Here is what some of my students are saying about me:
I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your approach working with me. It's very personable. I'm relaxed going into each lesson. I don't feel like I have to perform or be on my game. You are actually addressing the areas I said I'd like to improve, right now. And you're doing it by showing me or guiding me, or explaining how to use the material, not, "you can do this," or "you can try that." I eagerly look forward to the next lesson, wondering what I'm going to learn next, not anxious about whether or not I mastered a drill. I don't feel like a number. While I try to be respectful of your time, I don't feel like I'm imposing by asking a question, and you are very gracious with your time. I can say the work "fuck," and while I'm trying to limit its use, I don't have to feel guilty that the fuck-patch doesn't fucking work. I'm grateful for that, too.
"Charley is part musical guru, part spiritual guide, part therapist, and always very student centered, but with a clear goal in mind - to make the best musician possible emerge from each of his students. His flexibility and intuitive ability to adjust to exactly where a student is (and how the student is feeling) during each lesson is of course a great thing, but what really sets Charley apart is his ability to get hi...s students to see the big picture about music - theory, expression, joy, blood/sweat/tears - everything that goes into becoming the best version of a musician that each of us can be. I've been singing for 30 years but never picked up an instrument until I started working with Charley last year, and he has helped me build on what I was already good at while never letting me take shortcuts to getting better at all aspects of my musicianship. He also has a killer bass t-shirt collection, always on display during our Skype lessons! I recommend him 150%.
Charley Sabatino has changed my life as a musician and as a bass player, let me tell you this, I am a graduate of B.I.T. and have been playing for over 30 years, and I have never encountered an educator and player of his magnitude, Mr. Sabatino is truly a Maestro, do yourselves a favor and seek him out, you are NEVER too good to take a lesson especially from the Maestro Charley!!
So allow me to tell you all about a great man named Charley Sabatino, he is a FANTASTIC music educator and one of if not THE best bass instructor I have ever had, and I have studied with "well known" bass players, Mr. Sabatino is not only a true virtuoso but he is an overall amazing musician and artist, I can say this confidently because I have been playing and studying bass and music for over 34 years. However he is not only a master of his craft and a fabulous educator, he is also a good man, a great person, he was one of the few people that either called or text me daily during the hurricane Harvey storm that hit us here in Houston at a catastrophic magnitude, daily this man checked on me all the way from New York, making sure that I was doing fine, verily I say unto everyone here, a finer, more genuine person you cannot find anywhere. Bass players or musicians of any kind seek him out and study with this true Maestro, you will thank yourselves for doing so.
For a video testimonial click HERE
For most of my time playing bass and also guitar, over 20 years, being originally classically trained, I had never really learn’t specifically to play my instrument by ear or even work on ear training.
Early 2016 I decided I wanted to learn jazz but would only do that with formal training and was put in touch with Charley.
I would have to take lessons via Skype as I live in Auckland New Zealand. I was hesitant at first about that since I had never had Skype lessons before but after having the initial chat to Charley I was reassured that it would work.
Straight away Charley showed me these exercises I could do to work on my ear training among other things and in a VERY short space of time of just a month I was already starting to see and hear progress to the point where now 6 months later I am listening to music differently and working on transcribing more than I ever did before.
Charley is extremely patient, understanding and knows just how to help you improve as a musician.
I am proud to call Charley my teacher, mentor and friend. Looking forward to learning a whole lot more and becoming a better bassist.
From a returning student: Hey Charley, just wanna say it was good to be back. Just gotta keep it going. I've been to my share of "so called instructors" in my day so I think it's justified to say you "stand above" in my humble opinion . Your direction, choice of material and interaction make it a true learning experience. It's "no nonsense" musical fact which makes you a true musical educator....not just another player looking to subsidize their income with no thought out plan on how they are going to teach real musical information...and I have had plenty of that. So, just wanna say HATS OFF!!!! Thanks Charley.
a message through my website....
Hi Charley. I am sure you don't remember me. My name is Steven ****, and I took bass lessons from you as a teenager back in 1990 and 1991 (first at focus ii and then at your house in bayside). I am now a 41 year old practicing psychologist. I still play the bass occasionally for fun , and I still remember things you taught me 25 years later. I just wanted to say hello and let you know what a fantastic teacher you were.
