I have been playing upright bass for 12 years and have experience with jazz (big band and combo), chamber music, pit orchestra, and folk settings. I am familiar with arco (bowed) and pizzicato (plucked) playing as well.
Our first lesson will begin with a quick assessment of your musical background, experience with the instrument, and your musical goals. Your next lessons will build on that foundation to support the goals you want to achieve.
Whether it's improving your playing, auditioning for an advanced ensemble, or learning a new style or genre, we'll work together to reach your goals!
I love music and believe in its ability to bring people together. It's been a part of my life since I was 5, practicing piano at home in Michigan.
Music was a big part of every single one of my school years, and I was lucky enough to be able to double major in music and psychology at Kalamazoo College once I graduated from high school.
My passion for music has taken me abroad, to London, where I studied Western & Russian art music and took classes in popular music studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
It spurred my move across the country to New York, where I developed
a better understanding of how important creativity is to all of us -- especially musicians! -- at Teachers College, Columbia University.
And, most importantly, it's allowed me to do what I love from my home in San Diego, teaching privately both in-person and online. I've recently moved to private teaching full-time and couldn't be happier!
I'm excited to get started with you and help you set and reach your musical goals!
*** Online & In-Person Lesson Details *** It's most important to me that you are excited and motivated about your music lessons! I am a flexible instructor and am always open to hearing your ideas for songs. After working together to identify your beginning knowledge of music and your instrument, we'll progress from song to song to develop your musical abilities.
All of my online and in-person lessons begin by warming up with a quick exercise, scale, or even an improvisational activity. We'll use the music you love to develop your guitar technique, learn new chords, and sharpen your listening skills.
You'll gain an understanding of what makes the music work and why the notes, rhythms, and harmonies are what they are.
The music we study can also serve as inspiration for creativity. I may ask you to come to the next class with a short composition of your own or we'll finish a lesson by improvising together on related musical themes.
I'll do my best to make my expectations for you clear and at the end of every lesson, we'll go over what we accomplished together and make sure you understand what to work on before our next class.
*** Additional Online Information ***
Online lessons can be just as effective as in-person lessons for teaching you the basics of your instrument, developing technique, and achieving your musical goals! I'll use screen sharing to display music, chords, and scale charts during the lessons. Materials will be emailed to you as well for you to use at home. And communication is extra important when it comes to online lessons; because I can't make physical adjustments, I'll often assess how you hold your musical instrument and describe how you can make the adjustments yourself.
Please note that a high-speed internet connection is needed in order to make sure that we can see and hear each other appropriately. In addition, I expect that you will be able to provide your own musical instrument (and amplifier, if you have an electric instrument) to use during the lesson.
*** Additional In-Person Information *** I teach my in-person lessons from my home office with comfortable seating for both students and parents. I expect that you will be able to provide your own musical instrument to use during the lesson.
I will have music stands available for use during lessons and will accompany and demonstrate on my musical instruments. I will have an amplifier and cables, but if you prefer to bring your own amplifier you can do that, too!
Please note that I have two cats; they'll be in an enclosed room away from where we will have lessons, but if you have cat allergies this may not be a good fit.
Bethany B. July 2, 2015
In home Verified Student
My granddaughter tells me she easy to listen to very nice, and she believes that justine will teach her quite a bit. Myself I believe we picked a great teacher Experience wise and age compatible Justine I'm so thankful Your teaching Bethany.
Evelyn C. June 24, 2015
Bass Guitar ·
In home Verified Student
Justine has been teaching my daughter to play bass, and we could not be more happy. Justine delivers the fundamentals through the songs my daughter wants to play, which makes it more fun for my daughter and results in more practice!
Miguel N. May 14, 2015
Bass Guitar ·
Online Verified Student
Justine is very patient when teaching, and always has great advice to give at the end of a lesson. Her sessions are concise, friendly, and very helpful. She was a great teacher for me, as a beginner.
Proper right hand pizzicato/arco and left hand technique. Note and chord chart reading. In the style of jazz or classical.
I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Music from San Diego State University. You can find me performing around Southern California nightly with various original and cover bands, six flags magic mountain, the San Diego City Ballet Orchestra and jazz ensembles. I have been teaching private and group music lessons for over 5 years.
I specialize my education in beginning guitar, beginning and intermediate electric and upright bass, and music theory training. Whether you're preparing for a career in music or supporting your hobby in music, I will make our lessons fun and challenging. I cover t
echnique, performance, developing your ear, theory, and reading notation. I am fluent in most styles including rock, jazz, funk, classical, pop, etc.
