Development of the ability to grasp and maintain a tempo. Exercises including metronome games to improve accuracy and steady time while developing suppleness and flexibility to meet the wide array of rhythm section challenges found in contemporary, live, and studio environments.
A bass lab designed to develop familiarity and performance skills in the pop repertoire. Bass lines to a number of classic pop tunes will be learned, and the ability to transpose these lines to several other keys will be developed. Students will learn harmonic sequences that are frequently used in pop music styles, and will also develop interactive and communication skills by teaching new songs to the class.
A general overview and application of different types of knowledge applied to five- and six-string bass, including but not limited to different muting techniques, two- and three-octave scales, arpeggios, intervals, reading in positions, and also discussions on various neck widths, string closeness, pick-up placement, and bolt-on necks versus neck-through basses.
Development of working knowledge of funk styles for bass, including grooves, reading syncopated rhythms, developing a good sound with thumb slapping and popping, and importance of drum/bass concepts in contemporary rock and commercial styles.
Alternately called slap bass, funk bass, or thumb and snap bass, this technique will be approached in class on a beginner's basis. Emphasis will be placed on fundamentals. Developing a technical foundation through progressive exercises, students will learn to read and interpret basic slap notation. Creativity is encouraged through use of combining basic slap ideas (thumb, snap, muted notes, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs).
Development of playing skills in this style through study of the repertoire from the 1960s to the present. Chronological history of the style; development of technique, sound, and overall feel; performance of bass lines with backing tracks; appreciation of lesser-known players in this style.
This lab focuses on the techniques required to perform in the hip-hop style. Recordings and transcriptions will be presented, and students will be required to perform the bass parts and lines. Content covers the beginnings of hip-hop (rap) in New York in the late 1970s, focusing on groups such as Grandmaster Flash and others. The gospel influence of Ce Ce Winans and more contemporary hip-hop artists such as D'Angelo, the Roots, Steve Coleman, Jill Scott, and others will be presented. Drum and bass grooves will also be explored.
An instrumental lab for bass players focusing on the musical relationship between performers in an ensemble. Rehearsal and performance of music arranged for this class will facilitate the learning process.
This course explores Gary Willis’s approach to music and creativity in an interactive workshop environment. Students will learn from Willis’s experience in his 30+ year career in music and will have the opportunity to interact with him on a broad range of topics including technique, improvisation, composition, and more. The composer, recording artist, author and instrument designer will share his views on creativity and how it can relate to multiple aspects of a musician’s experience.
Students will learn the basics of Latin jazz bass playing. Emphasis on Cuban and Brazilian music and rhythms from the '20s through the '60s.
This is an instrumental lab for bassists that focuses on the Brazilian styles of bossa nova, samba, partido alto, chorinho, and afoxé. Weekly assignments will cover a wide range of Brazilian music repertoire, including bass lines and melodies. Students will be exposed to reading in 2/4, 4/4, and cut-time meters, as well as Brazilian percussion instruments and their patterns.
This lab serves as an introduction to improvising and playing music in odd and unusual meters in various styles of jazz, rock, funk, global music, etc. Students will be exposed to a variety of bass lines transcribed from masters of different styles and receive guidance on how to invent suitable bass lines for various odd-meter styles.