Text from a current student...
Good Morning Charley, I was doing some recording these last couple of days and I have so many different things I've learned from you that I am able to apply to my songs now. When I listen to my stuff "pre-Charley" and "post-Charley" the difference is phenomenal, sometimes I can't believe that's me playing the bass on my tracks. Thanks and may you and your family have a safe happy healthy new Year. See you Saturday.
"You are an inspiring teacher, I don't know many people (in fact I don't know anyone) that can teach a workshop like you do for so many years and make it different and exciting every week. Inspiring!!! You are an incredible musician and teacher too, Charley!"
>>>>>>>>Dr. Martin Soderberg, Director, Cadenza Music Center.
I have been studying bass via Skype with Charley Sabatino for a few months now and I think he is a great teacher. He is funny, extremely patient and easy to get along with. He also thinks of my best interest. I have never loved using a metronome, but ever since I have been with him, I have used it for everything having to do with music. He helped me realize that no matter what the hostility toward metronomes (or anything else) they are here to help you become the musician that you want to be, and so is Charley.
I can't begin to tell you just how much I dig Charley's lessons! They inspire me and reinforce what I already know from my heart. whether I copy a bass line, or create one, it always stems from my mind and is played from my heart. he has been a help with my passion towards my bass. I've played over 325 paid shows, 2013 Woodstock, been on 3 different local bands cd albums and have had a few paid studio bass jobs, not to brag, but to share my short bass career, since the time I showed up on his door step for that 1st lesson.
I am a classically trained pianist who is also a jazz aficionado/lover, who played the guitar like a bass (by ear) when I was a kid (ten years old).
Now, at the ripe old age of 58, as I have learned to truly embrace and live life, doing what you want to do, I treated myself to a Fender Classic series 60’ s jazz bass and searched for a bass teacher. Thank God for the internet!
I came upon Charley Sabatino via “Thumbtack”, an online service. I am so glad I chose wisely. It directed me to his website and there I found what I was looking for.
Charley is beyond the consmate professional. Not only is it clear that he has been teaching a very long time, but, his very down to earth approach makes someone my age feel embraced. Here I am, learning the language I have mastered on a new instrument. Believe me, what has made it “do-able” (I won’t say easy) is Charley. He is able to translate and interpret everything I need to know to begin to learn the bass. Just when I think there’s no way I’ll get it, he explains it and demonstrates clearly what I need to do and voila! the light goes on! It takes a very talented and special person, I believe, to be able to teach “old dogs new tricks” - on a new and different instrument. I have learned so much and continue to learn. Every lesson leaves me elated. Studying the Bass with Charley is the best thing I did this year. Live your dreams, and don’t let age stop you. Charley Sabatino is the perfect guide.
I picked up the bass in my early 20's, the first instrument I ever touched, and just wanted to play riffs from my favorite musicians and songs. For years I 'practiced' the bass by finding tabs online and just trying to play along to my favorite songs not really knowing the mechanics of what I was playing. Playing bass by learning to press the 5th fret of the D string instead of recognizing it as the G-note was pretty much like coloring within the lines of a coloring book. There wasn't much discipline or learning involved and so after nearly 10 years I realized I hadn't learned much at all.
I decided it was time to sit down and really learn how to use the instrument I've come to love and the first task was to find a good instructor. Luckily, I found Charley on craigslist back in 2011 and have been going to him steadily ever since. While I listened to music growing up and had favorite bands, artists, musicians and songs, my overall knowledge of music theory was pretty much nonexistent. Charley's approach to teaching is what I like to think of as being holistic. It's not just about one aspect of the bass, it's about EVERYTHING. It's about rhythm, it's about reading musical notation, writing notation, knowing where the notes are on a fretboard, chord structures, hand positions, listening to playalong tracks, being conscious of the other instruments, doing exercises and homework, and just sharing a general love of music from different genres. It's about learning the rules to know how to break them!
