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Re: Learning the Bass, long one - history etc.

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Posted by Frederick on May 04, 2000 at 04:26:09:

In Reply to: Learning the Bass, long one - history etc. posted by Carol Kaye on May 03, 2000 at 16:27:46:

: All the lines I wrote in my first books ("How To Play The
Electric Bass"
: and the basslines books "Bass Lines Nos. 1-5") were from
my playing and
: creating experiences in the thousands of recording
sessions on bass in the
: studios 60s on.

: At first, I was a very popularly-hired studio guitarist
(discovered by
: Bumps Blackwell playing in jazz clubs in Dec. 1957 and
hired to do the
: Sam Cooke sessions from then on, Ritchie Valens, Pat
Boone, lots of guitar
: hits -- see credits on the website) and worked as about
no. 3rd or 4th call
: in the studios constantly on guitar since then until I
had to play the
: Fender Bass late 1964 when someone didn't show up at
Capitol Records).

: It felt like a helluva lot more fun to play the bass on
rock hits beginning
: in late 1964 than guitar altho' I was innovative not only
on guitar, but
: rhythmical riffs on the acoustic and elec. 12-string too
as well as lead
: guitar parts and
: certainly was known for my rhythimcal and funky riffs on
that guitar
: period. Rhythm has ALWAYS been easy for me, having heard
music constantly
: from my professional musician parents since I was a baby.

: And having worked some 100s of vip dates on guitar before
I ever picked up
: the bass (and then was totally no. 1 call on bass by most
record cos,
: film cos, movies, commercials, etc.), I had a good
"education" as to what I
: tho't should have been played on the bottom of the hits
we were
: recording - the challenge was in creating a fine
hit-record that people
: could dance to and snap their fingers to -- I had my own
rhythmical 8th
: and 16th note ideas.

: And so accidently I began a creative career on bass,
playing what I wanted
: to play (in their song-style framework) and producers all
: it, had to have me or instructed others to get that
"Carol Kaye" sound and
: feel when I was already booked for dates. Sure, I played
: with a hard pick, had that system of down-beat and
up-beat picking so well
: together, I could play HARD all day and all night without
: tired and the notes sounded not only EVEN, but I whacked
the b-jesus out of
: the strings too, even tho' they were extremely high
(Fender Precision
: with Fender med-gauge flatwounds always with open-back
Fender 4-10s Concert
: Amp, always miked until very late 60s, about 1968 I
switched to the
: Versatone, closed back small clean amp) - was fun to play
hard and to
: "drive" the band.

: I traded in my Fender Precision when I needed to "change
strings", about
: every 2 years, always wiping the strings on top and
underneath EVERY
: time I played with a good chamois.

: I'm re-posting what Earl said about our
CREATIVITY.....he's right, very few
: people KNOW about how we CREATED our own parts, and
that's why
: there's so many fine multi-styled lines in my books,
still un-paralleled
: today in education (so many have tried to write good
lines, they simply
: can''s in the experience).

: And that's why Sting, John Paul Jones, Nathan East, Abe
Laboriel, Dave
: Hungate, Bill Laymon, even Ron Carter, Will Lee, and
Christian McBride
: told me how much they enjoyed learning elec. bass from my
books (Jaco
: included back in 1977 when I met him), why all of the
"influenced" and
: privately-taught (see partial list on my website)
bassists all give
: compliments to these books - those lines were from years
of experience of
: not only performing but creating them in the studios too.

: Earl is being quoted again below from his recent LA Times
interview, he's
: right, we all love Earl, he is MR. DRUMS, no doubt about
it, bring his fine
: funky rhythms and great jazz composing feel to the 1958
LA scene after a
: vip recording hit career in New Orleans from 1949 on:

: >>>>>The melting pot that is New Orleans contributed to
the flexibility
: that over the years has enabled Palmer to shift from
sessions with Pat
: Boone and Professor Longhair ni the '50s to Sam Cooke,
Phil Spector and the
: Monkees in the '60s to Tom Waits in the '70s and so on.

: "People living in New Orleans just like music, period"
Palmer said. "They
: like somethnig they can shake their fannies to and pat
their feet
: to. New Orleans people have their own music that has
tniges of this and
: tinges of that in it.

: "So what we were playing on those early records was funky
in relation to
: jazz," he said. "What we were playing already had that
natural New Orleans
: flavor about the music. I played the bass drum how they
played bass drum
: in funeral parade bands. I had to do something to make
it funky."

: and:

: "Making it up as they went was one of the defining
concepts of rock 'n'
: roll. "This kind of music is almot totally creative,"
Palmer said. "We
: had no (written) music for those things -- the music was
learned and it was
: up to the musicians to add to it. A lot of it came from
the musicians" (he
: means the studio musicians cutting the records in LA).

