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Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Best way to Shine?

Q: When you are presented with an opportunity to play with people you look up to, what is your approach? To you try and blow everyone away? A: Great question! The first thing I would say is to be yourself! Don’t try and play like this guy or that guy you’ve seen them with, don’t try and do anything that...

Reviews

A review of “Seabrook Power Plant”

Brandon Seabrook’s Seabrook Power Plant is a brutal, take-no-prisoners record. The music sits between free jazz and Black Sabbath-influenced sounds but places the banjo firmly at the center of the music. It is quite engaging despite a forbidding exterior. For sure you will hear things in this record you have never heard before. Seabrook is the leader, a Brooklyn-based guitarist...

What's Spinning

What’s Spinning for… John Goldsby

I am doing a Mingus project in May with the WDR Big Band, so I have been checking out Mingus’s music recently. He has left such a legacy on several levels: his bass playing, his rhythm section playing, his band leading and his composing. All of those aspects of Mingus’s music are interconnected, and he really made strong contributions in...

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Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing in Your Head

Q: So as I walked around the house, my wife asked me, “What are you doing, space cadet?” I guess I had a fairly blank look on my face and was walking around the house in circles. I replied, “Playing Bass… in my head.” She then said, “huh… you should write about that for the No Treble guys!” And I...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment: The Student

Note: This is part 3 of 3 of Dr. D’s current series. See part 1 and part 2. The Student The most important ingredient needed to acquire a skill is not a good Method or a good Teacher, but rather a good Student. Even with the highest quality Method and Teacher, a poor quality Student will not achieve the objectives...

Bottoms Up: Melodies in Bass
Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up: Melodies in Bass

Hi, nice to meet all of you. I’m here to discuss melodies in the bass: bass lines as part of tunes and great melodies written by bass players, and maybe a few surprises thrown in. In this column I’ll be discussing one of the all time great bass players in history who also penned more than a few tunes that...

Ask Damian Erskine: Transcribing Tips
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Transcribing Tips

Q: out of curiosity, what do you use when transcribing? Software or pencil & paper? I’m delving into this area more and grew up with the pencil & paper way, but am becoming more intrigued by all of the software “gadgets” out there. A: A little bit of all of those things, really. Here are my tips and practices for...

A review of Seth Horan’s “Clang & Chime”
Reviews

A review of Seth Horan’s “Clang & Chime”

Clang & Chime, the latest release by American bassist/singer Seth Horan is a beautiful record, focused around finely crafted songs. Seth writes thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics; sings like he means it and uses his bass to accompany himself with chordal parts, basslines, countermelodies and percussive lines. On this record he is accompanied by Petteri Sariola on guitar and vocals on...

What's Spinning

What’s Spinning for… Rufus Reid

Editor’s note: this is the first of a new series we’re running called “What’s Spinning”. Each week, we’ll check in with bassists to see what they’re listening to and what they’re up to. We hope you enjoy! This week, Rufus Reid shares the CDs currently spinning in his player, and his take on the recordings. Initiation by Sumi Tonooka &...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Finding the balance

Q: How do you discern whether you’re playing “appropriately” or over-playing? A: This is completely subjective and depends on: style of music you’re playing bandleaders interpretation of appropriate taste other things too, but that’s a good start! For the purposes of this article, I’ll assume we’re not talking fusion or jazz here. One simple thing to keep in mind is...