I've been making my living playing all kinds of music for over ten years. I feel that working on and creating music night in and night out with bands and artists from rock to hip-hop, pop to jazz, folk and country to disco has given me unique insights into what makes a good bassist. There's a balance to be struck between theory and instinct, as well as technique and emotion.
I tailor each lesson to each student, creating most of my own lesson materials. These can range from pages of scales and arpeggios, to full transcriptions and even audio recordings of practice tracks. I like technology and feel it can be a valuable part of the learning experience. But generally, I teach by having students learn songs and basslines, then illustrate musical ideas and principles by pulling directly from the music we've just been working on.
The most important aspect of my approach, however, is to find what brings out students' passion for music. I've been fortunate enough to have studied with some amazing players who's love for music and their instrument inspired (and continues to inspire) me. If I can find that, you will practically teach yourself.
*** Lesson Details ***
Sample Lesson Plan for a beginning/intermediate electric bass student. (With beginning upright bass students, I tend to focus a little more on the technical aspects of the instrument at first.)
Simple technical exercises aimed at developing good technique and physical comfort with the bass
We'll look at Songs/Basslines (usually of the student's choosing) and learn how to play them, pulling out salient points relevant to bass instruction and music in general.
For intermediate/advanced students we'll incorporate Music Theory as we work through songs.
This is also where I'd introduce reading music notation if that is something the student wishes to learn.
Work on scales that we've encountered in the song or bassline we've been working on and relate them to making music.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Home recording studio setup for recording lessons as well as making practice tracks.
Amazing Slow Downer (for the record, this is the best $50 investment you can make in your musical education.)
Practice bass and guitar amplifiers.
Ability to quickly create sheet music and tablature with Finale and Power Tab.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Two Channel Practice Amp
iPad with good quality mic for recording lessons and playing audio lesson material.
*** Specialties ***
Electric Bass Styles- Rock, Country, Retro styles of R&B and Top 40
Upright Bass Styles- Classic Jazz and Gypsy Jazz, Bluegrass, Jump Blues
Establishing solid fundamentals.
Ear training and transcriptions.
Upright bassist for Southern California based Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band.
Toured and recorded with one of the most respected guitarists in the Gypsy Jazz genre.
I've taught students of all ages and ability levels for the last 10 years, both in students' homes and from my own home studio.
Bassist for Nashville based country band Christian Simmons and Broken Arrow (now CJ Simmons), playing over 200 shows/year.
Bassist for original indie pop/rock band.
A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.
· Upright Bass · In studio Being new to the upright bass and playing music in general, I needed an instructor who is patient and able to simplify the material. Brian did both! He is an amazing teacher that is very patient and has a teaching style that makes learning easy and stright forward.
· Upright Bass · In studio Our son Jordan really enjoyed his lesson with Brian.
He told us that Brian was really nice and he made the lesson really fun.
Brian was also very helpful with an instrument issue we were having.
· Upright Bass · In studio Easy going guy, totally prepared for lesson when I arrived. Had printouts and a folder for me ready to take home for practicing. He was understanding of my changing schedule and happy to move our lesson around to accommodate.
Super encouraging, I would recommend him to anyone just starting to learn an instrument or maybe having trouble getting past a technique issue. Gave me gentle reminders to correct technique issues early, which is invaluable. Unfortunately, due to a job change, I can't take lessons anymore, but when I come back I will be taking them from Brian again.