Jacque Harper

Bassist: acoustic ("upright") and electric

28 Reviews (27 Verified)
Jacque Harper on SoundBetter

I'm a bassist with jazz, legit and pop experience. I want to help singer/songwriters by recording solid bass parts for their songs, and film/commercial producers with real bass on their tracks.

I have worked in orchestras, jazz groups and musical theater for over thirty years. I've got solid experience and education (wow, I'm a "Master of Music" from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music) to lay down a solid bass part for your single. I especially want to help singer/songwriters, film composers and anyone with other creative ideas. Open to working in most styles. Pizzicato (plucked) and arco (bowed).

I'm the founder of the Chicago Bass Ensemble - a unique chamber group consisting of four double basses.

I look forward to working with you!

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.

28 Reviews - 5 Repeat Clients

Endorse Jacque Harper
  1. Review by Marc A.

    Jacque is a very skilled musician with a beautiful instrument sound, great intonation, accurate and in my case, the job was delivered really quickly. I highly recommend Jacque for your Upright Bass recordings!

  2. Review by adam

    Jacque did a fantastic job! He was willing without even asking to play a couple different versions of the song. Talented player and consulate professional! Highly recommend!

  3. Review by André F.

    Very talented and fun to work with!!

  4. Review by Peter B.

    My thought process goes something like this..."Hmm, I´m going to need an upright bass track for this piece.... better get a hold of Jacque." This is really all you need to know.
    Thanks again, Jacque, beautiful job!

  5. Review by Sebastian K.

    Very great collaboration once again. 10/10.

  6. Review by Sebastian K.

    Jacque takes you and your project serious and his bass play serious as well. He comes up with very comprehensive ideas (if you like to) and that`s a great starting point. Under these conditions, it was clear that the result was great! 10/10

  7. Review by Nambo

    One of the most talented bassist ever I’ve worked with! Easy to communicate with and also has a great understanding of the songs we work with. I can't wait to work with you again ma' man!! Thank you so much for taking the time to make it AWESOME!!!

  8. Review by Nambo

    I’ve worked with Jacque on a special project and he was OUTSTANDING! Communication was quick and easy and turn around really fast. He has great musical instincts and can deliver exactly what you want!!!!

  9. Review by Kiat G.

    Great work by Jacque! Very good communication and fun to work with:))

  10. Review by Peter B.

    Jacque set a record for turn around time...but way more important is the quality of the track he sent me. Exactly what I was aiming for. I struggle with midi bass, but why bother when Jacque and his acoustic upright are just a message away? Thanks, Jacque!

  11. Review by James B.

    It was great to work with Jacque! He's helpful, responsive, and talented! Thanks for the great result :)

  12. Review by Matthew m.

    Jacque was fantastic to work with he is a great bass player he is knowledgeable and very easy to talk with and made the whole experience great. I would recommend Jacque and can't wait to work with him again in the future.

  13. Review by Han Z.

    VERY successful collaboration with Jacque! His a professional musician and gave me responses in a very short time. High efficiency and quality! Looking forward to next project!

  14. Review by Peter B.

    Jacque and his bass added a warmth and realism that my plug-ins just couldn´t match. Great messaging back and forth...he is ready, willing and able to help. Beautiful sounding instrument and a musician who knows how to play it! Thanks, Jacque!

  15. Review by Bav

    Good communtication and very good quality of work. Jacque's very easy to work with, highly recommended.

  16. Review by Bav

    Second time working with Jacque, great quality work and communication, would highly recommend if you're after upright bass tracks.

  17. Review by Bav

    Jacque really got a feel for the track and delivered great quality work. Look forward to working with him again, excellent service.

  18. Review by Bar B.

    Thank you ..
    Once again brilliant !!
    Truly recommend

  19. Review by Netanel S.

    Great job recording! Jacque went the extra mile for my project and I definitely recommend him.