*** Lesson Details *** Each week you will have technique exercises, be working on a song of your choice, and theory/reading exercises (if desired). For guitar and piano students I encourage singing while playing.
*** Studio Equipment *** I have amplifiers, baby grad piano, extra gtrs/basses and music stands.
*** Travel Equipment *** Student should have an amplifier & music stand.
*** Specialties *** Beginning piano, once you get to intermediate I will move you onto another teacher.
Beginning and intermediate guitar. With guitar I also including singing while playing.
All levels of Electric and Upright bass. All popular styles and jazz & classical.
Born in Omaha, NE, I have played bass for 25 years - and began teaching bass 15 years ago. I play and teach many contemporary musical styles, and have lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas, and currently reside in San Diego, California.
I began studying Bass in 1987 under guidance of David Valentine and Jim Vaughn (both Principal Bassists with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra), and quickly began performing with the Colorado Springs Community Jazz Big Band, and other local artists and jazz swing small groups.
In the early 1990's and after moving to Denver,
Colorado, I joined the Neil Haverstick Band which often featured popular area vocalists such as Charla Bevan and others. While with the group, I played the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and opened for Coco Montoya and Maria Muldaur. The band was versatile enough to perform a dizzying array of styles - afro-cuban, blues, country, funk, jazz, metal, and rock - and often featured a 45-minute set of original microtonal music, performed on custom built instruments (guitar and bass) fretted with 19-divisions (frets) per octave or 19-tone (equal tempered scale).
When not exploring alternate musical realities, I toured with one of the region's most popular Top 40 Country Cover Bands - Ty Taylor & The Powder River Band. I also performed and recorded with Australian born singer/songwriter Leighton B. Watts as well as other local groups.
I moved from Denver to Austin, Texas in the mid 1990's, and upon arriving met up with singer/songwriter Jim Stricklan and performed at the Austin Music Hall - sharing the stage with Toni Price and Joe Ely. Also while in Austin, I performed and recorded with the Dave Sebree Band, Laffing Sam, John Ussery, Lee Person, and many other local groups...
In the fall of 2000, I relocated to San Diego, California where I currently live and enjoy a busy schedule of performing, recording, and teaching. While in San Diego, I've performed and recorded a variety of music with local and regionally touring bands (cover and original material) with styles ranging from Acoustic, Blues, Contemporary Christian, Country, Flamenco, Funk, Fusion, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Improvisational, Instrumental, Jazz, Latin, Motown, R&B, Rock, and many Singer/Songwriters... these bands have opened for Elvin Bishop, Chris Botti, Tommy Castro, David Sanborn, Earl Thomas, and Walter Trout.
I've been blessed to have the opportunity to perform with Blues/Soul Singer Songwriter John Nemeth, Harmonica Wizard Rob Paparozzi, and Legendary Drummer Bernard Purdie.
I've also been very fortunate to play on many local recording projects and to work with recording engineers/producers Alan Sanderson, and Ray Peterssen.
*** Lesson Details *** Like most teachers, I enjoy seeing and hearing students’ progress. I have found that students progress faster by not only learning mechanics, technique, songs, styles, and music theory, but also understanding how to modify their thought processes with respect to overcoming physical and conceptual barriers; in other words, and musically speaking: learning how to learn.
This involves breaking down and isolating every aspect of playing the bass - instrument stability, left & right hand placement, finger positioning, rhythmic concepts, fret-board familiarity, reading skills, patterns, and choice of notes. It also involves honing other important aspects of playing music such as concentration, determination, observation, patience, problem solving, and repetition. I have been applying this approach since I began teaching electric bass in 1998.
I teach classical & jazz music theory (scales, arpeggios, chords), improvisation, meter, rhythmic patterns, sight-reading, and ear training. Specifically, I help students learn to read music (notes), develop left and right hand finger strength/independence/dexterity, and provide transcriptions of pizzicato, & slap bass-lines as exercises; for all musical styles. I encourage students to create and play their own bass lines - conveying as a skill set a fundamental understanding/interpretation of chord progressions and composition. I also help students learn specific songs and styles they request.
I try to split each lesson roughly 50/50 as far as structured aspects (exercises, reading, technique building, etc.) and working through song requests. I also highly recommend students be open to acquiring a fundamental skill set for playing a variety of generic styles and forms - for example: 12-bar blues, I-IV-V rock, shuffle, 2 beat, waltz, walking jazz/blues swing bass lines, funk pizzicato technique, and funk/slap technique. These are simply guidelines though - ultimately it's up to you how we spend our meeting time.
