I've been teaching bass for over 40 years, arranging and composition for nearly 30 years and conducting for over 20 years. I hold a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Masters from Teachers College Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from California State University East Bay.
I am a professional conductor and double bassist with over 45 years of experience performing with symphony orchestras, jazz bands, rock and R & B and Country. This versatility and broad pallete of musical interests enables to me to meet each student where they are as musicians regardless of age or level and craft a program of study specifically tailored to their needs and goals.
Nothing excites me more than seeing my students improve and succeed, and I look forward to each lesson with more enthusiasm and joy than I had when I began teaching 45 years ago.
Charles provided me with the foundation for my musical endeavors over the past 10 years with his intuitive approach to music, movement and critical thinking. He was able to find the right individual approach for me as a bassist through his broad experience and musicality. I cannot recommend Dr. Gambetta highly enough for a beginner, intermediate, or advanced bassist. Whether learning bass guitar or upright string bass, Classical or Jazz (or anything in between), Dr. Gambetta is right for you.
Charles made sure I spent as much time on classical as I did jazz. That gave me the technical foundation to thrive. Having a teacher that’s also a conductor is extremely valuable. He will get you ready for any situation.
I invite the student (and parents if the student is a minor) to my studio for an initial meeting at no cost. I ask the student what has sparked their interest in the bass, arranging or composing, ask about their goals - what kind(s) of music they would like to learn, their background, and share with them materials we will use to get started.
Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting, University of North Carolina at Greensboo 2005 Bachelor's degree in double bass performance, Cal State Hayward 1977/
Master of Arts in Music and Music Education, Teachers College Columbia University 1996
Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance, California State University East Bay 1977
30-minute lessons (double bass & bass guitar): $35.00
45-minute lessons (double bass & bass guitar): $45.00
60-minute lessons: $60.00
90-minute lessons (conducting only): $100
I started teaching bass in undergraduate school because my fellow students and friends from high school asked me. From there my teaching career grew organically as I learned more about music and the art of teaching.
In my teaching career I've worked with students ranging from age 8 to 75. I've had students who are pursuing advanced degrees and some who are beginners with no prior musical experience. Attitude and determination have always been more important for me than age, talent or level of proficiency.
My fondest moments are those when I am able to help a student break through a barrier of some kind to find a deeper connection to the music within. Just last week a bass student who had been struggling with the concept of shifting positions finally understood and was able to find all the positions through the octave. I had tried several different approaches that didn't resonate with his learning style. Demonstrating didn't work: visual didn't work; walking him through didin't work. It turns out he is a kinesthetic learner. When I had him work with touch and movement, he picked it up almost immediately. I love when that happens!
Choosing a teacher is an important decision. If I were a student searching for a teacher, I would want one who is patient and positive, one who always takes time to point out what I am doing right even if I haven't yet mastered a particular skill or piece of music. I would also look for a teacher who clearly loves music AND teaching. Lastly, I would want a teacher who is dependable and consistent. It doesn't matter how good a teacher is if she/he cancels half your lessons.
I believe it is just as important for the student to interview the teach as it is for the teacher to interview prospective students. Here are some questions I would ask.
Why do you teach? (me: I teach because I enjoy helping others find the music within themselves and because I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.)
How long have you been playing music? (me: since I was 8 years old.)
How long have you been teaching? (me: I've taught bass for over 40 years, arranging and composition for close to 30 years and conducting for over 20 years.)
How much should I practice a day? (me: That depends on your age, your current level and the goals you want to achieve. The most important thing to remember is quality of practice is more important than quantity alone. Be consistent and disciplined with your practice routine.)
What kinds of music do you teach? (me: I teach "Classical," jazz, rock, R&B, pop and country.)
Do you give make-up lessons if I miss? (me: I provide students and parents with a cancellation and make-up policy at the first lesson. While I except students to attend all lessons, I understand that sometimes missing a lesson is unavoidable.)
If I ever stop taking lessons can I come back? (me: Of course.)
May I select some of the pieces we work on? (me: I am always open to student requests as long as they are level appropriate. I will do my best to find a suitable arrangement if the piece requested is too difficult.)