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Learning Archives - Page 2

The Lightbulb Moment: Learn Lots of Songs
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Learn Lots of Songs

Here I am, once again, on the bandstand with a bass in hand. Two sets down, one to go. It’s a free for all… no official set list and a handful of requests. A guy with a twenty in his hand walks up to the stage and says, “Do ya’ll know ‘Whipping Post’?” The guitar player immediately looks at me...

Double Bass vs. Bass Guitar
Ask Damian Erskine

Double Bass vs. Bass Guitar

Q: I have been playing bass guitar for about 8 years, got my grade 8, toured, recorded and got myself to a semi-professional session level. As I am going to go full time as a bass player in the next 18-24 months (I am realistic as well as ambitious) I started lessons with an outstanding teacher and someone who has...

Lefty or Righty? A Discussion for Starting Out on the Bass Guitar
Ask Damian Erskine

Lefty or Righty? A Discussion for Starting Out on the Bass Guitar

Q: I play the upright bass and I use my left had on the neck and my right hand to use my bow. I’m looking to play the bass guitar, but I can’t decide if I should play right handed because that’s my dominate hand or my left because you can really only use your left hand on the neck...

Making the Switch from 4- to 5-String Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Making the Switch from 4- to 5-String Bass

Q: I have recently made the move from 4-string to 5-string bass. I love the extended range (my bass is tuned E-C), but I’m finding I need to add more practice time to accommodate the additional string. There were exercises that I played on 4 strings and I am now expanding that to include the additional string/range. I can see...

Keeping Students Interested When Studying Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Keeping Students Interested When Studying Bass

Q: I loved the column on giving guidance to students. Do you have suggestions for guiding teachers in bass teaching? I struggle keeping my beginning students interested when I have them “eat vegetables” – like scales and note reading and rhythm practice. How do you find the balance between serving vegetables and meat with potatoes and even dessert as a...

Should You Study Double Bass To Improve Your Electric Bass Playing?
Ask Damian Erskine

Should You Study Double Bass To Improve Your Electric Bass Playing?

Q: I play electric bass. I’ve started taking some lessons here in Italy with a jazz player in order to study jazz and improvisation, and he has suggested I could study classical double bass at the Conservatory in order to have “serious” training. This idea fascinated me for a while, but now I’m starting to think: why should I study...

Learning the Bass: Should I Get a Teacher?
Ask Damian Erskine

Learning the Bass: Should I Get a Teacher?

Q: I am a beginning bassist. I want to know your opinion about studying bass with a teacher vs. self-teaching. Which do you think is more useful and advantageous? I’ve studied with a teacher since last year, but I don’t find I’m progressing anymore, and I’m in doubt if I should continue with the same teacher. I feel like I...

Can You Learn Bass Using a Guitar?
Ask Damian Erskine

Can You Learn Bass Using a Guitar?

Q: Is it possible to learn to play bass by using my six-string acoustic/electric guitar? I don’t really have the extra bread to buy a bass and amp right now, but I feel called to learn and with time, become proficient on the electric bass and maybe double bass eventually. My goal is to take a solid musical approach, learning...

Should Hobby Bassists Learn Arpeggios and Scales?
Ask Damian Erskine

Should Hobby Bassists Learn Arpeggios and Scales?

Q: As a “hobby” bassist who doesn’t really want to study as much music as a professional might, is it most important to learn arpeggios or scales? I am not a chord player nor do I want to be as far as I know. (I have difficulty chording due to neuro-muscular problems in my hands. If I could do that,...

Finding Your Voice vs. Conventional Bass Playing
Ask Damian Erskine

Finding Your Voice vs. Conventional Bass Playing

Q: I have really been obsessed with wanting my own unique voice and approach on the bass. Do you think that I’d be doing myself any harm in the long run if I avoid conventional approaches to learning (like scales, changes, learning blues lines, etc…) in an attempt to develop something new? A: That’s an interesting question, (and one that...