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Alfred Releases a Beginner’s Guide to Audio Mixing
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Alfred Releases a Beginner’s Guide to Audio Mixing

Alfred Music Publishing has released a new beginner’s guide to professional audio mixing. Alfred’s Teach Yourself Mixing, by David Terry, focuses on mixing fundamentals in a step-by-step approach. Topics covered include compressors, limiters, pan, gain, signal paths, bussing, effects sends & returns, automation, wave editing, final mix-downs, and more. The guide also includes techniques for both digital audio and analog...

Successful Rehearsals
Ask Damian Erskine

Successful Rehearsals

Q: Do You have any advice for how to lead a successful rehearsal? A: I assume you’re asking specifically about leading an efficient and productive rehearsal. What I would suggest is to map out your game plan beforehand: Make a list of the tunes you want to work on Make a sub-category of specific things in each song that may...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Technique Series: Minimum Finger Pressure

Although there are times when strong muscular exertion in the left hand may be beneficial, in general we want to use a minimal amount of effort. The fingers should press the string with only enough force to produce the note cleanly, and no more. Keeping minimum finger pressure in the left hand will help with speed, stamina, shifting, general ease...

Preparing for a Tour with a New Band
Ask Damian Erskine

Preparing for a Tour with a New Band

Q: How do you prepare for a tour with a new band? A: There is much that goes into properly preparing for a tour. First, the nuts and bolts: Packing Do you have days off for doing laundry? Always try and pack as light as possible. If you can get by on four days worth of clothes (including gig wear)...

Cables 101: Instrument vs. Speaker Cables
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Cables 101: Instrument vs. Speaker Cables

Many people who have been playing for an extended period of time may be guilty of this. Many may have learned quickly, or still do it after 30 years of playing. But what happens when you use an instrument cable instead of a speaker cable to run your amp? And, furthermore, what are the differences between them? This month we’ll...

Ask Damian Erskine: A Series of Questions on Promotion and Life as a Musician
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: A Series of Questions on Promotion and Life as a Musician

I was recently emailed a list of questions by a student working on their dissertation. I enjoyed the dialogue and thought they might be useful to the general public as well. With his permission, I’m going to make this weeks post our quick Q&A. 1. In your experience what has been the most effective way of self-promotion? A: The only...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practice Technique: Note Isolation for Improved Intonation

There are countless ways to improve our intonation, both at our instrument and away from it. Here’s one strategy, to be done at our instrument, which can help open our ears and stabilize a key center. It involves isolating and spotlighting a single pitch every time it appears. The technique works well with music of any tempo. You can isolate...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Chord Voicings

Q: Can you help me get away from the standard root position chords that I already know? A: Hopefully, yes! The following will presume an intermediate level of understanding of chords and basic theory. But, if you’re working on this stuff, you’ve probably already got at least enough of a grip on it to follow along. Give this a shot!...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Saying Less With More

Q: I’ve recently found myself really inspired by guys who play a lot less notes and leave a lot more space in the music, in particular Charlie Haden. I was wondering how you would approach playing less/leaving more space yet still creating a bass line that is interesting, enjoyable and challenging to play? I was also wondering if you thought...

Ask Damian Erskine

Speaking in Longer Sentences

Q: How should I go about developing longer solo ideas? In my solos I’m having trouble playing fast lines for more than a couple bars or so. I feel like I can really let the conversation flow by using lots of long notes broken up by short (maybe 4-ish bars at most), quick “chopsy” phrases. When I try to keep...