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Bass - Artist Development Diploma in Modern Music - Bristol at BIMM

Course description

If you’re a bass player with solid ability, untapped potential and the ambition to be a fully rounded musician, then the Artist Development Diploma in Modern Music can help turn your passion for music into a career.

This two-year vocational course is equivalent to three ‘A’ Levels, and is all about developing your performance skills and musical style, improving your technique, getting yourself noticed by connecting with the music industry, and steadily building your confidence towards that of a professional musician.

You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the way the music industry works, plus will study music theory, music history, and musicianship skills such as sight reading and ear training. All in all, it’s a fantastic grounding to understand modern music and the industry that surrounds it.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn in a creative environment where you’ll develop strong connections with fellow aspiring musicians, and will be guided by your tutors and prominent music industry professionals to help steer you towards your future career or study goals.

Successful completion of the course will gain you a nationally recognised qualification, and the diploma is a great gateway to either taking your first steps in a music industry career, or continuing on with study in the form of a music degree at BIMM.

And do you know what the best part is? UK and EU students aged 18 and under are eligible for free funding (subject to academic requirements).

So, what are you waiting for? To make your way as a bassist, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Course content

Year 1

Technical Development- Good technique is essential if you wish to push your discipline to the next level. In these lessons you’ll develop that technical skill and introduce a logical approach to improving your voice or instrument.

Session Styles- This is where you’ll study different genres that span some of the world’s most influential contemporary musicians. This will enhance your musical knowledge and test your ability by replicating the styles used throughout music history.

Ear Training- Ear training is all about sharpening the ear for in-depth song analysis. In it you’ll be taught various listening and theory skills. These skills will not only teach you new ways of appreciating and understanding music, it will also help you on your way to becoming a better, more employable, musician.

Music Industry Career Development- It’s important to remember that there’s much more to being successful in music than your discipline alone. In this lesson you’ll learn all about the music industry and start to prepare yourself for a future within it.

Pre-Production- In Pre-Production you’ll look at chosen songs in great detail, dissecting and rehearsing the parts prior to your performance in the weekly LPW lesson. The professionalism and attention to detail that’s taught here should set the standard for all performances to follow.

Live Performance Workshop (LPW)- This is where you get to put your hard work in Pre-Production to the test. You’ll meet up with other musicians from the diploma course and perform together in front of an audience. Doing this on a regular basis will help you become a confident, well prepared, professional performer.

Performance Preparation- In Performance Preparation you’ll look at all of the aspects that go towards a great performance. This goes beyond LPW and you’ll be looking at all the factors that make up successful performances, such as band forming, rehearsal techniques, promotion, marketing, tour management, stage management, budgeting and more.

Extended Studies- Extended Studies gives the opportunity to recap and expand on the information covered in the course. It’s also a great chance for us to bring guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you’re prepared for a future in the music industry

Year 2

Technical Development- Building on the good habits you developed in Year 1, this lesson will take those skills and you’ll start to apply them to improvised performance.

Music in Context- Music in Context is where you’ll learn about the interaction between music and society. In it you’ll track back through history and study some of the most influential artists and the impacts they’ve had on music, technology, politics and civil rights.

Music Theory and Improvisation- Music Theory is an essential component of musicianship and in this lesson you’ll learn the links between theoretical knowledge and improvisation.

Recording Preparation- You’ll build on the skills you gained in Performance Preparation last year and apply these to a studio recording session. Band, song choice, instruments and recording techniques will all come into play as you learn what it’s like to record in a studio environment.

Pre-Production- Pre-Production will act as the platform for your Live Performance Workshop… only this year you’ll be looking in great detail at increasingly challenging tracks.

Live Performance Workshop (LPW)- Live Performance Workshop is still where you’ll get your chance to perform live in front of an audience, only now the standards are raised and professional quality will be the goal.

Research and Investigation- This lesson offers students the chance to undertake an investigation into an area of interest within the music industry. Whilst doing so, you’ll develop your academic study skills that will help you prepare for higher level study or research.

Music Industry Career Development- In this year’s classes you’ll continue to explore the music industry and the different roles and functions within it. You’ll also begin working on your own business plan that will help you to forge a path into the music industry.

Extended Studies- Much like in Year 1, Extended Studies continues to give the opportunity to expand on content covered in the course. It’s also a great chance for us to bring guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you’re prepared for a future in the music industry.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at C or above (including Maths & English) and Grade 4-6 equivalency playing skills.

Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.


All diploma applications can be made directly via the BIMM Admissions Team. To request an audition and/or assessment call 0844 2 646 666. All students will be invited to attend an audition and/or assessment. International applicants who can’t attend an audition and/or assessment will be sent guidelines and an application form.

Find out how to apply +

Financial information

Free to UK & EU students under 18

Future opportunities

Graduates can progress directly to a career in the music industry, or can continue their study with a BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship in Guitar, Bass, Drums or Vocals at BIMM.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 08 October 2018
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    • Specialist studios, amazing equipment and a 65-seater performance venue make BIMM Bristol the place to turn your music dreams into a successful career.

      Talent alone will get you so far – but at BIMM Bristol, we give you the tools of the trade, the all-important industry connections and the ideal environment to put in the necessary hard work too.

      The Bristol campus revolves around the city’s King Square, where our 8,000ft2facility has stood since 2008. There’s seven teaching rooms here – all kitted out with top-spec, professional-quality music equipment – plus a library, several tutorial rooms and a common room.

      Like any college, the common room here is a hive of activity – an area to catch up with friends and socialise between sessions. But here you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the country’s top musical talent, mixing with like-minded people who share your passion for all things music.

      If your passion is for performance, you’ll get the chance to show it on stage too – under the lights, in front of a crowd. Our 40ft live performance room is equipped with a 4K PA system, guitar and bass amps by Marshall, Orange, Ampeg and Laney, drums by DW and a Kurzweil stage piano.

      But of course, before the performance comes the practice – and we’re geared towards plenty of that. Colston Hall, Bristol’s leading concert hall, offers rehearsal spaces to BIMM Bristol students free of charge.