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Self Improvement Archives - Page 3

Do I Really Need to Go To Music School?
Ask Damian Erskine

Do I Really Need to Go To Music School?

Q:I’m a bass player from Mexico and I am currently studying in Paris and looking for some gigs. I am a little overwhelmed right now by school, which is a jazz-oriented school. I like jazz, but I feel a little forced to learn licks and that stuff. I’m not saying I’m the greatest bass player or anything, but I don’t...

Read Up! Part 2: How to Find and Work Through Books for Bass
I Wish I Knew That

Read Up! Part 2: How to Find and Work Through Books for Bass

Ah ha! You’ve reached the oh-so-exciting section of the music store where the possibilities seem endless and you get giddy just thinking about picking something up and taking it home… No, not the bass wall… the bookshelves! You feast your eyes on the “Teach Yourself Harmonica” manuals, the transcription books of Green Day guitar solos, and, everyone’s favorite, the 100...

Staying Fit During the Holiday Season
I Wish I Knew That

Staying Fit During the Holiday Season

Although the title may suggest it, this is not a gym advertisement, nor a plan for a special low-fat diet. And, while we consider our vacation time as a way to take off from work for a few days, hang with our friends and family, and eat lots of goodies, our practice schedule usually falls victim to this time of...

Read Up! How Reading at Your Leisure Can Double as Practice Time (Part 1)
I Wish I Knew That

Read Up! How Reading at Your Leisure Can Double as Practice Time (Part 1)

They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well then, here goes… I’m a bookworm. So much so that it takes an enormous amount of will power to pry myself away from a good novel before being late to work. It’s easy to get caught up in a story, to lose track of time,...

Gigging Life: Elevating Your Game with the Right Musicians (or Vice Versa)
Ask Damian Erskine

Gigging Life: Elevating Your Game with the Right Musicians (or Vice Versa)

Q: I’ve found myself in somewhat of a middle-ground with my gigs. Some gigs I have are with much better musicians than me, and I find that I actually play better with these guys. But many more of my gigs are just your everyday bar gigs. I’m noticing that I just can’t play the same way when the musicians around...

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...

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine
I Wish I Knew That

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

Confession: I played bass for years without ever practicing. I didn’t know what to focus on and certainly didn’t have enough discipline for it… I just wanted to play. I played along with records, I fooled around and discovered certain licks, and I hung out with musical buddies who would give me tips now and then; but I never actually...

Who Am I? A Thought Exercise for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Who Am I? A Thought Exercise for Bassists

I whole-heartedly believe that who we are as people translates to who we become on our instrument. I’ve been kind of meditating lately during any down moments on every aspect of my personality and how it may or may not relate to any given part of my style of playing – the good and the bad! This includes focusing on...