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How Much Music Theory Do I Really Need To Know?
Ask Damian Erskine

How Much Music Theory Do I Really Need To Know?

A reader emailed Damian describing his struggles with music theory and asked for his thoughts on the importance of it. While there are lots of ways to look at this, Damian breaks describes some paths to take in your musical growth.

Best of 2018: The Top 10 “Ask Damian Erskine” Columns
Ask Damian Erskine

Best of 2018: The Top 10 “Ask Damian Erskine” Columns

We’ve been so grateful to Damian Erskine over the nine-plus years he’s worked with us. Every Wednesday, Damian thoughtfully answers a reader’s question – which often spans many, many topics. In celebration of his popular “Ask” column, here are his top 10 reader favorites in 2018.

How to Read a Lead Sheet
Ask Damian Erskine

How to Read a Lead Sheet

A reader asked Damian, “Can you explain how to read a lead sheet?” Damian offers up a in-depth column, complete with example charts and more.

Bass Players To Know: Krist Novoselic
Bass Players To Know

Bass Players To Know: Krist Novoselic

In this entry in the “Bass Players To Know” series, Ryan sets her sights on Krist Novoselic, who inspired her to pick up the bass in high school.

Tips for Starting to Teach Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Tips for Starting to Teach Bass

A reader was asked after a gig if he gave bass lessons. Even though he didn’t, he said “yes.” Then he sent Damian a question asking for advice on how to go about it, which is the subject of this “Ask” column.

What’s One Piece Of Advice To Become a Better Musician?
Ask Damian Erskine

What’s One Piece Of Advice To Become a Better Musician?

In this “Ask” column, Damian responds to a reader, who asks “What’s the one piece of advice you got that helped you to become a better musician?”

The Lightbulb Moment: In Sync
The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: In Sync

Nothing tears up my heart more than the moment I realize an obvious flaw or inconsistency in my playing. I mean, what have these ten-thousand-plus hours amounted to anyway? If you’re the kind of person who strives for precision—clean playing, the perfect execution of a favorite bass line, or the ability to effortlessly play a musical idea—then you probably spend...

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Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?
Ask Damian Erskine

Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

Q: I’m 58 and a semi-pro bassist (I have a day job but have gigged for the past 30+ years and consider myself a very good player). I wanted to ask your thoughts on me trying to focus on becoming a session musician. I’m semi-retired and have a lot more time on my hands but have less interest in trying...

Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music
Ask Damian Erskine

Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

Q: I am an intermediate bass player and I am a fan of several different bass players. I love the way Janek Gwizdala composes, plays chords and creates music using a looper. I can’t get enough of Gary Willis and his amazing groove as well as his fretless tone. I also love listening to guys like Sean Hurley and Jonathan...

Notes from the Bandstand: The Bass Solo
Notes From The Bandstand

Notes from the Bandstand: The Bass Solo

Bassists abound in NYC. It’s not uncommon to get on the subway to see two other fellow bassists fighting for a spot with their low-end leviathans. And, you can be sure; these bass commuters can do it all – they can groove and solo. My first two columns have been about the former – the primary background responsibilities of the...