  20. Review by Bar B.

    Once again great job !!!
    Thank you Jacque for your clean sound patience and brilliant music !!
    Truly recommend

  21. Review by Bar B.

    Working with Jacque is a real pleasure, I truly love working with him ..
    we've been working on a few projects together and we will work on a few more soon.

    If you're looking for a brilliant bass player and a good heart person..Jacque is your guy !!
    He provide solid&clean tracks and QUICKLY!

    Thanks again dear Jacque

  22. Review by Christian B.

    Jacque was awesome to work with on my song! He is an amazing bassist and very professional to work with. His bass tone was superb and he recorded the track with several different high quality microphones to produce a fantastic sound. Will definitely work with him again.

  23. Review by Bar B.

    Jackue is a brilliant bass player he is also a good heart person!!!
    The communication part was easy and comfortable he truly understand and listened to what i had in mind
    and provide the job very quickly with a brilliant upright bass sound and feel
    I would defiantly work with him again soon

  24. Review by Vaihi O.

    Working with Jacque was easy and fun. He did an awesome job with my song and was spot on with the adjustments that was needed. He is really good with communication which makes a work flow fast and smooth. Mahalo Nui.

  25. Review by Brian E.

    I had Jacque write and record a bass line for a jazz song - it sounded great. He finished two days ahead of our agreed deadline and was very communicative throughout the process.

  26. Review by Torgny S.

    Excellent work! Can highly recommend Jacque Harper!

  27. Review by Chris A.

    Jacque is a versatile, proficient, and highly responsive artist. He worked well with the charts I provided, and gladly offered his own insights and personal composition along the way. His recordings were clean, and high quality. Easy to work with, quick turnaround, and makes the project his own. I highly recommend.

  28. Review by BRIAN CHAMBERS

    A pleasure to work with. Mellow but totally engaged, Jacque helped me make my songs better by both challenging me and giving me confidence in myself as a songwriter--which is a pretty deft combination. And oh yeah--his basslines sound fantastic!

Interview with Jacque Harper

  1. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  2. A: Bass part for singles - working from a provided lead/chord sheet.

  3. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  4. A: Bassists Tony Levin, Edgar Meyer, John Lester.

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: Kind of a micro-home studio, fine for adding bass parts to other tracks. The d:vote microphone allows me to close mike the bass to eliminate background noise, but other mics are available to get different sounds. I record into Reaper on a Macintosh computer, using a Focusrite preamp and converter. For more elaborate live recording I have access to some other spaces where I can set up live open microphones.

  7. Q: What's your typical work process?

  8. A: Bring the client's rough files into Reaper and listen through, setting markers at important points (e.g. bridge, chorus, verse, break). Review the client's chord chart, or create my own map if needed, and make reminders to myself of what phrases to use at what points. Focus on chord roots and rhythms from the client's file. Plug in and hit record - then listen back to see what works and what doesn't. Record again, replaying the best stuff from the first pass. Listen critically, for distortion, bad rhythm, intonation fixes. Fix what needs fixing. Export to a high-quality file in whatever format is needed.

  9. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  10. A: Non-flashy musicality, and love of supporting other players to sound their best.

  11. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  12. A: I started playing bass in high school, which is longer ago than I care to admit. I studied legit playing in college, but all the while nurturing a love of jazz. I've also done a lot of musical theater, which teaches the importance of support, rather than of trying to be the featured player at all times. I do have a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I played for three years in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and have been freelancing in various styles for 20 years in Chicago.

  13. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  14. A: My upright bass, my bow, my electric bass . . . I guess I would have to bring along an amplifier, too . . . is there a power outlet on the island?

  15. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  16. A: Have a clear idea of what you think will support your song best. Discuss your idea with me and be open to suggestions I have. But don't be afraid to simply state what you'd like. As a bassist, it's my job to support your vision.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: Do you have a chord or lead sheet? Were your existing tracks recorded to a click (what tempo)? What format do you want the finished file in?