He even helped me find my beloved Warwick Corvette $$ fretless bass on craigslist for a steal of a price. I had told him early on in our lessons that I wanted to get into playing fretless when I felt ready for it and he would constantly send me links of deals for fretless basses he found on craigslist. And now, I've happily been playing fretless for two years and counting.
Charley's lessons go at the speed I need them to. As much as I want to learn everything, and as much as he is eager about teaching everything he can, there's never a feeling that we're rushing through material and I'm given time and opportunity to practice and told which areas I need to focus on regularly. When I have to skip a lesson because work, life or vacation happens, sometimes at the next session I have to tell him "I need to go over last week's lesson again" or "Can you show me how to do this again?". If I hear a new song with a baseline I'm dying to play that I can't quite figure out or don't have tabs for, I e-mail him the track and then the following lesson we break it down. If I have a questions about general bass maintenance, he's got answers for me . If I have general music theory questions, he has answers. "How does my hand position and fingering technique look?" I usually ask him on trickier exercises. If I'm confused or need him to show me something for the 10th time over again, he'll happily show and explain it to me again and again.
I've learned to do things I didn't really think I had in me nor thought I would ever get the hang of. Slapping, popping, sliding, how to keep time and even just handling of the fretless. It all undeniably makes me play and understand the bass better than before I found him. And so, I can't stress enough my praise for Charley's teaching and wholeheartedly recommend his lessons to any beginner looking to start, novice looking to hone their craft or expert trying to expand upon their abilities!
Charley is a great teacher. He is talented as well as being unfailingly patient and positive. When I left home to go back to college, I continued taking lessons with him over Skype. A few months later, he already has me playing things I never thought I could. I am so glad the Skype lessons are even a possibility, and I've definitely seen progress in my playing. Two thumbs way up!!!
My time with Charley has been very productive. I studied with him for several months to help me prepare for several music school auditions. He helped me every step of the way to master the techniques as well as the theory required. Charley has learned patience for students that other teachers simply cannot offer---this is coming from someone who had tried two other teachers before. His mastering of the bass guitar as an instrument as well as a concept will teach you everything you need to know to become the type of bassist you desire. Charley gets my vote any day of the week. BTW---I got accepted!!!
I started taking bass lessons over Skype with Charley about 6 months ago. I have been playing a long time, but decided it was a good time in my life to improve my upright skills.
Charley has a great ability to present me with material that is both challenging yet is within my ability to grasp (or almost within my ability). He is a great teacher that is flexible when life happens and he is a monster on both the electric and upright bass. However the biggest reason I have kept taking Skype bass lessons from Charley is because he gets me to think differently about the instrument. I have had several times when the light bulb has gone off in my head and I will email him and share what has happened. He is always quick to reply with encouragement or answers to any questions I may have. I have not only found an awesome upright teacher, I have also made myself a new friend.
I started taking lessons via Skype with Charley about two months ago. I’m in Dallas, he is in New York. I've been playing electric bass for 20 years but have just started on upright. I was a little skeptical about doing lessons long distance like this at first, but it works great! Right away, Charley got me started on some great technique for upright. Not just good technique for tone, but good safe technique for the health and longevity of my hands while trying to learn how to handle this beast. He has also made learning things I'm deficient in such as reading fun, because he wraps the exercises into a holistic approach. He has me learning technique, reading, ear training and better approaches to theory all wrapped into each exercise and lesson! They aren't separate things when you play, so why separate them when you learn or teach? His lessons and approach are great! I highly recommend him, after just two months, it's already made a difference in my playing!
I would absolutely refer Charley to anyone, at any level, who wanted to advance their music studies, whether it be bass or any instrument. He is nothing short of a musical genius, and has an observant approach to teaching his students. I started as a student with Charley about 20 years ago and I still use his techniques today. I stopped playing for many years, around the time I went to college, but we reconnected a few years ago. That is when I immediately signed back up for lessons. He will teach you how to be pain free and will not rush you through the processes. Those techniques will contribute to your longevity and listening skills for life. Many people wrists prevent them from playing too long.
Your ear and tuning abilities can develop properly. He will help younger students develop the proper habits, and can also help break bad habits; even for seasoned players.
