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        Ariane Cap

Die aus Österreich stammende Multi-Instrumentalistin, Komponistin, Fachbuchautorin und Wahlamerikanerin hat bereits eine beachtliche Karriere vorzuweisen. Sie tourte mit der Celtic Rock Band Tempest durch die ganze USA, begleitete den Geigen-Virtuosen Carlos Reyes und spielt im Duo OoN ihre eigenen Kompositionen. Außerdem ist sie Bassistin bei Generation Esmeralda, einer Neuformation mit Original-Mitgliedern der legendären Studio-Band Santa Esmeralda, die von Jeanne-Manuel de Scarano und Nicholas Skorsky 1976 in Paris gegründet wurde und mit den Hits „Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood“, „You are my Everything“ sowie einem Cover von „House of the Rising Sun“ Musik-Geschichte geschrieben hat. Gerade veröffentlichte Ariane Cap auch ihr erstes Lehrbuch, das das Zeug zu einem Standardwerk für BassistInnen hat. Sie unterhält einen eigenen Bass Blog und produziert eine Serie von Lehr-Videos. Zudem gibt sie Online-Kurse bei bekannten Internet-Bass-Portalen. Nicole Badila traf die vielbeschäftige Musikerin zu einem Gespräch für den BASS PROFESSOR.

BP: Ariane, zuerst einmal Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu deinem neuen Werk „Music Theory for Bass Players“!

Vielen Dank! Ich freue mich sehr, dass es nun veröffentlicht ist und ganz besonders über die unglaublich tollen Rezensionen!

BP: Du stammst aus Österreich und hast schon sehr früh damit begonnen, Musik zu machen?

Ja, ich bin in Innsbruck geboren und aufgewachsen. Bereits als kleines Kind wollte ich in die Musikschule, aber wegen der Altersgrenze von sieben Jahren musste ich noch warten. Dann hat man mich doch mit sechseinhalb Jahre aufgenommen, weil ich schon ein paar Stückchen spielen konnte.

BP:  Welche waren deine ersten Instrumente und wie bist du zum Bass gekommen?

Klavier, Blockflöte und Querflöte waren meine ersten Instrumente. Als Achtzehnjährige wollte ich endlich aus dem kleinen Innsbruck heraus in die große, weite Welt. So hat es mich über Umwege dann an den Harvard Square nach Boston/USA verschlagen, wo ich mich gleich mit Straßenmusikern anfreundete. Bis dahin gab es in meinem Leben hauptsächlich die Klassik. Bei diesen Musikern ging es aber um Rock, Pop und Jazz. Weil ich über gute Theorie-Kenntnisse verfügte, konnte ich gleich mit einsteigen. Als ich wieder nach Österreich zurückkehrte, fing ich zwar als Keyboarderin und Gitarristin in einer Blues-Rock-Band an, bin dann aber beim Bass gelandet. Die tiefen Frequenzen und das Grooven – das war einfach mein Ding! Später kam dann auch noch der Kontrabass dazu.

BP: Du hast Musik studiert und in Europa bereits in einigen bekannten Projekten mitgewirkt. Welche waren das?

Ich hab in Wien mit der Mozartband gespielt, einem ganz tollen Funk-Klassik-Ensemble. Und beim Spatzenexpress war ich auch dabei (lacht).

BP: Wieso hast du dich entschlossen, in die USA umzusiedeln und wie kam es dazu?

Ich war lange Jahre an der Musikschule und danach am Konservatorium in Innsbruck. Sicherheitshalber studierte ich Biologie, weil alle gesagt haben, dass man von der Musik nicht leben könne. Sobald ich meinen Magister-Abschluss in der Tasche hatte, wollte ich mich für ein Musik-Studium  eingeschrieben. In Wien an der Hochschule gab es ein neues Programm für Jazz und Popularmusik. Um mich für die Aufnahmeprüfung optimal vorzubereiten, von der alle wussten, wie schwer sie war, bin ich für ein Semester an die Münchner Bass-Schule gegangen. Als ich dann in Wien studierte, wurde ein Stipendium ausgeschrieben: ein Jahr Austauschstudent an der University of Miami im Jazz Department. Ich habe mich sofort angemeldet und im zweiten Jahr hat es dann geklappt. An der UM hab ich fanatisch geübt. Die Lehrer und Kurse waren alle derart gut, dass ich mich voll in das Studium rein gehängt habe. Jazz war zu der Zeit noch ziemlich neu für mich und ich wollte einfach alles lernen. Auch hier kam mir meine solide klassische Grundlage zugute. Obwohl dieser Musikstil für mich neu war, wurde ich in die fortgeschrittenen Ensembles und Kurse eingestuft. Big Band Arrangement, Modale Komposition, Kontrabass, Improvisation, “Swing Class”, Jazzpiano und weiteres stand auf dem Plan. Ich habe unglaublich viel gelernt. Alle meine Freunde zuhause wollten wissen, wie es denn in Miami so sei. Ich musste ehrlich zugeben, dass ich keine Ahnung hatte, da ich dort nur am üben war. Als das Jahr dann vorbei war, wollte ich nicht mehr zurück nach Österreich. Ich erkannte die musikalischen Möglichkeiten, die Amerika zu bieten hat. Mein Stipendium war auf ein Jahr begrenzt, aber die USF in Tampa hat mich als Teaching Assistent angestellt. Dadurch konnte ich in den Staaten bleiben und weiterstudieren. Ich wollte am liebsten nach Kalifornien, weil mir Florida zu feucht, New York – die eine Musikmetropole –  zu kalt und Los Angeles  – die andere Musikmetropole – zu diesig war. Aber klimatisch war LA okay. So bin ich letztendlich in Nordkalifornien gelandet. Mit Hilfe einiger kosmischer Lebensumstände habe ich mich dann vorerst für die San Francisco Bay Area entschieden.

BP: In den USA bist du in weitere interessante Bands eingestiegen. Erzählst du uns etwas mehr darüber?

Nachdem ich gut Noten lesen kann, E- und Kontrabass spiele und auch Background singen kann, war der Anschluss immer recht einfach für mich. Ich habe schon immer die amerikanische Offenheit und Wärme geliebt und besonders in Kalifornien sehr schnell neue Kontakte knüpfen können. Firmen-Galas, Aushilfe bei Big Bands, Jazz Gigs, es ging eigentlich recht flott, mich in die Szene einzugliedern. Die keltische Rock-Band Tempest  war dann der erste große Gig. Mit den Jungs bin ich quer durch die Staaten getourt und das hat Spaß gemacht. Ich habe außerdem mit zahlreichen Bay Area Bands gespielt, alle möglichen Stile, Punk Rock mit den The Sippy Cups, Jazz mit Maddy Duran und Tammy Hall, World Music mit Carlos Reyes und Kommerz mit der Brian Cline Band.

BP: Du bist mit Wolf Wein verheiratet, ebenfalls Bassist und Komponist. Arbeitet ihr auch in gemeinsamen Projekten zusammen?

Ja, sehr oft sogar. Wolf ist der Grund, warum ich Bassistin geworden bin. Er war mein Privatlehrer und ist ein extrem vielseitiger Bassist und Komponist. Ich lerne jeden Tag etwas von ihm, sei es über Filmmusik, Mischtechnik, Harmonielehre, Sound, den Bass. Wolf ist ein äußerst einfühlsamer und detaillierter Musiker und mit Abstand mein größter Einfluss. Wir spielen oft zusammen, er Gitarre, ich Klavier oder einer von uns Bass, und wir haben einen jährlichen Gig am österreichischen Nationalfeiertag in der San Francisco City Hall, wo wir die Bundeshymnen beider Länder spielen. Jedes Jahr stellen wir eine andere Besetzung zusammen und schreiben ein neues Arrangement. Das macht Spaß!

BP: Wie kam die Zusammenarbeit mit Generation Esmeralda zustande?