Essential Items: Most people get started with the obvious basic items (listed in order of importance):
- a bass, strap, tuner, instrument cable, and small practice amplifier/speaker combo. There are a few other items that will facilitate faster progress (again listed in order of importance):
- a metronome*, music stand, bass method books and/or other exercise and bass clef reading material.
For learning songs, having access to an audio playback device with enhanced bass response and easy, well designed mechanism for fast-forward and rewind within a specific song is very helpful. Your computer, phone, or .mp3 player, by themselves may or may not be ideal for picking out and hearing the bass part unless combined with an significantly upgraded audio system (i.e., sub-woofer, stereo, docking station, etc.).
*The one item that will immediately challenge and push you to a higher level of musicianship is a metronome. Listening to, playing with, and counting with a metronome will facilitate development of your internal sense of time. Learning to become comfortable with the metronome will have a direct impact on how well you are able to synchronize with other musicians when playing together. This is especially true for bassists and drummers as they are responsible for maintaining the tempo/groove of a tune.
Practice: You will need to practice between lessons...
How much? The most important first step is to try to get the bass into your hands every day - 15 minutes every day is a great starting point for new students, with the goal of eventually reaching 30-60 minutes daily.
Try to find a quiet place where you can focus and concentrate without being interrupted or distracted by family, friends, neighbors, room-mates, phone, television, etc.
For practice time spent in the seated position, find a sturdy straight-back chair (without arms) - stay away from couches, recliners, beds, etc. Standing during a portion of your practice sessions is also a good way.
*** Studio Equipment *** Gallien-Krueger GK800RB, SWR Goliath Jr. (2x10) Gallien-Krueger MB150E-III
*** Travel Equipment *** Fender American Standard Deluxe Jazz 4 String Bass
*** Specialties *** Electric bass, Upright Bass, Bass Guitar, Music Theory Fretted & Fretless 4-5-6-7-String. All musical styles including, but not limited to: Afro-Cuban, Acoustic Singer/Songwriter, Blues, Country, Flamenco, Funk (Specialty: Pizzicato & Slap Styles), Jazz, Instrumental, Latin, Pop, R&B, Rock (Classic, Hard, Metal).
Marcie S. June 4, 2014
Upright Bass ·
In studio Verified Student
John is a phenomenal instructor, coach and mentor. He met my son at his level and patiently encouraged him to grow as a musician. His easy-going manner makes him approachable and his vast knowledge, as well as experience, helps the student to expand their musical skills. We like John:)
SusanS March 27, 2011
John has been great for Cameron (our son) Cameron had to take a break for reahearsals for a musical that he was performing in.
DanielK January 21, 2011
exactly what I wanted
Great teacher. Tailored the lesson to my wants and needs. Explanations are easy to understand. Just a very relaxed and cool guy. I left my lesson very inspired to practice and meet again.
I began playing trumpet at age 9, guitar at age 12, and bass at age 16. While I am a serviceable trumpet player, I found my true loves in guitar and bass and perform almost exclusively on those instruments today.
I played in my high school Jazz and Concert bands, as well as rock bands outside of school. I followed my passion for music to college, where I graduated with Honors from the rigorous Music program at Roosevelt University in Chicago, with a bachelors degree in music performance. I focused on Jazz, but did learn classical theory and harmony as well.
I earned income teaching lessons, and continue to this day, giving me over 12 years teaching experience. I perform professionally for a variety of bands in many genres, and write music for my own bands and for theatre productions.
*** Lesson Details *** I believe that the best way to learn guitar and bass is by learning the music you already know and love! First off, it makes it fun, and that's key (sorry)! Secondly, you can learn the basic elements of the music you like, and not be stuck with corny, outdated method books. All I requre the student to have is a music paper notebook (I can tell you where to get one), an instrument, and a desire to learn!
I do expect my students to take music seriously and learn the basic elements- notes, chords, and rhythms- but I make the process fun, and work at the pace of the student. I've taught all ages and talent levels from ages 9-adult, learning disabled to genius, and have had great results with the vast majority.
*** Studio Equipment *** Godin and Guild acoustic guitars, Ibanez PRS clone electric guitar (that plays better than any PRS I've ever played), handmade German Schack and USA made Fender basses, BSX electric upright bass, Kala and Keli'i Hawaiian made ukuleles, Roland AC90 and Cube Street for guitar (and any effect you can imagine), Line 6 bass pod pro with crown power amp for bass, webcam, laptop, ipad and iphone for lesson videos, recording music, and looking up music.
