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Practicing Archives

Should You Record Yourself Practicing?
Ask Damian Erskine

Should You Record Yourself Practicing?

A reader asked Damian about his thoughts on recording yourself practicing. Damian, who has long been an advocate of this, breaks down the benefits of recording your practice sessions in this week’s “Ask” column.

Where To Start with Music Theory
Ask Damian Erskine

Where To Start with Music Theory

A reader sent Damian one of the most honest questions we've seen, focused on his lack of understanding theory and his desire to change that. Check out what Damian has to say on “Where To Start with Music Theory.”

Talking Technique: That Riff in “Spain”
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: That Riff in “Spain”

That riff from Chick Corea’s “Spain,” played between the solos and as part of the head, is as catchy as it is tricky. Ari gets frequent requests for help on that section, so she breaks it down, step by step, in this new episode of “Talking Technique”

The Lightbulb Moment: Take It Slow
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Take It Slow

Ryan's long-running “Lightbulb Moment” column series is back with a new entry. This time around, Ryan focuses on the art of “taking it slow,” with an emphasis on all aspects of music - and life.

Making the Three-Finger Technique Consistent on Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Making the Three-Finger Technique Consistent on Bass

This week, a reader asks Damian for advice on mastering the three-finger technique. This is something Damian has spent a lot of time on and offers up a great how-to for exploring every possible variation.

Making Bass Exercises More Musical (and Fun)
Ask Damian Erskine

Making Bass Exercises More Musical (and Fun)

In this video, I’ll be talking a bit about how I try and apply exercises in a more open and musical context (aka, have more fun with them). There are a few minutes of talking and then a lot of playing around with the ideas we’ve been covering for the past few weeks. I hope you all get something from...

Is It Okay to Multitask While Practicing?
Ask Damian Erskine

Is It Okay to Multitask While Practicing?

Q: I’m hoping that you can chime in on a debate my friend and I have going. He tends to multitask while he practices (Netflix shows streaming, social media feeds running, etc.) I always give him a hard time about because I feel like when you practice, you shouldn’t be doing other things but he feels like, as long as...

Staying Motivated Without Playing Opportunities
Ask Damian Erskine

Staying Motivated Without Playing Opportunities

Q: I read your column for years, but I don’t know if you have answered this already: I have been playing bass for many years and, due to circumstances beyond my control, I cannot find people in my hometown to play (long story, small Greek city). I am taking some jazz theory lessons (via Skype), but I am stuck in...

Incorporating What We Practice
Ask Damian Erskine

Incorporating What We Practice

Q: In your opinion, how does what we work on when practicing make it’s way into our playing? I’ve been thinking about the best ways to incorporate what I shed into my “vocabulary.” A: There are as many ways to incorporate what we practice into our actual musical vocabulary as there are ways to absorb abstract life concepts into our...

Dealing with Feeling Overwhelmed
Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing with Feeling Overwhelmed

Q: How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed with everything you want to/feel you should be working on? A: I’ve written a column in the past relating to how to maximize your work flow and time management. I thought that I’d take a bit of a different approach this time, although I would encourage you to read that column as...