Bass related theme for a senior thesis. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Just talked to my adviser at the University and had my paper signed off. I have finished the requirements for my degree.

    My final project is a 30 page thesis (20, since I'm having a senior recital) on a subject of my choosing.

    I'm thinking of writing about extended bass techniques, such as tapping, harmonics, the use of the eBow, etc. Either that or I might analyze Joe Frazier pt. II by Jeff Berlin.

    Since I have a couple weeks to decide what to write about, I thought I'd ask for some suggestions from you guys. Thanks for any ideas.

  2. im thinking this would be a great topic. plenty of info to fill up 20-30 pages easily.

    btw, what is your major?
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Thanks, DFD, but please note it's an either/or thing.

    My major is music, focusing on electric bass performance, Jazz and World music styles.
  4. *nice*

    im currently looking for a college offering something similar, though i plan on getting a DB and continuing that into college as well, i would love to find a program where i could major in jazz performance on db and/or bg
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    How about Dave Holland's compositions and/or playing in odd time signautures without playing ostinatos for the bass line(s)?

    I'd read that!! ;)
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Well, Bruce, Since you're not responsible for my final grade, I'll let you do your own dirty work.;)

    Besides, I'm an electric bass major. it would be nice if I geared my thesis to my instrument, if that makes sense to you.:p
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You could just as easily play them on BG - and Dave Holland plays BG occasionally - with Herbie Hancock for example.

    I really just meant him as an example of someone who (writes &) plays tunes in odd-time signatures without necessarily playing an ostinato bass line.

    I just thought this might be an interesting subject area?

    So I was involved in an interesting debate/discussion about this with two great professional Jazz musicians/composers and some other Jazz students.

    So - one of them demonstrated a way of using the metronome and thinking of the beats as either on or off - then if you are in 7/4 it is like 3 ons and 4 offs or vice versa - but there were loads of thinsg we talked about and played!! :)
  8. few questions for you guys:

    did you major in music bruce?

    what college did both of you go to?

    as i said, im currently looking for an in-state college (because they are sooo much cheaper in state) that has a good music program, and preferably one that has a major in BG. so i just would like some suggestions and advice for the process and all.
  9. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Blackbird: use of silence in bass lines/styles? may be trite, i isn't no skool-lernd guy... probably would be one aspect of whatever you settle on.

    Bruce/anybody: what's meant by an 'ostinato bass line'?
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I dunno about Bruce, but I'm attending San Francisco State University.

    I don't know if it's in your state or not, but judging by your location, it should be. ;)

    Permagrin, your idea is interesting but I'd have to write 20-30 pages. Can you imagine asking someone to read 30 pages about silence?
  11. nope, 3000+ miles away, im in SC :(
  12. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    My professor at UCLA wrote her entire thesis on the use of silence in music, both how it's used to affect timing as well as to increase/decrease tension in musical passages. Was thinking you could possibly address how silence is applied to the role/function that bass provides.
  13. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    IMO,I would'nt use that.Is that the reason you put in those those long hours(years)at school,to expound upon techniques that will have a very minor relevance in the overwhelming majority of anything you do as a pro?
    I assume you went to to school to study harmony,ear-training,transcription/analysis,performance,arranging/composition.Pick from there I suggest as your starting off point for choosing a subject.
    I attended Concordia Montréal,and graduated last year with a BA in Music(jazz).
    I did'nt have one final paper to do,but each of my final year courses had stringent req's.
    Jazz Improv II-transcribe and play either Herbies solo,or Hank Mobley's to Lee Morgan's tune "Ceora",play the head and blow on 3 standards of the prof's choice.
    Jazz Composition II-compose a Jazz suite with 3 movements or 2 long form tunes for 3 horns plus accompaniement.
    I can go on,but do you get my point?
    I know you have gathered substantial musical knowledge at SFU,use it to write something substantial that shows this.
    A detailed history of the BG in jazz/world music and it's impact,with transcribed examples.
    A transcription/analysis of a tune/solo is one way.
    An original composition with detailed analysis of why and how you arrived at your tune in a MUSICAL fashion.
    These are a couple of possibilities that bring to the forefront the quality of your musical education.
    Writing 20 pages about licks and tricks,equally says something about the (mis)quality of your musical education.
    Good luck,
  14. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    have it on the electric bass guitar- how it has ben here for not so long. How it has evolved into the music of today. Grow-en and change as in a instrument, (4 to 5 to 12 strings. scale, pre-amps built in ....) and become a more predominant instrument in the music of today.
  15. hmm, sounds good to me, "The History of the Electric Bass"

    but then again i dont know jack about thesis papers so i cant really say if it would be appropriate or not. good luck though, btw :)
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    An Ostinato is a one or two bar repeated melodic figure. It outlines the chord tones. A lot of the time in odd times, bassists will opt to play ostinatos to give the music foundation.

    A good example off the top of my head is Vital Signs by Rush. It's in 4/4, but a good example of an ostinato.
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey, Phil.

    Thanks for your post. It's a litle long to quote at length, but I just wanted to share this: The undergraduate thesis doesn't need to be any groundbreaking piece of work. From the advisor herself, I confirmed that it only needs to be an expository essay. I'd be disappointed at how little they're actually asking me to do, but believe me, I've done enough sweating already and my coursework this semester is brutal enough as is.

    Extended techniques are a relatively uncharted territory as far as other musicians go and I'd have quite a few people I could interview, as well as recorded samples on hand. Also, I have a solo arrangement of "What a wonderful world" that I could tie in somehow. It's all still very tentative, but I'd like to get it underway sonner rather than later.

    More along the lines of your suggestion would be the Joe Frazier II transcription/analysis. Maybe I'll look into doing that.
  18. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Excellent,I wish you luck.Mine was an undergrad course too,I know the workload!!!I did'nt do anything groundbreaking either,just trying to keep my head above water was enough.If you need any help/advice/materials PM me,I would be more than happy to assist.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No - I did a degree in Religion & Philosophy - but I have never completed a music degree, although I started one with the Open University (correspondence) but never finished it.

    I am on a part-time (Only Sat. Mornings) Jazz programme at the University of Sussex! :)