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Practice Archives - Page 10

The Bass Solo: A Guide to Soloing More Freely
Ask Damian Erskine

The Bass Solo: A Guide to Soloing More Freely

Q: I am at a stage with playing jazz where I feel confident playing bass lines, such as walking through challenging pieces. Given time to learn the chord sequence, I am pretty confident at playing solos over the top of backing tracks and grooves. My problem is that when playing with a jazz band – when everyone cuts out for...

Musical Growth: Thought Process, Practice and Dedication
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Musical Growth: Thought Process, Practice and Dedication

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to hear expressed all manner of explanation as to why someone is not progressing as they wish. Although every situation and individual is unique, some common “explanations” are the result of fallacious thinking. For those who wish to be serious in their study, the two ideas below can be very damaging to...

Improving your Technique: Habits and Awareness for Bass Players
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Improving your Technique: Habits and Awareness for Bass Players

Most bassists are looking to improve some aspect of their technique. Certainly if there is something in our technique that is creating a problem, physical or musical, then we need to make a change. Sometimes this is a major change, other times this is simply a refinement. Oftentimes, it is the acquisition of technique that motivates a young student to...

Controlling Rhythm and Expressing it Musically
Ask Damian Erskine

Controlling Rhythm and Expressing it Musically

Q: This week’s column was written in part from a response to a FaceBook question I had about controlling rhythm and expressing it musically. I was also asked about my approach with my right hand, and where it came from with regard to rhythm and how I use it in my lines. I took that response and expanded on it...

Playing Through Changes with Arpeggios: Exercises for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Through Changes with Arpeggios: Exercises for Bassists

Many of my past columns have focused on answer readers’ questions related to playing through changes. So for this week’s column, I decided to put together the video below to cover a few approaches to getting comfortable with changes, through the use of arpeggios. (Side note: I’m frequently asked about the software I’m using in these videos. The software I’m...

Advanced Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale
Bass Lessons

Advanced Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

Last time, we took a look at some basic exercises aimed at expanding fretboard knowledge through the use of the pentatonic scale. For this lesson, we’ll cover more advanced patterns and build on what we’ve started in the first part. Be sure to download the PDF for these exercises (standard notation and TAB included) so you can follow along and...

Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale
Bass Lessons

Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

Here’s a great exercise aimed at expanding your fretboard knowledge. For this lesson, we’re going to use the five positions of the A minor / C Major pentatonic scale. The pentatonic scale contains five notes, of course, and you can play this from different positions. Learning these patterns will significantly increase your fretboard knowledge. Here’s how it breaks down, taking...

Making Resolutions: A Guide for Bass Players
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Making Resolutions: A Guide for Bass Players

Although it seems most people have given up on the practice of making New Year’s resolutions, some musicians still make music-related resolutions. The most popular ones seem to be along the lines of “practice more,” or worse, “become a better bass player.” While the intent is laudable, it is unlikely that such “resolutions” will have a positive end result. They...

Singing and Playing: A How-To Guide for Independence for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Singing and Playing: A How-To Guide for Independence for Bass Players

Q: I have great vocal chops, which I exercise frequently in my alter ego solo acoustic guitarist thing. I play bass in a blues/R&B band and have the best vocal talent in the band. But I can’t sing over a bass line to save my behind. Can this be learned? Any tips? A: Keep in mind that I am one...

New Beginnings: Exploring New Bass Tunings (and String Counts)
Ask Damian Erskine

New Beginnings: Exploring New Bass Tunings (and String Counts)

Q: I have been playing bass professionally for over 15 years, but I’ve recently decided to expand my horizons by tuning one of my 5 string basses E-C. I decided to do this after playing a six string bass in a music store one day and realizing how easy it was to play lines across the fingerboard in a lower...