Development of rhythmic language ability through study of principles of temporal articulation and elaboration: creation of polymeter and polyrhythm via grouping of subdivisions of the basic meter. Use of subtle tempo change (rubato) within established rhythmic and harmonic contexts for expressive purposes in live performance as well as automated recording environments. Note: Performance majors are given preference in enrollment.
Study of the music of John Coltrane from the perspective of developing bass lines. Particularities of harmony and rhythm in interpretation of both original and standard tunes.
Study of the MIDI bass guitar controller as a doubling instrument. Aspects of setting up a system, necessary adaptations of technique, and necessary expansion of musical horizons will be explored using Berklee-supplied MIDI equipment and playing representative repertoire.
A study of various approaches and voicings that are possible on the five- and six-string bass as well as inversions, octave displacements, playing changes through a tune, and playing melodies with chord sound accompanying.
Students will learn how to incorporate advanced slapping techniques in order to construct effective lines and solos. Emphasis will be on solid groove playing between drums and bass, with special stress on consistency. Students will study and perform transcriptions of classic funk bass lines as an aid to learning proper integration of technique, sound, and feel.
A performance lab focusing on the development, interpretation, and performance of bass lines in the Latin jazz ensemble setting. Includes the study of characteristic melodies in this style.
A bass lab designed to explore, examine, and perform both traditional and contemporary gospel music. This course will introduce the student to various styles of gospel, including hymns, spirituals, praise, and worship. This course will also explore major figures in the genre, such as Abraham Laboriel, Joel Smith, Andrew Gouche, and Fred Hammond, and their inspirations and mentors, including Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, John Patitucci, and Jimmy Haslip. Students will study from both historical and musical/technical perspectives, including the relationship between bass and organ, learning quickly by rote, and pertinent harmonic considerations for the various styles within gospel.
Methods of approach to, and practice in, reading examples of high difficulty in various music styles including classical, jazz, and rock.
Students in the class will develop a personal performance system for electronic music that integrates commercially available software and hardware. The goal will be to develop a system that will provide effective strategies for fulfilling various roles in an electronic ensemble. Emphasis will be placed on gestural control of synthesizers and effect processors in a live performance, as well as synchronizing tempo-based devices.
This course prepares students for the kinds of basic sight reading they will encounter in an ensemble or studio experience. Examples focus on reading typical melody, bass, chordal accompaniment, and textural parts in a variety of styles. Students practice working with lead sheets, chord charts, and rhythm notation and learn to choose effective synthesizer sounds for each example.
This course explores the practical application of live looping techniques in real time performance. Working in solo and group settings, students create repeating musical parts that can be used to build all or part of a musical arrangement. Loops come from real time MIDI performances, instrumental and vocal performances as well as other sound sources. This course emphasizes rhythmic accuracy and overall musicality.
This course explores strategies to create expressive instrumental performances using electronic instruments. Students use a variety of pedals, ribbons, knobs, sliders, wheels, or aftertouch to control musical effects such as pitch bend, vibrato, tremolo, dynamics, and timbral change. Special attention is paid to the relationship between controllers and synthesizer parameters. Students work with MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) controllers such as the Roli Seaboard Rise and the Linnstrument as well as standard MIDI controllers in solo and group settings.