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Practicing Archives - Page 5

Memorization: Tips for Bass Players
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Memorization: Tips for Bass Players

I received the following question this week from a concerned double bassist: “How can I keep from having memory slips on stage?” Even experienced performers may have the occasional memory faux pas on stage. However, there are some things we can do to minimize the risk. Be prepared early. The earlier you can play something from memory in the practice...

Finding Your Voice vs. Conventional Bass Playing
Ask Damian Erskine

Finding Your Voice vs. Conventional Bass Playing

Q: I have really been obsessed with wanting my own unique voice and approach on the bass. Do you think that I’d be doing myself any harm in the long run if I avoid conventional approaches to learning (like scales, changes, learning blues lines, etc…) in an attempt to develop something new? A: That’s an interesting question, (and one that...

How to Change Up Your Practice Routine When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing
Ask Damian Erskine

How to Change Up Your Practice Routine When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing

Q: What does one do about practice when you just don’t feel like playing and can’t get into it? Do you walk away for a few days or force yourself to play? A: Everyone likely has a different approach, but I have a few things that I try to do before throwing in the towel and taking a break. But...

Preferred Scale Books for Bass Players
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Preferred Scale Books for Bass Players

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of people asking for recommendations for “good” scale books for the double bassist. This is an interesting subject, as there so many books out there! Furthermore, whether a scale book is “good” or not often depends not on their content, but rather how they are applied. This is why a good teacher and a...

Getting “Unstuck” from the Blues Scale
Ask Damian Erskine

Getting “Unstuck” from the Blues Scale

Q: How do I get myself unstuck from using the blues scale? Whenever I solo in fingerstyle or slap, I can’t help but to be stuck on the blues scale. I want to move on from it. Also, when I’m doing slap, I stick to octaves, but I want to be able to do different intervals and move around a...

The Lightbulb Moment: Man VS Metronome
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Man VS Metronome

Scales, scales, scales. Why does my teacher always make me play scales? If I have to play the C Major scale one more time, I think I’ll puke. And with a metronome? Why can’t I just learn songs and jam with my friends? Ah, the war between playing and practicing. I know this battlefield well; the metronome is always outnumbered...

Adding Some New School Playing to an Old School Bassist
Ask Damian Erskine

Adding Some New School Playing to an Old School Bassist

Q: I’ve been playing a certain way or style (as in thump, pop or blues) for as long as I can remember. Today’s bass players tend to play a lot – it seems way busier. What do you recommend for an old school bassist who wants to update to today’s styles so it sticks? A: That is an interesting question...

Turning Exercises into Real Music
Ask Damian Erskine

Turning Exercises into Real Music

Q: I’ve been studying for a while now, and I’ve been practicing my scales and modes as much as possible over changes. I’ve also been working through arpeggios, including the methods you talk about in your Improvisor’s Path book. For example, I’ll work arpeggios through tunes in different inversions and so on. However, when I go to solo freely over...

Practicing vs. Performing for Musical Growth
Ask Damian Erskine

Practicing vs. Performing for Musical Growth

Q: I’ve been playing the bass in a blues band for two years. Then we started playing rock and funk songs, and my practicing has always been based on what I hear and what I feel. I don’t really count in my head, and I’ve hardly worked my scales but my band keeps telling me that what I play is...

Increasing Concentration for Focused Practice and Performance
Ask Damian Erskine

Increasing Concentration for Focused Practice and Performance

Q: I play at a semi-professional level. I work a regular 9-to 5-job and play in the evenings. I am lucky enough that I get a few hours every evening to just shed and work on my playing and lately I’ve been doing a lot of classical etudes to work on technique and maintain my reading chops. My question is...