News-Jack Casady-Bass playing is a “team sport”

Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna bassist Jack CasadyJack Casady: Bass playing is a “team sport”

Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna bassist shares his wisdom at Fur Peace Ranch

Story by Mindy Rochwerg
September 17, 2014

Bass legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jack Casady recently spoke to Jim Clash, contributor to, about the bass guitar workshops he gives at Fur Peace Ranch.

FPR was founded by Jack’s longtime Airplane and Tuna bandmate, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, and Jorma’s wife, Vanessa, in 1998, as a serious alternative to rock fantasy camps. Casady teaches workshops there a few times and year.

“I realized what I’d really be doing is teaching bass players how to play with other people,” says Casady. “That’s the nature of the game – you’re not alone. A bass player works socially with the other instruments, a team sport. So I decided that it would be best to prerecord some tunes with Jorma [Kaukonen] and I playing together – stuff in our repertoire like ‘99 Year Blues.’ That way I would have control of taking one channel down so the student could play along with Jorma’s finger-picking and insert his own bass line. That’s the best way to show them how their notes are fitting in. It also teaches how to listen to chord changes and timing. Bass players are working in the low end of the orchestra, that’s all. There is a lot that crosses over – music is not just about the bass.”

Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady

Jack Casady, during the Jefferson Airplane days, 1970


 Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen, G.E. Smith

L-R: Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen and G.E. Smith at the Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, OH

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