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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Working with Tricky Drummers

    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... »

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  • 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... »

  • 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... »

  • 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... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Becoming a Well Rounded Player

    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... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Teaching

    Q: Do you teach? If so, how do you approach different players needs and styles and needs? Do you like teaching or would you just rather gig? A: I do teach occasionally, although I’m usually too busy playing and traveling to take on too many students. That said, I did just accept an adjunct position... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing on the Road

    Q: Do you practice while on the road? If so… how? A: Actually, I tend to be more inspired to practice while on the road because I tend to be very ‘high’ on music while traveling and doing what I love! I get very single-minded and focused when on the road and can’t seem to... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Confidence

    Ask Damian Erskine: Confidence

    Q: I’m a newbie and a beginner bassist from Bangladesh. I’m playing (or you can say I’m practicing) with a progressive/metal core rock band. I’m happy with the band, as they are all my friends. But the band leader says I’m not ready to perform on a gig, and that I’m the weakest one, although... »

  • Getting in the Scene

    Q: I have some questions regarding studio bass work and other bass-related job possibilities. Since you are a man of many groups and projects, I was hoping you could share some of your valuable insight and experience about diversifying one’s opportunities as a bass player. What is the first step, besides practice of course, to... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Bass Tunings

    Q: Is there any reason how and why the bass got tuned in fifths (B, E, A, D, G, C) as opposed to the guitar’s tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E)? A: Actually, those are fourths the bass is tuned in. If my memory serves, the bass tuning came first. Although, hundreds of years... »