What is the Marc Johnson Masterclass?
The Marc Johnson Masterclass is an in-depth video interview hosted by DDB Founder, Geoff Chalmers. Over three hours of discussion, they unpack the music and techniques of the legendary jazz double bassist, Marc Johnson. They explore a range of topics, including what Marc learnt from his tenure with the final Bill Evan's trio and many other legendary jazz artists, double bass technique, improvisation, phrasing, rhythm, all aspects of bass gear, and more.
If you are a fan of Marc Johnson you will love this unique insight into his music and personal approach to the double bass!
A stellar career at the forefront of improvised music.
In this Masterclass, Marc Johnson draws upon his years of experience as a sideman and recording artist with the jazz world's greatest musicians including Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Pat Metheny, Steps Ahead, Michel Camilo, Joe Lovano, Paul Motion, John Abercrombie, Woody Herman, Pat Martino, Peter Erskine, John Schofield, Charles Lloyd and Eliane Elias.
Marc also unpacks his work as a bandleader on albums such as Bass Desires, Shades of Jade, and the 2021 solo recording, Overpass (ECM Records).
The discussion is in English and we have provided optional English subtitles.
We have also included detailed transcriptions of Marc Johnson's musical demonstrations and performances so you will have everything you need to practice his music at home.
Marc Johnson is a world-renowned bassist, composer, and producer whose illustrious career has seen him perform and record with many of the world’s most acclaimed jazz musicians including Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Eliane Elias, Joey Baron, Paul Motian and many more.
From his signature bass techniques to his unique approach to improvisation, we delve into the music of a true sonic explorer
What topics are covered in this Masterclass?
Session One: We start our discussion by looking back to Marc Johnson's origins story, transcription, bass-playing influences, and what he learnt in those early years.
Session Two: We discuss Marc's personal approach to double bass technique including his legato phrasing.
Session Three: We look at performing and recording unaccompanied double bass, right-hand technique, rhythm, key influences, and a beautiful solo performance of the jazz standard, 'Nardis'.
Session Four: We continue to explore improvisation with a focus on rhythm, harmony, the legacy of Scott LaFaro, and more on Marc's tenure with the final Bill Evan's Trio. We are also treated to a solo performance of his composition, 'Whorled Whirled World' which is presented alongside an accompanying transcription.
Session Five: We discuss all aspects of bass gear, from Marc's time with Bill Evans to his current gear preferences.
A unique insight into the musical world of a jazz bass virtuoso.
This Masterclass is a unique opportunity to learn about the music and bass techniques of jazz bass superstar, Marc Johnson. Hosted by DDB Founder, Geoff Chalmers, and focused on the double bass, this Masterclass covers the topics and questions that bass students would ask in person.
Detailed sheet music transcriptions of Marc Johnson's musical examples are included. These beautifully written PDFs are displayed on the lesson pages and can be downloaded if required.
This Masterclass is a unique opportunity to learn about the music and bass techniques of a world-renowned artist