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Ask Damian Erskine - Page 4

Making Bass Exercises More Musical (and Fun)

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...

Modal Double Stops and Broken Intervals

Modal Double Stops and Broken Intervals

This lesson is a bit of a continuation from last week. Again, we’ll be dealing with more ways to internalize the major scale and related modes across the fretboard. Specifically, we’ll be working through a nice double-stop exercise as well as using some brain twisting broken intervallic exercises.

Modal Arpeggio Patterns for Bass

Modal Arpeggio Patterns for Bass

We’re continuing our exercise series this week with a lesson on modal arpeggio patterns. Learning modes, scales, and patterns help to open the fretboard up in your mind. You learn the connections, intervals, and relationships of the notes. Some of this sounds more complicated than it is. Hang in there and we will work it all out.

Percussive Techniques for Bass

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...

Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

Q: I have been networking, going to jams, and have actually started to make some headway in my local scene. I’ve just gotten a call about doing a regional week-long tour. The money seems a little low, though, and I’m worried about setting a bad precedent. I’d like to do the tour but don’t want to establish that as my...

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Subdivision Exercises

Subdivision Exercises

For this week’s column, a reader asked about practicing rhythms. Instead of writing out a response, I decided to make this video to show you how I practice subdivision exercises.

How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

Q: Do you ever get scared? How do you deal with performance anxiety? A: I’ve written a fair amount about various types of musical situations I’ve found myself in, related anxiety, and how I’ve navigated it but this may be the first time I’ve written purely on fear. I’ve mentioned in the past that I spent quite a while living...

Do You Always Hear What You Play Before You Play It?

Do You Always Hear What You Play Before You Play It?

Q: Do you always hear what you play before you play it? I know a lot of players sing what they play, do some of them actually hear the melodies first? Or are they singing along in real time and following themselves? A: Interesting question. Everyone will have varying levels of relative/perfect pitch, as well as varying levels of fretboard...

How Do I Start Practicing Jazz?

How Do I Start Practicing Jazz?

Q: I’ve heard some jazz (usually newer stuff) that I like and I’m thinking that I should work on it. You and others also mention that it’s a good thing to practice in general, too. But it’s so confusing and most things I find online (and your columns) are usually too advanced for me. How should I start? A: The...

How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

Q: Do You have any advice for those bassists aspiring to become session musicians? Not so much how to get exposure but how to handle yourself, gear, getting lines on the first take, being solid, etc… A: I’ve always found the studio to be very satisfying. I’m one of those players who wouldn’t mind being solely a session bassist. Invisible...