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.
A lab offering various applications for the bowed bass in jazz, for bass principals who have acquired basic arco technique and possess some knowledge of improvisation. Bowing skills learned will be applicable to melody playing, soloing, and accompaniment.
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.
Development of effective ability to sight-read typical bass parts in Latin styles. Patterns derived using actual recordings in specific idioms, including son, songo, cha-cha, bolero, merengue, and salsa.
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.
A lab for bass principals that uses the cello suites of J.S. Bach to develop arco performance skills. The goals of the course are to build technique using the bow and musicality through the study of masterpieces. Students will be assigned individual movements of a suite and perform in a master-class setting.
This lab prepares the Berklee bass student to record themselves and deliver studio-quality performances to clients anywhere in the world. Increasingly, bassists are expected to work remotely with producers---they find jobs online, are sent project files, record and edit their own parts, and deliver high quality recordings---all from their home studio. To stay competitive in this environment a contemporary bassist must master the interpersonal and technical challenges of remote collaboration. Weekly assignments and in-class activities give the student the experience of working with producers to develop the perfect tone and performance for a project, then performing, recording, editing, processing, and delivering on a tight deadline. Topics include effective communication, remote collaboration, mic placement, recording equipment, performance techniques, DAW configuration, editing, sound processing, and preparing deliverables.