Bass / Guitar / Piano


The main four elements to study are Melody, Harmony, Rhythm and Instrument Technique. Melody is a series of notes played one at a time, Harmony is the combination of notes, Rhythm is the placement of notes in time and Technique is the physical aspect of playing music.

Though I’ve further broken these four subjects down to twenty areas of application, these are the four main areas to become skilled at. Within these subjects are all the specifics such as scales, chords, grooving, theory, ear training, etc.

A beginner mainly needs technique to get rolling; a more advanced player might need rhythm and ear training, and well… it breaks down how ever it does according to the consultation information and the student’s interest.

A most important part of studying music is being INTERESTED in what you are studying. When you are working on the things you need the most in order to do what you want to do it can be easy to remain interested.


Some specific areas I cover:

* Bass: beginning through advanced
* Upright Bass: bowing and plucking
* Guitar & piano: various levels
* Grooving
* Improvising
* Songwriting
* Learning songs
* Playing in groups
* Understanding music
* Reading & writing music
* Tightening up your rhythm
* Learning different styles of music
* Musical coach: all instruments, various levels
* General musicianship: all instruments including voice
* Learning to play or write the music that you feel or hear
* Learning to hear a song and easily play it on your instrument
* Singing and playing at the same time (independence skills)
* Taking what you have already learned or studied and putting all the pieces together


Musical Specifics

  1. TECHNIQUE: left hand, right hand, picking, strumming, finger picking, bowing, plucking, slapping.
  2. MELODY: major & minor scales, arpeggios, pentatonic scales, blues scales, other scales. Theory, fingerings and application to soloing, song writing and improvising.
  3. HARMONY: chords, chord progressions & intervals.
  4. RHYTHM: time, meter, sub-beats, grooves, phrasing.
    READING & NOTATION: chord charts, notes, rhythms, full notation, all chart types, transcribing.


Look at the individual instrument section and read about what I do in greater detail. Each section has the “Essentials” then “Application.” When enough of the essentials have been established, we get into one or more areas of direct musical application. This could happen in the first few lessons or after a number of months: whenever the student is ready.

Then let’s get together and discover what you need to do!


Marty B.
Studio (818) 242-7551
Mobile (818) 517-3164


3 thoughts on “What I Teach

  • Pingback: Year-end Music Lesson Specials « Buttwinick Musical Services

  • June 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Mom thought I was a prodigy…I was three…I am now pushing 71. I had two teachers. The first listened to mom, assumed I knew more than I did, taught me nothing. The second started from scratch, and I did wonderfully under her teaching. Then I became a teenager, thought I knew enough – because I could sight read and play pop music.
    I played on my own from then on. About 25 years ago, Mom bought me a 77 key keyboard. I loved its tricked out sounds, and continued to play…but less and less. Bet I haven’t touched the instrument in four years…except to pick up the stuff I put on it, like books, wet towels, etc.
    Question: should I sell my keyboard, or can you give me a refresher course to update my skills, and ratchet up my enthusiasm?
    Thanks, Lindy


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