Skip to main content

Ask Damian Erskine - Page 45

Ask Damian Erskine: Teaching (Part 2)

Ask Damian Erskine: Teaching (Part 2)

Q: I am interested in finding out how to get into teaching. For example: What do you recommend about knowledge of theory, scales, modes, etc.? A: This is kind of an interesting one… Of course, the more you know the better (as a player or teacher), but many do fall into a bit of a trap with the “but do...

Ask Damian Erskine: My Sense of Groove

Ask Damian Erskine: My Sense of Groove

I get a lot of emails asking about how to play certain grooves from some of my tunes. I have a new book coming out that deals with many of my techniques, and I explain them in the same way drummers explain drum rudiments. The book will include an mp3 CD with over 100 tracks of all of the exercises...

Playing Metronomically vs. Musically

Playing Metronomically vs. Musically

Q: I have a hard time not sounding stiff when focusing on my time. Any suggestions? A: I’ve been noticing this phenomenon lately, especially with students who are working on various cello suites. There’s a tendency to try and play the piece metronomically as opposed to musically. Remember that, while we are expected to have good time, we are also...

Get Ask Damian Erskine in your inbox.

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

Beyond the Weekend Warrior

Beyond the Weekend Warrior

Q: I wanted to know if you have any advice for players like me who still work a full time 9-5 but want to eventually move to playing professionally. My goal is to session/sideman and teach, but opportunities are harder to come by and I’m having trouble getting my foot in the door. A: Man, it’s a tough biz! A...

Ask Damian Erskine: Working with Tricky Drummers

Ask Damian Erskine: Working with Tricky Drummers

Q: I was wondering how you play with jazz drummers who seem intent on messing everyone up with syncopation. I’ve seen and played with drummers who will start a polyrhythm and repeat it for two measures to set up a downbeat, and they expect me to come in on time? I want to be able to have fun and interact...

Ask Damian Erskine: Breathing

Q: I’ve been playing for over 30 years and I’ve heard the subject of breathing as relates to playing. I’ve come to know that disciplined relaxation while playing can work wonders for stamina and affects the accuracy and musicality of one’s technique. I’ve become aware that breathing is very closely involved too, e.g. holding ones breath or even breathing too...

Ask Damian Erskine: Regaining Inspiration

Q: I’ve been playing professionally (clubs, studio, festivals) since I was about 18. I’m 43 now, and I find myself in a bit of an uninspired phase. My urge to play, practice and create is currently AWOL. Do you ever go thru periods where you and the bass are mortal enemies? if so , how do you get thru these...

Should Bassists Be Multi-Instrumentalists?

Q: I’m curious as to your opinion of secondary instruments for bassists. From a well-rounded musician perspective, I can see the value of being a multi-instrumentalist. From a gigging perspective, I would think that a bassist might be more marketable if he or she had show-ready skills on keys, or guitar, or ???… A: I definitely agree that any musician...

Ask Damian Erskine: Becoming a Well Rounded Player

Ask Damian Erskine: Becoming a Well Rounded Player

Q: Through the years I have often heard the term “well rounded player”. I have been wondering what makes a “well rounded player” in your opinion? A: Well, I would imagine that any well rounded player has more than just a few tricks up their sleeve, but is instead both versatile and flexible in their abilities and approach. This concept...

Practice Routines

Practice Routines

Q: How would you describe a good practice session and how would you break it down? A: I think I’ve probably answered this in different ways in past columns, depending on the topic. In short, I’d tailor the practice time and routine based upon your own personal attention span and needs. I have the problem of getting bored quickly when...