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  • Decoding Graphic Equalizers: Get Past “Scooping” Your Tone

    Decoding Graphic Equalizers: Get Past “Scooping” Your Tone

    I get a lot of calls and e-mails from fellow bassists and guitarists alike pertaining to all sorts of equipment problems. One of the most recessing issues I deal with is walking someone through the steps of setting-up their graphic equalizers (you know, the thing with all the sliding tabs that you arrange to look... »

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  • Approaches to Soloing

    Approaches to Soloing

    Q: I have a question. How do you go about soloing for various styles? Quite often I get the nod to do a solo for 4/8/16 bars. I’ve tried approaching by working out what key I’m in and then by trying different modes… but it just seems that my phrasing is limited and that it... »

  • Walking Bass (and Getting Away from Tab)

    Walking Bass (and Getting Away from Tab)

    Q: I’d like to learn to create walking bass lines. I don’t read music so tabs would be preferred. A: Learning to walk is immensely helpful in so many ways. It helps you see the inter-connectivity between chords, helps develop a good time-feel and helps you explore how the arc of a line can affect... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: How to Play with a Drummer

    Q: Preston Dickens writes: “I’m a self-taught woodshedder and am about to start playing with a live band at a church. Having never played with a live drummer, what advice can you offer?” A: We come from the same school, actually! I spent my youth in the shed by myself working everything out and feeling... »

  • Contract Considerations

    Contract Considerations

    Whether you’re playing a small gig, major venue, or are signing a recording deal it’s crucial that you know the value of a contract and how to navigate one. This lesson will cover some common advantages and pitfalls to having an engagement-contract for a performance and what to look for in a recording-contract. Keep in... »

  • Choosing A Bass: A How To Guide

    Choosing A Bass: A How To Guide

    Q: I’m thinking of buying a new bass. What do you look for when instrument shopping? A: There’s so much that can go into the consideration of a new instrument. The obvious things are: Cost, Function (is this your “do it all” bass, or for recording, or a good slap bass?) It’s good to do... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: I Can’t Hear Myself!

    Q: I would love to know what you do when you can’t hear yourself on stage or at rehearsals and when you can’t change it. A: That’s just a tough situation, really. It does happen fairly frequently, though. Honestly, that’s when knowing your fretboard and having a strong relationship with your instrument comes in handy,... »

  • Becoming a Great Band

    What does it take be become a “great” band? Believe it or not the collective skill of a group is not determined solely by the skills of its individual members. There is a level of ensemble technique that really elevates a band to be beyond average and gets the group noticed. As with all things... »

  • Relax, and Don’t Forget to Listen

    Relax, and Don’t Forget to Listen

    Q: What’s going through your mind when you solo? A: Ideally, nothing! I play my best when I know the song well (don’t need to think about chords, etc.) and am playing with solid players who all serve the music. In that scenario, I am simply letting the music dictate what’s going to happen and... »

  • Crafting your Core Sound

    As an upright player you have to make many moving parts work together in order to get the tone you want. Both hands play different roles in crafting your tone, but the real voice of our instrument comes from the bow. If you are new to the upright and haven’t taken the time to really... »