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Performing Archives - Page 4

Lazy Horns and Keeping Time
Ask Damian Erskine

Lazy Horns and Keeping Time

Q: I’ve started rehearsing with a big band and while I’m finding it a lot of fun and a good challenge, I’ve been having a hard time keeping the time. The horns seem to play way behind the beat much of the time and it just feels uncomfortable no matter what I do. If I try and lay back for...

Blues Endings: Tips for Avoiding the Train Wreck
Blues Bass

Blues Endings: Tips for Avoiding the Train Wreck

Early on in my musical career, a wise man once told me that the mark of a good band is one that starts together and ends together. This doesn’t mean that whatever is played in the middle doesn’t matter, but it alludes to the importance of how well-rehearsed the players are or how well they feel each other out if...

Improving Your Sight Reading: A Guide to Better Reading on the Bandstand
Ask Damian Erskine

Improving Your Sight Reading: A Guide to Better Reading on the Bandstand

Q: I’m at the point where I’m handling lead sheets better on gigs, but I sometimes get lost and/or second guess myself, usually resulting in me getting lost. Do you have any tips for becoming a good sight reader? A: Reading chord charts, and especially written notation, is one of the most useful tools you will develop as a working...

Playing As One
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing As One

I’m pushing the pause button on questions this week thanks to an experience I had just last night, which is a great lesson for all musicians. I’m traveling to Tokyo with the Jaco Pastorius Big Band at the moment. Last night, we had our warm up concert in Sunrise, FL. After the gig, I got into a conversation with fellow...

Competitive Nature
Ask Damian Erskine

Competitive Nature

Q: I am a very young bassist who plays in a band with some other young musicians. I’m having an issue with respect and competitiveness. Most of my bandmates say I’m the best musician among them. Our guitarist assumes he’s the best musician in the band, though his knowledge of theory isn’t there. How do I get him to listen...

Chops vs. Groove
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Chops vs. Groove

A while back, someone asked me to discuss the concept of “Chops vs. Groove.” The reader didn’t elaborate very much, but the impression I got was they felt having, or perhaps displaying, “chops” and the ability to groove were somehow mutually exclusive. Although someone can groove pretty hard with only a moderate level of technique, it doesn’t take much investigation...