Meet Beth McPherson, a bassist from Dallas who impressed us with her drive in pursuing music – both as a craft and as an eventual career. We’re betting she’s going to succeed in both.
Beth is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s her story…
I’ve been playing electric bass for about 8 years, and upright for 4 years. I mostly play in some school jazz bands and other college ensembles nearby, as well as the Dallas Millennial Symphony Orchestra. I’m also working on a solo project and another project called ‘Dystopian Concept’ with a couple of friends. I plan on studying music in college, and would love to have a career after high school/college composing, recording, and performing; but really I’d be happy doing anything with music. I recently earned my Professional Bass Certificate from Berklee College of Music’s Online program, and I am constantly looking for new opportunities to share my knowledge and learn from others and try new things.
Dallas, Texas, USA
I go to high school during the day, but after that I usually have rehearsals of some sort. When I’m not at school or rehearsing, I’m usually practicing at home or at a concert. I usually try to compose, work out some theory/ear training exercises, or just listening to music with the rest of my free time.
Electric for 8 years, upright for 4 years.
Bands & Gigs:
I play upright bass in the Dallas Millennial Symphony Orchestra and acoustic bass guitar in the Brookhaven-Allegro Guitar Orchestra. I play electric bass in a couple of high school jazz bands and in my school’s marching band. I don’t play as many gigs as I would like to except for a few church gigs and other fill-in gigs here and there, but I try to go to open mics and jam sessions when I can. I would love to do some studio recordings, too. I’m trying to start a solo bass project, and I’m also working on a project with a couple of friends called ‘Dystopian Concept.’
- 1998 Fender USA Precision Bass
- 2001 Fender American Jazz Bass
- 5 string Fretless Sire Marcus Miller V7
- LTD B-206SM
- Custom fretless made by Zach Elsbecker
- Ibanez AEB-10
- A double bass I bought at Sam Ash
- Fender Rumble 100
- Hartke A100
Why I play the bass:
I had originally wanted to learn to play guitar from the time I was about three years old since my dad would play songs every now and then on a guitar he’d owned since he was a kid, but I just never really got around to learning to play. When I was 10 years old, a music program came to my school and offered bass guitar, but not guitar. I figured that was close enough and gave it a shot.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I try to explore many different genres and techniques on the instrument so that I can be a versatile musician with a diverse background. If I’m at a gig or recording session, and someone asks me if I can play something or use a certain technique or style, I don’t want to ever have to respond with “I don’t know how to do that.”
Apart from all that, though, I’m very dedicated to my instrument. I practice every day, and love every second of it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
Cliff Burton, Steve Harris, John Myung, Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius, Federico Malaman, Stu Hamm, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clark, Dominic “Forest” la Pointe, Mike LePond, Steve Di Giorgio, Michael Manring, Gary Karr, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Charles Mingus, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Bradetich.