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Learning Archives - Page 3

The Lightbulb Moment: It Takes One To Know One
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: It Takes One To Know One

How do I play that bass line? Why do I have to use my pinky? Can’t we skip all the theory stuff? These are just some of the questions raised by a student in a recent lesson. Some of these are easy to answer… like the usefulness of the pinky finger (two heads are better than one, four fingers are...

Getting the Most of a Bass Lesson
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Getting the Most of a Bass Lesson

When we make a commitment to embark on a series of bass lessons we are, of course, looking to grow, expand and progress. This is why, if we are serious about our study, we make efforts to find a teacher who we believe can help us on our bass journey. Locating a good teacher and showing up each week is...

The Lightbulb Moment: A Quarter Note For Your Thoughts
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: A Quarter Note For Your Thoughts

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the college admission process — the worst part about being in high school. Clearly, a full day of classes followed by extra-curricular activities and homework isn’t enough to deal with; there are standardized tests to study for, essays to write, schools to visit, interviews to prepare for, and meetings with your...

Learning Music: To Pursue a College Degree (Or Not)
Ask Damian Erskine

Learning Music: To Pursue a College Degree (Or Not)

Q: What I want to know is this: by not pursuing a higher education in music (music college), what am I missing out on and what is most important to take away from that experience? A: Professionally speaking, a degree in music won’t do anything for you unless you are are shooting for a career in education. If education is...

What’s the Best Way To Learn Electric Bass?
Ask Damian Erskine

What’s the Best Way To Learn Electric Bass?

Q: You can go to school and study electric bass in a jazz program, you can listen to records and learn from them, you can check out lessons on Youtube, you can subscribe to bass player’s online teaching regimens… But how do you know what is the best way to become a competent, professional level electric bassist? A: Electric bassists...

Thoughts On Multi-Instrumentalism
Ask Damian Erskine

Thoughts On Multi-Instrumentalism

Q: What is your opinion on playing multiple instruments (for example double bass or piano) versus focusing on one instrument? I noticed a double bass in the background of one of your recent videos and wondered what your thought process had been when deciding to take up a new instrument. A: I was primarily a drummer until college, so from...

Focused Learning: A Bass Player’s Guide to Practice and Rehearsals
Ask Damian Erskine

Focused Learning: A Bass Player’s Guide to Practice and Rehearsals

Q: I’d like your advice on what a bassist should be thinking during a practice session or when learning new material? What do you think about during those times? What should I be thinking? A: This question struck me as interesting. Primarily, I think it’s because it relates to a conversation I recently had with a student with regard to...

Pace Yourself: Thoughts on the Process of Practicing and Learning
I Wish I Knew That

Pace Yourself: Thoughts on the Process of Practicing and Learning

Whether you’re embarking on a long distance run, sitting down to a delicious plate of food, or facing a mountain of material to learn, keep one thing in mind: pace yourself. Establishing a good pace for learning material or practicing a new technique is extremely important, especially when you’re looking at a deadline. It’s easy to let time slip away...

Instinct vs. Learning: Ideas for Musical Growth
Ask Damian Erskine

Instinct vs. Learning: Ideas for Musical Growth

Q: I’ve been learning to play the bass for about a year now, and I have a concern: I am a very instinctual bassist. I tried playing guitar when I was younger, but didn’t connect. I took to the bass right away. I “hear” a groove in my head, and I’m able to reproduce it on the bass. So my...

Refresh Yourself: Some Thoughts on Musical Growth
I Wish I Knew That

Refresh Yourself: Some Thoughts on Musical Growth

As we grow and develop as bassists, we tend to go through different stages of learning. Sometimes we feel inspired and creative, other times we feel as if we’ve plateaued or burnt out. During the good times, it’s easy to find new concepts to work on, specific ideas to write about, or ways to make headway during practice sessions. During...