The Best of “Ask Damian Erskine”

Damian ErskineDamian Erskine‘s “Ask Damian” column is our longest running here on No Treble, and for good reason. Readers ask great questions (hint: send Damian your questions), readers love reading Damian’s responses, and Damian has a way of breaking things down that makes it all come together.

Damian is touring the globe this month, so we’re giving him a break during his current wifi-less leg of his tour to look back at the best of Ask Damian Erskine. We pulled out the top 10 most read columns over the last couple of years to create the list below.

Damian covers the spectrum, from theory-focused columns on scales and chords, to gear discussions and advice, plus a regular dose of insights on life as a musician.

Check out these and other great Ask Damian columns.

1. Fretboard Knowledge

Q: I have wanted to really get to know the fretboard inside out for a long time but have always struggled with visualizing a scale or the notes of a chord over the full range of my instrument. So I often find I’m playing in the same familiar patterns and am not really able to…

2. A Practical Guide to Modes and Scales

Q: What are modes and how do they work?

3. 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.

4. Practice Your Scales… But Which Ones?

Q: Scales… everyone should practice scales. But which scales? For someone that’s beginning to play or even some that has been playing for a long time, this can be a dilemma. How do you practice them? How do you implement them in your playing?

5. Passive vs. Active Circuitry?

Q: I’m just getting back into the bass and there’s something I’ve always been curious about: the differences (as well as the different kinds) of passive vs. active circuitry. What are the main differences between them, why are there only active and passive circuits, and what does it mean to have either in a bass?…

6. iPad as a Musical Study Tool

Q: I recently bought an iPad. Do you have any suggestions for apps that you find useful for music study and practicing?

7. Chord Tone Exercise

Q: Can you give an example of how one might get more comfortable with available chord tones?

8. Bass Chords: Going Beyond the Root

Q: Lately I’ve been trying to expand my knowledge of basic chords on bass. Any advice!

9. Choosing an Amp

Q: I have a question regarding power amps and cabinets. There are so many choices out there, and even more when you consider every amp available online (but probably won’t see in a store). How do you go about choosing an amp without just throwing a dart at the board and taking a huge financial…

10. A Guide for the Self-Taught Bassist

Q: I’m in the middle of high-school, and I’m really thinking of pursuing bass as a career. However, with a lack of decent teachers around, I’ve turned to teaching myself. But there’s so much to cover… where do I start?

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Have a question for Damian Erskine? Send it to [email protected]. Check out Damian’s instructional books, Right Hand Drive and The Improviser’s Path.

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