Generation ist eine tolle Band mit ganz viel Geschichte. Einige der Gründungsmitglieder sind immer noch dabei. Brad, der Originalschlagzeuger der Truppe, erlitt auf einer Brasilien-Tour einen Herzinfarkt und ist auf der Bühne vor laufenden Kameras verstorben. Das war natürlich eine extrem traumatische Situation für die Band. Als der Jahrestag dieser Tragödie näher rückte, wurde die Band erneut nach Brasilien eingeladen. Der Bassist war über den Schock noch nicht hinweg gekommen und die Band suchte deshalb dringend einen Ersatz. Mein Freund Steffen Kühn ist der Trompeter der Band. Er und Jimmy, der Bandleader, hatten mich kurz zuvor mit Carlos Reyes, dem Geigen-Virtuosen, spielen sehen und fragten mich, ob ich denn auf die Schnelle eine Audition spielen könne. Es gab keine Noten und das Material ist sehr dicht und vielschichtig. Ich transkribierte deshalb ununterbrochen ein paar Tage lang die Stücke und kam sehr gut vorbereitet zur Audition. Die Jungs waren davon extrem beeindruckt und haben mich sofort angeheuert. Ein paar Wochen später ging es dann nach Brasilien, was ein unglaublich toller Trip war, den wir mit Einverständnis seiner Familie im Andenken an den verstorbenen Schlagzeuger  unternahmen.   

BP: Du bist eine Meisterin der Tapping-Technik und  setzt diese sehr oft in deinem Duo OoN ein, einem ungewöhnlichen Projekt mit Paul Hanson am Fagott. Wie seid ihr auf diese Konstellation gekommen?

Paul wohnt in meiner Nähe. Wir haben uns durch einen gemeinsamen Freund, den ausgezeichneten Bassisten Derek Jones, kennengelernt. Paul war immer schon ein Vorreiter auf dem Fagott und hat alle Grenzen dieses Instruments gesprengt, Bebop darauf gespielt, es elektronisch verstärkt und mit Effekten versehen. Bassisten kennen ihn oft als den Fagottisten des Live at the Quick-Videos von Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. Mich hat Pauls Vielseitigkeit ungemein inspiriert. Ich hatte schon seit Jahren ein bisschen auf meinem Marleaux-Sechssaiter vor mich hingetappt, Das war eine Art Geheimprojekt von mir, denn als Bassist hat man ja normalerweise eine andere Rolle in der Band inne als Akkorde zu tappen, Melodien zu spielen und Effekte auszuprobieren. Als Paul und ich zum ersten Mal jammten, hat es Klick gemacht. Die Kompatibilität der beiden Instrumente war erstaunlich und sowohl Pauls als auch meine Kompositionen klangen in dieser Besetzung ganz hervorragend. Es war und ist unglaublich toll, Melodien und verschiedene Begleitungsfigurationen auszuprobieren sowie den Sound und die Möglichkeiten immer mehr auszuschöpfen. Es macht einen unglaublichen Spaß, mit Paul Musik zu kreieren.

BP: Habt ihr beide die Arrangements gemacht?

Ja, sowohl Paul als auch ich. Wir steuern beide dem Projekt Eigenkompositionen zu. Oft hat Paul eine Idee für den Bass oder er gibt mir die Klavierpartitur einer seiner Stücke und ich versuche dann, sie auf meinem Instrument umzusetzen. Meistens übe ich tagelang, um die Parts auszuarbeiten. Wir spielen aber nicht nur Originals, sondern auch den einen oder anderen Jazz-Standard und Pop-Song. Ich habe zum Beispiel „Stella by Starlight“ und „Dear Prudence“ um(OoN)arrangiert. Die Ideen gehen uns nie aus.

BP: Wie ist die derzeitige Situation für Jazzmusiker in den USA?

Ich würde sagen, recht schwierig. In der San Francisco Bay Area ist die Stimmung ein bisschen düster unter den Musikern. Die Lebenserhaltungskosten stehen in keinerlei Verhältnis zu den Gagen, die sich bekannterweise seit Jahrzehnten um keinen Cent verbessert haben. Ich habe Glück, weil ich in einer Coverband spiele, die gut bezahlte Gigs hat, aber mir sind viele hervorragende Musiker bekannt, die mit dem finanziellen Überleben kämpfen.

BP: Du bist auch eine sehr gefragte Pädagogin und gibst viele Workshops und Clinics. In der Gegend von San Francisco hast du sogar eine eigene Musikschule, „Step Up Music“?

Ja, ich liebe es, zu unterrichten. Schon zu Schulzeiten habe ich in allen möglichen Fächern Nachhilfe erteilt. Ich nehme das Unterrichten als gleiche Herausforderung an wie die, einen Gig zu spielen. Jede Situation ist anders. Sie erfordert Fokus, Aufnahmefähigkeit und  tiefes  Zuhören, das ist alles sehr wichtig. Jede/r Schüler/in ist anders. Es gibt heute sehr viele Ressourcen im Internet, vieles davon ist ganz ausgezeichnet, manches nicht so sehr. Unter Schülern stiftet das oft Verwirrung. Als Lernender kann man oft nicht abschätzen, was der nächste Schritt ist. Viele kommen mit missverstandenen Musiktheorie-Konzepten oder der Überzeugung zu mir, dass das eine oder andere sehr schwierig umzusetzen ist. Das bricht mir oft das Herz, weil es Schüler verunsichert und vergeudete Zeit bedeutet. Oft fehlt einfach nur eine gute, konsistente Übe-Strategie. Wenn ein Schüler, auf sich alleine gestellt, Neues übt, klingt es anfangs oft nicht gut. Da kann er sich dann schnell auf dem Holzweg oder entmutigt fühlen. Als erfahrene Lehrerin sehe ich aber das Potential und Wachstum und kann ihm dieses Feedback geben. So bleibt die Motivation hoch und das Ziel wird im Auge behalten. Schüler sind auch oft davon überzeugt,  dass “man es hat” oder eben auch nicht und sie verlieren viel Zeit und die Hoffnung – aber ihr Traum nicht. Das ist eine unangenehme Spannung, die sich mit einem guten Programm und/oder guten Lehrern in eine sehr befriedigende und erfolgreiche Situation verwandeln kann. Wenn man erst einmal den Effekt des gezielten, guten Übens am eigenen Leib erfahren hat, kann das zu einer richtig schönen Sucht werden. Ich schaue beim Schüler immer ein oder zwei Schritte in die Zukunft voraus und versuche, die nächsten Lektionen mit dem zu verbinden, was bereits bei ihm vorhanden ist – seien das nun gute Ohren, eine musikalische Stilsicherheit oder eine ökonomische Haltung. Das schafft Selbstvertrauen und der nächste Schritt zeigt dem Lernenden das anzustrebende Ziel.

BP: Du gibst auch Jazz-Camps speziell für Musikerinnen?

Ja, seit Jahren bin ich Teil des Women’s bzw. Girls Jazz and Blues Camps, das Ellen Seeling und Jean Fineberg am California Jazz Conservatory anbieten. Das sind sehr wichtige Events für viele Musikerinnen. Dort geht es nicht darum, jemanden auszuschließen, sondern es geht darum, diejenigen anzusprechen, die sich sonst nicht angesprochen fühlen würden. Der Lehrkörper besteht ausschließlich aus Frauen. Die Schülerinnen und Studentinnen können mal ganz unter sich sein und das ist sehr wichtig. Ich finde es auch notwendig, dass Frauen in regulären Camps als Lehrkräfte einbezogen werden. Ich war oft die einzige Lehrerin in einem gemischten Camp und das hat viele Mädchen oder Frauen überhaupt erst zur Teilnahme bewogen. 

BP: Apropos Frauen im Musikbusiness: es gibt erfreulicherweise immer mehr Musikerinnen, die eine professionelle Karriere einschlagen und gerade Bassistinnen machen in letzter Zeit Furore. Wie siehst du diese Entwicklung?

Ja, dem stimme ich sehr zu. Es macht mich glücklich, dass eine Bassistin nicht mehr solch etwas Exotisches ist. Ich lerne immer Öfters fantastische Spielerinnen kennen und freue mich sehr darüber. Trotzdem haben wir noch viel Arbeit vor uns, eine Gleichstellung zu erreichen. Frauen und Mädchen haben oft mit unerwarteten Hindernissen zu kämpfen, von Erwartungen das Äußere betreffend bis zu dem Vorurteil, dass angenommen wird, eine Frau würde das Bandgleichgewicht durcheinander bringen. Wenn sie  Professionalität zeigt und klare Grenzen zieht, wird sie als prüde angesehen. Wenn sie offen und freundlich ist, so wie sich Männer untereinander meistens verhalten, kann das missinterpretiert werden, was dann wieder andere Probleme entstehen lässt. Ich sehe bei meinen Schülerinnen ein größeres Maß an Unsicherheit als bei meinen Schülern, auch wenn das Können vergleichbar ist. BP: Du hast gerade ein neues Lehrbuch veröffentlicht. Wie hast du das Konzept dazu entwickelt und wie lange hast du daran gearbeitet?

