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Music Degree

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by greekbassist, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Hi All,

    I was wondering if anyone can help out with this question?

    I really LOVE bass, and was thinking of majoring in a performance degree for bass.

    I am just curious that after 30 years college has not changed it's curriculum. Why can't they be more like Bass Insititute.

    Meaning that if I did major in bass I would have to learn how to play stand up bass. Not that I wouldn't want to learn, however, I am a small gal and I just wish the electric bass would be part of there program.

    I was checking out Bass Insititue and they have many styles that one can check out.

    I LOVE jazz as well.

    Can anyone shed some light and has anyone on this forum ever gotten a degree in the performing arts.

    Thanks Greekbassist!
  2. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I was asking this very question about 30 years ago when I wished to get a music degree playing bass guitar. Unfortunately I guess it's STILL regarded as an "illegitimate" instrument.

    I did wind up trying to learn stand up and didn't fare so well - which is not to say anyone else wouldn't. I practised about 4 hours a day and gained some proficiency but not enough to play very well. Last chair orchestra - but everybody wanted me in their jazz combo because I could walk well (of course my intonation was in outer space to my ear!),

    There are ways around this if you really want the piece of paper bad enough. You could major with voice, piano, or *gasp* reg'lar guitar (where is the justice??). Or music history if you wish to have a teaching degree.

    I left after two years because I took the two years of required theory but didn't want to take two years of music history. Also cuz I was broke and wanted to go out and gig.

    Another option is take private instruction and learn theory (or whatever) at a community college. That way you can gig, work and still learn.
    I canna shed no light but I can commiserate! It's prejudice I tell you!!

    hope this helps, peace out -Ryco
  3. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Hi RYCO!

    Your comments are very englightening :)

    I don't think it's because electric bass is still recoginize as an illegitimate instrument.

    Because I know a guitarist friend of mine who can shred on electric guitar and play many styles and is now going to college to get a degree so that he can teach in a guitar shop and he is having to major in CLASSICAL guitar.

    Why can't colleges develop a program like Bass and Guitar Insititute down in Los Angeles? It would sure make getting certified to teach in a music shop a lot easier...LOL!!!

    I mean music in the last 30 years has changed why can't the colleges.

    Bass and Guitar Insititue is waaaaay to expensive to attend and who has the money to go. Plus room and bored...I have heard some horror stories.

    Anyways, thanks for your reply!
  4. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    If you're on a tighter budget, then Berklee is out of the question. But Berklee rules.

    And I've heard terrible things about the Guitar and Bass Institute. Just a bunch of wanker teachers that are lost in the 80's. At least that's what I've heard.
  5. because pop music is not what's being taught in schools. go to a small school where they can work the curriculum around your needs. I did and currently teach at the university I attended. My bass majors are requied to at least check out DB, but they don't have to commit to studying it.

    OTOH, most major schools teach art music (Jazz is barely in that category in most circles) which generally does not include BG. The school I'm going to for grad school next semester doesn't have a BG teacher per se. I will be studying DB proper, but have many ensemble opportunities to study BG.
  6. If you are really serious about it, check out schools in NYC, like the new school, or you can go across the river to Jersey to William Patterson University <-i go here. they have an incredible jazz program and i think you can come in as a E.bass major, but you do have to study Double bass.
    Jeff berlin has a school down in florida i just cant remember the name.

    There are actually a lot of schools there that accepts E.bass and holds programs for the instrument, but as a serious bass player we really should study the mother of the E. Bass which is the double bass.
  7. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    We as serious bassist should be familiar with the double bass and the great players of the instrument. But I don't feel that an aspiring electric bassist should be required to play classical repertoire and give recitals on double bass.
    This is time that could be spent playing the instrument we really love. The electric bass.

    I have done the double bass thing and really didn't enjoy it all. I don't feel that playing classical music on DB has helped my electric playing. But playing the Bach Cello Suites and other cello pieces on electric has helped tremendously. (Check out the book Dotzauer Exercises for Violoncello. These are great for 5 string.)

