Skip to main content

Ask Damian Erskine - Page 49

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 for much exploration of your...

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 i dig deeper than I...

Get Ask Damian Erskine in your inbox.

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

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 is a big mistake! Seems...

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 EPK (pics, vids, recordings, and...

Scales vs. Chords

Q: What scales are best to know for improvising and how can I go about trying to memorize them? A: Although it is important to learn your major and minor scales as well as all of the others (melodic minor, harmonic minor, blues scale, etc.), I’ve found that scales don’t really help me at all. I also find that guys...

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...