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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Learning and transcribing

    Q: I was listening to one of your YouTube videos and thought I heard similar lines that I’ve heard Jaco play (like a run in “Havona”). Regardless, I would like to tackle some of these parts. Do you just have a great ear or did you start out with charts to learn such fast lines?... »

  • A review Donovan Stokes’s “Gadaha”

    Many things come to mind with the upright bass. I guarantee that Donovan Stokes will prove to you that this instrument is more than what you think it is. Gadaha is an acoustic solo bass album – and it’s awesome. That’s right young travelers, there is an acoustic no-overdub upright bass album that that will... »

  • Rewind: the most popular features, lessons and videos of the week

    In case you missed them, here are the most popular features from last week. Lessons Jon Burr: Melodic Construction: Extensions on Dominant Chords, Part 1 Evan Kepner: The Zen of Ear Training – Part 2 Columns and Features Phil Wain reviews Wayne Krantz – Krantz Carlock Lefebvre Damian Erskine covers Shortcuts in his latest Ask... »

  • Ray’s raving about… Evan Marien’s “Between Worlds”

    One of my current favorite bass players to hit the scene is Evan Marien. Voted one of 2009’s “Most Exciting Players” in July issue of Bass Player magazine, Evan has already accomplished a lot at age 23. A recent graduate of the Berklee College Of Music, Evan has already worked with some amazing musicians such... »

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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Shortcuts

    Q: Are there any real shortcuts to learning how to play? A: NO!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, I’ll go on… I have been frustrated by many a student who is disappointed when, at the end of a lesson, their not magically better but, rather, have a years worth of studying and homework to tackle. Not just kids, but... »

  • A review of Wayne Krantz – Krantz Carlock Lefebvre 2009

    Krantz Carlock Lefebvre is the first studio document of a trio that has been performing together since 1997, although Wayne Krantz regularly releases live recordings from his website. It’s also Krantz’s first studio album under his own name for fifteen years. Krantz is a phenomenal guitarist, and this is a record that guitarists will reference... »

  • Ray’s raving about… Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

    Secret Society is an all-star 18-piece big band led by composer Darcy James Argue. This is not the usual music you think of when you hear the words “big band”. Darcy mixes minimalism, contemporary classical, indie rock and jazz styles. The music has great complexity and beauty and I really enjoy all the musical styles... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Odd Time Signatures

    Q: How can I work on getting more comfortable playing in odd time signatures? A: Great question! The first thing I’d say is, there really are NO odd time signatures. Who made 4/4 the king of all time signatures? A time signature is only “odd” because you aren’t used to hearing it. More accurately, you... »

  • A Review of the Linda Oh Trio’s “Entry”

    Wow! This CD certainly defied my expectations. A young musician not long out of music college releases a debut record and you might expect something designed to impress with a few standards, a touch of flash, derivative playing, maybe a guest star appearance and a disparate set of styles and moods. This record is nothing... »

  • Ray’s Raving About… Kenny Werner’s “Effortless Mastery”

    Ray’s Raving About… Kenny Werner’s “Effortless Mastery”

    Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner is a book I never keep far from my reach and I recommend to EVERYONE. The subtitle to this book is “Liberating The Master Musician Within”. Although the applications of this book could benefit to any profession it is so refreshing to have something like this written by a musicians... »