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Ask Damian Erskine - Page 47

Ask Damian Erskine: Reductive Practice

Q: I have a question regarding funk slap bass techniques. Are there any certain key techniques to doing this? I listen to a lot of bass-heavy funk lines in music and want to play them, but the speed at which they are able to do that stuff is incredible. I have often wondered if I am too heavy with my...

Reading a Lead Sheet – A How To Guide

Reading a Lead Sheet – A How To Guide

Q: Do you know how to read a lead sheet? What is a good way to learn how to play with a lead sheet? A: Learning to navigate a lead sheet is one of the most useful and important things a working musician must get comfortable with. While lead sheets seem to baffle many musicians who are unfamiliar with them,...

Approaches to Soloing

Approaches to Soloing

Q: I have a question. How do you go about soloing for various styles? Quite often I get the nod to do a solo for 4/8/16 bars. I’ve tried approaching by working out what key I’m in and then by trying different modes… but it just seems that my phrasing is limited and that it never seems to have a...

Walking Bass (and Getting Away from Tab)

Walking Bass (and Getting Away from Tab)

Q: I’d like to learn to create walking bass lines. I don’t read music so tabs would be preferred. A: Learning to walk is immensely helpful in so many ways. It helps you see the inter-connectivity between chords, helps develop a good time-feel and helps you explore how the arc of a line can affect the feel of the music....

Ask Damian Erskine: How to Play with a Drummer

Q: Preston Dickens writes: “I’m a self-taught woodshedder and am about to start playing with a live band at a church. Having never played with a live drummer, what advice can you offer?” A: We come from the same school, actually! I spent my youth in the shed by myself working everything out and feeling like I had to just...

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Choosing A Bass: A How To Guide

Choosing A Bass: A How To Guide

Q: I’m thinking of buying a new bass. What do you look for when instrument shopping? A: There’s so much that can go into the consideration of a new instrument. The obvious things are: Cost, Function (is this your “do it all” bass, or for recording, or a good slap bass?) It’s good to do a lot of research to...

Ask Damian Erskine: I Can’t Hear Myself!

Q: I would love to know what you do when you can’t hear yourself on stage or at rehearsals and when you can’t change it. A: That’s just a tough situation, really. It does happen fairly frequently, though. Honestly, that’s when knowing your fretboard and having a strong relationship with your instrument comes in handy, as well as knowing the...

Relax, and Don’t Forget to Listen

Relax, and Don’t Forget to Listen

Q: What’s going through your mind when you solo? A: Ideally, nothing! I play my best when I know the song well (don’t need to think about chords, etc.) and am playing with solid players who all serve the music. In that scenario, I am simply letting the music dictate what’s going to happen and if I have to solo,...

Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging half-heartedly?

Q: Have you ever felt, for any reason, like NOT doing a gig and if so, for what reasons? A: Of course!! More important than the reasons why (there have been SO many), though are the ways in which it is possible to alter ones perspective so that it is not as dreadful. I have been lucky enough to have...

Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?

Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?

Q: How do you prepare for a gig when you have a short amount of time to learn tunes? A: For me, it is more important that I have the tune internalized and have the vibe inside. The second thing is any hits that I’ll need to be aware of. If I can feel the tune, I can use my...