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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 GospelChops.com 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:

  • Tips for Starting to Teach Bass

    Tips for Starting to Teach Bass

    Q: I was asked at a gig recently if I ever gave lessons. The answer was actually “no,” but I could use the bread and also thought it might be an interesting way to explore music, my playing, etc. So I said, “Definitely! Want to get together?” Without asking something as silly as “how do... »

  • What’s One Piece Of Advice To Become a Better Musician?

    What’s One Piece Of Advice To Become a Better Musician?

    Q: What’s the one piece of advice you got that helped you to become a better musician? A: With this week’s column, I’m hoping to get a discussion going down below. I want to know what the best advice you ever got might have been. I’m specifically thinking of those teachable moments on a gig,... »

  • Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

    Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

    Q: I’m 58 and a semi-pro bassist (I have a day job but have gigged for the past 30+ years and consider myself a very good player). I wanted to ask your thoughts on me trying to focus on becoming a session musician. I’m semi-retired and have a lot more time on my hands but... »

  • Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

    Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

    Q: I am an intermediate bass player and I am a fan of several different bass players. I love the way Janek Gwizdala composes, plays chords and creates music using a looper. I can’t get enough of Gary Willis and his amazing groove as well as his fretless tone. I also love listening to guys... »

  • Connecting to Music or a Brand: Spotify vs Apple

    Connecting to Music or a Brand: Spotify vs Apple

    For this week’s column, I asked a good friend and frequent band-mate – Seattle-based drummer Tarik Abouzied – to give his unique perspective into Spotify (and the streaming model, in general). Tarik had written a column in my stead here at No Treble once before regarding bass playing from the drummers perspective and everybody loved... »

  • Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

    Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

    In this video, we’ll work through a great pattern that I learned from the great trombonist Dave Glen. It’s a fantastic way to make the transition between scales and arpeggios and also helps you to relate them more naturally to different chord types. I found this very useful when I first heard Dave talking about... »

  • Licks and Fills from Right Hand Drive

    Licks and Fills from Right Hand Drive

    In this video from the road, I decided to respond to an email requesting some contextual examples of how I might use a few of the “licks and fills” from my book, Right Hand Drive. After a handful of technical difficulties and the majority of my day off spent filming in a hotel room, I... »

  • Using an Active/Passive Toggle on Your Bass

    Using an Active/Passive Toggle on Your Bass

    Q: I’ve got a toggle on my bass for passive and active. I hardly use it. Could you explain the benefits and drawbacks of each? Do you ever toggle during a gig? Thanks! A: I’ve more recently become more enamored with the sound of my basses in passive mode. For me, it partially reflects a... »

  • The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

    The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

    In this video, we’ll take a quick look at the usefulness of one of the lesser used fingers… the plucking hand’s pinky! »

  • Walking Bass Line Construction

    Walking Bass Line Construction

    In this video, I’ll talk you through the basics of developing a walking bass line in addition to demonstrating a few approaches. There’s also a nice exercise at the end that’ll really challenge most of you as you explore new ways to navigate chord changes. Enjoy! Follow along with this chord chart I used in... »