Charley knows where you are in your studies. Good luck and you will not be disappointed.
>>>>>>>>Bobby G, 38
Charley teaches music, bass is the medium. Studying music as a whole allows the sounds you conceive of to come alive on the bass. He breaks it down so well it becomes common knowledge.
Charley is a great teacher, because he is kind and patient. If I didn’t understand something, he would always find different ways to help me to get it. He is a great bass guitar player but his sense of humor is even better. His jokes lighten things up and make my learning experience very enjoyable. He is well prepared during every lesson so I will know exactly what I am working on, whether it is a new concept of playing the bass or just techniques to improve on. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to learn the bass or anyone who just want to be a better player.
When I was a kid, I played bass without formal training. I was great at faking it. Thirty years later I decided to play bass again. This time, i vowed to find the best teacher available so I could learn the bass quickly and effectively. My goal is to become a high quality player with the ability to sit down and play with anyone I desire. I was frustrated with the so called teachers I met. Their methods of teaching would no way allow me to fulfill my goals. To play bass, you must know music theory and rhythm as well. Without it your dead. Charley knows, understands, and teaches just that. He has structured lessons that get to the point quickly. He teaches by building a solid foundation and then expands from there. If you want to play and are serious about being a quality player, this is the guy. I live in Morris County, NJ, and have no problem with the drive to Queens. Usually over an hour drive. It's always fun and I never leave thinking I wasted my time. His attitude is priceless. In fact it drives you to excel. I'm getting closer to my goal in leaps and bounds. It is going to happen! By the way, man can he PLAY!!!
I have been playing guitar for 15 years. One day out of the blue I decided to learn to play bass as well. After a random search I found a man named Charley Sabatino. Charley is a great bass player and a great musician. What makes him even better is his ability to teach. Not every musician can teach. Charley posesses an incredible talent for dissecting music, breaking down your own barriers, pushing you to the next level. That's what I love him as an instructor for. And last but not least, Charley truly enjoys what he does, which pushes you to learn and do better.
I played guitar for 7 years when I decided to make a switch to bass guitar. I was sure that if I played guitar, the change would be easy. However, I had a ways to go to call myself a bassist. I found Charley online, and was immediately impressed after my first session. After figuring out my style and where I wanted to go with my playing, he put together a lesson plan that has made me a better player and gets me excited to continue to improve my skills. He caters to a very wide variety of musical genres and is sure to make you a better player. I fully recommend Charley.
In my few years journey in learning bass, I have had many teachers and I have gained much useful knowledge from each of them. The problem I had in the past was that I never could find an all around instructor. Some of them were good in showing music theory, whereas others were good in fretboard awareness and rhythm. But in the end, none of them could teach me the whole package, which was VERY frustrating. Then I met Mr. Sabatino. He likes to use food analogies in his lessons, so I will do the same. I would say that studying with Mr. Sabatino is like buying a $5 Chinese food combo. You will learn everything about bass playing from theory, rhythm, reading, improvisation and other things related to music in one plate with a very reasonable price. Above all that, he is willing to listen to your specific problems in regard to your playing ---this is a big plus. He is willing to work on each area of concern, discuss it with you and provide useful ways to correct them.
For all of you bass players who really want to master your instrument, you will need more than your bass and amps; you need Charley Sabatino!!!!!
When my daughter decided to start taking bass lessons, I had no idea how to find a good teacher or what type of bass to get. Charley solved all of our problems. We found an excellent classically trained teacher who understands the minds of kids and can instantly engage them into learning not only the bass, but music at large. I would recommend him to any one wanting to learn the bass.
>>>>>>>>David Leeser, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Weill Cornell Medical College
Charley is great at playing the bass, and teaching it too. I had never played any guitar in my entire life, and about 3 to 4 months later I can play a song. You don’t just learn notes with Charley though, he teaches you a lot more about the bass guitar, and he can teach it in a way you understand. Charley is an awesome teacher!
I have been studying with charley for about a year and he is such a great teacher. He makes learning the bass a very personalized experience for you. He is always available to answer any questions you have and is VERY accomodating to your schedule. Overall, each lesson is fun and a great experience while being productive. With Charley, you are always moving forward.
