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Gigging Archives - Page 13

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...

Going Unnoticed: Our Role as Bassists (Or: The Not-So-Obvious Compliment)
I Wish I Knew That

Going Unnoticed: Our Role as Bassists (Or: The Not-So-Obvious Compliment)

There’s an old saying in the musical world that goes a little like this: “I didn’t even notice the bass until it wasn’t there!” While this may seem a bit unfair – as if all of the other instruments receive the listening attention they deserve while we stand in the back – it happens to be a great compliment. Of...

Playing a Gig with No Prep Time: A Guide for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing a Gig with No Prep Time: A Guide for Bass Players

Q: I will soon be filling in on a gig with no rehearsals or charts. I’m a little freaked out. They said we’d get a few minutes during sound check to run through a tune or two, but how can I expect to play well when I can’t really prepare? A: I feel your pain, friend! In the scenario you...

What Makes a Great Bassist? Part 1: Playing For The Song
What Makes a Great Bassist?

What Makes a Great Bassist? Part 1: Playing For The Song

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the “hows” of bass playing: scales, chords, arpeggios, slapping, tapping, harmonics… Maybe you’re working on getting that one awesome lick just right so you can use it someday. With so much information to digest, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and remember what it is we’re actually working toward. What is...

Bass in an Acoustic Setting: Knowing How to Play Your Role
Ask Damian Erskine

Bass in an Acoustic Setting: Knowing How to Play Your Role

Q: I think I have a good suggestion for an area you may have not covered: the role of a bassist in an acoustic setting. No drummer (maybe a Djembe), just acoustic guitar, bass and vocals. How do you keep it grooving, how do you fill the space, how do you make it sound good? I’ve had to play a...

I Wish I Knew That: Making The Music Better
I Wish I Knew That

I Wish I Knew That: Making The Music Better

Let’s face it, sometimes we find ourselves in not-so-ideal playing situations. In a perfect world, we would always have our favorite drummer on the gig and could lock in and groove all night long. We would never have to compete with the busy left hand of a keyboard player, stay alert during the 15-minute guitar solo, or back up a...