#1
How can I prepare for a college audition? I'm only a sophomore in highschool, but I want to start preparing myself to be the best bassist I can be. The college's I am looking at are mainly Berklee, Belmont, Loyola New Orleans, Indiana State, and Julliard.

I feel like I need to work on:
1. Reading music
2. Theory (improv/soloing)
3. Prepared piece (what are some jazzy, funky ones that are impressive and fun to play?)
4. Ear training
5. Anything else?

If you could offer tips on how to learn and practice this and also some good college level pieces that'd be great! Thanks a ton!
Obama '08
#2
I usually just lurk here, but I'll try to give you some advice. I can only speak for Berklee though, as it was the only music school I auditioned for (I did get accepted, btw)

1. For my audition, they put me into a practice room with one page of sheet music to read. That one page had 8 different lines of varying difficulty with each being probably 4 measures long, but I'm terrible with sheet music and only managed about four of them

2. As far as theory goes, they only had me play a short bassline over a I/IV/V progression. VERY basic walking was enough here.

3. I played David Hull's arrangement of Mozart's Turkish Rondo (look it up on Youtube, I can't remember the exact title of that video, but it was cheesy and his tone was terrible). I made a few mistakes, but the piece itself left a great impression. I could see a Marcus Miller or Stu Hamm piece going down fairly well.

4. As an ear training exercise, one of my auditioners just played a line on a guitar and they had me mimic it. Not particularly hard, if your eyes and ears are decent, you'll do fine.

5. The best advice I can give is relax, know your piece, and have fun. And although I was accepted outright, I was literally given nothing as far as scholarships go, so I chose not to attend. However, the facilities were great and I loved Boston, so if you can manage it, great, you'll probably enjoy it.
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#4
Quote by fizzypopgurl
How can I prepare for a college audition? I'm only a sophomore in highschool, but I want to start preparing myself to be the best bassist I can be. The college's I am looking at are mainly Berklee, Belmont, Loyola New Orleans, Indiana State, and Julliard.

I feel like I need to work on:
1. Reading music
2. Theory (improv/soloing)
3. Prepared piece (what are some jazzy, funky ones that are impressive and fun to play?)
4. Ear training
5. Anything else?

If you could offer tips on how to learn and practice this and also some good college level pieces that'd be great! Thanks a ton!


Okay, Im gonna give you a lot of advice, and a lot of people might hate me for it. But Im going through this process as a senior in highschool right now, and Ive already done a lot of this research, talked to tons of teachers, etc. So I sort of know what Im talking about. My path is for tuba, but Ive looked into the bass thing a lot

There are only a handful of colleges that offer electric bass performance as a major; frankly, the only one Ive found to be respectable was the program at the California Institute of the Arts (the juliard of jazz). Some people stand by berkley, but frankly, a lot of people think berkley is a joke. Its churned out a couple really good guitarists, but for the most part, its kids with rich parents who want to be rockstars. Its not a real conservatory experience.

So, now that you know there are few electric bass programs, consider this. The few you do find are going to have a mega emphasize on jazz and classical music. Essentially, you will not learn anything about rock/metal/any contemporary really.

Now, when you do a music major in the US, you dont just practice your instrument all day. Your required to take theory classes, composition classes, conducting classes, piano classes (yes, your required to learn piano) and more IN ADDITION TO YOUR GEN EDS.

Also, keep in mind that just because you get a degree doesnt mean you get work. Many performance majors end up doing things that have nothing to do with music. Being a musician is as much about being a business man as anything else. So you could essentially waste 4 years of your life getting a degree that you cant do anything with.

Now, if you read all this, and your like me and say, "**** it. I love music. I dont care if I live in a cardboard box and eat ramen noodles everyday for the rest of my life," then get a good teacher immediately and start learning formally.


Keep in mind, learning upright bass will open tons of doors to you
#5
Quote by fizzypopgurl
I'm only a sophomore in highschool, but I want to start preparing myself to be the best bassist I can be.

It's good to be thinking ahead, but one little piece of advice I can give you is: it's still early for you, when it comes to academics, live in the now and focus on your high school work. Your high school GPA is going to be extremely important, and its easy for grades to slip. It happens to the best of us.
/grades rant

I don't want to discourage you from music school or anything, but I would suggest looking at alternatives as well, even if only as a back up. You can major in anything and still take music classes, or you could even be a music minor.
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#6
Tostitos Scoops is right about the grades. Keeping them up is very very important.

I however don't agree on his second thought. For me I would love to take some music classes but my school absolutely doesn't believe in electric bass. The only thing they allow in their jazz combos are upright. So if electric bass is something you really want to do for your living then music school is your best bet cus if you get there and hate it you can transfer later. Though if you go to a normal college/uni try to find out as much as what their music programs take (most wont take electric as an actual degree plan) though a lot allow them in ensembles and such so just double check.
#7
Quote by thunderbritches
I however don't agree on his second thought. For me I would love to take some music classes but my school absolutely doesn't believe in electric bass. The only thing they allow in their jazz combos are upright. So if electric bass is something you really want to do for your living then music school is your best bet

Oh I totally agree that a music college is the best place to go for electric bass performance, most schools don't have the bass performance programs unless you play upright. My idea was more that TS has time to evaluate if electric bass is THE thing he wants to study/perform, and that one can take classes and/or minor in music to expand one's musical knowledge and apply it to said student's own bass playing.
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