Ich habe drei Jahre an diesem Buch geschrieben. Meine Grundidee war, dass ich ein Buch schreiben wollte, das Musiktheorie für den Bassisten beschreibt – alle Grundlagen, die er/sie braucht, nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Ich wollte, dass die Musikbeispiele in dem Buch relevant für den Bass sind, mit kreativen Anwendungen und jeder Menge Übungen. Ein weiteres Ziel war, alle Konzepte so weit wie möglich mit Hilfe von Griffbrett-Diagrammen zu demonstrieren. Mir fiel außerdem auf, dass Bassisten oft mehr nach Gehör lernen oder sich Muster auf dem Griffbrett merken. Das ist zumeist der Einstieg, ein Notenblatt eher weniger. Viele Theorie-Bücher beginnen damit, die Notenschrift zu lehren. Zehn Seiten später wird Musiktheorie mittels ausnotierter Arpeggios und Skalen beschrieben. Wenn man da nicht schon Noten lesen kann, ist das zu viel auf einmal – besonders für ein Instrument wie den Bass, wo sich Töne oft wiederholen. Da ist es einfacher, Musiktheorie unabhängig vom Noten lesen zu lernen. Wenn man mit Griffbrett-Diagrammen beginnt  und dadurch Verbindungen zu Klängen herstellt, die man meisten bereits durch das Spielen von Songs kennt, wird das Ganze wesentlich einfacher. Man kann dann zum Beispiel einen Durdreiklang zuordnen, mit ihm einen Groove erzeugen oder auch durch das Diagramm den Aufbau der Ganztonskale verstehen. So wird das Wissen über den Bass kontinuierlich erweitert. Noten tun das nicht so eindeutig, denn es gibt verschiedene Fingersätze. Selbst die Tabulaturen sind visuell nicht so eindeutig wie ein Diagramm, das die Griffbrett-Positionen durch die Punkte genau anzeigt. Das Notenlesen ist natürlich auch wichtig. Aber es wird wesentlich leichter, wenn man die Theorie schon beherrscht. Also zuerst die Theorie, dann das Noten lesen, das war meine Grundidee. Das Buch hat auch ein langes Kapitel über Technik. Wenn man Dreiklänge und Modi etc. beschreibt, kommt natürlich sofort ein guter Fingersatz ins Spiel. Da durften dementsprechende Tipps nicht fehlen. Deshalb wurde es ein sehr umfangreiches Kapitel mit vielen Fotos.

BP: Du hast eine neue Internetpräsenz mit Ari’s Bass Blog, der die Inhalte deines Lehrbuchs unterstützt.

Ja, mit dem Blog hab ich jede Menge Spaß. Ich blogge über alles Mögliche, von BassistInnen, Themen zu gesundem Bass-Spielen, Spieltechniken bis hin zu kreativer Umsetzung von Musiktheorie. Interviews folgen in Kürze. Schwerpunkte des Blogs sind derzeit die “Bass Bits” – das sind kurze Videoclips, welche die Konzepte des Buchs zusammenfassen oder eine Übung dazu zeigen und Ähnliches.

BP: Du hast gerade eine Video Bass-Lesson-Serie gemacht, die auf den bekannten Internet-Portalen No Treble und TrueFire präsentiert werden?

Für TrueFire habe ich einen Kurs mit dem Titel “Pentatonic Playground for Bass” zusammengestellt. Da geht es um die fünf Patterns der Pentatonik-Skalen, wie man sie übt, kreativ anwendet, über das gesamte Griffbrett spielen kann und vor allem, wie man Basslinien und Fills damit entwickelt. Es ist ein sehr intensiver Kurs, aber ein Video kann man ja vor- und zurückspulen. Das ist ein gutes Lern-Format! Auf No Treble habe ich eine Video-Kolumne. Alle zwei Wochen präsentiere ich ein Clip über Basstechnik: Training für Fingerfertigkeit, gesunde Haltung, Lagenwechsel etc. Ich beantworte Fragen und gebe Übungen und Tipps für eine gute Technik, ein Thema, das ich vom gesundheitlichen sowie spieltechnischen Standpunkt einfach für unglaublich wichtig halte!

BP: Scott Devine hat dich zu einem Videoclip auf seiner bekannten Online-Plattform „Scott’s Bass Lessons (SBL)“ eingeladen? Wie war das für dich?

Ich habe Scott beim Warwick Camp in Deutschland kennengelernt. Ich wusste natürlich von seiner Webseite und hab mich sehr gefreut, ihn nun auch persönlich kennen zu lernen. Ich gab ihm ein Exemplar meines Buchs und er hat mich daraufhin eingeladen, auf seiner Webseite Gast-Seminare zu halten. Scott hat eine sehr nette Bass Community geschaffen und eine wahre Fundgrube von Unterrichtsmaterialien auf seiner Seite zusammengetragen, seine eigenen und auch die anderer Lehrer, einfach fantastisch. Das Thema meiner Seminars war: “Musiktheorie üben, so dass es Spaß macht”. Es waren sehr viele BassistInnen live zugeschaltet und ich konnte mit ihnen via Chat interagieren. Wir haben die Zeit weit überzogen. In London war es schon spät nachts, als wir das Seminar schließlich beendet haben. Das Feedback war großartig. Am 7. Januar 2016 gibt es das nächste Seminar von mir auf scottsbasslessons.com. Ich freue mich schon darauf!

BP: Du bist langjährige Endorserin für Marleaux und präsentierst diese Edelbässe regelmäßig auf der NAMM-Show in Anaheim, Kalifornien. Wie hast du Gerald Marleaux kennen und seine Instrumente schätzen gelernt?

Gerald und meine Marleaux-Freunde, die sind wie eine Familie für mich. Ich hatte kaum zwei Jahre Bass gespielt, als ich meinen ersten Marleaux fand. Das war mein dritter Bass. Nach dem roten Ibanez kaufte ich mir einen Alembic. Der war aber sehr kopflastig und ich wollte außerdem einen Fünf-Saiter. In Innsbruck gab es nur wenige Geschäfte, darum fuhren wir für den Kauf von Musikinstrumenten immer nach München. Wie es der Zufall so wollte, hatten sie dort gerade einen Consat stehen. Gerald Marleaux war auch gerade vor Ort und präsentierte dort dieses Modell. Wolf und ich lernten den jungen Mann kennen und  waren beide sehr angetan von ihm. Er war so sympathisch, bescheiden und überaus großzügig in der Art und Weise, wie er den Bass präsentierte. Er hat uns alles dargelegt und die spezielle Konstruktion genau erklärt, wie zum Beispiel der Hals in den Korpus integriert ist etc. Es steckte so viel Liebe zum Detail in diesem Instrument, eine große Sorgfalt in optischen als auch akustischen Details. Man hatte wirklich das Gefühl, dieser Bass ist nicht eine “axe” (= Axt),  wie wir hier in den USA zu sagen pflegen, sondern dein bester Freund. Vor ungefähr zehn Jahren wollte Gerald auf der NAMM Show ausstellen und hat mich angeschrieben. Ich hab ihm mit der Organisation des Messestands geholfen. Zu der Zeit war er in einem nicht so gut besuchten Teil der Messehalle untergebracht und wir teilten den Stand mit jemandem, der nicht ganz passend war, aber immerhin war es war es schon mal ein Anfang! Gerald hatte gerade den Sopran konzipiert und ich bin mit dem “Kleinen” auf der ganzen NAMM herumgelaufen und habe allen meinen Freunden gesagt, sie sollen unbedingt zu diesem Stand kommen und diese tollen Bässe auschecken. Das hat für Furore gesorgt. Ich muss lachen, wenn ich da daran zurückdenke. Seit damals ist so viel passiert. Good memories! 

BP: Welche Marleaux-Bässe genau spielst du und was macht sie so besonders für dich?

Mein fünfsaitiger Consat, mit dem alles begann, ist nach wie vor die erste Wahl, wann immer es ums Grooven geht. Dann hab ich einen viersaitigen Straight, der oft beim Unterrichten zum Einsatz kommt oder in Projekten, in denen ein Bass eben nur vier Saiten zu haben hat. Einige meiner SchülerInnen hier haben auch einen – das verbindet!  Mein fünfsaitiger Votan ist der Funk-Bass. Wann immer ich einen alten Fender-Sound brauche, wird er eingepackt. Mein sechssaitiger Consat ist für mein Duo Oon reserviert. Er hat etwas dünnere Saiten und eine sehr niedrige Saitenlage, also optimal zum Tappen. Dann hab ich noch einen schönen, orangefarbenen Sopran und einen supertollen Fretless, den mir meine Freunde von Fibenare gemacht haben. Ich hab auch einen alten klassischen, böhmischen Kontrabass und einen Eminenz E-Kontrabass.   

