Skip to main content

Columns - Page 92

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practice Technique: Note Isolation for Improved Intonation

There are countless ways to improve our intonation, both at our instrument and away from it. Here’s one strategy, to be done at our instrument, which can help open our ears and stabilize a key center. It involves isolating and spotlighting a single pitch every time it appears. The technique works well with music of any tempo. You can isolate...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Chord Voicings

Q: Can you help me get away from the standard root position chords that I already know? A: Hopefully, yes! The following will presume an intermediate level of understanding of chords and basic theory. But, if you’re working on this stuff, you’ve probably already got at least enough of a grip on it to follow along. Give this a shot!...

Columns

Seeing Through Hearing

I’m an ear player… By that I mean I’m good at hearing something and responding intuitively to it on my bass, without necessarily knowing exactly what I’m doing. This has been both advantageous AND a disability to me. Below I’ve listed some of the pros and cons of being this kind of a player. See if you identify with any...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Saying Less With More

Q: I’ve recently found myself really inspired by guys who play a lot less notes and leave a lot more space in the music, in particular Charlie Haden. I was wondering how you would approach playing less/leaving more space yet still creating a bass line that is interesting, enjoyable and challenging to play? I was also wondering if you thought...

A Review of “The Stanley Clarke Band”
Reviews

A Review of “The Stanley Clarke Band”

In The Stanley Clarke Band, the great bassist has released a record which is the heir to the halcyon days of School Days, Stanley Clarke and Journey to Love. There are some extended, electric fusion pieces and a range of fresh sounding music. As the title hints, it’s very much a band record: Stanley’s line up features exciting young players...

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Ask Damian Erskine

Speaking in Longer Sentences

Q: How should I go about developing longer solo ideas? In my solos I’m having trouble playing fast lines for more than a couple bars or so. I feel like I can really let the conversation flow by using lots of long notes broken up by short (maybe 4-ish bars at most), quick “chopsy” phrases. When I try to keep...

Practicing for Performance
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practicing for Performance

When we are first learning a new work, we might spend many hours putting it together. We can easily spend days, weeks or even months working on small sections, phrases, passagework, navigating specific chord changes, or other musical and technical items in a piece. We do this not only to perfect individual sections and assure technical fluidity, but also in...

Reviews

Gear Review: DPA 4099B Clip Microphone for Bass

One of the ultimate struggles for a gigging double bassist is getting proper amplification without losing the sound of your instrument. Using a microphone is a great way to preserve your tone, and recently I got my hands on the DPA 4099B Clip Mic for bass to test it out. The Details The 4099 is not a new solution bassists....

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: More Melody for the Average Joe?

Q: Any tips on becoming a more melodic player? I think there are a bunch of guys like me: “Average Joe’s” playing in a cover band setting where the chord changes are basic and we hit a brick wall after our triad or major scale/pentonic patterns run out. A: If your playing opportunities don’t allow for much exploration of your...

Reviews

A Review of Contact: Five on One

Five on One, the new album by Contact, is the sound of five guys on one wavelength. There is some delightful music here rewarding an active listener with its subtle inventions and interactions. The atmosphere is mostly fairly restrained: no “passionate” show-boating, few extremes of mood, just inventive and beautiful music. You might not have heard of Contact but you...