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Music Major - Audition with DB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Demens, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Hi all, I've never posted in here, but the past few weeks I have been browsing through reading up on DB's because I eventually wanted to get into them.

    Anyways, it seems "eventually" now means "immediately".

    I am a senior in high school and was planning on majoring in music, auditioning with my main instrument, an electric bass. While touring a school (Texas State) my friends and I had a meeting with their head of music there, and they told me that in order to major in their Jazz studies, I needed to audition with a DB as well as my electric bass guitar.

    So, really, my main question is this: Do you think I will be able to pick up the instrument and be able to play well enough for an audition into a school? Auditions are in April, I believe. I know it is a totally new instrument, but I was just wondering what some of you thought.

  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    You can go to a school with your major undeclared and take music courses and lessons. When you're ready to declare your major you can audition for the department.
  3. joeyhimself


    Jul 17, 2005
    I don't know a lot about the prestige of Texas State, but I imagine 3-4 months should be enough to pick up enough on DB for the audition. I would talk to the Dean or Director of the music department and tell him your situation. If you're good enough on electric bass, that has to mean something.

    And of course, always have a second or third, etc. choice for schools.
  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I'm assuming that you're talking about UNT in Denton. I went there many years ago. As a college student you are going to be required to take other college classes besides music such as English, History, etc. You can take those your first year (make sure that you follow the courses for the college of music b/c there are different English class requirements depending on which college you are enrolled). Also, you could apply as a composition or theory major and if I remember correctly, you will not need to audition on an instrument for those majors. But the advantage is that you will still take all the same first year classes (except for jazz fundementals or something like that but you can easily catch up on that later or you can try to sign up for it and claim it's going to be an elective) such as music theory, piano class (unless you can already play well enough to pass the test), etc. You can then continue to play your electric bass and learn UB. This will give you an additional year or two. You do not need to be a jazz studies major to play in the ensembles or lab bands. In fact, I knew students that changed majors to English or something else b/c it took less study time for school and gave them more time to play and practice.
  5. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    why don't you just find a school that has an electric bass teacher and have electric be your main instrument. in other words, find a school that is not going to make you learn upright. they really are two different instruments.
  6. Texas State is the old Southwest Texas State in San Marcos.
    UNT is the the old North Texas State in Denton.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It depends on what you want to do. There isn't much of a way to sound like anything other than somebody who picked up the instrument 4 months ago, so the ensembles that require upright - you're going to be in the remedial ones til you come up to speed. That can be not fun.

    The ONLY reason to play upright is because that's what you hear, that's the instrument that makes the sound you want.
  8. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    1) Get ahold of a double bass with Spiros

    2) See if you can arrange a lesson with one of the bass teachers there to give you a crash course ASAP

    3) Make the audition

    Hope this helps and good luck! :bassist:
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm more with Ed - you may make the audition, but will still be classed a a beginner and you may also find that stamina on DB as well as things like blisters could hold you back, even though you have the theoretcial knowledge.

    I switched from EUB to DB over the Summer and it is a big physical difference - and that's after having played BG for many decades before - my hands just aren't used to the sheer physical effort involved, after about 5-6 months...:meh:
  10. Machina


    Aug 1, 2005
    I began playing in June, did auditions in winter, majoring in performance. All I can say is honestly be prepared to live your life around bass, if that is what your want no one can stop you and you will be happy. If you aren't sure that you want to live your life around your instrument, which is what you will have to do as a newbie who is lagging behind other players, then I suggest you give serious thought to what you are doing.

    It is not easy, but it is worth every hour that you put in. Find yourself a teacher who is a professor at what school you want to go to and I gurantee it will be easier to audition. Connections, connections, connections...from day one.
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    My Son Auditioned last year for The University of the Arts (UARTS) in Philly. He was told by one of the Bass instructors there that he needed to Audition only on DB to get in. At the orientation he was told he could do either or both. He played 'Scrapple from the Apple' on his EB/BG and also did his sight reading test on it. Then one instructor comped on Piano with an F Blues. For this, he played the DB mainly making up a walking bass part. The instructors were impressed to hear that being a senior, he had not Played the DB since after starting the 5th grade (*played all thru 4th grade mainly but on a Cello with Bass strings as he was too small) with the exception of about 4 months of solid training with me. He came and played in two Symphony Orchestras with me for a few months and had to audition for one of them. He played the Simandl excerpt of Mozart's Figaro' at tempo! The conductor was all smiles and said "that's my Tempo, you could have made it at half that and gotten in' as most people auditioning cannot make the fast tempo and articulate the notes on Figaro in unison with the 'cellos.

    The bottom line is, he worked his Butt off getting ready for college and had a teacher to train him as well as a place to play the DB other than just practicing at home.... "BE THE BASS"..(and get a good teacher). That's the only way to get there in my opinion.
  12. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    As Rosann Rosannadanna would say . . . Nevermind.

    However, I believe my friend's college roommate teaches at Southwest Texas State. A good tuba player named Raul.
  13. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Thanks for all the support. It sounds like I should be able to do it if I set my mind to it, like some of you other people. I live in Waco, and my dad works at Baylor, so I am going to try and get in touch with a bass instructor there, or be pointed in the right direction.

    As far as Texas State is concerned, I'm not sure I am going there (our drummer wanted to tour the school, so we went along). I am going to check out UNT next semester and see what they have to say about auditions and whatnot.

    And going into the school undeclared sounds like a good idea. Would give me time to work on some DB without rushing it.

    I am also getting in touch with the orchestra teacher at my high school and seeing if I can possibly rent a bass through the school or something (Waco has no music shops). And, my dad is a big bluegrass guitar player, and he met up with this bassist majoring at Baylor in music, so I am trying to arrange a meeting with him as well.

    It seems like I really just need to carpe diem and get things done.

    Thanks for all the replies, I will keep yall posted on how I'm doing.

  14. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    So it all depends on how hard the audition is, how good your instruction is, how much talent you have, how much knowledge you have already gained on EB, and how hard you are willing to work. My guess is that your situation is not uncommon for people doing the audition. They will know what someone playing for four months can sound like and their judgement will probably be based on your whole performance relative to your experience.

    Some questions you might ask: How many people audition on bass each year? How many are accepted? What is the average experience of those who are accepted?
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I agree with those who say you should work your butt off and audition on the DB. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Yeah, it'll be a struggle. But so what? You gonna be a man or are you going to cower and let yourself be placed in the baby classes without a fight?
  16. Demens


    Apr 23, 2005
    Waco, Texas
    Haha! If I wasn't considering picking up the DB before I posted, this single post would have convinced me I should give it all my effort.

    "I don't want to be in no baby classes!"

    Thanks again for all the positive affirmation, guys. It is just what I needed, that nudge from fellow musicians saying "go for it".