BP: Welche Soundeinstellungen verwendest du, eher Aktiv- oder Passiv-Elektronik?  Höhen und Bässe oder eher einen etwas mittigeren Klang?

Passive Pickups, aktive Elektronik. Mein Fünfer-Consat hat noch die alte programmierbare Elektronik, die gibt mir viel Freiheit in der Einstellung des Sounds, was auch immer ein Projekt gerade verlangt – von einem runden, tiefenlastigen bis hin zu einem knurrigen, mittenreichen Sound, der auch bei einer dicht besetzten Band wie Esmeralda durchkommt, sowie einem schönen brillanten Ton, der auch die Obertöne von Akkorden für OoN akzentuiert.

BP: Und welches Equipment verwendest du? Kommen auch Effekte zum Einsatz?

Meine Lieblingssaiten sind SR2000 von Dean Markley. Ich liebe es, wie sich diese Saiten anfühlen und sie klingen einfach super. Alle meine Amps sind von TC Electronics. Ich habe zwei RH 450 Heads und zwei RS210. Manchmal fahre ich sie bei OoN Stereo. Für Proben bringe ich den BG250 mit. Effekte hab ich viel zu viele (lacht). Bei OoN kommen meine TC Delays, das EBS Reverb, ein paar MXR Pedals, der Pigtronix Fat Drive und mein Infinity Looper zum Einsatz.

BP: Wie sehen deine Pläne in naher Zukunft aus und welche musikalischen Träume möchtest du noch alle verwirklichen?

Ein großer Teil meines Fokus liegt im Moment auf meiner Online-Lehrtätigkeit und meinen Büchern. Die Videos und Blogs machen einen Riesenspaß und ich lerne täglich neue Bass-Enthusiasten kennen, die mir interessante Fragen stellen und Feedbacks dazu geben, was sie am schnellsten weiterbringt. Wir nehmen mit OoN gerade unser zweites Album auf. Nächstes Jahr möchten wir in Europa auf Tour gehen. Und natürlich spiele ich auch live so viel wie möglich. Ich bin immer offen für interessante Projekte oder Tourneen. Es zieht mich auch manchmal ein bisschen nach LA. Studio-Gigs machen großen Spaß. Mein Leben ist nach wie vor spannend und vielseitig. Ich bin sehr dankbar dafür!

BP: Hast du noch einen Übe-Tipp für unsere LeserInnen parat?

Was auch immer du gerade übst, mache Musik daraus. Eine Tonleiter, Dreiklänge, einen Groove herausarbeiten, auch wenn er noch unsicher ist, spiele mit rundem und konsistentem Ton, als ob das Tonband mitläuft. In der Tat, lass ein Band mitlaufen und höre Dir selber zu. Deckt es sich mit Deiner Vision von dem, was Du spielst? Was klingt gut und was kannst du noch verbessern? Nicht negativ beurteilen – einfach wahrnehmen und das Gelernte anwenden. Und noch was: wenn etwas nicht funktioniert, versuch eine andere Vorgehensweise. Fange mit kleinen Schritten an und bleibe deinen größten Träumen immer treu!

BP: Vielen Dank Ariane, alles Gute und viel Erfolg weiterhin!

Surf-Tipps:

http://arisbassblog.com/

http://arianecap.com

https://www.facebook.com/ariane.cap

 

 

Jazz Guitar Magazine, May 2016, final edition of the magazine. review by Dr. Dave Walker.

When Bass Player presented Solo Bass Night 5 at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California, Ariane Cap was captivating. The Austrian transplant can be found grooving in San Francisco Bay Area bands with styles ranging from punk to blues to jazz, but on this bass-centric evening, she proved she could hold an audience on her own. And when she brought out bassoonist Paul Hanson (Béla Fleck, Eddie Money, Dennis Chambers) to showcase their new duo project, Oon, their rendition of “Dear Prudence” was particularly fascinating. Cap demonstrated sick tapping skills on her Marleaux 6-string, and about three-fourths of the way through the Beatles classic, she reversed her hands on the fingerboard and rebooted the groove via overhand tapping. Cool! Cap, a dedicated educator, was happy to take us to school.

How did you come to employ overhand tapping on “Dear Prudence”?

A lot of the techniques I apply to Oon come from the desire to create sonic variety, and to fulfill harmonic and foundational roles simultaneously. One day I started playing a double-thump/slap thing that’s a hybrid of techniques I picked up from Kai Eckhardt and Victor Wooten. Paul immediately suggested applying it to “Dear Prudence.” It worked great for the intro and head. For Paul’s solo section, I went with a driving two-handed tapping pattern.
While I was grooving I remembered the beauty of McCartney’s original bass line, and realized that I needed to nod my head to it in this section while keeping the groove going. I figured it out theoretically, but I could not sort it out comfortably for the left hand. So I simply flipped my hands in order to give the right hand a superior angle for the busy pattern, while the left walked the line down from the octave D. I can’t really see my right hand when I do it, so I have to play by feel.

What’s a good way to develop that ability?

I practice playing without looking at the fingerboard. I also pay close attention to dynamics when I learn a new technique. If I can play something convincingly from very soft to very loud, then I have come closer to mastering it and can express nuances.

What makes “Dear Prudence” a good vehicle for tapping?

The song offers a lot of options for the use of pedal tones, which work great with tapping. The bass line is active and busy with a somewhat unexpected accent on the last 16th-note of beats two and four, which creates a floating feel and an interesting context for the sparse melody.

What are some core concepts a player needs to nail when tapping?

Tapping is not about force or strength; it’s about subtlety and coordination. Both hands face new challenges of stability—keeping energetically anchored down, yet free to operate. It helps to occasionally check for any extra hand tension that might work against finger movement. I like the feeling when the bass is anchored in position and my hands and I become one, so I pay close attention to posture. A good setup is also key. I like low action and thin strings for tapping, but I also want a round and rattle-free tone for grooving, so it’s always somewhat of a compromise.

Do you have any parting thoughts for those interested in exploring overhand tapping?

Lots of new harmonic ideas can come from having both hands interact on the fingerboard. Try coming up with a pattern; then keep the top the same while moving the bottom, and then try moving the top while the bottom remains consistent. Context is crucial, so make sure to bring such ideas into a situation that makes musical sense.

Oon, Polaris [Oonband.com, 2013]

EQUIP

Basses Marleaux Consat Custom 6-string with Bartolini pickups (Oon), various other Marleaux basses
Strings Dean Markley SR 2696 or 2697 (6-string); 2690 (other basses)
Rig “I prefer going direct with Oon. Otherwise it’s either a Nemesis NC210 combo or an Eden WT800 head with Eden D210XLT and/or D410XST cabinets.”
Effects TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay, Boss Digital Reverb, Zoom B2.1u
Other Gruv Gear Fret- Wraps really help with muting the 6-string with Oon.”

WRITTEN BY Jon D’Auria

Watch Oon play “Dear Prudence” at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. 

bassplayer.com/january2014

Book Review

By Rich Freedman

 

Vallejo TImes Herald, January 12, 2014

Ariane Cap is years removed from getting swamped with references to the Von Trapp family or bored by some well-meaning friend doing his favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.

Besides, said the Vallejo musician, folks back in her native Austria have other concerns than any catch-phrase from the former California governor or anything about Julie Andrews prancing in the Alps.

“They don’t talk much about Arnie over there,” Cap said. “Same with ‘Sound of Music.’ I didn’t know what the music was until I got here.”

Though Cap returns to the homeland occasionally — her parents remain there — she’s adapted quite nicely since arriving in Miami on a music scholarship in 1998 and deciding to stay.

Adjustments? Perhaps a few. There’s a store that sells nothing but bacon in Austria. And the milk is divine, Cap said.  Education is “close to free” and children “shake your hand and smile.” Yet, she’s happy to be here. It was always, she said, about music and the opportunity to excel.

“Music is the reason I’m here,” she said.

“There’s much more opportunity to play. Most Austrians who are great musicians leave.

It’s a fairly small country. It’s actually easier to make a career in music in Austria by not being Austrian.”

