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Ask Damian Erskine: Landing Endorsements
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Landing Endorsements

Q: I am in the process of getting endorsements, but I want to know what the most effective way to get it done right the first time. I was at NAMM this year and spoke to a variety of people just to meet and greet, but I didn’t ask for artist endorsements. I have an EPK (pics, vids, recordings, and...

Reviews

A Review of Jeff Berlin’s “High Standards”

If you’ve followed Jeff Berlin‘s career, you know he loves jazz and has released quite a few jazz and fusion solo albums. His latest, High Standards, is the first to feature jazz standards and consists entirely of Berlin and his trio’s spectacular take on nine well chosen tunes. The trio includes Berlin on electric bass, Richard Drexler on piano and...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practice Techniques: Add a Note

When approaching a challenging passage, one very useful technique is that of “adding a note.” Adding one note at a time is an excellent tool for improving passages technically. Many people enjoy this technique because it can usually be done at performance tempo, without slowing the passage down. When using the bow: Be sure to use the same amount of...

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Ask Damian Erskine

Scales vs. Chords

Q: What scales are best to know for improvising and how can I go about trying to memorize them? A: Although it is important to learn your major and minor scales as well as all of the others (melodic minor, harmonic minor, blues scale, etc.), I’ve found that scales don’t really help me at all. I also find that guys...

Reviews

A Review of John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension’s “To The One”

Wow! This is the record I was hoping for: John McLaughlin letting rip within a band context. To The One is a passionate sonic blast. McLaughlin, bassist Etienne Mbappe, and drummers Mark Mondesir and Gary Husband set up in one room on the studio for a live recording with keyboard added by Husband. McLaughlin is now playing with musicians who...

Columns

Because It’s There…

I took my 6-string to have the nut adjusted recently and I was talking to the guitar tech about adjusting the action to make the bass more playable around the middle to high register. He looked at me and said, “Be honest, how often to you play up there?” “All the time” I said, “I’m a solo player, I play...

The Star M Method

How To Start A Fire

As bass players, we brethren of the low end are aware of something that normal listeners, and even other musicians, take for granted. We know that a song starts and stops with us. We know that a great drummer can make or break a band in general, but once that slot is filled with a solid player he can’t really...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Reductive Practice

Q: I have a question regarding funk slap bass techniques. Are there any certain key techniques to doing this? I listen to a lot of bass-heavy funk lines in music and want to play them, but the speed at which they are able to do that stuff is incredible. I have often wondered if I am too heavy with my...

Reviews

A Review of Avery Sharpe Trio: Live

There seems to have been something of a resurgence in the jazz trio recently and Avery Sharpe Trio’s Live is another soulful piano, bass, drums recording with plenty of swinging goodness. Sharpe is familiar to most bassists as McCoy Tyner’s long-term sideman but since 2000, he has been focussing more on his own music. A remarkable player on both electric...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Improving Rhythmic Accuracy by Subdividing

Rhythmic Accuracy Last time we talked about one of the major physical components rhythm: feeling the beat internally. However, for the performer there are two components to rhythm, physical and mental. Accurate execution of musical rhythm requires the cultivation of both aspects. One important mental element needed to precisely perform rhythms is active subdivision. Subdividing Most of us understand that...