Roy Vogt – Teach Me Bass Guitar: Introduction

So, on a whim I decided to break down and buy the new Roy Vogt “Teach Me Bass Guitar” instructional DVD set. Just so it is known, I have no affiliation with Mr. Vogt or The Learning Dock. My thought was that it might be helpful to share my experience with other’s who may be interested in purchasing this program.

First, a little about myself. I have been playing bass on and off for at least 25 years now, and am pretty much completely self-taught. I have had little to no formal training, other than a couple of general music courses at community college and a brief stint with upright bass lesson’s at a music store. Most of my knowledge has either come from friends who play guitar or, more typically, figuring it out myself. I have bought a plethora of “How to” books over the years, and picked up a few tips from them, but have been unable to stick with any of them. I have mostly played original music and never really learned more than a handful of covers. I am fully capable of learning songs by ear as that I have learned many song this way when auditioning for bands, I just don’t typically sit around and play along with songs as part of my practice routine. Speaking of practice routine, I honestly don’t really have one. I get bored practicing by myself and would much rather jam with other players than with myself. All this being said, I can generally hold my own, but am not a stellar player. I consider myself more of a straight ahead bass player, whatever that means, as that I do not play slap or even consider soloing. I am also an avid subscriber of Bass Player magazine, where I have picked up many playing/technical tips as well.
About now you might be thinking, why buy the course if you already know how to play? Well, upon the realization that I have been playing bass for 25+ years, came the realization that I should be a phenomenal player, which I am not. It is awkward for me to tell people how long I have been playing when asked, as that when you tell someone you have been playing for 25+ years, there is an automatic assumption that you must be a great player. I find myself always putting in a qualifier, like “on & off” or “I’m a bit rusty these days”, or “I haven’t played with anyone in a while so my chops aren’t up to speed”. Lame excuses for me being lazy and not practicing or improving my skills. So, enter “Teach Me Bass Guitar by Roy Vogt“. I want to take my playing to the next level, get out of this rut I have been in for all these years and actually learn how to play bass.
My hope is that the combination of the DVD’s and Book help to keep me motivated and interested enough to stick with the lesson’s and complete the course. This blog will also be a part of the process, to help me analyze the material in a more thorough manner and keep me going. I welcome any and all feedback and/or questions and will do my best to keep this ball rolling. Okay, on to the course.

2 Replies to “Roy Vogt – Teach Me Bass Guitar: Introduction”

  1. Dear Stanton,

    Just a note to let you know how much we at The Learning Dock appreciate your blog. If I were a customer, I would find it invaluable in making a determination whether or not to purchase TMBG. I look forward to future installments!

    Meantime, I'm wondering if you would mind our linking to your blog from our various TMBG social networking and commercial sites. We would be careful to stipulate that you are in no way connected to The Learning Dock or TMBG. We are, of course, confident that you will find the remainder of the course challenging, entertaining, and effective, and will mine your observations when it comes to making improvements to the next edition.

    Things are just getting up and running, so it could be a while before you get many visitors.

    I will certainly understand if you feel linking to TLD or TMBG in any way would compromise your journalistic integrity, and will respect and abide by whatever you decide.

    Thank you for your time and your professionalism.

    All the best,
    David Crossman – CEO
    The Learning Dock, LLC
    317 Stones River Cove
    Nashville, TN 37214

    [email protected]

  2. Just bought TMBG last week and I am definitely going to follow along with your blog and comment when I can. Perhaps the folks at TMBG will find my responses useful too.

    I see from glancing through some of the your other entries really quickly that you have a family life to balance, too, so I think I will appreciate your posts, since I am starting later in life as well. I’m 34 and have been wanting to take up bass since I was 18, but have been so busy with school, grad school, my job, and a kid that I never had the courage to take it up until now, b/c I didn’t want to start if I couldn’t keep with it.

    As for taking up the bass, I am a total beginner. I played trumpet in HS and was pretty good, but that was decades ago and trumpet is written in treble cleff, so this feels like starting all over again. Maybe in a future lesson that background will help me out, but for now it’s all completely new.

    I will say that for someone who is, literally, 1 1/2 weeks into the program, I really like the first part of Lesson 1 because it gets your fingers moving quickly and you can really feel the progress as you get better at the 4 x 4 exercise.

    Now that I am into the second part of lesson 1–learning the notes on the fretboard up to the 12th fret–I am little more overwhelmed, although still plugging away at it dutifully. Basically, the book says, “Learn all the notes up to the 12th fret and be able to play all of each note on each string” and that’s it. To be fair, it does mention spotting patterns and it does point out the octave, but it still seems a lot to master before moving onto Lesson 2. As a total beginner, I would have appreciated taking a more incremental approach, perhaps using scales to help you learn the notes, or moving back and forth between more mechanics-type exercises like the 4×4 and then going back to the fretboard again to learn some more notes, a different scale, etc. Even if Roy quickly summarized a few quick tips or strategies for learning them, that would be something–although I can understand that someone coming to the program who already knows all the notes and simply wants to refine their skills probably appreciates just getting it all out of the way at one fell swoop. But I feel like I am going to be working on this part of the lesson for quite some time before I really can find them without thinking and feel comfortable progressing to Lesson 2. Hopefully it won’t take me too long.

    In conclusion, though, I do really like Roy’s overall affect as an instructor–his laid-back demeanor and flashes of humor spread throughout. And little comments signalling that doing [fill in the blank] is going to take a while is quite helpful, so I don’t feel quite so bad for taking a long time.

    Look forward to reading the rest of your blog entries when I am done with each lesson…

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