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Damian Erskine Archives - Page 4

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...

Ask Damian Erskine

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!...

Ask Damian Erskine

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...

Ask Damian Erskine

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...

Ask Damian Erskine

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 ago, it WAS tuned in...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Bass Woods and Tops

Q: With some of the more pricey models of basses out there, it’s understood that they’re made with some of the most exotic and interesting types of wood. Why do these sound different, and how do colors and densities play their roles in determining the bass’s sound? A: Primarily, the density of the wood is what impacts tone. The denser...

Passive vs. Active Circuitry?
Ask Damian Erskine

Passive vs. Active Circuitry?

Q: I’m just getting back into the bass and there’s something I’ve always been curious about: the differences (as well as the different kinds) of passive vs. active circuitry. What are the main differences between them, why are there only active and passive circuits, and what does it mean to have either in a bass? A: Although I am not...

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Ask Damian Erskine: Chord Voicings

Q: Can you help me get away from the standard root position chords that I already know? A: Hopefully, yes! The following will presume an intermediate level of understanding of chords and basic theory. But, if you’re working on this stuff, you’ve probably already got at least enough of a grip on it to follow along. Give this a shot!...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Saying Less With More

Q: I’ve recently found myself really inspired by guys who play a lot less notes and leave a lot more space in the music, in particular Charlie Haden. I was wondering how you would approach playing less/leaving more space yet still creating a bass line that is interesting, enjoyable and challenging to play? I was also wondering if you thought...