Charley is the perfect teacher for a young person. He makes lessons fun and finds something positive to say every time. His style of teaching keeps my son interested and wanting to come back each week. My son had studied other instruments with other instructors. It has always been a struggle to keep him going. Charley makes him want to continue and get better.
>>>>>>>>Susan, parent of 16 year old student
I have been taking lessons from Charlie for about a year. The great thing about his lessons is he teaches you the fundamentals and then helps you apply them to your taste in music. It is also amazing to watch him play the bass, he can play anything. Highly recommend!
I have been taking bass lessons with Charley for several months now. The reason I stick with Charley is that he has been very patient and reassuring as an instructor. The lessons are both fun and fulfilling. What other teachers can you say that about? Try out Charley for bass lessons no matter what age or playing level you are. You'll be glad you did.
When I first became interested in playing the bass guitar at the age of 14 my father took me to a small music store called Focus II Guitar Center in Flushing to study where I began my musical studies with Charley. Though my time taking lessons was brief, I had always cherished the memories studying bass. Charley had a way with people---especially a young 14 year old Rocker wannabe like me. He had laid down the groundwork for my playing. Through time I dabbled in music, played in a few bands and sadly I eventually distanced myself from playing for almost 10 yrs.
At 35, I had felt inspired to play again. I knew that formal training was a must to refresh and expand my musical theory. I said to myself that it would be great to find someone like that guy I studied with when I was 14 years old. I answered an ad and had 1 lesson with one teacher that left me completely lost. I took one more chance and found a pretty good ad on Craigslist for a bass teacher in Queens. After a brief conversation with him it turned out to be Charley, my childhood bass teacher.
Now, I study with Charley on a bi-weekly basis and have never felt more immersed in my bass playing. He brings to the table various techniques such as creative fingering exercises, rhythm drills, scale theory, play-alongs and slap technique. I have only been back with Charley a short time, but I have applied more technique and theory to my current 3 piece band than I ever have in the past. I feel it, the band sees it and I owe it all to Charley.
Charley is a down to earth kind of guy who exercises patience and incorporates "fun" into his lessons. I strongly recommend him.
>>>>>>>Mike (AKA Charlie)----35
Charley is a great teacher. He teaches at your own pace and is very flexible in terms of scheduling. You can tell that he puts his life and soul into music and teaching it.
Charley is a very patient and positive teacher who takes an active interest in your playing and musical endevours. He knows his stuff, works around your schedule and helps you learn at your pace. Doesn't hurt that he's also a great guy.
Charley has you learn things YOU need to learn to get better. He does not move on until he feels you have grasped the concepts in front of you. He makes relations to other areas of life to show you how things fit in a phrase, a part of theory, the workings of a song- learning from Charley is a pleasure never a chore. I told him, "Charley, you are my teacher for life"....& this after trying 4 other bass teachers.
I love to come and learn bass from Charley. It's fun to learn from him and he makes it exciting. It is always enjoyable and extremely fun! Charley is good teacher.
I've been playing Bass for over 30 yrs. and last year I started taking lessons from Charley. I wanted to improve my skills and learn new techniques and I am very happy with the results. Charley has a method of teaching that works. He corrected some bad habits I had and made me look at my instrument in an entirely different way. I can't praise his teaching enough as I myself notice a difference in my playing. But the best part is he has become a friend too.
I enjoy learning bass guitar with Charley because he's patient and encouraging. I'm making great progress in being able to read music and learning different techniques that are used in playing bass guitar. He teaches me different songs that help me practice the skills I've learned. Best of all, I have a choice of what songs to learn, and after some practice, I can play along with my favorite songs on my iPod, which gives me the feeling of playing in a band. Charley really keeps each lesson interesting, which keeps me wanting to learn more.
I'm very pleased at the progress Tim has made playing the bass guitar. Lots of kids lose interest in music or learning an instrument if they have a bad experience. Tim looks forward to each lesson with Charley and can't wait to get home and show me what he's learned. Keeping a teenager's interest in learning requires a great teacher and Charley is a great teacher. Charley has infused a level of interest, excitement and motivation in Tim that has given him an appreciation for music and an outlet for his creativity.
