Chicago Bassists!!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by brianh, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    Would any of the bassists who live in/near chicago give me some info on what it's like there right now?

    I'm considering moving there and I'm open to any style of playing (electric or upright bass). Any advice?

  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Cold. :D
  3. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    What do you mean" what it's like there right now?"

    Weather?.....Cold, it will be until may.

    Finding a band/ gig?......

    don't move here without a 4 wheel drive vehicle that is winterized and has a braking system that can handle the road salt. Also make sure your tires have good tread.
  4. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    It's hit and miss, all depends on what you want to play.

    -Classic rock covers? There's some of that.

    -Post Folk Acoustic Punk Whatever? This city's overflowing with that stuff.

    -Hardcore? Plenty

    -Metal that's not hardcore or grindcore? I believe I'm about the last warrior left in the city, sad. :mad:

    In terms of online classifieds, is one even though the xx years of experience with pro this that and the other gets annoying. is another, slow but somewhat more diverse than chicagogigs. is the most active, but forget about it if you live south of the loop. is cool, but again is slow. is a hidden one somewhat, but not to be overlooked.
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Two more sources (though definitely not necessarily high quality) are and

    In the Chicago Reader, go to the classifieds section and do a search. You'll find people looking for bass players. If it's a good match for you is a different story. Illinois Entertainer is usually mildly fair if you're into straight-ahead rock, as there's little else...still, can't hurt to surf the site for a minute.

    If you're looking for a place to move to be a bass player, Chicago ain't it.
  6. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Hey Ram, what part of Chicago are you in? I'm in the south loop area [i go to Roosevelt].

    From my view thus far of the city-there seems to be some decent blues venues, so playing upright would be more appropriate to me.

    However, i really don't have a clue-i've been diggin checkin out the other bass players at my school.

    Good Luck.

    Brian Where in Indiana are you from? My hometown is Lafayette-i just graduated from Jeff High School.
  7. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    hey cam i went to roosevelt(several years ago though)the scene in chicago is very diverse,i have been gigging here for years and every year i meet someone new who can really play that i never knew of,so theres a bunch of things happening .I don't know what kind of music your looking for,letting us know that would help with advice.I am a full time pro so most of my gig's at this point come from referals,but some of my students have found success with and this helps
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Peter Cetera and Jason Scheff.
  9. Ooh ooh! William Petersen is from Chicago! He goes for the Cubs.

    He's so cool. :smug:
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I live in the West Loop, not too far from Roosevelt. My dad went there, as a matter of fact. I went to DePaul, just around the corner.

    Chicago's got a large number of GREAT blues venues. If you're connected, you can hook up with some great blues acts. But, that's the majority of what comes out of Chicago.

    I did the circuit for a while here, and found it's not "hopping" like some may think. It's a tough city, that way.
  11. AuG


    May 22, 2005
    Fort Collins, CO

  12. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    Chicago's got a large number of GREAT blues venues. If you're connected, you can hook up with some great blues acts. But, that's the majority of what comes out of Chicago.
    Ram i have to disagree with you about blues act's being the majority of what comes out of chicago.there are more Chicago guy's playing on major R&B,gospel,and pop gig's than you might be aware of.and that's not counting the guy's who are from Chicago who relocated,theres a ton of them.there is also a thriving free and avant guard jazz scene .I spent quite a bit of time going back and forth between chicago,L.A. and atlanta in the late 90's.the funny thing was when i would hang out in L.A. and meet someone new they would ask "where you from"i would say Chicago and on more than one instance the next thing i would hear is "oh no another Chicago cat here to take all the gig's what's in the water there man?" ;) I would just say we are raised hungry,that's all
  13. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    Thanks for the info guys.

    I'm finishing up college at Indiana University and I freelance a lot in Indianapolis. I play electric and upright. I do a lot of jazz, gospel, and R&B. Sometimes I do some classical sub work and I play rock when I get called to. I also read pretty well.

    In terms of what I want to do in Chicago, Im pretty flexible. I love playing jazz and probably always will, but I like to groove too and I also want to make money.

    Are there good opportunities to get hooked up with national acts and get on tour? I know of several guys up there/ from them that are doing exactly what I would ideally want to do(Maurice Fitzgerald, Sheree (sp?)...). I just don't know how they made it happen up there...

    Any other advice would be great.

  14. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Without getting into the blues and jazz scenes, there are pretty much two ways you can make it in Chicago right now. The first is to play in a "tribute band". A gig devouted to a partiuclar band is OK (Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, etc.), but the better way to go is to cover a period of time or sub-genre. For instance, there's a band called "Hairbagers Ball" that covers '80s and early '90s metal. Like their namesake, you'll hear them play just about anything that was on the original Headbanger's Ball on MTV. Similarly,there are other tribute bands that cover '80s pop. Anything top 40 from the '80s is pretty much fair game. With a few exceptions, the vast majority of these gigs are played in the suburbs. It's also a great way to make big money at corporate parties, etc.

    The other route would be to write and play original music. The majority of these venues are either in Wicker Park (the artist community west of the city) or in Lincoln Park (up-scale neighborhood on the north side).

    Lastly, if you're going to move to Chicago, don't do it NOW! :rollno: :D Wait until spring (which is usually about a 2-week stretch of time in late May/early June) least you'll miss the cold weather that way! ;)
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000

    That's awesome, i just hooked up with a cover band via Craigs List-turns out the drummer just graduated from Roosevelt. I'm also working out terms with an up and coming blues/jazz/rock guitarist from Myspace-i might be joining his band. The scary/cool thing.......when we did "chairing" for the jazz department-i got last-yet we've all gotten outside of school bands. I think it's awesome.

    So what's the point of my post? You never know when you'll go from gigless to being in the middle of a few.

    BrianH-that's awesome that you went to IU. I know several voice majors there-i went to Jeff High School in Lafayette, so we typically have a few people get into IU every year.

    Take it easy