The barriers were perhaps more with playing bass than cultural. The instrument never seemed one for women, acknowledged Cap, who is doing
her best to be a role model for a new generation of young, female players.

“I step all over the image,” said Cap laughing. “One, I’m a woman. There is a definite lack of woman bass players and that’s hard to remedy.” Cap recalled auditioning for a music job and was told, “We need a real bass player.” Code for “man.”

“There are some amazing women players on the scene and that’s getting a little better,” she said.

It’s “absolutely rewarding” when a girl pursues the bass because of Cap, the musician said.

“That’s the most beautiful thing of all of it,” she said. “That some girl tells me what exactly was in my playing that inspired her. It’s just wonderful. That’s a real honor.”

Cap also plays beyond the stereotyped bass, be it technically or with her unusual instrument, an “extreme bass,” as she said.
“I can play a groove in a band, but also do this really eclectic stuff,” she said.

A Vallejoan since 2002, Cap released her first CD with “Oon,” a duo with bassoonist Paul Hanson of American Canyon. She was also recently featured in Bass Player Magazine.

“A big, huge, honor,” she said. “I’ve been a subscriber for many years and always enjoyed the stories.”

Cap was also featured in a German-based music magazine, which delighted her mother.

“It’s always nice to get that recognition and nice that mom was able to buy it there,” said Cap, adding that her parents were “totally supportive” when she left Austria for America, though “they don’t know much about the music industry or workings of it.”

“They wished me well. Parents want their child to find what they’re looking for,” Cap said.

Beyond performing with four groups — including Esmeralda at the Empress Theater Jan. 31 — she teaches piano and bass and is writing a book on playing bass.

Is Cap the No. 1 — or even top 10 — women bass players in the world? You won’t hear it either way from the artist, lamenting the public’s thirst to know “the best” in any art form. “One thing that makes me sad is the obsession with who is the best,” she said. “I feel that gives such a sad view of music.”

If you go …
Who: Generation Esmeralda, featuring Jimmy Goings and Ariane Cap
Where: Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia St., Vallejo
When: Friday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m.
Cost: $17 advance, $20 door
Info: empresstheatre.org

 

Ariane Cap in the VTH

Step Up Music students deliver recital Feb. 27 at JFK Library

Ariane Cap’s Step Up Music students put on a recital at JFK Library on Sat., Feb. 27.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/S.N. JACOBSON
Richard Freedman, Vallejo Times-Herald
POSTED: 02/19/16, 2:23 PM PST

Eryn McFall and other student at Step Up Music perform at JFK Library in a recital. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ariane Cap can never forget her public appearance debut.

It was at the Conservatory of Innsbruck in Austria.

“It was a huge and cold room, made of marble and metal. I was terribly nervous and felt very alone,” Cap recalls. “I remember playing way too fast and feeling completely exposed. The first audience members seemed miles away from me. It wasn’t a positive experience at all.”
Cap was 8. Traumatized back then, perhaps, she apparently recovered, becoming one of the most acclaimed bass players on the planet.

Now, with her own students at Step Up Music in Vallejo, Cap leans on her gloomy public unveiling to make it enjoyable for the young ones in a Feb. 27 recital at JFK Library.

“I fiercely aim to make performing fun for my students,” Cap said. “I want to keep it light on one hand and treat them like the little rock stars they are on the other. It is very important.”

Cap and fellow instructors Dr. Stephan Betz and Leah Woodard tote 11 piano students, one bass student and four vocalists to the recital. Plus, the teaching trio will trade talents as well.

“There will be everything from boogie-woogie to kids’ favorites to movie scores to classical,” Cap said. “It’s a very varied program featuring mostly younger students on this one. We cannot fit everyone into one recital.”

About half are Step Up recital “veterans,” but there are several “who are ‘stepping up’ on stage for the first time,” Cap said. There is a discussion on preparing young students for public performance, she said.

“We talk at length about the difference between practicing and practicing-performing,” Cap said. “Both are equally important, especially with a performance coming up. Practicing the music means analyzing and doing detective work when errors occur, repeating short arts rather than always starting at the beginning, warming up and playing with repetitions. Practicing-performing means pretending we are on stage, keeping going when errors occur, and playing without any warm-up.”

Also, continued Cap, “we discuss how they feel about performing. I know their worries and butterflies but I also know their excitement, and in some cases, how much it took to agree to even be on that stage. I want them to be super proud of themselves for facing their fears and working so hard. And, mind you, not everyone qualifies to be admitted. We still have another lesson to iron out some kinks, so we will see. I want the students to have a good experience performing and the audience to enjoy themselves.”

The Joseph Room at JFK is an ideal recital venue, Cap said.

“It has a beautiful piano and a great stage,” she said. “The room has history, is made of wood and the vibe is friendly and warm. There is natural daylight. The room is wide rather than long so the audience is close.”
There are about 20 Step Up students, said Cap, who teachers many via Skype. She’s published a video course and a bass book last October and also started a blog and other online bass teaching activities.
Her book has become a No. 1 best-seller on Amazon in its category.

“It has been very intense for me, yet I find it vitally important to stay in personal contact with students rather than teach in all virtual world,” Cap said. “The direct interaction with learners keeps me on my toes and my skills shop.”

Because the Mira Cultural Community Center is undergoing renovation, Step Up Music is based at Virginia Street and Sonoma Boulevard inside the First Methodist Church.

Step Up Music students and instructors perform a recital at JFK Library, 505 Santa Clara St., Vallejo, Sat., Feb. 27, 1 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (707) 647-3050.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Reach the author at rfreedman@timesheraldonline.com or follow Richard on Twitter: @richfreedmanvth.

Cap’s business music to Vallejo’s ears/ By Rachel Raskin Zrihen

Times-Herald staff writer 
Posted: 11/30/2009 01:00:29 AM PST

Vienna was a little too stuffy, so Ariane Cap moved to Vallejo.

The 38-year-old bass player said she began her formal musical training on piano in her native Austria at age 5. She speaks English, German, Latin and ancient Greek. Hers was an intensely academic family, she said.

“My parents are both scientists,” Cap said. “My father is a renown physicist in Austria. It’s not that they weren’t supportive of my music. They were. They bought me the instruments, got me lessons. But I don’t think they completely understood how important it was to me.”

Though she said she can now appreciate that science and music are two sides of the same coin, as a youngster, that was harder to see.

“In my family everything was theoretical, and I’m so into intuitive fun, and in my family, there wasn’t room for that,” she said. “I can see now that they’re similar, but at the time, it seemed like a marriage with irreconcilable differences.”

An au pair job in Boston at 18 first brought Cap to the United States, where she got her first taste of the bass guitar, which was to become her signature instrument.

“I was playing guitar and piano in this band, and the bass player went to Thailand and never came back, so I became the bass player,” she said. “I come from an analytical world. I had all the theory, but the bass is so rhythmic, it’s really such a female instrument, with such a connection to the earth.”

Cap student Julie Lawyer, 70, of Benicia said she is improving her bass-playing skills for her five-member, all female band, The Hot Flashes. She’s been playing about a year, she said.

“I love music, and usually bass players can find a spot in an ensemble because everyone else wants to be up front, to be the star,” Lawyer said. “And I picked Ariane because I heard a podcast she was a guest on and was blown away. The way she plays is very eloquent, musically.”

Cap said she returned to Austria to earn a Master of Science degree in marine biology.

“It was just part of the family obligation,” she said.

Cap met her husband at about that time and then began studying music at the University of Vienna, which granted her a musical scholarship to the University of Miami. She brought her husband, composer Wolfgang Wein, along.

“We drove around and we really liked California, especially the Bay Area, but we couldn’t afford a house anywhere,” she said. “Vallejo wasn’t even on our radar, but we have some friends with a beautiful house here, so we bought a house here.”
For the first several years, Vallejo was strictly home base, she said.

“Vallejo was just a place to lay my head at first,” Cap said. “I’m in three bands and was very busy, and so was my husband, who creates music for toys and games. It didn’t even occur to me to start a business here.”
Cap plays acoustic world folk rock with The Palm Wine Boys, works with a wedding band from Napa and with a psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll circus for children called the Sippy Cups.

But, people began asking for lessons, and at first Cap conducted those out of her home. Then she rented a place.

