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  • Ray’s raving about: Nat Janoff’s “Looking Through”, with Matthew Garrison

    Matt Garrison is one of my favorite bass players… EVER. I was fortunate enough to share the bill with him at a 2001 NYC Bass Day and was blown away with his playing and became a fan for life. Matt is one of those players that has created his own unique voice on the instrument... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Melodic approach to soloing

    Q: How do you approach the line between creating an interesting melody while soloing as opposed to playing chord tones and notes that harmonize better. I suppose the two blur into one really but is there a point where you worry less about the changes and more about finding an interesting melody to fit over... »

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  • Saltman Knowles: Return of the Composer

    In February of 2009 Saltman Knowles released Return of the Composer on Pacific Coast Jazz records. Bassist Mark Saltman leads the group with pianist William Knowles to create unique jazz album featuring the voice as an additional instrument (using vocalese). The result is an album with interesting melodic lines, spirited rhythms and excellent musicianship building... »

  • Ray’s raving about… Janek Gwizdala Podcasts

    Janek Gwizdala is a very accomplished bass player who’s skills have him wearing many hats as a musician. He has played with some of the most respected players in the business and rightfully so. Janek is one of my personal favorites because he has a way of playing what feels right for whatever musical situation... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Theory and right hand technique

    Q: Just wanted to ask you how can I get used to using the harmonized major and minor scales when soloing or using them when I’m playing a fill. I use the relative major or minor of the key I’m playing in regularly but I cant seem to get the other scale degree’s to work.... »

  • Ray’s raving about… Tony Grey’s Chasing Shadows

    Ray’s raving about… Tony Grey’s Chasing Shadows

    The latest CD by bassist Tony Grey, called Chasing Shadows, is something I’ve been spinning for months. If you have not heard this guy play, do yourself a favor and check him out! The CD to me is a perfect blend of musicality with some insane playing. I really love the writing and how every... »

  • A look back at Ellen Johnson’s “These Days”

    These Days has been on the shelves for a bit, but it should be in every bassist’s collection. Ellen Johnson performs with bassist Darek Oles to create beautiful mixtures of voice and bass. It is not an exclusively duet album, other featured artists include Shelia Jordan, Roy McCurdy, Larry Koonse and Ana Gazzola. The album... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing and repetition

    Q: How many hours a day do you practice? Do you have any practice tips? A: Admittedly, I don’t practice as much as I’d like these days. I’m married, with dogs that need walking and a mortgage and am very busy playing bass for many different people (which requires a lot of shedding of it’s... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Facility, muscle memory & musicality

    Q: Can you make a recommendation in regards to how to develop speed and facility? A: I can!! In my opinion, the most common mistake people make when trying to develop speed and facility has everything to do with a lack of patience! Most people start trying to play things at speeds they can’t yet... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Traveling with your bass

    Q: I have a gig coming up that requires me to fly with my bass. I’ve never done it and don’t know if I should check it underneath or try and bring it on board! Any help? A: I’ve done it every way you can think of and each has it’s upside and downside. Here’s... »