Skip to main content

Ask Damian Erskine - Page 43

Balancing Music School and Practicing

Balancing Music School and Practicing

Q: I am a music student at a music conservatory, and I just had a year off for practice and teaching. Now I’m back to finish the last two years of my music education, and I’ve just received my lesson plan for the next 12 months. I have four lessons a day Monday and Wednesday. I know if you want...

Insuring Your Gear

Insuring Your Gear

Q: I recently had a stolen instrument scare. It got me wondering, what do you and other working professionals do? With all your traveling, I’m sure it’s a small worry in the back of your mind. What do you use to ensure the safety of your gear? Do you have instrument specific insurance or some other option? I think a...

Get Ask Damian Erskine in your inbox.

Don’t miss an Ask Damian column. Sign up for email alerts (every Wednesday).

Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

Q: I have a question regarding the cabinet sizes. I see a lot of players lugging around some real beasts. I tend to use my DI for most medium to larger gigs and sometimes just go through the PA. I can’t see a need for a monster rig and wonder why so many bassist are breaking their backs lugging around...

Competitive Nature

Competitive Nature

Q: I am a very young bassist who plays in a band with some other young musicians. I’m having an issue with respect and competitiveness. Most of my bandmates say I’m the best musician among them. Our guitarist assumes he’s the best musician in the band, though his knowledge of theory isn’t there. How do I get him to listen...

Practice Your Scales… But Which Ones?

Practice Your Scales… But Which Ones?

Q: Scales… everyone should practice scales. But which scales? For someone that’s beginning to play or even some that has been playing for a long time, this can be a dilemma. How do you practice them? How do you implement them in your playing? A: Great question. Of course, everyone should know their: 1. Major scales 2. Minor scales …as...

Selecting a Direct Box

Selecting a Direct Box

Q: I’m looking to upgrade my setup a little… shrink down my 4×10 cab to a equal power 2×10 and maybe buy a DI box for a live PA setting and a studio recording setting. In looking through the number of DI boxes, it’s hard to see what exactly makes a pedal a “Direct Box” as I’ve seen many so-called...

The Reading Hurdle and How to Jump It

The Reading Hurdle and How to Jump It

Q: I’m working on being a more fluent sight-reader. I can read notes and their values but it takes me a while to transfer that to the instrument. Any advice on how to most effectively improve? A: Good for you for devoting time to this worthwhile endeavor! Learning to read music is much like learning to read a spoken language....

Teaching Kids

Teaching Kids

Q: How would you approach teaching children? Trying to keep it interesting while teaching technique, reading and material seems an impossible combination to me. Kids just don’t have the patience that adults do. Any advice? A: My advice? Teach adults! Seriously, this has perplexed me as well and I’ve had to become honest with myself and decided that I just...

Playing By Yourself: A Guide to Inspirational Practice Routines

Playing By Yourself: A Guide to Inspirational Practice Routines

Q: I have a hard time remaining interested when I try and practice at home by myself. I have no problem finding inspiration when playing with others, but I quickly get bored and want to stop playing when I’m home alone. Have any tips? A: I think this is a common issue. Many of us are “reactive players”. We need...

Approaches to Music Arranging

Approaches to Music Arranging

Q: How do you go about making your song arrangements? Do you have a plan from the beginning for the different instruments, or do you let the other musicians fill in the gaps based on their experience/ideas? I imagine that the distance between what you intend to create vs. what you actually create is much larger when other musicians are...