: Because of the spontaneous, improvisatory nature of rock
music, many
: onlookers assumed the musicians were untrained. And
while many star
: performers could neither read nor write music, the same
wasn't necessarily
: true of the players working with them.

: "I went to music school on the GI bill," Palmer said. "I
minored in drums
: and that's where I learned how to read music. I took
theory and
: harmony, and actually was a piano major, though I never
really played it
: much. I studied arranging and composition."

: and:

: "I knew I was never going to be a Buddy Rich -- a great
soloist. That's
: why I went to music school. I wanted to learn about
arranging," he said.
: "I came to work in Los Angeles for Latin Recods to do
arranging and
: producing. What stood me in good stead was being able to
come and work as
: a producer and arranger."

: With his reputation preceding him as a drummer on those
early rock hits out
: of New Orleans, he quickly found as much demand for his
: services in L.A. as back home.

: Palmer said he came to appreciate a camaraderie among
West Coast studio
: players. "When some of the guys later would come out
from New York,they
: brought that New York animosity wit themm," he said.
"But we were always
: helpful to people doing those sessions. . . . That was
some of the most
: fun: playing with guys who, if you were a little better
than some, you
: never felt that you were so much better than anybody. It
was always
: refreshing to go to work."

: That, he said, made it easier to bring freshenss to
whatever he was called
: upon to play -- whether a wall-of-sound pop session with
legendary producer
: Spector or the theme to a TV show or movie -- no matter
how many ties he
: might have to pay the same piece.

: "Thdy don't want you saying 'I'm tired.' You have to
bring yourself up
: every time, and lock into a way to do it every time with
: interestings, yet without totally changnig it," said
Palmer, who still
: plays club dates as often as he can. "You always want it
to sound like
: it's the first time the musicians have heard the music,
that it has all the
: fire of playing it the first time."

: >From CK, "so true, no matter how many takes".

: The great Earl Palmer says it all so well. He was
wonderful to work with
: (I think he did most of the Phil Spector sessions) and we
had fun locking
: in together with grooves, etc. No, I played something
different on the
: bass than what he played on the bass drum, and it fit so
: together always. See his pics on my website.

: My education was very short with Horace Hatchett, teacher
of Howard Roberts
: and Oscar Moore, John Gray, many other fine then-pros of
Hollywood studios
: etc. Hatch was a graduate cum laude of the Eastman
School of Music, also
: went to the Manhattan School of Music before he went on
the road subbing
: for the great Eddie Lang in the 30s, served in WWII, came
back to Phoenix
: where he taught Howard, and then moved to Long Beach. He
had great ideas
: chordally to get a guitar student going in the right
direction for jazz.
: He taught me how to trascribe (after 3-4 mos. lessons in
1949, he hired to
: help him teach and about that time at the age of 14, I
also started working
: jazz-gigs with people, Benny Goodman style jazz etc.) and
I soon
: transcribed practically every
: Charlie Christian guitar solo on records (off the 78s),
some Artie Shaw
: big-band and Grammercy 5 things, even some Bing Crosby
things for my
: students.

: It was the fine George Smith chord books as well as
Hatche's fine teachings
: that laid the foundation for me to later get the fine
bebop styles that
: were being played in the 50s (after the 1-year solid
traveling with the
: big-band on the road across the USA 1954-55) and I
followed Howard Roberts
: footsteps in playing gigs in the black part of town (some
swanky nightclubs
: in those days) and really got it together playing with
the best. Something
: that the 70s-80s musicians never had the advantage of I
feel, which is too
: bad....rock and roll doesn't provide the fine chordal
foundations need to
: play jazz and other styles of music unfortunately. But
it can be learned
: if presented logically and with teaching experience.

: I feel that transcriptions, while fun to play with the
records for awhile,
: do NOT teach you anything about how to get your jazz
chops together AT ALL.

: You need fine chordal pattern approaches, learning your
cycles, how chords
: function etc. to get that. Fine Jazz soloing was started
by KNOWING and
: using chords in music, never scales (which are simply
passing notes
: *sometimes*) and learning how to alter chords, using
their extended triads,
: and especially the great pivotal b5 chordal things.

: Copying jazz solos is NOT creating and like tab stopping
one from learning
: the easy way of learning to really read, transcriptions
can stop you from
: learning how to really create jazz solos. Best to do it
the right way:
: chordal learning, and functioning in music, it's not hard
once you get away
: from "scale" backward ways of thinking, and it's a lot of
fun once you
: acquire the chordal habits you need, the doors are open

>> >> Well, I'm going to read this one again before my next band practice. Swing is King and Carol Kaye is still numero uno (I also like that picture from the CANNONBALL ADDERLY?! session).

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