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Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Stay Healthy

Q: My question is about how to stay healthy. I find when I practice too much or play a particular song that has a lot of notes, my hands and wrists get sore. I know that singers warm up their voice, I usually run through some scales when I am tuning and setting up just to limber my fingers. I...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Reading Rhythms

Q: My question is pretty simple but complex at the same. What is the best or most efficient way to practice reading rhythms? A: Great question! As with many aspects of the learning process, there is no one way (or quick way) but having the proper perspective can make a world of difference. As when you read words in your...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment (Part 1 of 3: Method)

Presumably we are all searching for mastery on our instrument, and yet some people spend years playing and studying the Upright Bass and achieve very little, whereas others spend a quarter of the time and achieve a great deal. In keeping with my “getting started” theme of late, and to ensure that we fall into the latter group, it would...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Learning to Feel

Q: I was wondering how you work on improving your ‘feel’ as a bassist? I really want to improve my groove and try and keep my approach as part of the rhythm section as fresh as possible. I’m finding it really difficult to come up with a concise way of practicing this and would really appreciate any insight you can...

Career in Music AND Stability?
Ask Damian Erskine

Career in Music AND Stability?

Q: What advice can you give to a middle-aged dad with a wife and two young kids and a non-music-related day job who plays music as a hobby but always dreamed about being a jazz musician when he grew up and wants to figure out how to transition to a music career while continuing to support his family and continue...

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Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

Ask Damian Erskine: Learning How to Fish

Q: I often feel like I’m not sure what I should be working on (although I know there’s plenty). Should I just grab a lesson with someone or is there a way to motivate one’s self? A: Everyone hits this wall. (At least I hit this wall constantly!) Grabbing a lesson with someone is never a bad idea, although it...

Reviews

A review of “Palabras Malas” by Many Arms

Wild, loud and at times verging on chaos, this is not music for everyone; but I loved this record. No one else sounds like Many Arms, who follow their own path and clearly make this music because they love it – it is certainly not designed for radio formats. The band names the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Ornette Coleman, Black Flag, Bernard...

Setting Up Your Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Setting Up Your Bass

Q: Do you set up your instruments? If so, What do you strive for? A: (This article will also appear in a future issue of Bass Guitar Magazine UK in the midst of many more on the topic from other players) The overall playability of my instrument is everything to me. If I have to fight the feel of my...

Columns, The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Making the Switch from Electric to Upright (part 3 of 3)

The Left Hand Contrary to what many of us expect when we hop on over from Electric, effective and reliable left hand technique can be one of our more formidable challenges as a switcher. We will be learning a new way to use our left hand on an instrument that seems so similar to one we already know, but is...

Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing in every key?

Q: I seem to see two camps out there. “Learn/understand everything in all 12 keys” and “the symmetry of the neck can not be denied, so embrace the patterns and do not worry about learning it in all 12 keys”. Although I am not against a strong theory base or patterns, is there a middle road or another way of...