Re: Jack Casady: Carol Kaye - how do I learn to play his melodic style?

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Posted by Paul Harwood on January 19, 2001 at 15:03:26:

In Reply to: Re: Jack Casady: Carol Kaye - how do I learn to play his melodic style? posted by Carol on January 11, 2001 at 01:22:36:

: Paul, no, never did try singing....did one time in a jazz club for a short time, was fun, but got caught up recording (guitar at first) in the studios, thanks for your nice words.

: I don't think you have to play guitar at all to know the "chords"...but it helps to have a guitar background to play reason why I recorded a guitar background for both the Standards I (for walking bassists) and for "How To Play The Elec. Bass" and "Elec. Bass Lines No. 1".

: You'll get your chordal thinking together just fine with practicing the right arpeggios, and the right chordal studies on the bass. Interval studies are critical in this too...see my Elec. Bass Lines No. 3.

: I've taught many a guitar player who had no idea what to play on bass, altho' they knew the notes....but had absolutely no concept of good bass lines until they were shown, then it was good for them. Bass is a totally different animal than guitar in both concepts and fingerings. See my Playing Tips Page for more information on this.

Hello Carol and Mark,
Guitar and bass are certainly two different animals. But when playing melodies as in a solo, all instruments have to concentrate on good melody playing. To play bass in a " melodic style" is, as Carol points out, something that gets developed over time and does take a good grounding in all the basics mentioned by Carol.
In a melodic approach, you play self-standing melodies or licks, using all of the theory behind the chord, key and groove of the tune, as opposed to a bass line that is locked to the drum beat, in a static way. Phil Lesh for example, is really good at playing melodically but always relating it to the drum/bass groove. That is his particular talent. It's part of listening very well to everyone around you, sort of reacting to events. This is important in that type of improvisational music. But all of this assumes that you know the theory and the fretboard very well. Another way to approach it is by concept of counterpoint to the main melody. Cello lines and McCartney/Martin bass lines from the Beatle's Sgt. Pepper's or Abbey Road are good examples.

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