Guitar & Bass Guitar
Music Theory & Aural Skills
Ben Jaks is a musician in northern California. Primarily a self-taught performer, he began his musical studies on bass guitar at the age of 16 and double bass at 20. He earned his M.A. in music composition from CSU Chico in 2012. For his masters thesis project he composed a metaphorical piece of music of Plato’s Cave Allegory for a wind and percussion ensemble. As an undergraduate he studied double bass technique and jazz theory. During his undergraduate tenure Ben set himself apart from other bassists by tuning his bass in 5ths (like a cello but one octave lower). He took a two-month hiatus from gigging during the summer to learn the new tuning system and was ready at the start of the fall semester to perform and record with the CSU Chico Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the CSU Chico Jazz Express Band.
After college Ben worked as a teacher for Chico Rockstars teaching children musicianship skills and instrumental technique. He now teaches private lessons to music students of all levels. Although bass guitar and double bass (tuned in fifths or fourths) are his primary instruments he also teaches the guitar, ukulele, drums, aural musicianship skills and music theory. In addition to teaching, since college he has enjoyed gigging and recording with many of the great musicians in the Chico area. Currently he gigs regularly in a jazz trio and the Paradise Symphony Orchestra.
When not working as a musician he enjoys life in Paradise with his wife and three year old daughter for whom he plays the ukulele… while she plays tone clusters on the piano. The dissonance doesn’t seem to bother either of them.