I emailed Mr Manring a while back and asked him if he could give me some direction on this topic. He wrote back and said that I should post it up here on Talkbass.com. First things first: 1. I am not a bassist, I play guitar. I KNOW first and foremost out of experience that a skilled bass virtuoso can give any narrow minded guitarist a good pelting when it comes to 'dueling'. I do not even dare to underestimate its power. 2. I haven't started writing this thesis yet. That's why I posted it up here to make sure that it was actually possible to write up 15 000 words on it. But hey, I know people who have written a 100 000 word thesis on such topics as "Analysing the First Four Bars of an ABBA song" or "The Physics of a Single Violin String". 3. I WANT to do this thesis because ironically, I gain much inspiration from the bass because I too am a soloist on my instrument. 4. I know who Michael Manring, Stu Hamm, Victor Wooten, Les Calypool, Ray Riendeau, John Myung, Jaco Pastorious, Stanley Clarke, Billy Sheehan, John Pattituci, Steve Lawson, Marcus Miller, Roscoe Beck, etc all are. I have a 'fair' and 'educated' idea of who is literally "THE ELITE" on the instument. 5. I am aware of the Solo Bass network and its mission. I appreciate that there is such a 'shinning beacon' on such a 'dark artform' (in a cool sense of expression). 6. I resent people who oppress such a bold and artistic endeavor by saying "that's not how you play the bass". If they're not playing the bass, then what are they playing then, a ****ing saxophone? 7. I would be hypocritical as guitarist to label solo bass playing as inappropriate. The guitar in the late and 19th and early 20th centuries was frowned upon by the upper class viewing it as a "cafe instrument" with a repertoire of "cheap strumming music for the amusement of little ladies". It was also thought impossible to play polyphony on the guitar and was therefore undermined by the great composers, thus preventing the instrument from receiving a vast repertoire. The classical music world resented it when its beloved works were transcribed and performed as solo pieces on this "cafe instrument" by Andres Segovia. Much controversy was later held with his performance of JS Bach's famed "Chaconne", as traditionalists labelled such fine music being sacreligious when performed on such a lower class instrument. It is because of the brave efforts of such men as Andres Segovia, Joe Pass, Chet Atkins and Michael Hedges to name but a few that the guitar is now recieved as a formidable soloistic instrument to rival the feats of the piano. Okay...nuff said. Do you think we can discuss about: (a) approaching/composing for such a format (b) great compositions for solo bass (c) great soloists of the bass and their recordings (d) how the bass community perceives this 'dark art' (e) why the music communtity perceives 'IT' as a 'dark art'. (f) the pro's and con's of solo bass and solo bass performance (g) how this 'dark art' will influence and affect the next generation of bassists I can't wait to hear form you guys! I really, really want to do this!!! PS And who says that the bass player doesn't get the girls/guys?!!