  19. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  20. A: I'll support you!

  21. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  22. A: The next step in the evolution of the Chicago Bass Ensemble, my performing group

  23. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  24. A: I am a supportive player and I understand what the artist I'm working with wants me to add to their performance.

  25. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  26. A: Digital - more compact. I don't have any argument with people who have sonic preferences for one or the other.

  27. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  28. A: Bass line for a kind of EDM-ish piece, adding acoustic bass to replace the synth bass recorded in the demo.

  29. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  30. A: Q: Can you do this? A: Yes!

Jacque Harper sample reel

I was the bassist in this production

Terms Of Service

Typical turnaround time: 10 days, but varies with the supporting material (i.e. charts, recording, sample) you supply. Involved arrangements with no chart provided will require additional time & rate

GenresSounds Like
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Ray Brown
Gear Highlights
  • 1909 Buchanan double bass; 1971 Fender J-bass; DPA d:vote 4099B and CAD microphones; Focusrite preamp/converter
More Photos
More Samples
  • May 2020May 02, 2020

    Like so many of us, I'm "staying at home" these days! I had a few gigs cancelled, no surprise. But I've picked up a few jobs here on SoundBetter. With no commute, since I'm able to work my day job from home quite easily, I've got some additional time to work on music. So I'd love to help anyone who's looking for some bass!

  • January 2020Jan 12, 2020

    Happy New Year to all. In addition to continuing to work with all my fantastic clients here on SoundBetter, in 2020 I will be re-invogorating my Chicago Bass Ensemble. Join our mailing list http://www.chicagobassensemble.com/mailing-list/

  • July 2019 UpdateJul 12, 2019

    Has it actually been two years since I wrote a post here?! Time flies!

    Just an update to say that I'm pleased to be playing in Millennium Park in Chicago with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic in about ten days.

    I've also done a number of jobs here on SoundBetter, and the only thing better than helping songwriters realize their projects is playing on stage with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic :-)

  • Middle of 2017 Already??Jun 20, 2017

    Hard to believe the year is nearly half over. I'm going to have some extra capacity for projects in the next few weeks, I hope I can work with you!!

  • New Year!Jan 04, 2017

    It's a great start to a new year! I just completed a bass part for a very charming children's song "Buckle Up" by Valhi O. here on SoundBetter.com. I really enjoy working with someone who has fun, gives feedback and who knows maybe when I make it to Hawaii, he'll show me around!

    Best wishes to all for the new year!

  • Summer's ComingMay 30, 2016

    June 17, I'll be performing at undergraduate alma mater: an evening of cabaret with fellow music majors, as well as performing several solo bass pieces: Failing by Tom Johnson, Poucha Dass by François Rabbath and the first movement of Cello suite #1 by J. S. Bach.

    Preparing these pieces is hard work, especially the Bach! But I'll make time for any projects you want to throw my way!

  • Ahh, Breathing RoomMar 17, 2016

    Ahhh . . . I've finished all the auditions I had scheduled. Unfortunately I didn't "win" any of them, but some of life's pressure is off. I've spent a little time putting together a demo reel for SoundBetter. I hope you'll give it a listen!

  • Recording: The Stress ReducerFeb 22, 2016

    Over the weekend while preparing to audition for the Grant Park Festival Orchestra I ran the full gamut from frustration to enthusiasm, and the thing that made the difference was recording some of my practicing and 'playing along.' You can read a bit about in yesterday's blog post.

    I love recording and would like to do it for you on your project! It's a stress reliever!

  • Auditioning for a Legit JobDec 11, 2015

    Just about two weeks ago, I took an audition for a job with the orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Spoiler: I didn't get the job.

    For fun, I kept a daily blog for the last two weeks of preparation. It's not super-detailed or anything, but if you'd like to get some feel for what it means to prepare for such an audition, start with my audition daily blog, post number 1.