Universal Bass – The Next Frontier

Level 2/3

Dear bassists,
My background in music as in life has been bi-racial and multi-cultural. The combination of being raised in my father’s native Liberia/West-Africa and my mother’s Germany have forced me to find the common denominators in very opposing worlds. I started approaching the bass guitar from the same perspective, always concerned with the questions of why and how something sounds good rather than taking things for granted because they are embedded in culture or popular at the time. Along this path I came across some incredible discoveries which took me further in music and around the world than I could have ever imagined.

I’d like to share some of these discoveries with you in my workshop with fun exercises, listening examples and interactive studies. They will include how to build solid basslines from scratch and various meters and feels, how rhythm and harmony works and how you can navigate through a song with confidence. We will also look at how to approach a solo over chord-changes and how to set up your own practice drills so you can evolve autonomously with enthusiasm and healthy self-motivation.

Going back to the “why and how” of things, we will be addressing not only the physical aspects of playing the bass, but also the psychological dimensions which ultimately decide over whether you stagnate or advance along your musical path. A certain portion of my engagement with you will be dedicated to finding out what your burning questions are so we can get the most of our time together and make it count ! I do not require you to have a particular level of development to participate necessarily. If you are advanced on the other hand, I will make sure your horizon is duly expanded, as for beginners and masters alike,
-the path remains eternal-


About Kai Eckhardt

Kai Eckhardt is a Liberian/ German bassist and composer best known for his contribution to the John Mclaughlin Trio in the 80's, Billy Cobham’s International Quartet in the 90's and the band Garaj Mahal in the new Millennium. Kai has also recorded and performed with Trilok Gurtu, Stanley Clarke, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Dewey Redman, George Brooks, Donald Byrd, Bela Fleck, Maria Joao, Dino Saluzzi, Sertab Erener, Palle Mikkelborg, Victor Wooten, Alphonse Mouzon, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, Michael Franti, Larry Coryell, Warren Hill, Al Di Meola, Zakir Hussain, Steve Smith, John Scofield , Bill Frisell, Mike Stern and George Benson.

Kai Eckhardt has performed at distinguished venues around the globe such as the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Philharmonic in Munich and the Esplanade in Singapore. Festival engagements include Montreal Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Haque, Womad World Music Festival in Spain, Summer of Love at Golden Gate Park and Glastonbury in the U.K.

In recent years, Kai began to distinguish himself as a first call bassist and composer for artistic collaborations with musicians from the Eastern regions such as Dubai, Qatar, Oman, India, China, Turkey, Bulgaria and the former Soviet Union. Besides being an active performer, Kai is a passionate and experienced music educator who teaches privately and online while being a faculty member of the Jazz School Institute in Berkeley and the University of California, UC Berkeley.

Kai has also taught clinics and master classes worldwide with engagements at: Berklee School of Music in Boston, the Bass Collective in New York, the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, the Anton Bruckner Conservatory in Austria, Amsterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands, Victor Wooten’s Bass andNature camp, the Golden Gate Bass camp San Francisco, and the Subbulakshmi Institute in Chennai, India.



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