A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Posts tagged “Carol Kaye

The Girls In The Band

Here’s something interesting from a cultural and musical vantage that I found when Jackie from Lindsey Tree Music posted in the Bass Blogs group on FB. Its a trailer for The Girls In The Band, a documentary with and about women from the jazz/bebop scene who were excellent musicians, but because of the influence of patriarchy, were marginalized and not given the credit they were due as amazing players – something that has repeated since in other styles of music, as well as areas outside of music. Some of the women were also black, so they had a double-whammy to deal with as this predates the civil rights movement in America.

The Girls In The Band 



7 Female Bass Players Who Helped Shape Modern Music

Here’s an interesting article from Open Culture that popped up on my FB via The Bass Guitar. As the title suggests, it lists influential female bassists who had a hand in defining the sounds of previous decades. Some of them are more famous that others, and some are more known to musicians and bassists, in particular, than the general public (i.e., Carol Kaye & Meshell Ndegeocello).

Jo Bench, Meshell Ndegeocello, Sean Yseult, Carol Kaye

Some of my favorite bassists who are women – Jo Bench, Meshell Ndegeocello, Sean Yseult, Carol Kaye

Heavier music, like metal, isn’t really mentioned at all – so Sean Yseult from White Zombie doesn’t make the list, and my personal favorite female metal bassist – Jo Bench, from Bolt Thrower, naturally isn’t on here either.

Unsung Heroes of Bass Guitar: #1 Carol Kaye

Here’s a great piece on Carol Kaye from Cut me a notch at 125Hz. It gives a brief history and some highlights of her long-running career. I’m looking forward to more in this series of unsung bass heroes. 😉

For a little more info about Carol, have a look at these two posts as well. I used to refer back to the interview from Bass Player all the time. It still really holds me.

Cut me a notch at 125Hz


There are a handful of bass players, unknown to the majority of the general public, who were hugely influential in the world of pop, rock, blues and soul. They played on literally thousands of hit records from the 1950’s onwards.

This is the first in a series of blogs where I aim to shed some light on some of these players and show some examples of their top notch work.

I thought that the best place to start would be with one of the most prolific session musicians of the past fifty years, Carol Kaye.

Born in 1935 in Everett, Washington USA, Kaye was born into a family of musicians. When her parents divorced, Kaye and her mother relocated to California. Her mother bought her a guitar aged 11, and by the age of 14 she was playing jazz gigs semi-professionally and helping her guitar tutor teach some of his…

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Carol Kaye: Session Legend Interview

I came across this fascinating video interview with Carol Kaye two nights ago. She goes into a lot of history about her work, her start and her feelings on music. She also spoke about chords vs. scales again – something that I first saw her do a few years ago in another interview.

Carol Kaye: Session Legend Interview

Here’s a list of the chapters, or questions asked, in the video:


Have scales ruined music?

So, I can’t sleep right now (its nearly 4 AM) and I finished a bit of work updating the Medical Evaluation form’s interface for work, putting myself ahead for tomorrow. I just started digging around TalkBass, because I realized that I haven’t visited in close to a month, and came across an interesting thread called Have scales ruined music? by Manuel101.

The thread is about that Carol Kaye video which I’ve mentioned in the past. Its specifically about the part that’s intrigued me the most too. In it, she talks about playing chords vs. scales when building basslines or improvising (I have to rewatch it, as I was a little unclear as to its application in the past, although it makes more sense to me now). Here’s a link to the post with the video:


IIB Week 3 – Monday chat (12/19/11)

The Week 3 chat with Cliff Engel from IIB was more productive than the first week’s. I think its because I had time to go over some of the material from the previous week (Week 2) beforehand.

The first five minutes was smalltalk, but then Cliff asked how the lesson material was going. I told him that I’d not gotten through everything yet, but that I had a few questions based on what I had read and what I was practicing. Here are snippets of the questions I asked and the responses from the chat log:


Alex Webster – Extreme Metal Bass (book & cd)

Apologies in advance for what turned out to be a lengthy write-up, but I was really excited to receive this book. I’ve been looking forward to it as soon as I heard that it was being written, and it makes me regret more than ever the months that I took off from practicing.

So, I preordered Extreme Metal Bass by Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse from Amazon in July, and today, it arrived! It was supposed to get here in September but was pushed back for some reason. Anyhow, I put off answering some client emails for a bit this morning and read the book (I got back to the emails afterward). I really like what he’s done. Here’s an overview:

Introduction: Some background on why he wrote the book (much of it has to do with a lack of material covering this genre of metal as a whole). He also speaks about how the techniques used in metal bass playing aren’t defined by hard-and-fast rules and encourages experimentation.

Notes: This goes a little into genre and the umbrella term “extreme metal”. It describes extreme metal as originating in thrash and moving on to death and black metal, and even deathcore and metalcore, but also says not to get hung up on any of this – the techniques are applicable to many styles of metal (and I’d hazard to guess other kinds of music as well in varying capacities).