*** Specialties *** Music, Bass Guitar, Upright Bass, Guitar, Music Theory Rock, Heavy Metal, Hip-hop, R&B, Motown, Jazz, Country, Blues, Reggae
Steve C. January 25, 2013 Verified Student
Personlized lesson plan
Nick tailors my lessons to what I need to learn. Nick has a great understanding of music theory
LenM December 16, 2010
Nick is a great guy and a very good instructor who seems to really care about his students and their progress. Highly recommend him anytime anywhere!
KevinB January 29, 2009
Incredibly bright and talented guitar teacher
I highly recommend Nick for anyone looking to take their guitar playing to the next level. I've played for several years without much professional direction. At this point I've had about 4 lessons and already see a huge improvement in my playing. Don't think twice, just book your lesson with Nick!!!
I grew up in a musical family and have been surrounded by music my whole life. It was at the age of 12 that I took my first steps toward becoming a musician, and I'm very glad I made that decision! I would like to help others who are taking their first steps towards music and show them just how rewarding it can be! I've been working as a musician in the San Diego music scene since I was a teenager.
*** Lesson Details *** I want students to have fun during their lesson, and I want them to learn music that THEY want to learn. But I also want students to know the importance of dedication and
practice because this is what leads to progress on ones instrument. Students can expect to learn theory, read music, read chord charts, and create a repertoire.
Joshua P. January 17, 2015
I learned a lot from Andrew! I came to Andrew knowing nothing about music or about guitar playing, and he was very patient and explained things in a way that was easy for me to understand. When my son gets a little older I'll be sending him to Andrew so he can start learning too!
Omar A. November 24, 2014
Andrew is a very talented musician. He knows how to teach the instrument as well as incorporate theory into the lesson. He motivates me constantly and pushes me to improve. He is very professional and you will immediately sense his passion for music. I highly recommend Andrew to teach you music theory, technique, and share his love of music.
Students are raving about their Upright Bass instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Suzanne
After a few disappointing attempts to locate a music teacher for my 11 year old I almost gave up, but then we found Stanley. He is truly
a gem. You cannot ask for a better teacher. My child's playing and understanding has greatly improved under Stanley's tutelage. We definitely recommend Stanley, you won't be disappointed."
Las Vegas, NV teacher:
Review by Perry
"Great introductory lesson. Very patient. Looking forward to lesson #2."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Nira
Along with being incredibly knowledgeable, Alex has the patience and communication skills that really make him excel as a teacher. As a
complete beginner to the upright bass (and music in general), I find Alex breaks concepts down in a clear, step-by-step fashion, so that it is not overwhelming. He also gives useful tips on how to be a better learner when tackling challenges, which helps make my personal practice even more effective. Alex is approachable and eager to answer questions even in between classes - I highly recommend him as teacher!"
Seattle, WA teacher:
Review by Nancy
Alex can explain complicated things in a way that makes it accessible."
Seattle, WA teacher:
Review by Kirby
"Eli is awesome! Taking lessons with him has allowed me to explore all my different musical interests in depth, and has opened my eyes to the subtle and be
autiful nuances that playing classical music requires. He's helped me make music with this instrument that I didn't even know I was capable of making. He's a great teacher, and and an insanely talented bassist."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Tricia
"PJ is a great instructor. He is teaching solid basic skills in addition to keeping the content interesting. He provides excellent feedback in a manner wh
ich makes our teen want to correct/improve rather than get frustrated or defensive. PJ also went out of his way to meet our regular schedule request and works effectively via Skype. He has been very accommodating and even pushed a lesson out 2 hours when our son got stranded at school one day. We are looking forward to many Great lessons with PJ and I think that our teen's exposure to him will further ignite his passion in music - really, what more could you ask for than that."
Cincinnati, OH teacher:
Review by Sanouri
"Rob has been a consummate professional and a great teacher! He is reliable, communicates promptly, and tailors each lesson to my needs/strengths. He has
been particularly helpful in identifying new ways to explain and demonstrate complex techniques to those of us new to string instruments!"
Boston, MA teacher:
Review by NAOMI PAULIN
"He provided me what I needed to start with upright bass. Time well spent and easy to understand. Thank you!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by richard
"Michael was very patient, took the time to explain theory which helped put thing in a better perspective. He is also very knowledgeable and an awesome mus