Cap says that despite not yet being open for group lessons, which begin in January, Step Up Music, 1716 Sonoma Blvd. already has some 15 students. Some come from as far away as Sacramento and Berkeley for lessons on bass, piano and musical meditation techniques like Orff, for people with little or no musical background.
The move to the states and Vallejo in particular provided Cap the freedom she felt she needed to express herself, she said.
“The people are different. Here it’s multi-cultural, very rich culturally. In Vienna, there’s a lot of classical history — it’s really only jazz or classical. I especially enjoy the world musical influences here,” she said.
And as a vegan, Cap said she appreciates the “wealth of food choices.”
And the weather.

“I hate the cold. That’s why I’m here,” she said. “And the people. They’re so open here, outgoing and inclusive. In Austria, they tend to be a little more reserved. We’re loving Vallejo.”

Contact staff writer Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824 or rzrihen@timesheraldonline.com.

  

Winter 2017 Riff – TrueFire Journal

Two of the Bay Area’s best musicians have joined forces in a most fabulous duet, quite unlike any I have ever heard. A fantastic bassoonist, Paul Hanson first came to my attention while touring with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and performing alongside the legendary Paul McCandless of Oregon and saxophonist Jeff Coffin; their work as a trio simply had to be seen to be believed. No one plays the bassoon like Hanson; his dexterity and marvelous use of effects was nothing short of brilliant. Bassist Ariane Cap is of course no stranger to this writer; as she’s honed her skills at the elbows of bass giants, like the uncanny Victor Wooten of the aforementioned Flecktones, the incomparable Kai Eckhardt, and one of the founders of the Bay Area’s solo bass scene, the one and only Michael Manring. Together, Hanson and Cap have created the duo known as “OoN, a

unique blend of fresh sounds at times meditative and peaceful at times passionate, raging and distorted; always groovy always melodic…” Their new album, “Polaris” is an amazing romp that defies categorization, and is guaranteed to both soothe and groove you.

OoN’s website states that “People often say they don’t know what to expect from a bass and bassoon duo. Well, think melodic and groovy music. OoN with its unlikely combination of bass and bassoon creates beautiful melodic Chamber Jazz. Sometimes peaceful and meditative, at other times passionate, raging or groovy, the musical bandwidth these two instrumentalists cover on their respective ‘tools’ is surprising. Utilizing virtuosic and unusual playing techniques as well as effects and harmonizers, the musicians put the song first and musicality front and center.

When Hanson and Cap met they found they had a lot in common: both had just returned from tours from outside the country and found themselves in new and unexpected life situations. They got together initially to ‘just jam’ but were immediately struck by the compatibility of their instruments as well as their similar approaches to playing. Both fans of unusual playing techniques and the use of effects they were both at home taking on various responsibilities of playing, be it accompanying, grooving, soloing or playing melodies. More than anything, however, they found kinship in loving a wide variety of styles of music, from Classical to Jazz, to Rock, Pop, Funk, and Fusion, and for being most concerned with beautiful melodies and accessible and moving grooves. On Polaris, the two do many of their own compositions, but also a Beatles cover and their favorite Jazz standard. They even go on some Jimi Hendrix infused adventures. A fresh and exciting sound that will delight, entertain and uplift you, make sure to expect the unexpected.

As a bassoonist over the last 20 years, Hanson has been one of a select few setting new standards for what is possible on this most classical of woodwind instruments. As one reviewer puts it, “But he simply transcends technique to a point where the listener no longer has in mind that it’s a BASSOON that he’s playing.” From his roots as an award­winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist­ Hanson has enjoyed a truly diverse musical career.

http://www.beyondchron.org/the-music-of-oon/

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6/14/2016 Beyond Chron | The Music of “OoN” – Beyond Chron

As an improvising bassoonist, Hanson has recorded and/or performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Cirque Du Soleil, David Binney, Dennis Chambers, Zenith Patrol, Billy Childs, Billy Higgins, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Patrice Rushen, Alex Acuna, Abraham Laboriel, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bob Weir’s RATDOG, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Coffin, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Afro/Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt. Paul has lent his bassoon playing to The Klezmorim, St. Josephs Ballet, soloist with Napa Symphony, jazz bassoon soloist with Oakland East Bay Symphony, DAVKA.

As a saxophonist, Hanson has recorded and/or performed with Eddie Money (tenor sax soloist on the 1985 hit song “Take Me Home Tonight”), Boz Scagg, The Temptations, Tower of Power, Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Randy Jackson (pre­ American Idol), What It Is, Omar Sosa, dobroist Rob Ickes, Bobby Blue Bland and others.

Cap is an Austrian multi instrumentalist, composer, music educator and bassist (upright, electric, fretless, mini bass), pianist, vocalist and flutist. She has turned out compositions for Karney Music and Sound, Somatone and Wolftrack audio, regularly teaches at the Berkeley Jazz School, The Wyoming Rock Camp Experience (10 years in residence), the Berkeley Jazz Workshop and her own Music School, Step Up Music.

Performing credits include the Celtic Rock Band Tempest, The Kid­punk rock band The Sippy Cups, the African Band The Palmwine Boys, the Guitar Virtuoso Muriel Anderson, the Austrian funk band The Mozart Band and Cirque du Soleil as well as many local Jazz, Wold and Rock/Funk artists. Recently Ariane recorded for star producer Keith Olsen. Current bands include Lara Price’s Girls Got the Blues, an all­star female cast of Bay Area musicians including Janice Maxie­ Reid, Pam Hawkins and Annie Sampson, as well as the platinum winning band Generation Esmeralda with Jimmy Goings, who she recently toured Brazil with. Cap is also working on a series of books and educational materials (audio and video) to bring her bass and music theory methods to a wider audience…”

OoN has presented us with a lot of mighty fine music on Polaris; the jaunty “Emerald Mile” is one of my favorites; the eerie “Doldrums Last Days; “Epic Epic” and “Mr. Coffee” are instant gems, to name but a few. I honestly love each and every cut. Here too is a video of one of OoN’s most recent performances, at Berkeley’s Frieght & Salvage.

OoN Dear Prudence FreightAS 2013 mixed

E. “Doc” Smith is a musician and recording artist with Edgetone Records, who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart and many others. He is also the Arts & Entertainment editor for Beyond Chron and inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick.

To leave feedback, go to feedback@beyondchron.org (mailto:feedback@beyondchron.org?Subject=The Music of “OoN”)

http://www.beyondchron.org/the-music-of-oon/

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CONTRIBUTOR

(http://www.beyondchron.org/author/)

More Posts (http://www.beyondchron.org/author/)
Filed under: Arts & Entertainment (http://www.beyondchron.org/category/articles/art/)

 

Beyond Chron Article on OoN

 

 

7/11/2017 Learn Bass from the Best Teacher – drdavewalkerblog

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searching out the best values for musicians

Learn Bass from the Best Teacher

July 1, 2017 drdavewalkerblog

 Dr Walker review Pentatonic Ariane Cap

Just a few centuries ago, music was considered an art and a science. The scientific part was theory, of course, and its practical application was where art came in. Beethoven studied with Haydn to learn how to compose contemporary music; theory was still the way to learn the materials and the proper way to use them, and while a good composer deviated somewhat from them, there were limits set by what was considered good taste. While recognizing his student’s undoubted genius, Haydn felt that Beethoven had strayed too far from the standards of good taste, just as Beethoven felt that Haydn had stayed too conservatively bound by societal norms to truly express the strong feelings that imbued Beethoven’s music. However, throughout a career that would change the sound of classical music and inspire composers to express their innermost selves, Beethoven stayed much closer to his early training than most composers who followed. Thus began the rift between theory and actual practice that is considered the norm by almost all musicians, composers and performers alike. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries composers tried outdo one another in breaking rules, too often disregarding the taste of their audience (if they had one). All of this was justified as “advancing theory.”

 Music theory got a bad rap, so that nowadays it takes an extraordinary teacher to bridge that gap and show the relevance of theory to performance and composing (including improvising). Enter Ariane Cap, a trained teacher whose pedagogical approach to the the bass links the critical elements of theory to playing so that her students are those incredible musicians who know what to play when, and how to blow your socks off with their improvising. She teaches theory as it is used today and in this course, how it applies to brainwork like fingering and improvising with the right notes, as well as building muscle memory and physical stamina to use what you head tells you.

This is how Beethoven could improvise an entire sonata at the piano, and how you can improvise a great-sounding solo on the spot. Just one priceless example: a major triad consists of a root, major third and perfect fifth, which means that you will play the low root with your second finger, unlike a minor chord. Maybe you knew one, or even both of those things, but did your teacher link those two up when you first learned about chords? Ms. Cap’s point is that theory should strengthen your playing so that brain memory and muscle memory work together, and knowing the theoretical basis so well that your mind is free to concentrate on expressing yourself, just like Beethoven.

