Skip to main content

Technique Archives

Dealing with “String Ring” While Slapping
Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing with “String Ring” While Slapping

Damian answers this question in this new “Ask” column this week: “I got a 6-string not too long ago and I’ve been having a hard time with string ring... Is there anything I can do about that?”

The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

In this video, we’ll take a quick look at the usefulness of one of the lesser used fingers… the plucking hand’s pinky!

Percussive Techniques for Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Percussive Techniques for Bass

For the next few weeks, we’ll be going over some more lesson oriented topics. I’m kicking off the series with a look at percussive techniques on the bass, specifically using your plucking hand. There are some easy techniques to approach as well as some more difficult ones. Work on these slowly with a metronome starting with the basic patterns before...

Talking Technique: Optimize Your Octaves with a Killer Bass Riff
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Optimize Your Octaves with a Killer Bass Riff

Here is a cool modern retro disco funk riff that will help you optimize your octaves. A cool slide in the middle inspires more ideas for creative explorations and technique shedding. The transcription will help you out, but follow the step-by-step way to break it down and make it manageable. Practicing technique the groovy way!

Talking Technique: Short-Scale Bass Shedding
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Short-Scale Bass Shedding

Short-scale basses have recently enjoyed a bit of a resurgence – be it as an alternate tool in a pro’s kit or as a main axe chosen for its sound, lightweight, easy playability and hip factor. In this episode, we’ll explore some right-hand, left-hand, and coordination drills that will help you wrap your mind around the shorter scale. I’m using...

Talking Technique: Alberti Bass
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Alberti Bass

Do you know what an “Alberti Bass” is? If you play electric bass (rather than cembalo in the 1700’s), you are excused if you don’t. That does not mean that we cannot use this keyboard figure to inspire some heavy duty technique shedding: string crossing, right-hand shedding, and coordination. In this lesson, we’ll go over these Alberti inspired figures over...

Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics

Today’s episode is all about thinking inside the box. Pentatonic box shapes only on the G and D string are easy to finger and make for quite the pizzazz when you lay them over a variety of chords. Check out the PDF to guide you along the easy shape and what colors you introduce using them with various chords.

Is Rhythmic Tapping Okay in a Band Setting?
Ask Damian Erskine

Is Rhythmic Tapping Okay in a Band Setting?

Q: When I play the bass (let’s say on a 4/4 beat), I often tap the strings on the exact beat that the snare drum makes (on the 2 and 4), and I can’t seem to stop doing that. I was wondering: Let’s say I’m playing in a band, having fun, and I start tapping… is it ok to think...

Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

The whole tone scale is a really interesting scale. Unlike our major and pentatonic scales, it’s built out of all whole steps making it sound a little bit eerie and bright. Because the scale is symmetrical, it does not sound like it has a beginning or an end. Another neat fact is that there are only two whole tone scales:...

Talking Technique: Sweet Emotion
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Sweet Emotion

There’s nothing like starting a song with a cool bass riff. “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith shines a light on the bass for sure! At the very top, we set the tone. To play this riff correctly and in time right out of the box is what it’s all about. How to approach learning something like this? Only playing the riff...