Bassist with jazz, legit and pop experience, I want to help singer/songwriters by recording solid bass parts for their songs. Open to working in most styles. Pizzicato (plucked) and arco (bowed).

I'm Jacque Harper, a bassist in the Chicago area. 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 with their projects.

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!

Gear highlights

  • 1909 Buchanan double bass; 1971 Fender J-bass; DPA d:vote 4099B and CAD microphones; Focusrite preamp/converter

Genres I specialize in

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

Reviews of Jacque Harper

  • Default-avatar4 months agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby Verified Review

    Excellent work! Can highly recommend Jacque Harper!

  • Listing_thumb_chris_in_the_grass_bw8 months agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Default-avatar5 months agoby

    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!

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Interview with Jacque Harper

What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Q: Can you do this? A: Yes!
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
Bass line for a kind of EDM-ish piece, adding acoustic bass to replace the synth bass recorded in the demo.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital - more compact. I don't have any argument with people who have sonic preferences for one or the other.
What's your strongest skill?
I am a supportive player and I understand what the artist I'm working with wants me to add to their performance.
What are you working on at the moment?
Bach Cello Suite #1, Prelude. Failing, by Tom Johnson. Poucha Dass by Fran├žois Rabbath. Bass part for a composition by SoundBetter member Torgny S. All good stuff!
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I'll support you!
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
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?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
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.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
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?
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
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.
What do you bring to a song?
Non-flashy musicality, and love of supporting other players to sound their best.
What's your typical work process?
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.
Tell us about your studio setup.
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.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Bassists Tony Levin, Edgar Meyer, John Lester.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Bass part for singles - working from a provided lead/chord sheet.