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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Bass Woods and Tops

    Q: With some of the more pricey models of basses out there, it’s understood that they’re made with some of the most exotic and interesting types of wood. Why do these sound different, and how do colors and densities play their roles in determining the bass’s sound? A: Primarily, the density of the wood is... »

  • Passive vs. Active Circuitry?

    Passive vs. Active Circuitry?

    Q: I’m just getting back into the bass and there’s something I’ve always been curious about: the differences (as well as the different kinds) of passive vs. active circuitry. What are the main differences between them, why are there only active and passive circuits, and what does it mean to have either in a bass?... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: A Series of Questions on Promotion and Life as a Musician

    Ask Damian Erskine: A Series of Questions on Promotion and Life as a Musician

    I was recently emailed a list of questions by a student working on their dissertation. I enjoyed the dialogue and thought they might be useful to the general public as well. With his permission, I’m going to make this weeks post our quick Q&A. 1. In your experience what has been the most effective way... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Chord Voicings

    Q: Can you help me get away from the standard root position chords that I already know? A: Hopefully, yes! The following will presume an intermediate level of understanding of chords and basic theory. But, if you’re working on this stuff, you’ve probably already got at least enough of a grip on it to follow... »

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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Saying Less With More

    Q: I’ve recently found myself really inspired by guys who play a lot less notes and leave a lot more space in the music, in particular Charlie Haden. I was wondering how you would approach playing less/leaving more space yet still creating a bass line that is interesting, enjoyable and challenging to play? I was... »

  • Speaking in Longer Sentences

    Q: How should I go about developing longer solo ideas? In my solos I’m having trouble playing fast lines for more than a couple bars or so. I feel like I can really let the conversation flow by using lots of long notes broken up by short (maybe 4-ish bars at most), quick “chopsy” phrases.... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: More Melody for the Average Joe?

    Q: Any tips on becoming a more melodic player? I think there are a bunch of guys like me: “Average Joe’s” playing in a cover band setting where the chord changes are basic and we hit a brick wall after our triad or major scale/pentonic patterns run out. A: If your playing opportunities don’t allow... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Your Own Voice

    Q: I’m trying to grow, but its like I’ve hit the wall. I’m trying to play like a bass player is slipping away from me. I try to play for everyone, but it’s hard to find my own “voice” in the song. I find myself trying to play stuff where it doesn’t fit. How do... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Following Up On Patterns

    Q: I’ve almost gotten through all three videos, really good stuff in them. I really like the concept of knowing patterns/visualizations to have handy when your soloing, like your ascending 4ths, alternating major/minor, and alternating 6th/7th fingerings. I think I got away from having a set of licks/patterns when improvising, which I can see now... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Landing Endorsements

    Ask Damian Erskine: Landing Endorsements

    Q: I am in the process of getting endorsements, but I want to know what the most effective way to get it done right the first time. I was at NAMM this year and spoke to a variety of people just to meet and greet, but I didn’t ask for artist endorsements. I have an... »