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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Gigging with No Preparation Time?

    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... »

  • Review: Let the Games Begin… by Derek Frank

    Review: Let the Games Begin… by Derek Frank

    Let the Games Begin… is one funky record! It sounds like it was fun to play this music and it’s definitely fun to listen to. It’s a playful, funky, groove-driven, mostly instrumental record that reminds me a little of those 70s jazz-funk records that recorded when the session superstars got together to have fun. Derek... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Recommendations for starting out?

    Q: What would you recommend to someone just starting out on bass? A: These are the things you will regret NOT doing if you stick with any instrument, so be ahead of the curve and do the work now, instead of later or never! 1. Learn to read music (not tab, but actual notation!) Read... »

  • Review: Saltman Knowles – Yesterday’s Man

    Review: Saltman Knowles – Yesterday’s Man

    Saltman Knowles are a hard swinging, straight-ahead contemporary jazz group formed by bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles. Their latest release, Yesterday’s Man on the Pacific Coast Jazz label features strong original compositions, unusual instrumentation and melodic soloing. There are memorable tunes, driving rhythms and fabulous wordless vocals. This is foot tapping music powered... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass: Starter tips and etudes

    This is part 2 of the Upright Slap Bass series by Dr. D. Check out Part 1 and Part 3. Here are a few etudes to help you improve your slapping. We will use a two octave G blues scale (6 note version) as our starting point. You can use any scale, arpeggio or lick... »

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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Setting up your bass

    Q: Would you describe what you strive for when setting up your bass? A: I actually just covered this in Bass Guitar Magazine (UK) recently. Here is my blurb from the magazine… The overall playability of my instrument is everything to me. If I have to fight the feel of my bass, I’ll have a... »

  • A review of Damian Erskine’s “So To Speak”

    Wow, I love this record! Portland, Oregon resident and No Treble contributor Damian Erskine has produced an essential record that’s a real joy to listen to. So to Speak combines odd meters, Afro-Cuban percussion, passionate playing and carefully crafted arrangements to create a fine jazz fusion record. Damian composed all the tunes and his rich,... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Good Practice?

    Q: What is considered a “good” practice session?? Say, if I take an hour to practice, what should I be working on… doing warm-ups, running through set lists of songs I know, learning new material, listening and trying to imitate players I like, etc. Just trying to be as productive as possible with my time.... »

  • A review of William Parker and Giorgio Dini’s “Temporary”

    A top notch free jazz record featuring two improvising masters, Temporary is a great example of state of the art freely improvised upright bass. Both William Parker and Giorgio Dini play expressively and passionately and both are wonderfully skilled in the use of the bow. The record consists of five free improvisations that demonstrate Parker... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly etc.) – Intro: part 1 of 3

    In my opinion, one of the more interesting things you can do on the Upright these days is Slap it! Beyond it’s hipitude, it is a legitimate technique, just like arco (bow) and pizzicato (plucked), and it can make you more employable if you master it. So let’s take a look at the technique. What... »