had. He could be a bit moody and didn’t say much, but he had an amazing depth of knowledge - from piano to upright to electric, and introduced me to styles, bands and knowledge that set me up for life. Rather than be annoyed at his personality or even intimidated, I made it my mission to get better. And I went from knowing nothing to being able to read charts, play a variety of styles, gain a good sense of time and feel and got gigs and studio work as a result.

Nowadays the issue is that teachers like this are very hard to find in person, so it’s really online where you have to go. Put the teacher’s personality or delivery aside and look at the content - is it worth sticking with? Then stick with it :)

I make online tuition videos and courses and teach one-to-one. 
 

Out of the two methods of learning, I agree that one-to-one lessons with a good teacher are ultimately going to help you to progress more quickly as these lessons are tailored specifically for you. 
 

In my opinion online courses are second best to one-to-one lessons but can also be very useful and the fact is that it isn’t always practical or affordable to have one-to-one lessons. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, greghagger said:

I make online tuition videos and courses and teach one-to-one. 

Out of the two methods of learning, I agree that one-to-one lessons with a good teacher are ultimately going to help you to progress more quickly as these lessons are tailored specifically for you. 

In my opinion online courses are second best to one-to-one lessons but can also be very useful and the fact is that it isn’t always practical or affordable to have one-to-one lessons. 

That's a good summary. 

The issue in both cases is finding high quality tuition. I suspect many (but obviously not all) "in person" tutors will find it hard to match the expertise / ability to express and convey technique, supported by lesson materials, that the very best online tutors clearly demonstrate and provide. 

Having had both, I'm very much a convert to quality online tuition. 

Edited by Al Krow

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I have wasted too much money on personal tutors, with uniformly rubbish results.  Never again.  Not saying they don't work for some, but not me.

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11 hours ago, greghagger said:

Are you working in Mark’s marketing department? 😜

Haha - I should definitely be on commission, shouldn't I? 😁

He's just released a new set of course material, which looks great, with a 30% discount for this first release week: https://www.talkingbass.net/product/chords-for-bass-course/

52 lessons spread over 3 modules, 154 pages of lesson material and over a variety of audio practice tracks.

With the discount, it works out at less than £1 a lesson. 

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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

That's a good summary. 

The issue in both cases is finding high quality tuition. I suspect many (but obviously not all) "in person" tutors will find it hard to match the expertise / ability to express and convey technique, supported by lesson materials, that the very best online tutors clearly demonstrate and provide. 

Having had both, I'm very much a convert to quality online tuition. 

I agree with you. It needs to be a good teacher for one-to-one lessons or online courses.  Some teachers don’t tailor lessons to each specific pupil and just teach from the same book or resources. 
 

I am thinking of offering an add-on to my reading music video course that I am releasing next month.  This will be a Skype/zoom meeting at the end of each module of the course to discuss any questions that might have come up in the module.  From feedback, I have learnt that some sort of support during an online course can often be beneficial.  

Maybe the best of both worlds? 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Haha - I should definitely be on commission, shouldn't I? 😁

He's just released a new set of course material, which looks great, with a 30% discount for this first release week: https://www.talkingbass.net/product/chords-for-bass-course/

52 lessons spread over 3 modules, 154 pages of lesson material and over a variety of audio practice tracks.

With the discount, it works out at less than £1 a lesson. 

Maybe you should get in touch with Mark and ask 😂

There is no doubt that Mark is a good teacher and the course sounds good value.  One thing I would say though is lots of content is not necessary the best judge of a course value. If another course can get you from A to B in say 20 lessons then that actually might be better for those with less time. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, greghagger said:

 One thing I would say though is lots of content is not necessary the best judge of a course value. If another course can get you from A to B in say 20 lessons then that actually might be better for those with less time. 

For sure. But the beauty with online courses is that you can skip through the easy stuff and just spend time focusing on the areas you need to. Applying a bit of your own judgement means that the generic courses become a lot more tailored to your specific needs. Obviously this needs you to have a degree of self awareness, whereas an expert one-to-one tutor should be able to spot this for you.

And I hope you'll agree: as important as the lesson itself is the quality and time spent practising in between - that's where the real progress is usually made.

Edited by Al Krow
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50 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

For sure. But the beauty with online courses is that you can skip through the easy stuff and just spend time focusing on the areas you need to. Applying a bit of your own judgement means that the generic courses become a lot more tailored to your specific needs. Obviously this needs you to have a degree of self awareness, whereas an expert one-to-one tutor should be able to spot this for you.

And I hope you'll agree: as important as the lesson itself is the quality and time spent practising in between - that's where the real progress is usually made.

Yep I absolutely agree with your point about practicing. A good teacher will give you ideas, direction, concepts, etc. but ultimately it’s down to the pupil to use this information and practice!

 Behind every great musician, there is a lot of self-discipline and hard work. 

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2 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Jeff Berlin's one.

Concentrates on reading proper dots. It's good.

You got any more details e.g. price / number of lessons / what level aimed at / what it's setting out to teach etc? I can then include in the summary table in my OP.

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I’m looking for suggestions too, something to focus on during lockdown. The SBL accelerator course enrolment finishes at midnight tonight but judging by a couple of comments on here he’s done the course before. Also looking at Daric’s stuff on YT and he does paid courses. Following this thread 😉

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9 hours ago, JohnR said:

... but Tony Grey is in a class of his own. His course involves a lot of work and you need to make a serious commitment. 

This sounds great John. Again, any more details on the particular course you've taken and price / number of lessons / what level aimed at / what it's setting out to teach etc?

A little mini review would be really useful to give folk a bit of a steer and I can then also include in the summary table in my OP.

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17 hours ago, Al Krow said:

You got any more details e.g. price / number of lessons / what level aimed at / what it's setting out to teach etc? I can then include in the summary table in my OP.

I've done the beginner to intermediate reading one.

 

$99 gets you access to 24 lessons of various sight reading etudes totaling 102 pages and access to video on Vimeo showing how they should be played properly. The lessons are emailed to you by PDF.

They start with whole notes on E string, then the A string etc then across the neck to learn where all the notes are and then gets harder with each lesson. Lesson 24 is everything that has gone before thrown into various exercises including semi-quavers, rests, triplets, ledger lines a fair way above the regular stave etc. Pack 1 is all in C major. Very traditional!

 

There are a total of 5 lesson packs in increasing difficulty. They are $99 each but there is a deal if you want all 5 at once.

1: Basic to intermediate

2: Flats and Sharps

3: Scales

4: Chord Tones

5: Approach notes 

 

It's a really good tool to learn to read proper dots. There is no tab, other than a hint in the first 3 bars of the simplest exercises. After that you work out each from there so it sinks in. Use your favourite mnemonic.

There's no "technique" or "genre" or example famous tunes based anything - it's all about learning to read the dots so the student can then go and play whatever they like.

 

I could imagine that some might find it a bit boring, but it is the proper academic process of learning the dots rather than a learn a famous riff thing.

Having had the benefit of classical lessons on piano and sax in the past I fully agree with Jeff on separating the academic part from the art part.

 

I like it a lot.

 

As I have a bit of time on my hands at the moment I might get lesson 2 as well. I actually think I'll find that one easier - In my big band I haven't played an open E or A string for years!!! Too many transposing instruments in the band!

 

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@fretmeister - really good mini review, thank you. Exactly the sort of helpful detail for folk to get an idea of whether to look into a particular paid online course further.

My only follow up query is that the first course which you took seems to be aimed at teaching 'proper' bass clef music notation. But what extra is it bringing to the party for someone, like yourself, who can already read music on the bass clef given that you've had classical piano lessons?

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