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Ask Damian Erskine - Page 49

Ask Damian Erskine: Light vs. a hard touch

Q: I like your style because from my point of view it seems that you’re very comfortable playing the bass (seems light touch in both hands) but the sound you get is very punchy which I associate with playing hard. So here comes the question: Do you play mostly hard or light with your right hand? And with the left...

What Does it Take to Become a Professional Musician?

Q: What is really required of one who wants to become a professional musician (IE: no day job!)? A: Wowee… This could easily be a book (actually, I think it probably is…). To start with, there are many kinds of professional musicians. Here are some basic sub-catagories off the top of my head: One who starts playing, joins a band...

Ask Damian Erskine: Melodic approach to soloing

Q: How do you approach the line between creating an interesting melody while soloing as opposed to playing chord tones and notes that harmonize better. I suppose the two blur into one really but is there a point where you worry less about the changes and more about finding an interesting melody to fit over the top and vice versa....

Ask Damian Erskine: Theory and right hand technique

Q: Just wanted to ask you how can I get used to using the harmonized major and minor scales when soloing or using them when I’m playing a fill. I use the relative major or minor of the key I’m playing in regularly but I cant seem to get the other scale degree’s to work. My second question is how...

Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing and repetition

Q: How many hours a day do you practice? Do you have any practice tips? A: Admittedly, I don’t practice as much as I’d like these days. I’m married, with dogs that need walking and a mortgage and am very busy playing bass for many different people (which requires a lot of shedding of it’s own kind. Transcribing or memorizing...

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Ask Damian Erskine: Facility, muscle memory & musicality

Q: Can you make a recommendation in regards to how to develop speed and facility? A: I can!! In my opinion, the most common mistake people make when trying to develop speed and facility has everything to do with a lack of patience! Most people start trying to play things at speeds they can’t yet control and inadvertently practice playing...

Ask Damian Erskine: Traveling with your bass

Q: I have a gig coming up that requires me to fly with my bass. I’ve never done it and don’t know if I should check it underneath or try and bring it on board! Any help? A: I’ve done it every way you can think of and each has it’s upside and downside. Here’s my breakdown of your options...

Ask Damian Erskine: Bass Line Stylings

How can I make my bass lines more interesting without feeling like I’m playing too much? I feel like when I try and do a little something to add flavor, I’m just forcing licks into the music and over-playing. A: Yeah man, there’s definitely a fine line to be drawn. There are a million ways to add flavor to the...

Ask Damian Erskine: Harmony and Composing

Q: How do you approach writing a harmony once a melody has been composed? And how do you make sure the harmonic progression works in the way you like it? I assume it’s not just trial and error! A: Admittedly, I’m a newbie when it comes to real composition and yes, it had largely been trial and error. Half of...

Ask Damian Erskine: Finger Plucking Techniques

Q: how do you decide when to use your three-finger plucking technique or only play with two fingers (old school style. huh?). I mean, do you usually use three finger’s style for basic riffs and play solos with two (addin’ thumb only for triplets, for example)? I’m trying to learn that your technique now, so I’m curious if I’m right...