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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 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:

  • How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    Q: I’ve been checking out this site for a while. Love it all. However, I have a problem: I don’t know where to start. Let me tell you a little about me. I’ve played bass for quite some time and even taken lessons by some famous players. I’m the student that everyone dreams of. I... »

  • Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

    Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

    Q: I’ve been working on my soloing and I had a question. It keeps getting repeated to me by other players, teachers, and books that I shouldn’t play the root when I solo. What do you think? Is it really such a bad thing? A: I have a few thoughts on the subject. Some are... »

  • Should I Bother With Modes?

    Should I Bother With Modes?

    Q: First of all thank you very much for your past reply to my question! Lately while working on improvisation and in particular on linear melody through changes, I started asking myself why I should bother with modes. For instance, if there’s a Fmin7 moving to an Amin7 chord and I want to think about... »

  • Should I Study Music Written For Other Instruments?

    Should I Study Music Written For Other Instruments?

    Q: I was recently talking to a guitar player friend about feeling bored with practicing, and he recommended that I try to incorporate studies from different instruments into my routine. You’ve talked about using drum rudiment books to practice rhythm, and that totally makes sense, but what could I gain from studying a book on... »

  • Does It Take 10,000 Hours To Master An Instrument?

    Does It Take 10,000 Hours To Master An Instrument?

    Q: What would you say that it takes for someone to master an instrument? I’ve heard the “10,000 hours” thing but sure not all 10,000 hours are created equal? A: I couldn’t agree more with you that not all hours in the shed are created equally. Time spent with well-considered goals for yourself – practicing... »

  • Building Your Audience

    Building Your Audience

    Q: I’ve been struggling with a question, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. I’ve been playing in a band for the past two years, mainly in bars and functions. Finally, we are getting some contracts to play in clubs, which is great! However, instead of the annoying sound of loud voices and... »

  • How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    So I just came home from a recording session and the conversation I had before I split had me thinking for the entire drive home. We were speaking about a few other bassists that the band had tried to use, and the various issues they encountered. The songwriter chimed in at that point with a... »

  • Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Q: My band and I have started playing out in bars and clubs, and one thing keeps me on edge: No matter how much we prepare and rehearse, there are always hiccups. How do the pros know how to deal with things going wrong (like someone going to the wrong section of the tune, the... »

  • A Drummer’s Perspective on Bass Playing

    A Drummer’s Perspective on Bass Playing

    For this week’s column, I asked a good friend of mine – Seattle-based drummer Tarik Abouzied – to talk about what he looks for in a bassist, from a drummer’s perspective. I thought he may have some insights as he’s also a pretty phenomenal bassist, in addition to being a complete badass on the drums.... »

  • What Do I Need To Record Bass At Home?

    What Do I Need To Record Bass At Home?

    Q: What kind of gear might I need to start recording bass lines from home? I’m thinking of the ability to record for albums remotely but also to get better sound for social media videos and things along those lines. Preferably something that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars! I’m curious what you use, too. A:... »