Jacque Harper

Bassist: acoustic ("upright") and electric

41 Reviews (40 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!

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

41 Reviews - 6 Repeat Clients

Endorse Jacque Harper
  1. Review by Thien N.

    Jacque is a real gentleman. Very patient, very receptive to my idea.
    Perfect Double bass. Highly recommended to anyone who needs Double Bass

  2. Review by Julie L.

    Another great bass track from Jacque, always easy to communicate with and highly recommend!

  3. Review by Jerzy P.

    Great collaboration. Wonderful performance and a clean, high quality recording. Jacque recorded a double bass ensemble (from multiple layers), which sounded very natural. Excellent communication.

  4. Review by Paul L.

    Wonderful bass player, thanks for your patience going back and forth with me!

  5. Review by Grant B.

    Did some great upright bass jazz parts for me. Good communication, very knowledgable, and very nice recording quality.

  6. Review by Julie L.

    Another great job, always easy to work with!

  7. Review by Julie L.

    Another great bass track from Jacque, always great to work with!

  8. Review by Julie L.

    Another great job by Jacque!!

  9. Review by Julie L.

    Another fantastic job, will look forward to working with Jacque again!

  10. Review by Guy Furious

    Working with Jacque has been a great experience. He took everything I needed into consideration and delivered more than expected. His communication was clear & direct and his talent is exceptional! I look forward to working with Jacque again soon.

  11. Review by Julie L.

    Great bass track, easy to work with and quick turnaround. Would definitely work with again!

  12. Review by Peter B.

    I know going in that Jacque will deliver tracks that work and sound great. Super communication and I always learn something. Looking forward to the next go around!

  13. Review by Chris S.

    Great double bass track, highly recommend!

  14. 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!

  15. Review by adam
    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!

  16. Review by André F.

    Very talented and fun to work with!!

  17. 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!

  18. Review by Sebastian K.

    Very great collaboration once again. 10/10.

  19. 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

  20. Review by Nambo
    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!!!

Interview with Jacque Harper

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

  2. A: Recording multiple takes of a bass track for a symphonic production. Originally I thought my live part was going to be a sweetener for a track of sampled basses, but the composer/producer decided that my tracks sounded so good he did away with the sampled track. It was a good effort: six 'final' tracks, repositioning microphones for each take in order to get a slightly different sound for each. I went through about half of my microphone collection in order to get tonal variety, and it was worth doing.

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

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

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

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

  7. Q: What's your strongest skill?

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

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

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

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

  12. A: I'll support you!

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

  14. 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?

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

  18. 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?

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

  20. 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.

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

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

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

  24. 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.

  25. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  26. 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.

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

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

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

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

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
  • March, 2021Mar 29, 2021

    Well it's over a year of pandemic, and I've been happy to do a few projects for my friends at SoundBetter! I also took part in The Cue Tube's film scoring competition, my entry here: https://vimeo.com/506616123 . If you have a project that needs accompaniment, I'll happily work with you!

    One thing won't change in the new normal, I'll be here to provide useful bass parts to all who need them ;-)

  • 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.