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Gigging Archives - Page 2

Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player
Ask Damian Erskine

Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

Q: I have been networking, going to jams, and have actually started to make some headway in my local scene. I’ve just gotten a call about doing a regional week-long tour. The money seems a little low, though, and I’m worried about setting a bad precedent. I’d like to do the tour but don’t want to establish that as my...

How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety
Ask Damian Erskine

How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

Q: Do you ever get scared? How do you deal with performance anxiety? A: I’ve written a fair amount about various types of musical situations I’ve found myself in, related anxiety, and how I’ve navigated it but this may be the first time I’ve written purely on fear. I’ve mentioned in the past that I spent quite a while living...

Notes From The Bandstand: Timekeeping
Notes From The Bandstand

Notes From The Bandstand: Timekeeping

In 2005 I traveled to Zurich for my first gig with an iconic jazz pianist (out of respect for his privacy, he’ll remain nameless). We haven’t rehearsed. We haven’t spoken about what we’re going to play. I’m told we’ll go over everything at the sound check but said pianist never shows up. We have a quick 10-minute talk before hitting...

How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?
Ask Damian Erskine

How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

Q: Do You have any advice for those bassists aspiring to become session musicians? Not so much how to get exposure but how to handle yourself, gear, getting lines on the first take, being solid, etc… A: I’ve always found the studio to be very satisfying. I’m one of those players who wouldn’t mind being solely a session bassist. Invisible...

Shaping A Jam Session From The Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Shaping A Jam Session From The Bass

Q: I go to a few jam sessions in my city, which have given me great times and contacts. For the most part, I’ve been able to get over most of the pre-jam jitters and adopt more of a “whatever happens, happens” approach to sessions. But I have encountered one stumbling block related to bassist conduct that I wanted to...

The Lightbulb Moment: Three’s Accompany
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Three’s Accompany

When it comes to accompanying a singer or soloist, there’s nothing like the power of three. The rock trio. The jazz trio. The trio of cheeses provided in the green room. It’s the perfect way to get the bases covered (no pun intended). While there are various forms of trio instrumentation (keys, bass, drums; guitar, bass, drums; guitar, fiddle, and...

Concentrating on the Gig
Ask Damian Erskine

Concentrating on the Gig

Q: I have a question about… mindset, I guess. I feel like I make a lot of unnecessary mistakes during gigs. I mean that it’s not a technical deficiency, and it’s not that I don’t know what needs to happen but I just seem to goof it up. Kind of a lot. Any advice? A: This reminds me of a...

Getting Through A Bad Gig
Ask Damian Erskine

Getting Through A Bad Gig

Q: What do you do on a bad night? Like, if the gig is not happening, what’s the best way to avoid toxicity and frustration and make the best of it? A: This question extends far beyond just musical situations. I recently heard an interesting podcast interview with a specialist who studies emotions and the brain, which served to confirm...

The Lightbulb Moment: One, Four, Five
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: One, Four, Five

“Hey, so we’re in G and it’s a one, four, five thing. Cool? Count it off.” Here we go again… Whether it’s a local blues jam, and evening hang at your friend’s garage-turned-music-room, or a gig where someone decides to deviate from the setlist, the notion of calling a “One, Four, Five” can leave us bass players a little high...

Taking Criticism in a Positive Light
Ask Damian Erskine

Taking Criticism in a Positive Light

Q: How can I learn to take musical remarks/criticism from a bandleader/conductor in a productive way? I can’t help it, but I always get a little offended and/or insecure. A: Remember this: If you weren’t good enough, you wouldn’t have the gig. While not every band leader may have the best delivery, in general, suggestions and statements of preference are...