HOW TO BECOME A BETTER BASSIST

 Dr Walker Blog Ariane Cap

1. Remember the name Ariane Cap.

2. Buy her Truefire course “Pentatonic Playground for Bass.”

3. Work through the course.

Truefire has so many excellent courses that it’s hard to pick just one, but you really need to buy one (per instrument maybe) and put all of your energy into mastering it before moving on. My advice to all bassists is that this is the one you need.

If you have any objection that this is “just the pentatonic scale” remember that this is the basis of many of the greatest players’ style, including John Entwhistle. Ariane Cap gives you the solid foundation to be able to step outside the scale when you need to, or just want to, and how to get back into it seamlessly.

You will have to work, but this is truly a course where the more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it. You will learn more about the Pentatonic Scale than you thought there could be to know about any scale, never mind a 5-note one. But that’s just the start, so don’t take the title too literally. If you play along with Ms. Cap you will also learn every note on the neck of the bass, as well as the step of each note in the current scale. This is a theory course in which you always have your bass in your hands and your ears open. Soon you will find yourself hearing the next note before you play it, an amazing experience if you don’t already have perfect pitch; some of you may find that you do.

One of the keys here is focus. It’s very easy for your mind to slide into auto-pilot as you play a scale by shape, but not so easy if you are calling out the notes as you play (and learn) each one, or if you are saying the scale degree. Because it’s the pentatonic scale, each one is a major and a minor version of the relative keys (e.g. G major is relative to E minor — they have the same notes but different key notes). This requires even more attention but pays off big when you realize you are learning two scales at once, and reinforcing the notes on the neck. An added bonus is that you will see and hear why so many songs slide into the relative major or minor for a while before returning to the main key. You will find it much easier to learn songs, pick them up by ear, or even fake songs you don’t know.

The course is broken into three sections: first you learn the 5 patterns that the scale creates, starting on each of the 5 notes. Each is introduced with an overview of the pattern, then its particular features and special applications, some technical exercises to develop both brain and muscle memory, and finally grooves and fills that use this particular shape. By the end of each pattern, you know it pretty well! Ariane’s fills especially show you how versatile this scale can be

The grooves and fills are the real meat and the rewards of this course. If you aren’t blown away by these it can only be because you are too busy working in a major studio! Not only are they great to play, but they will inspire you to get the patterns more completely into your mind and fingers so that you can concentrate on making music like this. They range in difficulty, but thanks to the Truefire player even a beginner can slow the tempo enough to get into these grooves, and the musicality of every one is top shelf.

Section Three is the real “playground” part that applies these scales to real music. First come demonstrations of using all 5 patterns in both major and minor so that your playing is freed from “playing out of box shapes.” Then come connections of the different patterns, horizontally and diagonally, so that you have the whole neck at your command. Special topics like fills using fourths and fifths, and fingerings for single string playing follow before you learn a master stroke: how to transpose these patterns into all major and minor keys. This is a more intense lesson and one well worth spending enough time to truly master it. Next come the blues, and then soloing with both major and minor pentatonics. You will also learn the relation of the scales to chord qualities as well as how to adapt them to play smoothly under progressions. Finally, Ariane shares the gear that she uses and explains why she chose it.

Ariane Cap has a teaching style that is good-willed but firm; she is not out to become your BFF, but to improve your bass playing. Don’t expect to be wheedled into doing the exercises. You are expected to do the work, and once you start seeing results quickly you will realize that this is the way you want to be taught. In fact, this is a good course for other instructors to study to learn how to set up a course and teach it well. It certainly deserves a teaching award of some kind.

Truefire is known for the high-quality of their courses as well as their reasonable pricing. This entire course costs less than one lesson with a teacher of this calibre, and there is enough material here to keep you learning for months or years since you can keep coming back to it to catch things you missed the first time, try some new variations of the supplied grooves, and work with the jam tracks.

Check out the course for yourself at Truefire and Ariane and her further teaching on her web page.

This course has my highest recommendation.

Music Theory, Bass, Guitar Lessons, Video instruction

The Paul Dresher Ensemble brings a varied program to ODC Theater

Stephen Smoliar

SF Classical Music Examiner

|

April 19, 2014

Last night in the ODC Theater, the Paul Dresher Ensemble (PDE) presented the first of two performances of a program entitled Memory Gain. (The second will take place tonight, again at 8 p.m.) This featured world premieres of three commissioned pieces played by the Electro-Acoustic Band (EAB), several special guest artists, and an “opening act.” The guests included bassoonist Paul Hanson, a former PDE member, performing a piece Dresher wrote for him in 1994 and introducing theevening in a duo performance with guitarist Ariane Cap as a group calling itself OoN (described, at one point, as “bassoon” without the “bass”).

True to that description, Hanson’s bassoon work involves far more than developing a bass line in his instrument’s lower register. In some respects one could say that both his tunes and his improvisations have been inspired by many of the leading jazz saxophonists, but with more attention to the alto and tenor players rather than thebaritone masters. Between the dexterity of his finger-work and his impressive breath control, Hanson also commands a prodigious capacity for rapid-fire arpeggio work. Beyond his jazz sources there is more than a slight suggestion of influence from Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 1013 A minor partita for solo flute. This made the two selections of Hanson’s own composition, “Serpentique” and “Emerald Mile,” stunning displays of the virtuoso potential of the bassoon.

Cap’s arpeggio technique was equally impressive. Her instrument was listed as “electric bass;” but, while it was tuned for the low register, it had six, rather than four, strings. This allowed Cap greater flexibility in chord construction, and she unfolded her harmonic progressions through particularly elaborate finger work involving both hands on the neck of her instrument. This at least gave the impression that she was using both hands to both stop and pluck the strings in equal measure.

She shared with Hanson the unfolding of harmonies through rapidly performed arpeggios, rather than through more conventional chord work or through the slower-paced “walking” technique usually given to the bass in jazz.

Cap was responsible for the opening selection, “Epic Epic,” which she composed with her husband Wolf Wein. However, this was very much a duet of equal voices, both of which involved electronic enhancement through equipment such as sampling technology.

In this context it was particularly informative then to listen to Hanson return to his “roots,” so to speak, performing Dresher’s “Din of Iniquity” with EAB members. This allowed Hanson to explore a more lyrical side of his expressiveness, ironically in a sonorous environment that was heavily electronic, not only through Dresher’s guitars but also in Gene Reffkin’s all-electronic drum kit and Joel Davel performing Don Buchla’s Marimba Lumina, a flat surface of sensors that can be played with marimba mallets but that depends on computer software to interpret those strokes in terms of any imaginable number of sonorities. […]

Watch videos from this event below.

 

JAZZ SOCIETY

Cap, Phillips, unite talents at the Empress

Electric bass, trumpet player long-time friends

By Richard Freedman

rfreedman@timesheraldonline. com @RichFreedmanVTH on Twitter

It’s too bad they didn’t hand out medals for bass players at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Hometown hero Ariane Cap would have surely snagged the gold.

Of course, it being 42 years ago and all, Cap would have been, well, really young. But then, as virtuoso as one can be, she may still have walked out whistling the “I Won a Gold Medal” waltz.

However, beyond any early speculation, Cap’s carved a nice career for real — what with international touring, recording, teaching and generally showcasing the absolute potential of playing bass.

A Vallejo resident — though a relocation to Sun Valley deep into Southern California is inevitable — Cap delivers a rare local performance at the Empress Theatre on April 28. Joining her in the Vallejo Jazz Society-sanctioned concert is acclaimed trumpet player Nick Phillips.

Though friends with Phillips many years, only recently have the two decided to take their on-stage efforts more seriously.

“Nick and I have been talking about working together a long time, with different concepts in mind for collaborating,” Cap said early Tuesday. “Finally putting this project together, I’m glad to do it for the Vallejo Jazz Society.”

Cap praised Phillips personally as “a great guy” and professionally for his “beautiful Chet Baker/ Miles Davis sensibilities. And he likes my funky side. I’m happy and excited to bring that ‘funky context’ into the lush trumpet world. I think it’s an interesting new sound we’re creating with a nod to traditional jazz and nod to some funky tunes.”

Phillips brings a few of his original compositions and Cap has one of her own pieces “and we’ll be doing some of our own interpreting of well-known tunes, taking a little bit different angle,” she said. “Doing our own thing, but honoring the people we like listening to.”

