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Damian Erskine Archives - Page 4

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...

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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 breath or even breathing too...

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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...

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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...

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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 at PSU here in Portland!...

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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 stop thinking, listening to or...

Ask Damian Erskine: Confidence
Ask Damian Erskine

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 my bandmates disagree. I’m pretty...

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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 becoming a studio bassist? Are...