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Gigging Archives - Page 11

Versatility: A Guide for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Versatility: A Guide for Bassists

Q: Like a lot of the guys out there on the scene, you make a living playing a wide variety of styles. I have a hard enough time trying to play well in any one style of music. How do you get so comfortable in so many different kinds of musical settings? A: I think that a part of it...

What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 3: Defining Groove
What Makes a Great Bassist?

What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 3: Defining Groove

Photo Credit: Mika Hiironniemi As bassists, one of our main goals is to make the band groove. The only problem is that the term can be vague. Many young players that begin their quest for the elusive groove are met with descriptions like, “If you have to ask, you’ll never know.” In an effort to share ideas and bring us...

Dealing with Awkward Keys when Transposing on Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing with Awkward Keys when Transposing on Bass

Q: I’ve been asked to play Billy Ocean’s “When The Going Gets Tough” transposed down to B, which is down in the murky depths of the B string, and I feel it takes away from the bass line. Going up an octave makes it seem thin. Any advice on how I could remedy this issue, not just for this song,...

Getting Recognized: Advice for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Getting Recognized: Advice for Bassists

Q: How do I brand myself as an internationally recognized bass player? How does one get endorsed to an international brand? A: You’d be surprised by how many times I get this question. It seems that many think there may be a trick or a simple solution to “making it”, “getting discovered” or “scoring an endorsement”. There are a few...

Making the Scene: Nashville – How to Live, Network, and Succeed in Music City
News

Making the Scene: Nashville – How to Live, Network, and Succeed in Music City

Location can be a very important factor in a bassist’s musical career. Larger cities bring more opportunities, but also more obstacles and competition. Author Liam Sullivan offers advice for living and working in Music City with his new book Making the Scene: Nashville – How to Live, Network, and Succeed in Music City. The 300-page book dives into how the...

When The Gig Gets Canceled…
I Wish I Knew That

When The Gig Gets Canceled…

Let’s face it, we usually don’t enjoy picking up the phone and finding out that our gig is canceled. Hearing the news via email or text doesn’t make it any better, especially if it’s short notice. On one hand, the middle-schooler in us delights in the fact that we can stay home in our PJ’s, watch movies and maybe even...

Asking For (and Getting) Feedback
Ask Damian Erskine

Asking For (and Getting) Feedback

Q: As bass players, we often find ourselves in situations where we do a job for others, be it taking the bass chair in a singer’s project, subbing in a band, teaching, giving workshops, etc. I often find it difficult to get appropriate feedback for my job. I like it when people are happy with my work, and I also...

What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 2: Expressing Yourself
What Makes a Great Bassist?

What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 2: Expressing Yourself

With all the things to work on to improve ourselves, it’s easy to lose sight of why we play bass. That’s why we’ve been polling famous bassists and the community at large on what they think makes a great bassist. (Be sure to check out What Makes a Great Bassist? Part 1: Playing for the Song). For part two of...

Connecting with the Drummer: A Discussion for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Connecting with the Drummer: A Discussion for Bassists

Q: I’ve found myself in a situation where I can’t set up a musical connection with my drummer. It’s been three months of rehearsals, but I just don’t feel comfortable playing, the rhythm-sections suffers and we don’t sound good. In my other bands, the great, non-verbal communication came right after one or two rehearsals. I realize I am also responsible....

Bass Players: Get Out of the Shed and Into the World
Ask Damian Erskine

Bass Players: Get Out of the Shed and Into the World

Q: I practice a lot, but I don’t get to play music with other people all that often. How important do you think it is that I play with other actual humans? A: The short answer? Extremely important. There is no shortage of reasons why this is important, but here are the most important in my book: Feedback! What you...

Life as a Bassist: Balancing Art and Income
Ask Damian Erskine

Life as a Bassist: Balancing Art and Income

Q: I do regular cover gigs, but I also play with a few original artists and I’m worried about them conflicting. I was wondering how you balance your “work” gigs with your “fun” gigs? A: I have touched on this in previous columns, but this is a topic worthy of its own dedicated discussion. For starters, this is a subjective...

Rhythm Bass? What To Do When the Rhythm Guitar is Missing
Ask Damian Erskine

Rhythm Bass? What To Do When the Rhythm Guitar is Missing

Q: I play bass in a rock/metal band with only one guitarist, who does plenty of guitar solos. I was wondering if you had suggestions on how to fill up the space, so to speak, to overcome the lack of rhythm guitar. Any insight you might have would be greatly appreciated! A: Although it’s been a while since I played...