Adept at piano and flute by 18, Cap picked up the electric and upright bass and studied at the Academy of Music Vienna before attending the University of Miami on a music scholarship. From Florida, she left for California, landing in Vallejo where she developed the “Step Up” music program. She still teaches, though mostly online.

Cap’s also working on a new instructional book on the heels of “Music Theory for the Bass Player” that’s become more successful than she imagined.

“It’s amazing what’s been happening,” she said.

Though a world traveler, most of Cap’s journeys are between the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

“Me and I-5,” she said laughing.

Yes, driving. With numerous instruments and plenty of gear, surviving security isn’t worth the hassle, she said. So she drives.

“I make it work,” said Cap, finding herself toiling away recently in an L.A. recording studio, finishing a few Christmas tunes.

“I think they liked it,” she said, only able to add that it’s “for an artist who works for Disney.”

The side jobs and the online teaching are a necessity in the ever-altered live music landscape, Cap hinted.

“So many changes. A lot of great venues closing,” she said. “Others are digging in, trying to make it work.”

There’s nothing like experiencing performance inperson, Cap said.

“The magic of live music, the element of interaction and the closeness to the artist,” Cap said. “You can’t capture it unless you’re in the room at that very moment.”

Cap believes there is “a resurgence of this craving for live music,” witnessing a band performing on the sidewalk in San Francisco at 11 p.m.

“We were freezing our butts off and they’re putting on a show where everyone came to listen,” Cap said. “It just shows you something about live music you can’t capture online. I think people recognize that and come out and explore. It’s one of the most exciting things of what art does.”

And what playing does — even a few minutes — is incomparable for Cap.

“I have to pick it (the bass) up at least once a day or I go nuts,” she said, laughing that “I have an instrument in almost every room.”

Cap’s “musical happiness” has changed through the years, she said.

“I used to need the stage a lot,” Cap said. “I liked being in front of people and the energy of the audience directed toward me. These days — I don’t know how to explain it — I have lots of great musical moments on my own when I try something out and it works.”

Yet, “the thrill of performing will never go away,” Cap said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to be in front of an audience.”

Conversely, it’s also a marvelous moment “when I can really get into the mind of the composer and try and make that work. I’ve come to cherish that I don’t need this constant gigging and traveling, which is very strenuous.”

Cap can play pretty much anywhere — except a bathtub.

“It might be hazardous since it (the bass) is electric,” Cap said. Ariane Cap and Nick Phillips on behalf of the Vallejo Jazz Society, Sat., April 28, 6 p.m., Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia St., Vallejo. For more, empresstheatre.org or vallejojazzsociety.net.

Ariane Cap returns to Vallejo on April 28, performing with trumpet wizard Nick Phillips at the Empress Theatre.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ariane caps off ‘a long journey’ to become U.S. citizen


Bass player and Vallejo businesswoman Ariane Cap became a U.S. Citizen on Tuesday after 20 years in the states.

By RICHARD FREEDMAN | rfreedman@timesheraldonline.com | Vallejo Times Herald PUBLISHED: September 21, 2018 at 6:00 am | UPDATED: September 21, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Twenty years ago, a young Austrian woman with big musical dreams arrived in the United States with an “entrepreneurial spirit” considered rare for her homeland.

Citizenship Ariane Cap“Here, you are encouraged, not only by family but by society to do that crazy, outrageous dream, whether it’s acting in LA., writing a book or being a musician,” Ariane Cap said. “In Austria, there’s a lot of skepticism. It’s ‘Why would you want to do that?’ There’s not really a belief in someone.”

Though Cap long ago conquered that enterprising quest of running the successful StepUp Music in Vallejo as she became a much sought-after bass player, there was a void that a Green Card couldn’t fill.

She couldn’t vote.

So this past Tuesday, Cap and 2,600 others were sworn in as citizens of the United States of America at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“It’s been a long journey,” Cap said, 48 hours after the “amazing” experience of raising her right hand with so many others from so many other countries.

Cap said she’s been “blown away” by the support from friends and fellow musicians with hundreds acknowledging her achievement on her Facebook page.

“It’s quite remarkable,” she said, acknowledging that at the Staples Center ceremony “there were tears, definitely. It was a celebration.”

Cap said she realizes there were many of those sworn in “who have gone through much more than me, coming here (to America) with nothing but their backpacks.”

Yet, gaining U.S. citizenship “is a life-altering moment,” said Cap.”There are two things you can’t do with only a Green Card: You can’t do jury duty and you can’t vote. I think I’ve gotten 10 jury duty letters and every time I send it back with copies of my Green Card and say, ‘Sorry, I’m not allowed.’”

Unlike many who try to skirt a jury summons, Cap looked forward to it “as long as it doesn’t interfere with touring.”

Voting? That’s a different matter. It’s a done deal, though likely she’ll vote by mail.

“I’m a very opinionated person,” Cap said. “But if a conversation (about politics) got deeper, I’d have to say, ‘Well, I can’t vote.’”

Now she can.

“Sitting there with 2,600 other people and on the big screen with a big list of all these countries (represented) and realizing there are more countries that aren’t free than ones that are free,” Cap said. “I had a lot of gratitude.”

Cap was handed a voter registration card when she entered the building and told to fill it out “but you can’t sign them because you’re not a citizen yet,” she said.

When the ceremony ended, “we waved our little flags, did our oath and they said, ‘Now you can sign.’”

Cap was a college student out of Vienna  when she landed Florida 20 years ago. Classically trained by passionate about jazz, she practiced every waking moment.

“If you are a jazz musician in Austria, you’re not really taken seriously,” Cap says.

Granted, to get here, “there was a lot of hoops to jump through, a lot of paperwork,” she said.

Cap secured a second scholarship and a student visa.

“You don’t know if you’re going to stay or go back. So you’re in this limbo,” she said.

Cap applied for an “Extraordinary Ability Visa” with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, but the lawyer she and her husband hired vanished.

“She disappeared on us with all the paperwork,” Cap said. “She skipped the country or something. We had to start over. It was a disaster.”

Fortunately, Cap got the Green Card — securing it a year before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“It was lucky timing,” she said. “After 9/11 happened, everyone with a student visa was sent home. It was pretty close.”

It was always somewhat surprising when Americans would discuss freedom and patriotism, Cap said.

“I was free (in Austria) but you never talked about it,” she said. “I have to say that after going through the whole process, it is a big deal.”

After gaining two Green Card extensions, Cap said she “thought for a long time” whether to become a dual citizen.

“At first I wasn’t sure. Wanting to vote became a big part of it,” she said.

Cap appreciates the Austrian form of government that offers numerous party options “and I miss that. There’s a lot of debate and back-and-forth and that’s a good process. Here, the country is 50-50 divided and very polarized. It’s hard to talk about an issue without people getting emotional and I think that’s really unfortunate.”

Though Cap had to answer numerous questions and deal with the paperwork of citizenship, it was nothing like first gaining entry into the U.S. for a Green Card, she said.

“They had to make sure I wasn’t a terrorist and that I never had more than one marriage at a time. It was around 100 questions,” she said.

It’s a time-consuming and complicated legal process to get to where she is, Cap said.

“You have to be extremely careful. If you put one thing before the other, you’re out,” she said.

With election day Nov. 6 closing in, Cap can’t wait.

“I’m really looking forward to that and really looking forward to informing myself,” she said. “And I’m really looking forward to the local elections.”

While sitting at the citizenship ceremony flanked  by one man from South Korea and another from the Dominican Republic, Cap pondered the coin toss of one’s beginning.

“It’s such a wicked thing, the place you happened to be born and it makes a huge impact on your life,” Cap said.

The bass player was actually close to being born in America. Her parents were already here with her father teaching at Princeton. But her mom, 40 and along in the pregnancy, yearned to have her daughter born in Austria.

“So she flew home to give birth to me,” said Cap, only a few weeks old when her mother returned to the United States. A year later, the family was back in Innsbruck.

“Maybe that first trip planted my love for America,” Cap said.

As for that whole jury thing. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, Cap said.

“It’s an insight into our judicial process and its long and very strong history,” she said. “It recognizes the right of the individual. It’s pretty amazing. The system has its problems, no doubt about it. But it’s the best we’ve got.”

CONTACT ARIANE

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Ariane is an official contributor to SBL and notreble and endorser of the following companies: Marleaux bass guitars, FIbenare Bass Guitars, Gruvgear, Dean Markley Strings.”