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Gigging Archives - Page 3

Playing Etiquette While Subbing
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Etiquette While Subbing

Q: While I am stoked that I have been asked, I am a wee bit apprehensive. I have been asked to be a substitute bassist for a classic rock cover and original band by the band leader. My current gig is as a bassist in a trio which plays punk and alternative originals. The slight apprehension comes from not knowing...

Incorporating What We Practice
Ask Damian Erskine

Incorporating What We Practice

Q: In your opinion, how does what we work on when practicing make it’s way into our playing? I’ve been thinking about the best ways to incorporate what I shed into my “vocabulary.” A: There are as many ways to incorporate what we practice into our actual musical vocabulary as there are ways to absorb abstract life concepts into our...

The Lightbulb Moment: Time Games
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Time Games

Game #1: The Record Release Show Round 1—Rehearsal Time There’s something invigorating about working with a new artist, especially when they’re releasing a record and learning how to adapt their songs to a live show. The drummer counts of the first tune and by the end of the chorus, the vocalist stops the band. “Hey guys, it feels a little...

What Should I Play At Soundcheck?
Ask Damian Erskine

What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

Q: What should I play at soundcheck? I always feel like I should be impressive or something when the sound tech says “okay, let’s hear the bass,” But maybe just pulsing on the open E string is enough? What’s your soundcheck agenda? A: This is the perfect opportunity for me to: a) make a suggestion as to the best use...

The Lightbulb Moment: Habit Vs. Intuition
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Habit Vs. Intuition

If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s pedaling eighth notes. So much so, you might say that I make a habit of it. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about playing one note, but playing it well, and focusing on all of the ways this seemingly simple rhythmic pattern can be manipulated. The art of the eighth note lies somewhere between...

Tips for Being a Professional Bassist
Ask Damian Erskine

Tips for Being a Professional Bassist

Q: I often wonder what kinds of little nuggets of wisdom some of my heroes have that would help us mortal bassists in the trenches. Things we don’t even know that we should know, or wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn. It might be a weird thing to ask (me not having an actual question and all) but, what...

The Lightbulb Moment: Batman and Bruce Wayne
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Batman and Bruce Wayne

It’s a cold, dark night and a white light beckons in the distance. We’re drawn to it, like a moth to the flame, acknowledging how it signifies the evening’s potential for adventure. Perhaps that image is the bat signal, or maybe it’s just the marquee of the club that we’re loading in to. Gosh, I hope there’s parking. It demands...

Is Bass Face Okay on the Gig? A Discussion on Stage Presence
Ask Damian Erskine

Is Bass Face Okay on the Gig? A Discussion on Stage Presence

Q: Is “bass face” acceptable or not on a gig? I know a band where the leader was telling the bassist not to have their (un)usual bass face on; they should smile or relax their face. I just performed at a gig where my head is in the jazz charts in front of me (I had not memorized 4 sets...

What to Do When They Don’t Give You the Gig Details
Ask Damian Erskine

What to Do When They Don’t Give You the Gig Details

Q: I recently had a strange experience when I got asked to play a gig, but was given practically no information. When I asked for more details (when, where, how long, how much, etc.), I got vibed hard by the guy, as if I was only in it for the money and why couldn’t I just say yes or no...

The Lightbulb Moment: Setting The Stage
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Setting The Stage

I’m standing in front of my amp. I’m sure of it. It’s two feet behind me, the light is on, and there’s definitely sound coming out of it – well, at least I’m pretty sure that there’s sound coming out of it. There comes a time in every musician’s life when you realize that a sound check can be an...