>>>>>>>>Len, Tim's Dad
Taking bass lessons with Charley is really fun. You learn the entire bass board so you don't forget any notes, and that helps you to play faster and better."
I came to know Charley by necessity. I was in the studio collaborating on an album and in hearing my bass tracks I heard with clarity the fundamental mistakes I was making. These were mistakes I had been making for years and overlooked. I am glad that on the first lesson I knew I would return and be able to accomplish my goals. I was fortunate to have found Charley and did not have to spend the time and money finding the right teacher. Charley is professional, dedicated and a master of his teachings. Charley's regimented approach to teaching music theory and playing has made a better bass player. Charley's support has rebuilt my confidence and like me, Charley will improve, correct and teach you the proper way to play and learn the bass guitar.
Charley is an awesome teacher and all around good guy. I like studying with him because his teaching style is methodic, yet extremely adaptive which really works for me. He was able to pin point my strengths and weaknesses and tailor my lessons accordingly
>>>>>>John - 34
I have been studying with Charley for a year now. As an older gal, safety always comes first. Charley provides a comfortable, safe and creative environment. He is extremely patient with adults relearning the alphabet from A to G, "once you start lessons, you will know what I'm talking about"... His teaching methods and exercises are challenging yet fun to follow and he is flexible with lesson times. Most important - Charley actually knows what he is teaching. You won't be sorry!!!
I highly recommend Charley as a bass teacher. He is dedicated to impart his wealth of knowledge and experience to anyone who is willing. Plus he is a great guy and makes learning fun. Thank you for making studying bass fun.
"Charley's got this infectious energy in his playing that pushes you and infuses joy, as a fellow player, student, and an audience member."
-Norine Castine, Pianist
Charley is so talented – he puts up with my limited knowledge of music theory and has taught me so much about teamwork, and friendship.
Charley can play anything, anytime and in the most amazing way! He can play in any key. He adds so much with his incredible talent on the bass – that allows me to just close my eyes, raise my voice and soar!
He is TRULY a Rock Star!!!
-Jean Brophy, Vocalist/Guitarist
Charley Sabatino is a top notch bassist, an intuitive and creative musician, and an easy person to work with. Tell him the key signature, and Charley will improvise with anything. I've thoroughly enjoyed making music with him.
-Jim Stahl, Vocalist/Guitarist/Cellist
I cannot imagine a better bass player than Charley for my goals as a bandleader, composer, rhythm section compatriot, and educator. He is an incredibly creative yet adaptive bassist whose playing sensibilities can both meld seamlessly into premeditated ideas and transform those ideas into something completely new. He is very professional, personable, punctual, and enjoyable to work with both on the bandstand and in a classroom environment, and his passion for the art form shines through in any situation.
-Lauren Lee, Vocalist, Pianist, Educator, Leader of the Lauren Lee Jazz Project
Charley is great to have on the gig for 3 reasons:
1) Attitude - never a drag, always enthusiastic regardless of whether this particular gig or music is his favorite thing.
2) Preparedness - if there's anything to learn for the gig, Charley will be on top of it if you provide charts/mp3s ahead of time.
3) Musicality - Charley has a wide range and a huge bag of tricks to pull from musically. I'm not sure there's any style that would leave him without something to bring to the table.
-Colin Taber, Guitarist, Vocalist, Bandleader
Charley is a joy to play with.
His creative improvisational style and great energy bring great life to the music he plays. He has great chops minus the big ego. I always look forward to working with Charley Sabatino. He plays with his heart and soul.
-Howard Mermelstein, Drummer, Vocalist, Massage therapist
Charley Sabatino is one of the most accomplished musicians that I have encountered in all my years of involvement with choirs and liturgical music. His involvement and talent brings a true sense of professionalism and helps round out a choral sound that would be lacking in spirit otherwise. He is an accomplished and skilled musician that helps fill out the sound and brings a sense of “fullness” our choir.
Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care
St. Mary’s Hospital for Children