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Articles by Damian Erskine - Page 3

  • Melodic Minor vs. Diminished Scales Over Dominant Chords

    Melodic Minor vs. Diminished Scales Over Dominant Chords

    Q: You know, jazz theory can be really, really confusing! I know that you can use a melodic minor a half step above a dominant chord as a substitution before resolving to the I-chord to emphasize tension notes (creating an out-sound). But, apparently, you can also use a whole-half diminished scale a half step up... »

  • How Much Should I Get Paid for Gigs?

    How Much Should I Get Paid for Gigs?

    Q: I gig about 10-16 times a month on double bass and electric and live in a rural part of the UK. Some gigs involve a drive of 50-100 miles for about £50-75. Do you have a minimum fee for local work, and a max distance you will drive for small bar type gigs? I... »

  • Relative vs. Parallel Minor Scales

    Relative vs. Parallel Minor Scales

    Q: What is the difference between “relative” and “parallel” when talking about jazz theory? I hear “relative minor” a lot, but I recently heard someone at school talk about “parallel minor.” A: Good question! First, I’ll take a look at this column I wrote in 2014 concerning modes (and the relative minor). The term “relative... »

  • Lesson Plans for the New Year

    Lesson Plans for the New Year

    For this first installment of the new year, I thought that I would try and help motivate us all. I thought about the new year, new goals, fostering forward momentum and the dreaded new year’s resolutions popped into my head. Instead of encouraging all of us to go to the gym and stop eating pizza... »

  • How To Apply Your Transcriptions

    How To Apply Your Transcriptions

    Q: Can you give an example of how I might explore using the things I’ve transcribed in some way? I’ve been transcribing a lot this year (as a music student), but I’m not sure how to apply it or get anything from it. A: I spent years transcribing tunes, solos, melodies and bass lines before... »

  • Resistance to Change

    Resistance to Change

    Q: Why are some musicians resistant to changing gear and/or playing techniques when the player gets faced with pain, hits a technical wall or is dissatisfied with their own progress? A: Note: I saw this question on a Facebook thread I was tagged in recently and thought it was a good one. I paraphrased it... »

  • 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... »