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Ariane Cap

How would you describe your music?

"Very diverse. As a bassist I have always seen myself in a role to support the front men or women in a band. When I compose for these bands, it is specifically for that style (celtic Rock for Tempest, for example)

Here is a possible week as a side person: mid week: Playing Standards and folksongs for a retirement community Friday night: Jazz gig with a local band (Bebop, Free Jazz, Standards, Latin Jazz) Saturday night: Winery wedding in the Napa area with my Top Forty Band Sunday late morning: Psychedelic Rock Music for 'kids of all ages' with The Sippy Cups "

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"Bassist (live and in the studio)

Some bands are run democratic, so some (or all) business decisions are made together.

Other bands I was with had a label (Tempest with Magna Carta, Palm WIne Boys with Wild Plum), so many decisions were made without my input "

Describe your gear.

"Electric Basses: I am endorsed by two European boutique bass manufacturers, Marleaux and Fibenare 4 string, 5 string 6 string Consat Marleau 5 string Votan Marleaux Fretless 5 string Fibenare

Bohemian Upright from the 1900s

I am also endorsed by Eden amplifiers (World Tour 800 and several cabs) as well as Looperlative Looper pedals

Gear also includes a host of pedals, loopers, a home studio, several pianos, a PA etc"

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"Yes and no. I think the experience of music and the urge to express oneself musically is universal. I see striking differences in the way my female students learn and memorize music as compared to their male counterparts (grossly simplified, women seem to learn more visual, men more auditory, women seem to use their voice more directly to help their ears, whereas males tend to be analytical...) There sure is still a lot of prejudice about women rhythm section players - I was excluded from auditions because of being female ('This band is not a punk band!'), and it was often assumed that women in the band would not get along ('There will be cat fights', 'They will fight over the spotlight/the drummer' etc.), assumptions on sexual orientation are being made (a very famous bassist once asked me: 'Are you gay?') and I will never forget that sound guy who asked me - as I walked in the door with my amp and bass - 'So, do you have a REAL bassist, too? Where do I plug him in?' "

Related Themes: Cashing In The First Time

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

"I wish I could say that. I see a lot of fantastic female bassists on the scene today (Esperanza Spaulding, Tal Wilkenfeld for example) who continue the lineage of mavericks such as Carol Kaye, Me'Shell NDegeocello and Rhonda Smith. Professional female bassists still seem to be such a rarity, however.

One o fmy missions in life is to inspire girls of all ages to pick up the bass guitar and explore its distinct feminine and earthlike qualities. After all, groove comes right from the belly and the hips and women know all about that, just watch them dance!"

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"I have gotten invaluable advice from my mentors and teachers, who believed in me and inspired me. Especially my (now) husband just encouraged me to explore playing because I loved it. When I first saw MeShell NDegeocello play live I was completely blown away. I truly didn't know that a woman could do something like that. When you are learning, you need someone mirroring back to you how well you are doing. Every person has music in them and, with a good amount of passion and desire, can learn to play. A good teacher will see the musical personality in the student and foster that and bring it to fruition. My advice is to search for that spark, never stop until you find it (get help from a teacher if you need to) and to go for it. "

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

"I started out on piano and recorder, all classical music. Later I joined bands and played guitar and keys. At one point our band, a Blues Rock band, lost their bassist and we couldn't find replacement. We had gigs on the books. So I went an bought a bass. The guitarist showed me the lines and a few weeks later I played my first gig. It was love at first sight.

A year later I started taking formal lessons. I went on to marry my favorite teacher....


Related Themes: The First Time