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Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by backline112, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008

    I sent an email to the admissions office asking if they accept Electric Bass into their Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media program, and they replied this:

    What the F***!?

    As if Electric Bass wasn't a real instrument. I felt their answer was kind of "racist" against Electric Bass. Why would they also audition you on Classical Guitar? I started playing guitar one month ago but Bass is still my "main" instrument and the most interesting from my perspective. Ugh.
  2. Well I'm not defending it and I don't think it's right, but electric bass is bass guitar. Maybe that's their rationale? I don't quite understand the bias against electric bass in jazz, especially in conservatories. The only one I saw that accepted electric bass was Berklee. Maybe in 50 years it'll be part of the curriculum-jazz took a while to be accepted by academia too, didn't it?
  3. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music accepts Electric Bass to their Jazz program. Quite awesome.
  4. Ripper


    Aug 16, 2005
    its U of R... they're just weird there
  5. bass isn't a race

    anyways, the problem with academia is that they seem uninterested in exploring new territory, but they only want to rehash old jazz over and over again...probably has more to do with the faculty than the school itself...
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Probably they are seeing it as 'Bass Guitar' (and there are a few threads here on that issue). If you are serious about a music degree, you might think about picking up DB, it would be a big help to you on a number of levels. If you just want to get some good intense instruction on EB and some jazz experience, I would re-think the Eastman School option, there may be better places for you.
  7. +1
  8. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    It's because Eastman is 100% classical based, I didn't even realize they accepted electric bass. When is the last time you heard electric bass in an orchestra? :) They are classical much like Berklee is a Jazz based school.
  9. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    Haha, yes. It was a way of saying. My english limits my communication sometimes.

    Seems like you are either against schooling or you've been through it. I would like to read some of your thoughts about going to college.

    I am serious about music, and think that going to college will give me the opportunity to share experiences, music and skills with other musicians, it will give me the opportunity to build contacts, expand my knowledge about the industry, plus invaluable other kinds of experience that outside of school I would get in a longer amount of time.
    I am aware that Eastman is definitely not for me.

    Could you expand a little bit more on why should I pick up DB and what benefits would I get?

    Everyone else please comment on this if you want.

  10. Most jazz programs that I'm aware of require DB, even if you are primarily an electric player (not sure about Berklee though).

    In this VERY difficult environment for players (and I'm not just talking about the current economic environment, but rather the general environment for live music, which is VERY bad), you really need to have a full skill set in order to make a living as a bass player. That means reading (lines and charts), faking, good skills on the electric and DB, etc., etc. IMO and IME.

    Even then, you aren't looking at a big income, and most likely no benefits (depending on the country). If you lack any of the above skills, your gigging opportunities will be reduced.
  11. I am not against schooling, but in my experiences, music departments don't concern themselves with pushing the limits of music or finding new grounds to cover. In my experiences, there are two main groups of people in music departments: the classical crowd and jazz crowd. The classical crowd does the classical thing and the jazz crowd seems to refuse to like anything past 1979.
    Of course, to me, i don't really think jazz itself has been really pushing itself to find new ground either, so that might have a lot to do with it as well--maybe school has nothing to do with it lol
  12. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    Ugh, I feel discouraged.

    I'm 19 and I already took a year to sharpen my bass skills and overall musicianship (theory, knowledge, experience, etc.) If I pick up DB now I'll have to wait another year to at least be able to play some standards to audition on it.

    If I just audition on EB at the places I've been looking at I'll have something in my hands that'll get me started.

    Maybe it's my young age and experience (or lack of it) that's saying: Just go for it, you'll figure something out on the way.

    It always happens to me, I always left the opportunities pass by me, and later I would regret it. I don't want that to happen with this, because it is a friggin important decision.

    BUT... What could go so wrong and terribly bad with studying EB that couldn't be fixed?
  13. Well, let me bum you out some more.

    What could go wrong is that you spend a TON of time (years) fine tuning your craft on bass, which results in you being pretty good (i.e., not Anthony Jackson, but not the typical schmoe playing in a wedding band or 'classic rock band' or 'church gigs for free' on weekends who for all practical purposes can't even really play).

    What will that get you? About the same yearly income as working at a McDonald's, with the same (no) benefits in most cases.

    It is VERY easy to, for example, go to college and get a degree in something that you can actually make a living at, and then still take your music very seriously, taking private lessons, taking as many elective classes in theory, etc., and playing your **s off as much as you can.

    This is the route I took (playing 6 nights a week in the late 70's and early 80's as I finished my Masters and most of a Ph.D. in statistics).

    You don't have to go quite as nuts with the education as I have, but I can honestly say that most of the gigs I do are with 'music school graduates', and I get the same pay as they do:smug:
  14. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    All this is great information.

    I'll think about all this and I'll get back tomorrow.

  15. Here is what i don't get with a lot of people who want to go to college for bass--You go to school to learn, not to excel for 4 years. If you aren't good at DB, so what--you go to school to learn. pick up a DB and audition. Its more just to see where you are skill-wise, so they see what they have to work with, or the other reason to audition is for scholarships, but if you don't win one, so what--get loans, get a job, start a band--whatever it takes to get through college.

    if you feel a strong urge to go to school for music, do it. You'll learn. Thats what education is, and as far as I know, school touches on education in several of their classes ;)

    of course, KJung has a good idea too--if you don't really care to develop your DB skills, then major in something else and start a band.

