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Articles by Damian Erskine - Page 52


Ask Damian Erskine: Ear Training
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Ear Training

Q: I’d like to explore some ear training to improve my ability to hear intervallic relationships. Any good ideas? A: Simply put, ear training is exactly that: better training your ears to understand what you’re hearing. I find transcription to be the most entertaining way to develop my ears. I like to listen to what I want to transcribe over...

Ask Damian Erskine: Teaching (Part 2)
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Teaching (Part 2)

Q: I am interested in finding out how to get into teaching. For example: What do you recommend about knowledge of theory, scales, modes, etc.? A: This is kind of an interesting one… Of course, the more you know the better (as a player or teacher), but many do fall into a bit of a trap with the “but do...

Ask Damian Erskine: My Sense of Groove
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: My Sense of Groove

I get a lot of emails asking about how to play certain grooves from some of my tunes. I have a new book coming out that deals with many of my techniques, and I explain them in the same way drummers explain drum rudiments. The book will include an mp3 CD with over 100 tracks of all of the exercises...

Playing Metronomically vs. Musically
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Metronomically vs. Musically

Q: I have a hard time not sounding stiff when focusing on my time. Any suggestions? A: I’ve been noticing this phenomenon lately, especially with students who are working on various cello suites. There’s a tendency to try and play the piece metronomically as opposed to musically. Remember that, while we are expected to have good time, we are also...

Beyond the Weekend Warrior
Ask Damian Erskine

Beyond the Weekend Warrior

Q: I wanted to know if you have any advice for players like me who still work a full time 9-5 but want to eventually move to playing professionally. My goal is to session/sideman and teach, but opportunities are harder to come by and I’m having trouble getting my foot in the door. A: Man, it’s a tough biz! A...

Ask Damian Erskine: Working with Tricky Drummers
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Working with Tricky Drummers

Q: I was wondering how you play with jazz drummers who seem intent on messing everyone up with syncopation. I’ve seen and played with drummers who will start a polyrhythm and repeat it for two measures to set up a downbeat, and they expect me to come in on time? I want to be able to have fun and interact...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Breathing

Q: I’ve been playing for over 30 years and I’ve heard the subject of breathing as relates to playing. I’ve come to know that disciplined relaxation while playing can work wonders for stamina and affects the accuracy and musicality of one’s technique. I’ve become aware that breathing is very closely involved too, e.g. holding ones breath or even breathing too...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Regaining Inspiration

Q: I’ve been playing professionally (clubs, studio, festivals) since I was about 18. I’m 43 now, and I find myself in a bit of an uninspired phase. My urge to play, practice and create is currently AWOL. Do you ever go thru periods where you and the bass are mortal enemies? if so , how do you get thru these...

Ask Damian Erskine

Should Bassists Be Multi-Instrumentalists?

Q: I’m curious as to your opinion of secondary instruments for bassists. From a well-rounded musician perspective, I can see the value of being a multi-instrumentalist. From a gigging perspective, I would think that a bassist might be more marketable if he or she had show-ready skills on keys, or guitar, or ???… A: I definitely agree that any musician...

Ask Damian Erskine: Becoming a Well Rounded Player
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Becoming a Well Rounded Player

Q: Through the years I have often heard the term “well rounded player”. I have been wondering what makes a “well rounded player” in your opinion? A: Well, I would imagine that any well rounded player has more than just a few tricks up their sleeve, but is instead both versatile and flexible in their abilities and approach. This concept...