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"A Study of The Modern Electric Bass Through Technique, Tone and Stylistic Interpretation"

We, as musicians, are the amalgam of the music and players we listen to. Each and every one has contributed and shaped my playing in some way no matter how significant or small the piece is in the grand scheme of who I am as a musician. I wanted to pick players that I loved and that influenced me to make me the player I am today.


“A Study of the Modern Electric Bass Through Technique, Tone, and Stylistic Interpretation” is an examination of influential recordings of a select number of bassists chosen for their impact on myself as well of others. By transcribing, learning, recording, and dissecting the bass parts to a song by each of these bassists, I will attempt to better understand their basslines, techniques, tonal characteristics, and personal style. This process will provide insight into how the basslines are constructed, the player’s techniques and styles, and how to manipulate equipment to get a specific desired sound in any situation. This is my attempt at figuring out what makes these bassists special, with the idea of integrating various elements of their collective approaches into my playing.


This attempt into understanding who these bassists are through technique, tone, and stylistic interpretation while considering their contributions to the Modern Electric Bass. Getting inside of their playing by transcribing their bass line, learning it, analyzing what they did on their record and accurately reproduce their part. Finding out what made each player special or the compelling reason why they have been so influential to me and possibly others. Comprehension of these different elements will enrich my education, technical ability, incorporation of a playing style, a grasp of how to manipulate my equipment, and grow as a bassist.


Only using my own equipment that I have available to me and avoiding borrowing or trying to acquire the exact gear that the particular bassist used on their track if possible. I am and will always be at the mercy of my personal gear. 


Having the tools or skill to get a sound with my hands, bass, pedals and amp to the best of my ability. This project is a stepping stone to being able to do that. I will be exploring the different sonic possibilities as a player through my equipment, techniques, and styles to achieve a desired tone or feel to match each player. This will, in essence, give me the tools to be a better more rounded player that can handle a wide variety of tones and techniques when needed in every situation extending to a player’s style as well.

My Thesis is available via ProQuest (1014026) with the recordings available in the Cal State LA Library, on my website, BandCamp and Soundcloud. Full Text of my project report available below. 

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