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  • Overcoming Learning Disabilities in Music

    Overcoming Learning Disabilities in Music

    Q: What advice do you have for someone who has problems with playing 16th notes and has learning disability in math? I have goals to play music in my own gigs and play at a couple venues, but I’m doubting whether it’s even possible to play on one’s own. A: I don’t think that a... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Mailbag

    Ask Damian Erskine: Mailbag

    As readers send in questions, one of three things happens: a) I turn it into an “Ask Damian” column, or b) I respond directly, because the question doesn’t quite warrant an entire column (I do try to respond to everybody) or c) it gets put into the folder of questions that I’d like to answer... »

  • Getting Better Intonation on a Fretless Bass

    Getting Better Intonation on a Fretless Bass

    Q: I’ve recently made a switch from fretted to fretless bass, and so far it’s been awesome, but here’s the thing… A couple of the fretted basses I’ve played so far were all 34-inch scale, and the fretless I now play is a 35-inch scale six-string – and it’s unlined. So stretching my fingers that... »

  • Double Bass vs. Bass Guitar

    Double Bass vs. Bass Guitar

    Q: I have been playing bass guitar for about 8 years, got my grade 8, toured, recorded and got myself to a semi-professional session level. As I am going to go full time as a bass player in the next 18-24 months (I am realistic as well as ambitious) I started lessons with an outstanding... »

  • Cutting Through a Big Band: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Cutting Through a Big Band: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’m playing in a jazz band of over 40 people in a song featuring bass guitar. I’m looking for a pedal that will make my sound distinct and rise above the band but not distort it. Any recommendations? Thanks. A: Personally, I wouldn’t change my sound much at all. You might leave yourself a... »

  • Dealing with Sound Engineers

    Dealing with Sound Engineers

    Q: I have a question regarding how I might get my sound man to successfully change all the monitors on stage, (5 stage mixes) before a song with a different lead singer and making the original lead singer a backup and not in the musicians mix anymore. Changing to a song that is led by... »

  • How To Approach Composing: A Discussion for Bass Players

    How To Approach Composing: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’m in a situation where I’m in a cover band that is wanting to expand into doing original music, but they’re kind of looking to me to be the one to lead the writing as I have the most experience as far as music knowledge goes. Even though I’m well versed in my theory... »

  • Lefty or Righty? A Discussion for Starting Out on the Bass Guitar

    Lefty or Righty? A Discussion for Starting Out on the Bass Guitar

    Q: I play the upright bass and I use my left had on the neck and my right hand to use my bow. I’m looking to play the bass guitar, but I can’t decide if I should play right handed because that’s my dominate hand or my left because you can really only use your... »

  • Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players

    Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players

    Q: I met you several years ago at NAMM when I worked for Alfred Music and I filmed you when you played at our booth. Anyway, I have since switched careers from Video Editor to Massage Therapist and I still play bass – jazz on electric and classical on upright. Because of my involvement in... »

  • How To Learn Difficult Bass Parts

    How To Learn Difficult Bass Parts

    Q: I would like to know what is the best way to approach and learn difficult bass parts, for example if I decide to try to figure out the bass solo to Stanley Clarke’s “School days”. A: The best way I’ve found to tackle difficult lines is a three-fold process. 1. Get it in your... »