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  • Best of Ask Damian Erskine: 2018 (So Far)

    Best of Ask Damian Erskine: 2018 (So Far)

    Editors Note: Damian has been traveling extensively lately, performing and educating all over the place. So for this week’s column, we’re giving him a much-needed break. Damian’s columns are read by thousands of people every week, so we thought we’d do a recap of the most popular ones he’s published so far in 2018. Enjoy.... »

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  • Is It Okay to Multitask While Practicing?

    Is It Okay to Multitask While Practicing?

    Q: I’m hoping that you can chime in on a debate my friend and I have going. He tends to multitask while he practices (Netflix shows streaming, social media feeds running, etc.) I always give him a hard time about because I feel like when you practice, you shouldn’t be doing other things but he... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Coppersox And The Three Straps

    The Lightbulb Moment: Coppersox And The Three Straps

    There was once a young girl named Goldilocks, who frequently went gallivanting around the woods looking for porridge. Most days, she left the house simply to get away from her older brother, who happened to smell profusely and play bass for hours on end. He shook the house with his low and rumbling frequencies, making... »

  • Practicing Scales vs. Arpeggios

    Practicing Scales vs. Arpeggios

    Q: Should I spend my time in the shed practicing scales or arpeggios? Why one over the other? A: Ultimately, you want to be familiar with everything relating to the music you want to play and your instrument, but it’s good to prioritize. When trying to prioritize in the shed, it’s important to understand why... »

  • Shaping A Jam Session From The Bass

    Shaping A Jam Session From The Bass

    Q: I go to a few jam sessions in my city, which have given me great times and contacts. For the most part, I’ve been able to get over most of the pre-jam jitters and adopt more of a “whatever happens, happens” approach to sessions. But I have encountered one stumbling block related to bassist... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Bernard Edwards

    Bass Players To Know: Bernard Edwards

    I’d like to title this column: “Better Late Than Never.” You’ve heard his bass lines at weddings, on the radio, at the supermarket, and possibly while waiting on the phone for the next available representative. His grooves defined the funk and disco era with their syncopated and infectious hooks, in-your-face tone, and get your booty... »

  • How To Play Hemiola Rhythms

    How To Play Hemiola Rhythms

    Q: I’ve been playing around with hemiola rhythms and, no matter how much I try to “feel” them. I can’t. Help? A: I assume that you’re talking about rhythmic figures that repeat in a cycle and cross the barline (no obvious downbeats until the cycle has repeated enough times to bring it back to starting... »

  • Writing Songs with The Bass

    Writing Songs with The Bass

    Q: I have a battle going on in my writing and wondered if you had words of wisdom for any that share this with me. I find that I can almost always be a “groove generator” and respond quickly to a drummer’s groove or drum loop – within a style, I am comfortable – with... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Three’s Accompany

    The Lightbulb Moment: Three’s Accompany

    When it comes to accompanying a singer or soloist, there’s nothing like the power of three. The rock trio. The jazz trio. The trio of cheeses provided in the green room. It’s the perfect way to get the bases covered (no pun intended). While there are various forms of trio instrumentation (keys, bass, drums; guitar,... »

  • Concentrating on the Gig

    Concentrating on the Gig

    Q: I have a question about… mindset, I guess. I feel like I make a lot of unnecessary mistakes during gigs. I mean that it’s not a technical deficiency, and it’s not that I don’t know what needs to happen but I just seem to goof it up. Kind of a lot. Any advice? A:... »