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  • Ask Damian Erskine: A Call for Questions

    Ask Damian Erskine: A Call for Questions

    First, thanks to all of you who write in with comments about this column. I get a lot of great feedback from you, and I appreciate it very much. Please keep it coming! This column starts with reader questions, and at the moment, I’ve run out. Here’s where you come in! Send me your questions.... »

  • Damian Erskine With Tony Furtado: St. John’s Fire

    Damian Erskine With Tony Furtado: St. John’s Fire

    Here’s No Treble columnist Damian Erskine taking a solo with Tony Furtado in 2005, at the Hatch Fest in Bozeman, Montana. »

  • Rants and Doodles

    Rants and Doodles

    So, I had a night off and decided to go see some music at a local club here in Portland, Oregon. It was early in the night when I was faced with one of my biggest musical pet peeves: noodling on stage before your set. In short: please, don’t do it! This was a friend’s... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Music as a Language

    Ask Damian Erskine: Music as a Language

    Q: I often hear people speak of music as a language but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to relate to that idea and make it useful. Any thoughts? A: You’re not alone. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ve been in the same boat you’re in. I... »

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  • Fretboard Knowledge

    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... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Ear Training

    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... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Teaching (Part 2)

    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... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: My Sense of Groove

    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... »

  • Playing Metronomically vs. Musically

    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... »

  • Beyond the Weekend Warrior

    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,... »