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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:

  • Connecting Written Rhythms to Your Bass Playing

    Connecting Written Rhythms to Your Bass Playing

    Q: I can read the notes on the staff and I can tell you if it’s a 16th note or a whole note, and yet, I can’t seem to play the rhythm. Any advice on fixing this? A: As I’ve said before, learning to read music fluently takes a lot of practice, just like learning... »

  • Dealing with a Bad Band Leader

    Dealing with a Bad Band Leader

    Q: Since you have travelled and played with many you might be able to shed some light on this: My band has enjoyed some success in our home country, we have an album released via a label and have played the better venues of our area. We are now on our first tour – a... »

  • Traveling Abroad with a Bass

    Traveling Abroad with a Bass

    Q: Always a great read and insightful subjects, many thanks to you & the No Treble team. I’ve been playing locally so far, but now I’m prepping for my first international trip for music. Travel insurance and gear insurance is my responsibility. I have have a ’74 Precision and a 2012 RW Jazz Bass, and... »

  • Getting Comfortable with Odd Time Signatures

    Getting Comfortable with Odd Time Signatures

    Q: Lately I’ve been finding myself in situations where tunes with odd time signatures are called up on gigs. I’m finding it a challenge to switch gears on the fly and be able to come up with a grooving bass line and not lose the one. How do you handle – and prepare – for... »

  • Intonation or Feel? Practicing Scales Purposefully

    Intonation or Feel? Practicing Scales Purposefully

    Q: I was wondering what I need to pay attention to when practicing. It’s easy to learn a scale, or to play chord tones, but what should I really pay attention to hearing more? Should that be a focus on the tones, or the difference in intonation or the “feel” between them? A: The short... »

  • Effects: Straight In or Through the Loop?

    Effects: Straight In or Through the Loop?

    Q: Is it ok to plug my bass directly into my chain of effects pedals and out to my amp, or is it better to run the pedals through the effects loop, and plug my bass straight into my amp? A: I seem to be on a roll with the topics I have limited experience... »

  • Maintaining Your Tone Between Fingerstyle and Slap

    Maintaining Your Tone Between Fingerstyle and Slap

    Q: Most of the time, I play fingerstyle, but sometimes in the middle of some songs, I change to slap-style. In those situations, I find I just don’t have enough punch to come through. I don’t think that’s a matter of technique or strength. What do you suggest? Do I need a gearbox to augment... »

  • Achieving Rock Solid Time on Bass

    Achieving Rock Solid Time on Bass

    Q: I was wondering if you could touch on the topic of time, the most important part of being a bassist. Are there ways to get rock solid time anywhere from 60 bpm to 300 bpm other than just playing with a metronome? If so what do you suggest? A: Aside from my usual answers:... »

  • Fingernail Care: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Fingernail Care: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: As I’m getting pretty deeply into a right hand technique using a ramp, light touch, etc… I’d like to hear your thoughts on fingernail care, particularly for your plucking hand. I keep mine pretty short (it’s hard to open canned drinks), and I’m guessing yours might be similar. Also wondering if you so anything... »

  • Exploring the Value of Slap Bass

    Exploring the Value of Slap Bass

    Q: I get so excited with seeing and hearing amazing slap bass playing. However, I’m wondering how many eggs to put the “slap basket.” I have tried a couple of different books and videos and have finally settled on Louis Johnson’s DVD from 1984. I am still working on the first lick and able to... »