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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:

  • Thoughts On Multi-Instrumentalism

    Thoughts On Multi-Instrumentalism

    Q: What is your opinion on playing multiple instruments (for example double bass or piano) versus focusing on one instrument? I noticed a double bass in the background of one of your recent videos and wondered what your thought process had been when deciding to take up a new instrument. A: I was primarily a... »

  • Deciding if the Gig is Worth It

    Deciding if the Gig is Worth It

    Q: I auditioned last night for a seventeen year old up-and-coming female country star. She has recorded an album with well known Nashville producer and has hits with a few her songs. I feel it is just a matter of time before she is signed to a major deal. She has everything the new Nashville... »

  • Musical Diplomacy: Bassists, Drummers and Locking In

    Musical Diplomacy: Bassists, Drummers and Locking In

    Q: I’m having trouble grooving with the drummer in my band. My bread and butter is hip-hop and R&B, and he is coming from the world of straight-ahead jazz. We play in a very backbeat-oriented group, and the only time there is ever a pocket is if I put him in mine and carry him... »

  • Articulations and Expression: A Bass Video Lesson

    Articulations and Expression: A Bass Video Lesson

    Q: I’m at a point where I’m trying to finally get into soloing, and playing bass as a vocal, expressive instrument. But I’m running into a wall. Any chance you’d be down to do a quick video on articulations? As in, the slick slides you use, the fantastic trills, expressions and so on. And blue... »

  • Saving Your Ears: A Discussion for Gigging Bass Players

    Saving Your Ears: A Discussion for Gigging Bass Players

    Q: I regularly gig in a blues-rock power trio, and I have to solo over one or two tunes. Every time, the lead guitarist asks me to crank up the volume because he plays at a really high volume… too loud in my humble opinion. I don’t want to crank up the volume because I... »

  • Replacing Lead Guitar with Piccolo Bass?

    Replacing Lead Guitar with Piccolo Bass?

    Q: I am a high school musician in a relativly serious band with my friends, and we are about to make the transition into college. Unfortunately, our fantastic lead guitarist is going away for college, so rather than find a new lead guitarist, our frontman asked me if I would be willing to play lead... »

  • Playing Bass without Sheet Music: Time, Feel & Harmony

    Playing Bass without Sheet Music: Time, Feel & Harmony

    Q: I’ve been playing bass for about 7 years. Before bass I was a very good tuba player and a halfway decent cellist. My problem is I never learned to play without music notation. I can’t even play tabs. I either need the notation or the chord progression. What’s the best way for me to... »

  • Playing Under Pressure and Facing Your Fears

    Playing Under Pressure and Facing Your Fears

    Q: I’ve been playing electric bass for about five years, and I’m currently attending the third year in a Music Conservatory. When I play music while other musicians observe me (not the members of the band), I become quite uncomfortable. I feel judged, and my heart starts pounding, especially if it’s someone I respect like... »

  • Connecting Chords: A Guide to Playing Fluid Bass Lines

    Connecting Chords: A Guide to Playing Fluid Bass Lines

    Q: I would like to ask about voicing/phrases on bass when it comes to chord progressions. How should I step into the next chord when I’m phrasing the actual one? Should I try walking lines? Are there any standard licks that can bring the feel of translating to a next chord? Or they are all... »

  • Getting the Most Out of Music Books

    Getting the Most Out of Music Books

    Q: Do you think you could run through / give some examples of how to make use of rhythm books like Modern Reading Text In 4/4, and theory books like Jazz Theory by Mark Levine or Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns by Nicolas Slominsky? A: Nice selection of books! Generally speaking, my approach is... »