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Practice Archives - Page 11

Scale Pattern Work for Bassists
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Scale Pattern Work for Bassists

I have mentioned previously that daily scale practice should include scale patterns, and indeed most scale books devote some space to such patterns. There are, of course, innumerable patterns that we can apply, but certain scalar patterns occur more frequently than others in the music we play. Although the number of possible patterns are seemingly limitless, I have found that...

Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

I have mentioned previously that our daily scale practice should include arpeggio work. There are numerous ways to approach this, and most scale books devote some time to various approaches to arpeggios. I find the patterns below to be good solid foundational patterns for any bassist’s daily routine. The patterns below are presented in C major, but should be applied...

Getting Over Extended Range (and Other Musical) Ruts
Ask Damian Erskine

Getting Over Extended Range (and Other Musical) Ruts

Q: I’ve been playing bass for many years, and started playing the 6-string bass only about six years ago. I’m currently stuck in a dormant sludge of un-creativity! Any thoughts on who offers a good 6-string finger exercise, scale patterns, a book or even a good video? I can’t seem to get out of the same old riffs… I’m not...

Getting the Same Swing Feel on Electric and Upright (or… Be Patient in Practice)
Ask Damian Erskine

Getting the Same Swing Feel on Electric and Upright (or… Be Patient in Practice)

Q: I can’t get the same swing feel on electric as upright. Any advice? A: While I don’t play upright, this does present an opportunity to share a broader concept that may help you. Patience, padawan… patience (and focused practice). I’ve found with a vast majority of my students that whenever something is not “clicking”, you can break down the...

PocketLabworks Releases PocketHz Tuning and Song Training App
Apps

PocketLabworks Releases PocketHz Tuning and Song Training App

PocketLabworks has launched the PocketHz for iOS, an app that brings together a tuner and a song trainer. The tuner utilizes the company’s WarpSpeed pitch detection technology, which engineer Kevin Robertson explains warps the frequencies for even measurement across all octaves. It covers 8-octaves to reach down to a low B-string, high C-string and beyond. The song training half of...

Expanding Your Voice on Bass: Inflections and Articulations
Ask Damian Erskine

Expanding Your Voice on Bass: Inflections and Articulations

Q: I notice bassists adding what I would call a “slur”, but I think the correct term would be trill at the end of lines and phrases. I really dig the effect, but my hands and mind are not naturally inclined to do this. What would you recommend to help me work on this? A: As with any technique, the...

Strategies for Better Intonation
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Strategies for Better Intonation

If you are an upright bassist, then intonation is on your mind. I’ve talked in the past about using drones to help solidify intonation, but this is just one of seemingly innumerable strategies to improve pitch. Today we’ll touch on a few other approaches. You can do all of these exercises with music you are working on or, of course,...

Audition and Performance Preparation: Recording Yourself
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Audition and Performance Preparation: Recording Yourself

One very enlightening way to prepare for an audition or performance is to record yourself prior stepping on the stage, or into the audition room. Expensive equipment is not required to gain benefit from recording yourself. Although better recording equipment means you can listen back in greater detail, the fact is that free recording software and the microphones on most...

From Groove to Changes to Soloing: Damian Erskine’s Practice Routine
Ask Damian Erskine

From Groove to Changes to Soloing: Damian Erskine’s Practice Routine

Q: You answer a lot of questions to help bassists out. But I’d like to know, what are you personally working on to improve your playing? A: I am in a constant state of flux with my practice habits. Different things bug me about my playing depending on the gigs I have one week versus the next. Lately, it has...

Improving Your Playing: What’s Your Story?
Ask Damian Erskine

Improving Your Playing: What’s Your Story?

Q: What are you personally working on to improve your playing? A: Okay, getting more personal than usual here <grin>… I am in a constant state of flux with my practice habits. Different things bug me about my playing depending on the gigs I have one week versus the next, causing me to switch gears and focus. Lately, I’ve been...