Skip to main content

Ask Damian Erskine - Page 44

Gear, Tone and Reality

Gear, Tone and Reality

Q: I know a lot of guys who spend quite a bit of time and money on their gear. In your opinion, how much of a bassist’s sound is contained in the rig that they are using versus the hands and so on? A: I’m glad you asked! I just had this conversation the other night, at different times and...

Musical Explorations: 12 Tones, 12 Beats and Franc O’Shea

Musical Explorations: 12 Tones, 12 Beats and Franc O’Shea

Q: Is there anything outside of the norm that you are working on or thinking about with your musical explorations? A: Actually, in the May issue of Bass Guitar Magazine (UK), Franc O’Shea (his columns are always enlightening and thought provoking), wrote an interesting piece on dividing the chromatic scale and giving every semi-tone a pulse in a bar of...

Grace Under Pressure

Grace Under Pressure

This week’s column is inspired by a conversation I had with someone on a recent tour. Everyone in this story will remain nameless, so as not to get anyone into trouble. The “someone” is one of the best guitarists I’ve known, and he’s a stand up guy. He’s played with just about everyone who you can imagine over the past...

Get Ask Damian Erskine in your inbox.

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

Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

Q: Every morning, when I wake up at about 5 am to practice my bass, I find that my fingers get cold and blood stops going to them. When I stop and rest, I feel the blood rushing back to them. This started happening since I upgraded my practice time from four hours to about seven hours. Have you ever...

Choosing an Amp

Choosing an Amp

Q: I have a question regarding power amps and cabinets. There are so many choices out there, and even more when you consider every amp available online (but probably won’t see in a store). How do you go about choosing an amp without just throwing a dart at the board and taking a huge financial chance? A: Unfortunately, there is...

Past the Point of Unknowing

Past the Point of Unknowing

Q: I tend to hit a wall while practicing over a tune, where I don’t know what else to play. I know you’ve explained some chordal exercises and other ways to expand one’s vocabulary, but do you have any other thoughts about what to play when you just don’t know what to play? A: Actually, yes. We all hit a...

Playing Pain Free

Playing Pain Free

Q: As someone who wants to practice for hours each day, what advice would you give to prevent injury? Do you have any warm up routines or other advice? A: You know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve never consciously warmed up when practicing, and I’ve never had any pain issues. However, I’ve noticed more recently that it takes my hands and...

Playing by Ear (and Self-Evaluation)

Playing by Ear (and Self-Evaluation)

Q: I have been playing bass for about 12 years now, and over the last 5 years, I have been practicing more and more. I’m definitely seeing progress in the areas of practive, but sometimes I feel there are holes in my playing. For example, I get very nervous when I´m in a situation where I need to play by...

Transcribing and Incorporating Bass Lines and Licks

Transcribing and Incorporating Bass Lines and Licks

Q: When I practice, I spend a lot of time transcribing different bass lines. After I’ve transcribed and learned to play it, I try to incorporate it by jamming along the record, using some of the cool ideas from original bass lines. Do you have some ideas and concepts for incorporating transcribed bass lines in your playing? A: I think...

Long Term Practice Routines

Long Term Practice Routines

Q: I have a question about long-term pratice routines. There are a lot scale/arpeggio exercises out there, but I want to know: what do you is the best method to really cover all types of scales/chord in all keys all around the instrument? Is it good to do an exercise in all keys an then go on to the next...