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Damian Erskine

Damian ErskineDamian Erskine is known for his ability to fit into any musical situation, 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, Les McCann & Javon Jackson, Gino Vannelli, Jeff Lorber, George Colligan, Sveti w/ Marko Djordjevic, Vardan Ovsepian, Charmaine Neville, Tony Furtado and many others as well as being featured on the GospelChops.com Shed Sessionz Vol. 1 DVD.

Damian is an adjunct professor at Portland State 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.

In addition to his weekly Q&A column on No Treble, Damian has written for Bass Player Magazine, Bass Musician Magazine as well as authoring his own books, Right Hand Drive and The Improvisor’s Path.

Articles by Damian Erskine:

  • Applying Three-Finger Right Hand Bass Technique

    Applying Three-Finger Right Hand Bass Technique

    Q: I love your three-fingered right hand technique. Do you have any examples of how to apply it into songs I already know? A: This week I decided to answer the question with a video. Check out the PDF to follow along with Weather Report’s “River People” and Tower of Power’s “Oakland Stroke”. »

  • Your Top 10 Bass Albums

    Your Top 10 Bass Albums

    Q: I’m curious. What are your top 10 bass albums. What albums do you think everybody should hear? A: I hesitated to answer this because of the inherently subjective nature of the question. My top 10 albums are not likely to coincide with yours, but I ultimately decided that for that reason alone, I should... »

  • Competing with the “Bass Virtuosos”

    Competing with the “Bass Virtuosos”

    Q: I have been feeling a bit defeated lately. I want to be a professional bassist more than anything but whenever I watch YouTube, I feel like I just don’t have what it takes. I see nothing but a sea of players with blazing chops, piano like chordal abilities, solo players who sound like an... »

  • Developing a Solid Groove

    Developing a Solid Groove

    Q: So right now I’m trying to hack out my sense of groove and time, really trying to come down on that. I’ve noticed I can’t stay on a groove too long and start to play a lot of lines or rhythmic fills, not really being able to lay down a solid foundation and can’t... »

  • Curved vs. Flat Fingerboards on Bass

    Curved vs. Flat Fingerboards on Bass

    Q: Why are some fingerboards curved and some flat? Is there any benefit to one over the other? A: The curve in the fretboard is called a radius, and there are varying arguments I’ve found for the reason. Many people agree that a radiused fretboard works best with the natural curvature of the hand. This... »

  • The Pros and Cons of Skype Bass Lessons

    The Pros and Cons of Skype Bass Lessons

    Q: I was thinking that maybe I should start taking Skype lessons so that I can reach out to more teachers than I have around me locally. Do you have any advice? Can you have a good lesson over Skype vs. in person? A: It is certainly possible to have a great lesson over Skype... »

  • Playing Ahead or Behind the Beat

    Playing Ahead or Behind the Beat

    Q: I hear people talk about playing “behind the beat” of “ahead of the beat”. How can I work on that? A: I call this micro-timing. I think that phrase helps because many students I have tend to overdo it when they play intentionally behind or ahead of the beat. It is a very subtle... »

  • Breaking Right Hand Habits

    Breaking Right Hand Habits

    Q: I have a weird technique problem. I guess at some point (to feel the groove better? keep the time? mimic the metronome?) I started landing my fingers on strings to kind of mute them between the played notes and now it began bothering me – all the clicks sound even louder on steel strings... »

  • Sharing Your Music on Social Media

    Sharing Your Music on Social Media

    Q: I’m in a band and most of us are of the mind that we should have as much material out there on social media as possible. We’ve started posting snippets of rehearsals, live streaming gigs and encouraging people to post videos of our shows online, etc… One member of the band is very much... »

  • Memorizing the Fretboard: A Checklist for Bass Players

    Memorizing the Fretboard: A Checklist for Bass Players

    Q: I’m just starting out and was wondering if you had any tips for memorizing the fingerboard? A: This is one of those columns where I need to preface my answer by saying “your mileage may vary.” Personally, I was lucky. I started working on reading notation from day one. I still think that reading... »