    I guess ultimately, think about what you want to do with music, and think about where you will go with a music degree and where you will go without one. Does your plan require a music major?
  16. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Every freakin' time the Boston Pops performs. Guy plays a P Bass through an awesome little compact Walter Woods rig from the Pleistocene Era. (Only uses it on one or two numbers though, then he goes back to playing contrabass.)

    Berklee does not require EB players to also play DB. Nor does the New England Conservatory of Music, fwiw.
  17. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    If the reason you are going to school is to learn "performance" techniques, don't waste your time and money at a university ... go find a great private instructor who will teach you how to blow people away with your playing. However, if you are looking for a serious music education which would include extensive theory, composing, arranging, production, etc, then a formal education may be quite valuable.

    There is more to being a professional musician than playing an instrument, and if you intend to pursue a music career you'll need to be multi-faceted. If you can double on an instrument you'll be more valuable. If you can arrange charts, you'll be more valuable. If you understand production, you'll be more valuable .... etc, etc, etc ....

    Performance is great, but as hinted above, pretty regularly leads to limited income. A thoroughly rounded music education opens a lot more monetary doors ... still a hard road, but options are available. I will say that in my pretty long music career, no one really gave a cr*p about my degree or prestigious schooling & resume ..... ;)

    And I agree with most everyone above, learn some DB ... :cool:
  18. backline112

    backline112 Guest

    Jun 3, 2008
    It seems to me that you are very concerned about monetary issues. Maybe you are warning me that if I think being a musician will get me lots of money I have already failed. Don't worry, I know most real musicians aren't rich. And that's perfectly fine for me. In fact, I like it. As most people, you might not understand my point of view, but I'm not into music for the money. I didn't discover music because of money. I don't think it's an efficient way of making money. So I'm clear with that.
    Before deciding on studying music and getting serious about it, I did a lot of thinking and career research and self discovery and "self research" to see if there was something else I might do instead of taking an artistic path (I was interested in theatre but found myself practicing more bass and enjoying and feeling and making more music than theatre.) So yeah, I am pretty sure I won't feel comfortable doing something else (not related to music.) I did think of your idea when doing this research but thought that to make at least decent art, you gotta be in it 100% (according to my standards.)

    It's not that I don't want to learn Double Bass (I actually like learning lots of things,) and I certainly think of learning another instrument as a valuable asset (anything to make my music better,) it's just that right now, it's kind of difficult for me to start learning a new tool (instrument.) I am not rejecting it. And it's not like I will only play electric bass forever OMG and bass is the only thing that makes muzics, I am pretty open. I will learn Double Bass in the near future.

    Yeah, it shouldn't matter if you studied on a prestigious school or not when you are an artistic person (music, writing, art in general.) Why should it matter? It's art, not a friggin office job. I'm not going to college because of the degree, but because I think it is a very good method of learning what makes music, or it's "ingredients" as a friend said. Just like writers, musicians learn the "rights and wrongs" of the language but later on they develop their own way of communicating. Shakespeare and it's iambic pentameter: you never see actors performing their lines like in the iambic, it would be ridiculous. Just like bass solos aren't strictly straight scales. I'm into college of music for it's memories, people, places, scents, (yeah, corny, but it's true) and all that good theory stuff that (as my experience tells me) might be faster to learn on an academic setting.

    It seems that all of you guys are really experimented and know the industry and pros and cons. This has given me pretty good information that I might have learned later on in my life. This is a good forum. But I'm off to practice now.:smug:

  19. :) This has NOTHING to do with getting rich. I didn't think a lot about monetary issues when I was 19 either. The trap many get into with playing music for a living is that, as a young man or woman of school age, you can actually make a LOT more playing than working at a McDonalds part time, and mom and dad are usually covering your health insurance.

    What I'm talking about is spending a LOT of time and money in school working toward something that most don't consider a career any more. By 'career', I mean eventually getting a job that will allow you to live above the poverty level with a family of 3, for example.

    This has nothing to do with wanting to be a player, or honing your craft, or even playing for a living for a while. However, it's a VERY different world than 30 years ago when I started playing professionally. If you read a bit, could fake, swing a little, and showed up on time, 6 night a week gigs were literally falling from the trees. Now, there literally aren't any 6 night a week gigs (almost none anyway).

    For a while, guys that got a jazz education degree could find a job teaching, even if it was part time, but that's even going away with budget cuts, and the absolute glut of 'jazz education' degreed players out there.

    Again... sorry to sound like your dad, and it's just 'something to think about'.
  20. that wasn't specifically aimed at you lol

    but i will say that KJung and Pointbass hit the nail on the head, and i was trying to say that before. You might want to think about what you actually want to do with music, because you may not need college to pursue what it sounds like what you want to do. I would seriously think about what you want to do--if you just want to learn to play really good bass guitar in a band and get some gigs, college might be one avenue, but there are some cheaper alternatives, like getting private lessons, and there are some slick bass teachers out there, I know Steve Lawson or Mike Dimen could really teach you a thing or two about bass, and while you might not have a college degree afterwards, you will be really good at bass. Now at college, you are getting a music education--not necessarily bass--if you want to go on the composition side of music, there will be some requirement to play piano. If its bass, you will need to pick up DB (and probably piano as well lol) there would be a lot more to just playing electric bass.
    ps--if you do decide that college is where you will go after this, here is my suggestion. Play the DB for the audition even if you haven't got it mastered. They just want to know what level bassist you are, you don't cheat yourself--you'll only make it harder on yourself. There is a teacher there who will teach it to you, and you will learn it. I promise!

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