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Preparing for a Tour with a New Band
Ask Damian Erskine

Preparing for a Tour with a New Band

Q: How do you prepare for a tour with a new band? A: There is much that goes into properly preparing for a tour. First, the nuts and bolts: Packing Do you have days off for doing laundry? Always try and pack as light as possible. If you can get by on four days worth of clothes (including gig wear)...

Bottoms Up: Breaking Down Paul Chambers’ “Mopp Shoe Blues”
Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up: Breaking Down Paul Chambers’ “Mopp Shoe Blues”

Today I’d like to talk about another historical great who I’m sure is familiar to many, Mr. Paul Chambers (1935-1969). I think I have a treat for some folks who already know about him: a transcription of a tune called “Mopp Shoe Blues” off the record First Bassman. “P.C.”, as he is commonly known in many circles, was born in...

Ask Damian Erskine

Getting in the Scene

Q: I have some questions regarding studio bass work and other bass-related job possibilities. Since you are a man of many groups and projects, I was hoping you could share some of your valuable insight and experience about diversifying one’s opportunities as a bass player. What is the first step, besides practice of course, to becoming a studio bassist? Are...

Custom Shop: An Interview with Pierre Erizias
Custom Shop

Custom Shop: An Interview with Pierre Erizias

While checking out all the booths at Summer NAMM last month, we ran into custom bass builder, Pierre Erizias. Based out of Montreal, Pierre wowed us with not only his basses, but his cool story of how he got started building. We were able to catch up with him recently to dig a little deeper and find out about his...

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The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Reader Questions

I constantly receive questions in my email box from aspiring bassists. Unfortunately sometimes these pile up and I can’t always get to everyone’s question in a timely manner, or even send a personal response. So for a few installments, I thought I would take some time here on The Lowdown and answer a few of the more common questions that...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Bass Tunings

Q: Is there any reason how and why the bass got tuned in fifths (B, E, A, D, G, C) as opposed to the guitar’s tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E)? A: Actually, those are fourths the bass is tuned in. If my memory serves, the bass tuning came first. Although, hundreds of years ago, it WAS tuned in...

Cables 101: Instrument vs. Speaker Cables
Columns

Cables 101: Instrument vs. Speaker Cables

Many people who have been playing for an extended period of time may be guilty of this. Many may have learned quickly, or still do it after 30 years of playing. But what happens when you use an instrument cable instead of a speaker cable to run your amp? And, furthermore, what are the differences between them? This month we’ll...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Bass Woods and Tops

Q: With some of the more pricey models of basses out there, it’s understood that they’re made with some of the most exotic and interesting types of wood. Why do these sound different, and how do colors and densities play their roles in determining the bass’s sound? A: Primarily, the density of the wood is what impacts tone. The denser...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Electric, Upright or Both?

I constantly receive questions in my email box from aspiring bassists. Unfortunately sometimes these pile up and I can’t always get to everyone’s question in a timely manner, or even send a personal response. So for the next couple of installments, I thought I would take some time here on The Lowdown and answer a few of the more common...

All in the Fingers?
Columns

All in the Fingers?

I started playing bass when I was 14. My dad bought me a used ‘no-name’ bass from the local thrift shop; a Fender Precision copy made from plywood with a big, shiny, and very noisy, single-coil pickup. Once I was experienced enough to know good tone from bad, it became apparent that this bass sounded pretty awful. Yet I successfully...