Exam performance.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Not Mark Westlake, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Hey,
    Wow, it seems like every time you come here there's another person asking what piece to play for X performance, so, to continue that trend, what should I play for my AS-level exam piece? This is my penultimate year in high school, and we've got our solo performance exam coming up in music, and we need to perform something (er...obviously :p). Now, according to our teacher, the examiner is of the "Olde Schoole" who only recognises classical music as being 'real' music. However, this doesn't mean he writes off guitar/bass/modern performances. He just doesn't understand them. He doesn't know what anything we do is, so is quite easily impressed. This means high marks!

    Anyhoo, having just discovered (I've been living under a rock ;)) Victor Wooten, I'm tempted to do Classical Thump. I can play all the parts he does in that lesson on his site, and I'm starting to learn the rest. I've got 5 weeks to do it, and I practise a lot every day, so d'you all think it'd be a good idea to play it? Or should I do some kinda funk thing? It just needs to be technically hard so it shows my "true level of music performance and accomplishment", to quote the syllabus.

    So any suggestions?

    Thanks very much in advance,

  2. Well, really any victor wooten, jaco, and les claypool piece would do well. And slap always impresses people who don't really know what its about :)
    If he is of the old skool you could always freak him out and do axiom or maxwell murder by rancid :) They are both great bass lines.
  3. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Highway to Hell - AC/DC :D

    If I were going to play a Wooten piece for a assessment performance, my choice would definately be his version of "Norwegian Wood". I just don't know how impressed a non-bassplayer would be by classical thump. At least with Norwegian Wood you get a lot of different techniques in the same piece, plus its a reinterpretation of a piece of music your assessor is bound to know - therefore you are likely to get a better response.

    There is a lot of classical pieces that have been arranged for bass as well.

    Personally i'd play some meat and potatoes bass (ie Dire Straits, AC/DC) and after its finished say - "hey i'm a bass player - what were you expecting me to do?" :)
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Um...I've played Classical Thump for people who weren't even musicians and they were blown away. I think it's a fairly safe bet, certainly more so than Norwegian Wood.

    Did you all understand what he meant by being "olde schoole?" He didn't mean Rancid. :p I think if you combined bass playing with a classical "style" piece (i.e. classical thump) he would be blown away. How many people have *really* seen that before?:
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I assumed by "olde schoole" he meant that he would less likely be impressed by chops than he would be a solid piece exceuted well. Accordingly, I still think that "Norwegian Wood" or any number of Jaco pieces would be more suitable. That said, I really don't think that you would be assessed at all poorly if you pulled off classical thump well. - I just don't know if an "olde schoole" assessor would be as impressed by classical thump as you may think. God knows they have probably seen all manner of chops before. YMMV
  6. Why not play a Bach cello suite, a lot of classical players dig classical pieces played on electric instruments if you do them well.
  7. Yes a Bach suite would work well and would be something he/she would recognize and appredciate. Also the violin partitas would work well, although they aren't as often performed on bass. If you want to display chops maybe work up a paganini caprice. If he's a classical guy I would stay away from the slap stuff. In my experience it's generally regarded as a gimmick and/or a secondary technique like pizzicato on violin. Plus, he's probably seen a hundred bassists play wooten things, donna lee, and portrait of tracy, why not do something different :)
  8. Well, with me not being "olde schoole", can anyone suggest some specific suites? Something technical would be good, and preferably something which would just so happen to have the score on the mystical Internet :D I'm up for trying anything, it's just that I've only got 5 weeks to learn it (4 now, really), so I wanna get cracking...

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    We are talking about Wales here!! ;)

    I've never met anybody in Britain who has even heard of Victor Wooten, outside of this forum!!

    I do agree about the chops vs. melody/making music thing - it's very unlikely that you will impress a music teacher with sheer virtuosity and a more "musical" performance will probably go down better...?
  10. Bit of national rivalry going on 'ere :p

    Nah, it's all good...there's about 3 other bassists that I know of in this county. Considering we're the biggest county in Wales that's not so good :s (Incidentally, we have a 3:1 sheep:human ratio...)

    No-one I know of or have spoken to knows of Wooten either, and most of the people who do AS/A2-Level music are all the classical brigade. Plus, if he has heard it before it won't have been for at least over a year ago so he'll have forgotten.

    Anyway, a classical piece suggestion would be cool, or, really, any piece. We don't have to pander to his whims here - it's all our own choice of what we think best reflects our talent with our chosen instrument (which also includes making full use of said instrument), so it can be anything...

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    If you like Victor Wooten - how about his arrangement of "Amazing Grace" with harmonics - this was transcribed in a recent edition of Bass Player magazine and I tried playing some of it - it was very musical and melodic. :)
  12. How about the prelude from Bach's 1st cello suite? I'm not sure how many strings you're playing on but you may have to change some octaves if you play it at written pitch. If you play it transposed for bass it should all work on a 5 string bass but I've heard many people play it on a 4. There are just a few notes below E. The minuets from the first suite also work well but may not display your chops as much as you'd like. You can get a lot of Bach's music on the web as many publications are now public domain. www.mutopiaproject.org I think has some.