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Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

Ask Damian Erskine: Target Notes

Q: Can you suggest any exercises to help me to internalize the notion of targets when playing over chord changes and work them into my playing ? A: Definitely. Although I’ve never tried to develop an exercise to practice this concept, It’s something I’ve just always done when trying to solo… especially when I feel like I’m floundering a little...

Columns, Ray's Raving About...

Ray’s Raving About… Modal & Contemporary Patterns

As a player/teacher I have collected many books over the years, in fact I have two big bins in my garage full of various music books of all kinds. There are a hand full of books though that I find myself coming back to time and time again for reading studies, concepts and inspiration. One such book is Modal &...

Reviews

A review of John Patitucci Trio’s “Remembrance”

John Patitucci’s latest release, Remembrance, on Concord Jazz is yet another masterpiece in his extensive discography. The album is Patitucci’s seventh with Concord and his thirteenth as a leader. Remembrance features Patitucci on acoustic bass, 6-string electric bass, 6-string electric piccolo bass; Joe Lovano playing tenor saxophone and alto clarinet along with Brian Blade on drums. The trio is also...

Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

Ask Damian Erskine: Light vs. a hard touch

Q: I like your style because from my point of view it seems that you’re very comfortable playing the bass (seems light touch in both hands) but the sound you get is very punchy which I associate with playing hard. So here comes the question: Do you play mostly hard or light with your right hand? And with the left...

Columns, Ray's Raving About...

Ray’s Raving About… Twitter

This week’s rave is all about the social networking site, Twitter. For musicians “networking” has always played a big part in our lives. It helps us share information, ideas and hopefully get’s us gigs (lol). I have to say I’m really impressed with the bass community as a whole and one look at a site like Twitter shows how we...

Columns, The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Making the Switch from Electric to Upright (part 1 of 3)

This is my inaugural installment here at No Treble and I look forward to our impending dialogue. Here at the Lowdown, I will be focusing on the Upright Bass, in all its glory. Whether you are an Electric bassist looking to add the Upright to your gig bag, or a classically trained musician wanting to expand your sonic palette, this...

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Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

What Does it Take to Become a Professional Musician?

Q: What is really required of one who wants to become a professional musician (IE: no day job!)? A: Wowee… This could easily be a book (actually, I think it probably is…). To start with, there are many kinds of professional musicians. Here are some basic sub-catagories off the top of my head: One who starts playing, joins a band...

Columns, Ray's Raving About...

Ray’s raving about: Nat Janoff’s “Looking Through”, with Matthew Garrison

Matt Garrison is one of my favorite bass players… EVER. I was fortunate enough to share the bill with him at a 2001 NYC Bass Day and was blown away with his playing and became a fan for life. Matt is one of those players that has created his own unique voice on the instrument and has changed the way...

Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

Ask Damian Erskine: Melodic approach to soloing

Q: How do you approach the line between creating an interesting melody while soloing as opposed to playing chord tones and notes that harmonize better. I suppose the two blur into one really but is there a point where you worry less about the changes and more about finding an interesting melody to fit over the top and vice versa....

Reviews

Saltman Knowles: Return of the Composer

In February of 2009 Saltman Knowles released Return of the Composer on Pacific Coast Jazz records. Bassist Mark Saltman leads the group with pianist William Knowles to create unique jazz album featuring the voice as an additional instrument (using vocalese). The result is an album with interesting melodic lines, spirited rhythms and excellent musicianship building off a strong foundation. Saltman...