Teaching Style

As a teacher, my first priority is to give my students a strong foundation of musicianship. That means learning harmony, rhythm, the ability to distinguish chords, and knowing how to apply bass to these elements. Equally as important, is that I address individual student needs. Each student has their own goals, personality, strengths and weaknesses, and I tailor lessons to best suit those things. 

I took up the bass at age 13 because I thought it would be really easy. For beginners, it can be; I think that's some of the allure. But as I got deeper into the instrument, I realized that the bass underpins most music. You can take a whole band down with one wrong note! So although bass has a friendly learning curve, truly mastering it requires as much discipline and study as any instrument, and maybe more. After all, the bass is the only instrument in the band that holds down both melody and rhythm. That is a serious responsibility, but it can also be a very fun one.

My life has been a lifelong study of how this magnificent instrument really conducts a band—whether it's jazz, rock, or any other number of styles. It is my hope my students walk away with a sense of inspiration and courage.

Want to know more about my approach to teaching?

Contact me at tomshad@gmail.com for a free consultation. 

Tom Shad is a terrific teacher. He teaches bass but he also teaches musicianship. I wanted to learn to play the bass for a long time. One of the reasons I put it off is because I was afraid that I would have to spend so much time learning basics and never get to actually playing anything that sounded cool. But Tom understood my desire to learn to play songs in a certain genre. So right away, he taught me the skills I needed to get where I wanted to go. He gave me practice riffs that were fun and really cool to play. He’s also very encouraging. I instantly felt empowered to try anything. I look forward to each lesson. I know I’ll learn something significant each time. I learned a lot more about rhythm than I ever expected. I also learned about the importance of tone and achieving a great sound with each note. Also, Tom is just a fascinating person to talk to. He knows so much and has such great insight. If the idea of learning to play the bass while having inspiring conversations about music appeals to, Tom Shad is your man.
— Agi
Tom changed my life. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Imagine, a rotund, white haired, middle aged woman, playing bass! My depression vanished. My days became filled with music and practice. Tom started me off with the basics; very slowly for an adult beginner like me. My lessons are on Skype! It works just fine. Tom, is patient and lessons build on each other. He is a great communicator and has a wealth of information on all aspects of music and entertainment. I’ve just begun playing with other musicians and am involved in the music business now. What a marvelous change for the better!
— Lanaya Baker