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Carol Kaye: Shes got opinions

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Warwickthumb, Oct 15, 2005.

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  1. I went to the bassgirls.com website. And there she was. So she has some opinions. Here's what she has to say.
    Oh thats great. So i guess me learning how to play Continum, Teen Town, Bright Sized life, makes me an amature. I see these as big Milestones in my pursuit to improve my bass playing. Scales, chords are great. What helps me to learn stuff like Teen Town is to approach it as playing through a scale. Then it just doesn't seem as complicated. At least for me.
    I thought for sure she would say fingers only. Seems to be a purist. She put down multi string basses too.
    What do you guys think of her?
  2. I think that she is a great musician and I could learn a great deal from her.
  3. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    I've never met the gal but she was quite the hottie when she was younger.

    From what I've read by her and about her she is stubborn and opinionated. That's o.k. If she wants to be stubborn, fine...and we all have opinions.

    And she has a valid point. Not the only valid point but nevertheless a valid point.

    And she has some very, very heavy creds.

    Take her roughness with a grain of salt and just try to see her opinion as that...an opinion.

    And by the way...learning theory isn't about scale wanking. Think about it. Knowing theory is a good thing whether it's learned in the classroom or through experience.

    She's not a purist, she's set in her ways it sounds like. She was a rebel...and way back then you had to be both good and tough to be a female rebel FIRST CALL MUSICIAN.

    It takes all kinds..including me, you and her.


  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Thanks Joe, I agree on all points!
  5. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I think what she means by the songs vs. theory point, is that some people will just blindly learn a song note-for-note and not really understand, or bother to try to understand, the theory behind it.
  6. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
  7. She's done some very good work over the years. I think, however, that conceptually she has some blinders on. To me, it seems as if she sometimes falls into the error--common in many, many fields, not just music--of confusing "I found an approach that works for me and might help you" with "I found the one true path." The blatantly obvious fact that there are other fine bassists and teachers who do things differently but at least as successfully should be sufficient proof--if any is needed--that Kaye's way is far from the only way.
  8. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    She's very opinionated, and stuck in her ways, but if you can get past that, you can learn a lot from her. Also, her ways have worked for her for MANY years so she does have some right to feel they are the best way. Also, as we all get older our openness to new things reduces, very few people escape this. Part of the reason she ticks so many people off is she tends to speak in absolutes which makes her sound kinda bitchy. I'm not sure she means it or not.

    I personaly agree with her on theory being more important than songs. With theory you can manuver around new songs that you havn't played before much more easily than you would with out it. As has been said, you can learn a song and have no clue what's going on in the song, it's all possition and where your fingers go. With theory behind you, you can know WHY your fingers are positioned where they are, the song becomes notes and chords, not frets and fingers.

    I'm just learning theory myself and it's already making songs I had learned physicaly before much easier to play. I can remeber what I'm suposed to be doing with greater ease, because theres a reason behind it. The frets are becoming notes the notes are becoming chords, the chords are becoming progresions the progresions are becoming songs.

    Again you can learn soooo much from her. Buy her instructional books, CD's DVD's, whatever, and avoid intervews and her BBS.

    ~Paul :)
  9. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    IMHO she's paid her dues so can have whatever musical befiefs/opinions she wants. I must admit they raise my eyebrows somewhat sometimes. But the girl must bave something going on or the boys wouldn't have kept calling her back.
  10. you beat me to it...
    you can see examples of this anywhere...here, there is a freshman guitar player who can play just about every malmsteen and petrucci riff note-for-note, but if you call out a chord progression, he's completely lost. playing continuum and all those songs are great songs to learn and play, but you should also know why you are playing the notes you are playing. personally i think it helps when coming up with your own material.
  11. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    No, that makes you a Jaco clone.

    Kidding ;) ...Of course it doesn't.

    Keep in mind that 'Old School', especially as hard-core a college of knowledge as the Wrecking Crew always seeks relevance when time walks on by toward a new horizon...and this search can involve some scathing scorn for the innovations of the future and those who are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to have 'climbed the mountain' on the labors of others.

    Don't take it personally...She ain't talkin' about you.
  12. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Carole Kaye is one of the most successful bassists in modern music history. She has chops, knowledge, an extremely successful and much emulated instructional series that has helped countless numbers of bassists, and an incredible track record. She accomplished all of this in a male dominated field. She has more than earned the right to her opinions - she knows what she is talking about.
  13. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    I just read the interview, and she really did come off strong in it; very "my way or noithing". Of course her POV is from the LA scene ("All the finest bass players out here use four strings.." and such like that), the NY one is a different ball game all together isn't it?

    Also, I wish I had a dime for everytime she said "Fine" or "Finest" or "Real Musician(s)".

    While, as I said in my first post, that I agree that theory is very important, I think you can learn a lot of it by learning songs. Look at guys like Paul McCartney who never took a leson in his life, yet wrote music like "Penny Lane". He developed a sence of theory by just playing a lot, and listening.

    Back to Carol, I was actually disapointed to see that the instructional DVD she finnaly put out is for guitar, not bass. I kinda gather she's all but left the bass behind for guitar now.

    Oh well...

    ~Paul :)
  14. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    And when it comes to the internet tab fetish, it's relying on someone else's ears instead of their own. I agree with what she said.

    Though I have to say it's really 'fun' to learn your favorite bassline! But the idea is to come up with something of your own, really. I think that's what she's getting at.

    He was a natural, but isn't it true that during that period - when they started to break out of the 'normal' type progressions - he studied (informally) a bit of music theory? Or at least started to absorb some of what George Martin was doing?

    I'm wondering; "Penny Lane" is...a combination of other things Paul might've heard at the time? In my opinion his talent as a song writer began by doing other people's tunes, but in the end, it wasn't his 'listening' to other people's things, but 'listening' to his 'inner music' so to speak. Being able to go beyond what he learned from other people and more or less forget it, and listen to what was going on in his head instead.

    I'm not sure; was Penny Lane derived from some other tune?

    Just wondering.

    Best regards.
  15. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Admit it, guys, you're just pissed at her because she plays Ibanez, not Sadowsky. :D

    Just kidding, personally, I don't really think her views are "wrong", she's just extremely conservative, so it seems.
  16. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Hey, where'd my other post go?
  17. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Carol is a very nice lady. I studied with her for a quick minute. She has very strong opinions and is not afraid to take a stand on them. For that alone, she already has my respect. I learned a great deal in the short time I spent with her. She made very good constructive critiques that I will always appreciate. And most importantly, those critiques she made helped me.

    Thanks Carol!

    And the point she makes about knowing what and why you are playing what you play is a very valid one IMO.

    While I don't always agree with everything she says or how she might say it, she always backs up her talk with her playing. And believe you me, she can PLAY!
  18. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I used to really respect her, but she has made many claims in recent years to make me think that she has gone....well, a little batty :)
  19. She seems to be speaking from experience. She's been around and she definiately is entitled to her own views/opinions. You should check out her website. It hasnt been updated in a while, but still some good stuff to read. Take what you can from her, you dont have to agree with everything she says. I am going to take her advice about chordal progressions and brush up on my theory. I am sure shes influenced many known bassists.
  20. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    As I said, I don't agree with everything she says (I mean, who completely agrees with anyone on everything?) :D ........but speaking from a musical learning standpoint, she has a lot to offer IMO.

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