    Anyway my point is that music schools should recognize the electric bass as a legitimate instrument. Put your car radio on scan and see how many doublebasses you hear.
  8. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    You guys are awesome!!!

    I actually love double bass, but I am small and petite and electric bass is hard enough to play...

    Snarf, I have also heard some bad things about Bass and Guitar Institute as well...

    And yeah, Berklee rules.

    I live in Phoenix, AZ, I am checking out what is available..ASU is great, but I believe double bass is mandatory!!!

    Though I'll admit we have a GREAT conservatory school for the recording arts :)

    Just wish we'd have a program for different styles of bass music :meh:
  9. utopia_imminent


    Jun 19, 2004
    wat bout la music academy.
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Isn't Grove School in the LA area?

    Greek - don't let your size be a reason for not playing the double bass. You'd be amazed at who's playing the "big girl". They also come in different sizes.

    Google Kristin Korb. Little lady, big sound, big chops.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yup - many of the Double Bass teachers I have had classes with have been fairly small and/or women - like Paula Gardiner :

  12. There are also different sizes of double bass, if that helps.
  13. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I've gotten 2 degrees in music and that's been good for me because I could get licenced to teach.
    BUT.... if I were in my early 20's and single, and wanted to play bass for a living, I wouldn't consider a degree as a goal. I'd get what money I could all together and take lessons and jam and play everywhere and for anyone that I could. If learning DB was something that would open doors, I'd do that too.

    The degree is only a paper that can let you do other things that require the degree. Other than that, its knowledge and experience. Berklee is one of the few schools that I would consider dealing with...and only for the classes, not for the degree.
  14. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Lot's of great responses, Thanks Guys.

    I think it would be kind of cool to play double bass, and your right Pacman, and sure there are great women double bassist out there as well...I will google Kristin Korb, and Bruce, thanks for Paula Gardiner website link. I'll check it out for sure!!

    Thanks Basschuck! Your right I guess private lessons and jamming with anyone is one's best education!!!!
  15. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Yeah, even if you don't want to formally study double bass, definitely get one and play it as much as you can. I've only had one for a month or so, and my playing and hireability has increased greatly.

    I've heard very good things about the New School, I played with a sick mofo of a piano player who went there.

    And as for smaller hands on double bass . . . one of the best double players I've ever seen is this little 21 year-old Spanish girl by the name of Esperanza Spaulding. SICK SICK SICK SICK player.
  16. basspunk2005

    basspunk2005 Guest

    Jan 31, 2005
    Im studying for a degree at the bass institute in London Uk. www.guitarinstitute.com then click on enter bass:). yea its really good learning lots of new styles and complex rhythms. Seems to me like others havnt heard good things about it. But I know im learning and progressing. For example this time last year i could barely sight read. Now after being there since october my sight reading has got a lot better
  17. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    Check out the university of Miami, they might have a e.bass thing there, since jaco went to school there and all...
  18. basshawk


    Dec 18, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Jeff Berlin's school is the Players School of Music. I attended the One Week intensive course a couple of years back and it was amazing. Just the daily jam sessions alone were worth the price of tuition. Jeff and his instructors were great. They truly care about music and each students' musical growth. Plus they're awesome players/teachers. Even so, they allow you to learn in a comfortable , non-pressure learning environment. It was a lot of fun. Here's the link to his site:


    Hope this helps!

  19. I had no idea that this BG/DB thing was a real problem in the US. In Australia, there are absolutely no problems if you want to audition and major with the BG. Some prestigious universities even have a classical specialisation for the BG. I have no idea what that entails.
  20. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I have a degree (BA(Hons)) in Popular Music and Recording

    to be honest I didn't learn much more than I could have learned sitting and reading books/the internet.. (but this was 1994 and the internet very different back then)

    wouldn't recommend spending all the money on a degree unless you can be sure it's providing you with info & experience you can't get anywhere else for free

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