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Damian Erskine

Damian ErskineDamian Erskine is known for his ability to fit into any musical situation, extraordinary reading and improvising skills as well as being an educator and columnist. He has played in the studio or on the stage with the likes of Peter Erskine, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Les McCann & Javon Jackson, Gino Vannelli, Jeff Lorber, George Colligan, Sveti w/ Marko Djordjevic, Vardan Ovsepian, Charmaine Neville, Tony Furtado and many others as well as being featured on the Shed Sessionz Vol. 1 DVD.

Damian is an adjunct professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and has also appeared as an instructor at Gerald Veasley's Bass Bootcamp, the National Guitar Workshop as well as the Berklee College of Music's Guitar Week.

In addition to his weekly Q&A column on No Treble, Damian has written for Bass Player Magazine, Bass Musician Magazine as well as authoring his own books, Right Hand Drive and The Improvisor’s Path.

Articles by Damian Erskine:

  • Making Bass Exercises More Musical (and Fun)

    Making Bass Exercises More Musical (and Fun)

    In this video, I’ll be talking a bit about how I try and apply exercises in a more open and musical context (aka, have more fun with them). There are a few minutes of talking and then a lot of playing around with the ideas we’ve been covering for the past few weeks. I hope... »

  • Modal Double Stops and Broken Intervals

    Modal Double Stops and Broken Intervals

    This lesson is a bit of a continuation from last week. Again, we’ll be dealing with more ways to internalize the major scale and related modes across the fretboard. Specifically, we’ll be working through a nice double-stop exercise as well as using some brain twisting broken intervallic exercises. »

  • Modal Arpeggio Patterns for Bass

    Modal Arpeggio Patterns for Bass

    We’re continuing our exercise series this week with a lesson on modal arpeggio patterns. Learning modes, scales, and patterns help to open the fretboard up in your mind. You learn the connections, intervals, and relationships of the notes. Some of this sounds more complicated than it is. Hang in there and we will work it... »

  • Percussive Techniques for Bass

    Percussive Techniques for Bass

    For the next few weeks, we’ll be going over some more lesson oriented topics. I’m kicking off the series with a look at percussive techniques on the bass, specifically using your plucking hand. There are some easy techniques to approach as well as some more difficult ones. Work on these slowly with a metronome starting... »

  • Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

    Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

    Q: I have been networking, going to jams, and have actually started to make some headway in my local scene. I’ve just gotten a call about doing a regional week-long tour. The money seems a little low, though, and I’m worried about setting a bad precedent. I’d like to do the tour but don’t want... »

  • Subdivision Exercises

    Subdivision Exercises

    For this week’s column, a reader asked about practicing rhythms. Instead of writing out a response, I decided to make this video to show you how I practice subdivision exercises. »

  • How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

    How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

    Q: Do you ever get scared? How do you deal with performance anxiety? A: I’ve written a fair amount about various types of musical situations I’ve found myself in, related anxiety, and how I’ve navigated it but this may be the first time I’ve written purely on fear. I’ve mentioned in the past that I... »

  • Do You Always Hear What You Play Before You Play It?

    Do You Always Hear What You Play Before You Play It?

    Q: Do you always hear what you play before you play it? I know a lot of players sing what they play, do some of them actually hear the melodies first? Or are they singing along in real time and following themselves? A: Interesting question. Everyone will have varying levels of relative/perfect pitch, as well... »

  • How Do I Start Practicing Jazz?

    How Do I Start Practicing Jazz?

    Q: I’ve heard some jazz (usually newer stuff) that I like and I’m thinking that I should work on it. You and others also mention that it’s a good thing to practice in general, too. But it’s so confusing and most things I find online (and your columns) are usually too advanced for me. How... »

  • How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

    How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

    Q: Do You have any advice for those bassists aspiring to become session musicians? Not so much how to get exposure but how to handle yourself, gear, getting lines on the first take, being solid, etc… A: I’ve always found the studio to be very satisfying. I’m one of those players who wouldn’t mind being... »