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professional jazz bassist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by suasa, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. okay i need some help on this one. i am in capp 9/10 and we are exploring careers anyway i decided to do a project on professional jass bassists. anyway i need to know if there are any schools you cna go to and tuition fees links to their websites would help and also what kind of money a professional jazz bassist would make i guess that varries alot but i need approximations. anyway links or notes to anything about bassist careers woudl be kool well thanks guys and gals.

  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If you're Nathan East, you can probably pull down about $500K a year. If you're somebody else, you probably can't.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Schools an aspiring career jazz bassist might consider include the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, the University of Miami Department of Music in Coral Springs, Florida, or other university programs such as Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Others here probably can list other college jazz programs which are worthy for your consideration.

    University music programs are not cheap. They can run fifteen to twenty thousand a year including room, board, books and incidental expenses.

    Many of these concentrate on acoustic upright (double) bass, rather than electric. A really well rounded jazz player might want to have at least a passing acquaintance with double bass anyway. University programs are very heavy on theory. Many also require you to learn to play piano.

    I can't begin to guess what a full time pro jazz bassist can hope to earn annually. I can imagine he will have good years and bad years especially when first starting out.

    Nathan East was mentioned above. He is a favorite bassist of mine. I think one of his strengths lies in his versatility. While he can play jazz, he can play anything from blues to pop to whatever he is asked to do. Maybe rather than starting out to be exclusively a jazz player, one would do better to emulate Nathan East and go for more versatility in order to take advantage of every professional opportunity.
  4. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    You have heard the word of Munji, as elicited in the Scripture from Bop.

    Go forth, multiply and sin no more.

    You have found the way, whether you have the
    strength to travel the stony desert road will
    be up to you.

    See you on the mountain ...

  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    In addition to the schools that Bop mentioned, there is also the jazz program at University of North Texas. One of the most respected in the country, and not as pricey as Berklee or some of the others.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Some very nice players have come through this school, including Gary Willis
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Berklee is mostly all hype and reputation, while it's a good school with world class facilities and great teachers, ultimately, the reason I chose to go there is because of the rep.

    people hear the name berklee and they give you a lot of respect, well, a lot more than you'd get otherwise.
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Try SUNY Purchase. www.purchase.edu They have a top notch Jazz Studies program and some great bass instructors/players, Todd Coolman, and Kermit Driscoll, to name two and some the rest of the Jazz faculty is great as well i.e. John Fadis, Richie Morales, Javon Jackson, Ralph Llama, John Abercrombie.
  9. hey thanks alot everyone that helps me out i will chek out the schools websites u guys are great!!!
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've met many professional Jazz musicians in the UK and basically they are saying that you rae typically going to earn very little from actually being a Jazz musician - maybe as little as £2-£3k per year! :(

    They all do other stuff - like teaching,sessions with rock/pop bands etc. - to get a steady income.
  11. alright one last question u guys have been a great help and i appreciate it where do you think jazz music and jazz bassists are going in the near future?
    thanks shayne
  12. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Regarding your first question, you might want to send a PM to ConU. He did the jazz studies program at Concordia U in Montreal (on electric, IIRC) and has had nothing but good things to say about it.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    That's what I said. Bop is right. Nathan's a first-call bassist in many genres. His standing gigs with Clapton and Fourplay probably keep him in beans and franks. He's also a songwriter and other things. He is my favorite bass player and an all-around fine human being.

    By the way, you left out working at GC as an income source. I've already got my job lined up for when I retire. I'll be selling all of you folks guitar picks and patch cables at GC.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I meant to reply to Bop's statement :

    "I can't begin to guess what a full time pro jazz bassist can hope to earn annually"

    But I do agree with both of you essentially, just adding some more detail! ;)

    I was on the train, when I met a great UK Jazz Sax Player, writer/bandleader and he told me how he was on his way to add some soprano sax to a "Chill Out" album... :meh: - paid well, but certainly wasn't "Jazz". ;)
  15. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    They PAY jazz musicians?

    I love TB, learn something new every day!
  16. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    yep and his counterpart Kirk Covington went there too! Norah Jones!

    New England Conservatory was neck and neck with Berklee, many repected cats come out of there too. Plus, it is right down Mass Ave. about 7-10 blocks (on Huntington Ave) down from Berklee.

    George Garzone, Bob Moses, John Lockwood, Bob Guillotti... many great teachers.

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