Skip to main content

Discussion Archives

What Do You Want To See Happen For the Future of Bass Playing?
Ask Damian Erskine

What Do You Want To See Happen For the Future of Bass Playing?

Damian almost skipped this week’s “Ask” question... but then he decided to go for it, thinking this could actually ignite some really interesting conversations. The question is this: “What Do You Want To See Happen For the Future of Bass Playing?”

Why Isn’t Solo Bass More Accepted?
Ask Damian Erskine

Why Isn’t Solo Bass More Accepted?

As of tomorrow, we’ve been publishing for 10 years, and this has always been a topic in the comments. (A little less now, but still a thing.) This week, Damian tackles a question from a reader: “Why Isn’t Solo Bass More Accepted?”

Mugging for the Camera on Stage
Ask Damian Erskine

Mugging for the Camera on Stage

For this week’s “Ask” column, Damian decided to do it as more of a PSA - on musicianship, serving the song, and a trend he’s seeing that is sometimes counter to those things. Check out what he calls “Mugging for the Camera on Stage”

How High Should I Set My Bass Strings?
Ask Damian Erskine

How High Should I Set My Bass Strings?

Q: What’s your take on string height? For over a decade, I’ve subscribed to Anthony Jackson’s view that the neck must be as flat/straight as possible and the strings as low as possible. And while I’ve spent as much time refining a light touch, I sometimes wonder if I’m spending too much time worrying about my touch and how much...

Should I Go Active? A Discussion for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Should I Go Active? A Discussion for Bass Players

Q: I’m once again considering using active electronics on my bass, a pre-amp of some kind. It is still a bit of a debate I notice amongst bass players. Some say it’s “colder,” some say it’s difficult to work with, especially on stage. I even had stories from sound engineers who are not too keen on active basses when having...

Serious Play and the Bass Solo
Ask Damian Erskine

Serious Play and the Bass Solo

A good friend of mine came to a gig I had recently in Seattle. Jeremy Sherman lives in San Francisco and our relationship began as one of student and teacher (he would fly to Portland on occasion to take a few lessons from me and hang out for a weekend) and we soon became friends both within and outside of...

Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

Q: I really dug the last column about albums to check out, if you want to get into jazz. I found a ton of great stuff that I actually liked in there! Do you have any more suggestions that extend beyond the jazz genre? A: Thanks! I’m glad that you discovered some new music. That’s great to hear. I’ve gotten...

Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz
Ask Damian Erskine

Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

Q: Do you have any suggestions for what albums I might check out if I wanted to get into jazz? I’ve, of course, heard bits and pieces of things before flipping through radio stations, in restaurants, etc., but nothing ever really grabbed me. What should I check out that might ignite the interest? A: Alright, the pressure’s on. This will...

Who is the Best Bassist?
Ask Damian Erskine

Who is the Best Bassist?

So it happened. A reader sent Damian this question: “In your opinion, who is the best bassist?” Damian decided to answer, without it becoming another one of those “Best Bassist”-type columns that cause an uproar. Check out what he has to say on the subject...

Resistance to Change
Ask Damian Erskine

Resistance to Change

Q: Why are some musicians resistant to changing gear and/or playing techniques when the player gets faced with pain, hits a technical wall or is dissatisfied with their own progress? A: Note: I saw this question on a Facebook thread I was tagged in recently and thought it was a good one. I paraphrased it a little bit to keep...