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Electric bass and Masters Programs at Colleges

Discussion in 'Ask Todd Johnson [Archived]' started by ZENBASSGUY, Sep 4, 2008.


  1. Hey Todd,
    I am currently a senior at Umass and i have been studying electric bass for 4 years here and another 7 before that so a total of 11 years, also i have been studing upright for 2 years. i feel i am pretty good on electric and it seems to be where my "voice" is especially the 6 string. however i really wnat to go on for my masters and then teach at a college or something like that. my question is..do you know of any schools that offer masters degrees in any kind of jazz field on electric or am i going to have to bite the bullet and get my masters on upright..

    thanks in advance
    Dan
     
  2. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    Hi Dan,

    I know that CalArts in Valencia California offers a masters on electric bass. I taught there for several years, so I know it can be done.

    I'm sure there are other places, but I'm not sure. Berklee in Boston would offer one I would think, but I'm not sure.

    I hope this helps.....if not let me know and we'll start a fact finding mission.

    Cool??? Cool...........:cool:
     
  3. I believe University of the Arts in Philly offers a masters in jazz studies on electric bass as well. Good luck to you.
     
  4. Manhattan School of Music offers an electric bass Masters and last time I checked Jeff Andrews was the professor (he is one amazing dude, just check out the stuff he did with Mike Stern)
     
  5. ding_man

    ding_man

    Dec 24, 2006
    Celina, OH
    North Texas (the top dog of jazz) requires bassists to be proficient in upright and electric bass for their masters program.. that could also be an option. That way you can continue studies on upright if you wish and you would have more to offer as a teacher.
     
  6. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    Hi Friends........

    Hey, great suggestions!!! It's good to know you have options.

    North Texas is a GREAT school. Lynn Seaton is a TREMENDOUS player and teacher.....and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet!! Great suggestion!!
     
  7. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I don't believe UNT has any instructors for electric bass (they may have added a TA but I'm not sure). Generally, you would have to play upright there. However, try to locate Brian Mulholland (he was with Maynard's last band) and I believe he doesn't play upright and he got his masters from NT. There's always a way around things but no upright playing may limit the ability to play in a lab band. But you say that you can play some upright so that should be fine. Lynn Seaton is a great player and you could learn a lot from him. Also, Fred Hamilton (the guitar teacher) is also a great bass player. I don't think Berklee offers a masters yet.
     
  8. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Dan,

    If you want to teach at a college, how about getting your Masters in an area of "respectable" study. Look for a program that will allow you the time to shed the electric bass and perform professionally so you will have professional experience to go along with your degree.

    I play and teach the electric bass daily at a college, but my ability to do a good job as a teacher was not learned in school. The folks who would hire you as an instructor at most colleges will look for your degree, but they will ultimately listen to your playing.

    Pick an area of the country (city) that has a thriving gig scene, where you can study privately with a top notch teacher/player, and get your masters at a reputable school.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim
     
  9. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    Thanks Jim....Great advice!!
     
  10. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    Jim,
    What would be an area of respectable study? I was thinking of pursuing a masters of jazz studies. I'm assuming that I should consider a performance degree?
     
  11. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Dan,

    I believe a Masters it performance is not good logic. Performance, should be experience in the real world i.e. GIGS in public venues, for money. If one is not worthy of being paid then more study and practice is needed. Too many students who finish a Masters in Performance still sound like students. Playing in ensembles on campus is not the kind of experience one needs to become a "good" teacher.

    I was thinking a Masters degree in a music related field would be more beneficial and make you more marketable.

    I realize some places want you to have a degree in Jazz Studies, etc,etc. The bottom line in music will always be, do you have playing experience from which to draw on.

    Jim
     
  12. Thanks guys ...
    Jim can you suggest a music related degree all i have seen is either education or performance in either jazz or a classic displine.
     
  13. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    GREAT ADVICE JIM!!! Thanks for the great help......
     
  14. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Dan,

    How about marketing?
    How about contract law?
    How about business management?
    How about music composition?
    How about film scoring?
    How about music engineering technology?
    How about music therapy?
    How about ....
     
  15. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The only thing I saw on the berklee website about masters in their joint MBA program with Sufolk Uni, but right next door to berklee is the NEC who has a masters in jazz, if you click the jazz tab they have a list of professors including a bass guitar/latin music specialist.

    http://www.newenglandconservatory.edu/degrees/master.html
     
  16. hey jim,
    i hope my last post didn't seem sarcastic i just didn;t knowmwhat else i could do with a bach. degree in jazz performance and teaching seemed like a steady income. but i will look into some of those as welll

    thanks
     
  17. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Zen,

    No problem. Your questions seemed serious and I wanted to give you a serious answer.

    I see many music teachers who really don't enjoy their work. I think this is because most of them see their job as their "day gig," and not a chance to express and expand their love of music.

    Much of the frustration and bad attitude with many teachers comes from the fact that they are NOT very good players. They have very little experience to draw from. Without experience all teaching is just theory and opinion. This gets old quick, thus very early burnout.

    Most jazz teaching positions do not require any degree. The determining factor is your performance resume. This is why I suggested you look for a good performance (real world) environment and get you degree on the side, in an area of study that will add another dimension to your career.

    There is a feeling of independence and control knowing that you can always make a living as a first rate player, even if your teaching gig provides a more steady income.

    Jim
     
  18. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    Zen,

    This is world class advice and I couldn't agree more!!!

    Jim,

    Thanks again for your wise and insightful counsel. I know everyone here appreciates it.
     
  19. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Todd, Jim et al,

    Are any of you familiar with the US School of Commercial Music? If so, what's your take on their programs?

    http://www.usschoolofmusic.com/
     
  20. Todd Johnson

    Todd Johnson

    Sep 27, 2005
    Anthem, AZ
    Hi Adam,

    I'm not familiar with this school.....but I did look at the link you sent. It looks interesting.....but I'd have to know a lot more information before I could recommend it or not.

    Sorry, I don't mean to "chicken" out here but I want to be responsible with my answers.

    Are you thinking of signing up?? If so, let me know how it works. I'm sure we'd all be interested in learning more.

    Cool??? Cool........:cool:
     

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