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Columns: How Tos, Advice & Lessons for Bass Players

Choosing A Bass: A How To Guide
Ask Damian Erskine

Choosing A Bass: A How To Guide

Q: I’m thinking of buying a new bass. What do you look for when instrument shopping? A: There’s so much that can go into the consideration of a new instrument. The obvious things are: Cost, Function (is this your “do it all” bass, or for recording, or a good slap bass?) It’s good to do a lot of research to...

Reviews

A Review of Zander Zon’s “Sonorous”

Sonorous indeed! Zander Zon is the pseudonym of a young London based solo bassist who has built a massive following for himself on Youtube. There has been quite a buzz of excitement around this release – unsurprising as Zon has a way of sounding like no-one but himself and plays unique music in a unique way using a Zon (surprise,...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: I Can’t Hear Myself!

Q: I would love to know what you do when you can’t hear yourself on stage or at rehearsals and when you can’t change it. A: That’s just a tough situation, really. It does happen fairly frequently, though. Honestly, that’s when knowing your fretboard and having a strong relationship with your instrument comes in handy, as well as knowing the...

Reviews

A Review of Stephan Crump with the Rosetta Trio’s “Reclamation”

Inventive, deeply melodic and resonant, Reclamation is a great record featuring strong writing and arrangements, a unique string trio line-up and three unique voices. Stephan Crump is a fabulous jazz bassist and is joined by Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman on guitars in a trio which has been together for some time. This is their second album. The interplay, sensitivity...

Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

Every so often there is a passage, phrase or “lick” that we just can’t seem to execute as well as we would like, no matter how many times we practice it under tempo. This should be a sign that we need to change our approach. Slow practice an excellent and valuable tool, but it is just one of many ways...

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Relax, and Don’t Forget to Listen
Ask Damian Erskine

Relax, and Don’t Forget to Listen

Q: What’s going through your mind when you solo? A: Ideally, nothing! I play my best when I know the song well (don’t need to think about chords, etc.) and am playing with solid players who all serve the music. In that scenario, I am simply letting the music dictate what’s going to happen and if I have to solo,...

Reviews

A Review of Jean-Michel Pilc’s “True Story”

Jean-Michel Pilc has a masterful touch, and True Story is a charming record that is a great example of contemporary piano trio jazz. It’s music that is unafraid to be beautiful and, at the same time, unique and modern. Pilc joins the select group of pianists like Vijay Iyer, Bojan Z and Brad Meldhau who are making music very modern...

Reviews

Anthony Jackson & Yiorgos Fakanas: Interspirit

Anthony Jackson is a living legend of modern music. Like his hero, the great James Jamerson, millions of music lovers know his music who might not know his name. He is a true innovator, a great musical mind and a man of great integrity. He invented and pioneered the 6-string extended range bass guitar (his contrabass guitar), used a pick...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging half-heartedly?

Q: Have you ever felt, for any reason, like NOT doing a gig and if so, for what reasons? A: Of course!! More important than the reasons why (there have been SO many), though are the ways in which it is possible to alter ones perspective so that it is not as dreadful. I have been lucky enough to have...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly): Instrument Setup and Equipment

This is the final installment of Dr. D’s 3-part Slap Bass series. Check out part 1 and part 2. In addition to having its own specialized musical and technical considerations, Playing Upright Slap has its own particular instrumental setup issues. Here are some basic things slap players need to think about when customizing their bass for their specific situation. String...

What's Spinning

What’s Spinning for… Michael Manring

Michael Manring is this week’s guest columnist for “What’s Spinning” Thanks so much for your interest in the music I’ve been listening to lately. In addition to having precious little time for casual listening these days, my listening habits are a bit odd. I find that even for pieces of music I’m crazy about, if I listen once every few...

Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?

Q: How do you prepare for a gig when you have a short amount of time to learn tunes? A: For me, it is more important that I have the tune internalized and have the vibe inside. The second thing is any hits that I’ll need to be aware of. If I can feel the tune, I can use my...