Donald "Duck" Dunn "If the shit fits, wear it!" Donald "Duck" Dunn*

I found out early on that the bass fit me pretty well. As a teen, I was fascinated by bass reproduction in Hi-Fi systems. The good gear always revealed the bass lines that were happening in the music I listened to (mostly pop/rock/jazz). In my mind, it was a cool thing to make those woofers move. I finally got my hands on playing bass while in college. Though I was a guitarist in the Jazz Ensemble at the time, I would use time in-between classes to take the school's electric bass in a practice room and have at it. Jesse Michel was the bassist in our college band and I admired him for his cool demeanor as he navigated the changes in whatever chart we were playing. .For some reason, Jesse liked to call me "Johann" I guess because of my good German looks.

The transition from guitar to the bass was an easy one for me. When I first started on bass, I thought at first that it should be a piece of cake. After all, bass is essentially the bottom four strings of the guitar an octave down. It hit me later that real good bass playing is a skill that takes time and effort to master. This became apparent after listening and watching my bass heroes and trying to cop their licks.

The moment of true revelation for bass playing came courtesy of my bass teacher: the First Lady of Bass, Carol Kaye. Through her years of studio work playing on countless hit records, she instilled in me the idea of thinking and playing "chordally." She also exposed me to the "walking bass" style. I am forever indebted to Carol for freeing me from pounding on the roots.

Carol K. & me

Carol Kaye and me!

Influences: Jesse Michel (Southwestern College Jazz Ensemble, 1975), Paul McCartney, Jaco Pastorius, Rick Petrone (Maynard Ferguson Band), C. F. Turner (Bachman Turner Overdrive), Danny Partridge from the "Partridge Family" (Hey, just kidding!!!), Peter Cetera (Chicago), Carol Kaye (my bass teacher late '96/early '97).

* Donald "Duck" Dunn -- bass player for the famous Stax rhythm section first known as the Markeys which evolved to Booker T. and the MGs (Green Onions). Dunn along with bandmate and guitarist Steve Cropper eventually ended up in the cult film, "The Blues Brothers" basically playing themselves as they provided band support to "singers" John Belushi and Dan Akroyd (Jake and Elwood, respectively). I think Dunn probably wouldn't have been quoted for saying the above if it weren't in the script. Anyway, Dunn's R&B style of bass playing is the real deal and beyond reproach!

...From the "Just the factoids, ma'am" department.

Q. Where can I find some interesting bass factoids?

A. I haven't the foggiest notion. Since this page is still under construction, the bass factoid will have to wait....

...The following are some cool bass-related links.

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