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Damian Erskine

Damian ErskineDamian is known for his ability to fit into any musical situation, his extraordinary reading and improvising skills as well as being an educator and columnist. He has played in the studio or on the stage with the likes of Peter Erskine, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band (featuring Richard Bona, Peter Erskine & Damian Erskine), Teri-Lynn Carrington, Gino Vannelli, John Ellis, Shawn Pelton, Sveti w/ Marko Djordjevic, Luis Conte, Brandon Ross, Les McCann, Jeff Lorber, Vardan Ovsepian, Charmaine Neville, Jessy J, Tony Furtado and many others as well as being featured on the GospelChops.com "Shed Sessionz Vol. 1" DVD. Whether playing as a sideman or with his own group, he is known for his rock solid bass work, virtuosic solos and thoughtful chordal abilities.

Damian is an adjunct professor at both Portland State University and Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon and has also appeared as an instructor at Gerald Veasley's Bass Bootcamp, the National Guitar Workshop as well as the Berklee College of Music's Guitar Week.

Articles by Damian Erskine:

  • Types of Listening: Three Approaches for Bass Players

    Types of Listening: Three Approaches for Bass Players

    Q: How do you hear music, as in a critical method of hearing? How can your playing or musicality get better just by hearing a certain genre or style? Do you perhaps hear a piano comping and try to do the same if you are digging it? A: The answer to this question could fill... »

  • Making the Decision to Go Pro as a Bassist (Or Not)

    Making the Decision to Go Pro as a Bassist (Or Not)

    Q: What is your experience before becoming a professional musician? Is it something that naturally occurred or did you have to decide to make it a career? Could you share a story in which you reconciled any doubts you may have had? A: Interesting question! I’ve always played music, and I always assumed that music... »

  • Road Gear: A Discussion for Gigging Bassists

    Road Gear: A Discussion for Gigging Bassists

    Q: For the last couple months, I have been doing weekend warrior gigs with a pop artist who tours all over the country. The venues we play have been everything from large hotel ballrooms to amphitheaters to large concert halls, and we mainly rely on backline gear. Here’s my issue: we fly a lot, and... »

  • How to Build Muscle Memory: A List for Bass Players

    How to Build Muscle Memory: A List for Bass Players

    Q: I hear everybody talking about “muscle memory”, i.e. being able to play without looking at the fingerboard. How do you get there? Any special advice or exercises, especially for fretless? A: Muscle memory is crucial to your development as a player. I also consider the ability to use harmonic devices (like substations and different... »

  • Focused Learning: A Bass Player’s Guide to Practice and Rehearsals

    Focused Learning: A Bass Player’s Guide to Practice and Rehearsals

    Q: I’d like your advice on what a bassist should be thinking during a practice session or when learning new material? What do you think about during those times? What should I be thinking? A: This question struck me as interesting. Primarily, I think it’s because it relates to a conversation I recently had with... »

  • Self Expression: Thoughts and Discussion for Bass Players

    Self Expression: Thoughts and Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: Most pros say that playing with other musicians is one of the most important things a bassist can do. After practicing alone for a few years, I’ve returned to the band setting. I love gigging and I love band practice, but I find myself playing very conservatively. In no way am I trying to... »

  • On Stage Monitor Mix Advice for Bass Players

    On Stage Monitor Mix Advice for Bass Players

    Q: I play on a weekly gig and I use in-ear monitors. Things sound fine during sound check, but I don’t realize I need something until I’m lost in the middle of a song and find myself unable to find the keys or guitar in my monitor. This happens fairly regularly. I’ve even had most... »

  • Discovering the Right Practice Routine

    Discovering the Right Practice Routine

    Q: Some people stand strongly by the notion of having a true practice routine while others claim that routines stunt growth, because the same thing is being practiced each day (e.g. scale modes in broken thirds with such-and-such technique striving for X bpm). Will you please elaborate on what a routine is and how to... »

  • Heavy Music with a Hollow Body Bass?

    Heavy Music with a Hollow Body Bass?

    Q: Here’s my problem: I’m a big fan of archtop guitars and I love the lighter tonal quality. I also don’t like playing solid body basses since they don’t go well with my slightly weaker left shoulder (which is made worse since I’m left-handed but play right-handed). That’s not the real problem though. The big... »

  • Thoughts on “Making It” in the Music Business

    Thoughts on “Making It” in the Music Business

    Q: I’m a bass player in Chicago. I’m 17 and have been playing for 10 years. I’ve always wanted to be a bass player and I always will be. I wanted to ask you about being a bass player in today’s society. When you listen to interviews with older bass players, they say they played... »