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Articles by Damian Erskine - Page 4

  • 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... »

  • 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... »