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  • 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,... »

  • A Review of Stephan Crump with the Rosetta Trio’s “Reclamation”

    Inventive, deeply melodic and resonant, Reclamation is a great record featuring strong writing and arrangements, a unique string trio line-up and three unique voices. Stephan Crump is a fabulous jazz bassist and is joined by Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman on guitars in a trio which has been together for some time. This is their... »

  • Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

    Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

    Every so often there is a passage, phrase or “lick” that we just can’t seem to execute as well as we would like, no matter how many times we practice it under tempo. This should be a sign that we need to change our approach. Slow practice an excellent and valuable tool, but it is... »

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  • 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... »

  • A Review of Jean-Michel Pilc’s “True Story”

    Jean-Michel Pilc has a masterful touch, and True Story is a charming record that is a great example of contemporary piano trio jazz. It’s music that is unafraid to be beautiful and, at the same time, unique and modern. Pilc joins the select group of pianists like Vijay Iyer, Bojan Z and Brad Meldhau who... »

  • Anthony Jackson & Yiorgos Fakanas: Interspirit

    Anthony Jackson is a living legend of modern music. Like his hero, the great James Jamerson, millions of music lovers know his music who might not know his name. He is a true innovator, a great musical mind and a man of great integrity. He invented and pioneered the 6-string extended range bass guitar (his... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging half-heartedly?

    Q: Have you ever felt, for any reason, like NOT doing a gig and if so, for what reasons? A: Of course!! More important than the reasons why (there have been SO many), though are the ways in which it is possible to alter ones perspective so that it is not as dreadful. I have... »

  • Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly): Instrument Setup and Equipment

    This is the final installment of Dr. D’s 3-part Slap Bass series. Check out part 1 and part 2. In addition to having its own specialized musical and technical considerations, Playing Upright Slap has its own particular instrumental setup issues. Here are some basic things slap players need to think about when customizing their bass... »

  • What’s Spinning for… Michael Manring

    Michael Manring is this week’s guest columnist for “What’s Spinning” Thanks so much for your interest in the music I’ve been listening to lately. In addition to having precious little time for casual listening these days, my listening habits are a bit odd. I find that even for pieces of music I’m crazy about, if... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?

    Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?

    Q: How do you prepare for a gig when you have a short amount of time to learn tunes? A: For me, it is more important that I have the tune internalized and have the vibe inside. The second thing is any hits that I’ll need to be aware of. If I can feel the... »