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“Right Hand Drive” Innovative Technique

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Right Hand Drive CoverI’m always on the look out for new things to learn to expand my playing and allow me to express myself more independently on the instrument. So at Christmas, I was excited (I don’t say surprised, because we usually get the emails of “What do you want this year?” nowadays) to get a copy of “Right Hand Drive,” by bassist Damian Erskine. Once I got home, I opened the book, grabbed a metronome and dove in.

The basics of the method are actually pretty simple. Unlike the right hand technique that we are all used to (where the index and middle fingers hit the strings while the thumb anchors the hand on a pickup), Erskine’s method involves you using the thumb much like the index and middle fingers. You hold your hand more like a classical guitarist would, which allows the thumb to move freely. Any anchoring you do at this point can be done either by resting the arm on the bass body, or by using the pinky.

The book itself is laid out easily and simply, with rudiments designed to help you ingrain the technique into the muscle memory before adding more advanced skills on top of it. I strongly encourage you to take the time to dive into these rudiments and play them ad nauseum; it will only help you to absorb the technique. Honestly it took me a good four months of playing with the book and forcing myself to use it at gigs before I had that “Aha!” moment where it all clicked and just happened. From there, it takes more work to play in the traditional right hand style.

youtu.be/dEUP7hfRnck

A couple things I discovered while working through the book (in full disclosure, I’m still not done. I wanted to spend as much time on the basics to get them down before going to the advanced section), which have made this technique all the more valuable for me. First, the hand position allows very quick shifting from slap bass to fingerstyle to palm-muting. As a theatre musician, there are times when I have to make technique changes on the fly, and the Erskine method has made my job of quick transitions that much easier.

Secondly, you can still use a lot of other advanced right hand techniques with this method. I regularly use my ring finger on my right hand when playing fast passages, and that immediately worked its way into this technique. For someone that uses the upstrokes of their fingers, that’s very easy to incorporate as well. With the hand position, I feel you’re far more open to experiment and incorporate whatever you want into your playing. At church, I’ve been playing a lot of “hybrid slap,” where you’re using your thumb to play regularly, but then I can pop a string here and there for effect. With the traditional right hand position, that wouldn’t be possible.

“Right Hand Drive” is a new, inventive way for us to look at the role our right hand plays in the bass context. By using the thumb instead of treating it like an anchor, it unlocks a new level of expression, fluidity and motion. Combine that with the ease of switching from slap to fingerstyle to palm-muting, and for me it is an invaluable skill I’m glad I have taken the time to learn. And lastly, Damian is a stand up guy that is very easy to talk to (either by email, or find him on twitter at @damianerskine), and responsive. You can’t go wrong.

Buy “Right Hand Drive” on CD Baby
Buy “Right Hand Drive” for your iPad

Bass Videos

Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

I am sure many of you are very familiar with Mark Egan as we have been following him and his music for many years now. The last time we chatted was in 2020.

Mark teamed up with drummer Shawn Pelton and guitarist Shane Theriot to produce a new album, “Cross Currents” released on March 8th, 2024. I have been listening to this album in its entirety and it is simply superb (See my review).

Now, I am excited to hear about this project from Mark himself and share this conversation with our bass community in Bass Musician Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Mark Egan

Visit Online:

markegan.com
markegan.bandcamp.com
Apple Music
Amazon Music

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Bass Videos

Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB…

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB – Hearing protection has always been front and center on my mind because I love music so much, I cannot imagine my life if I were unable to hear.

You might remember back in 2021, we had a good look at the Minuendo Lossless Earplugs featuring adjustable protection. This system has a lot of very good features but there was always the question of how much sound attenuation to choose.

Now, the great folks at Minuendo have come up with a new version of their earplugs that has a set 17dB noise reduction. You still get a lot of the great features of the adjustables but you just don’t have to think about the specific sound level. In addition, this new version of earplugs comes at a very attractive price point.

For more information, visit online at Minuendo.com

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Bass Videos

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

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Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Bassist Adam Sullivan…

Hailing from Minnesota since 2012, By the Thousands has produced some serious Technical Metal/Deathcore music. Following their recent EP “The Decent”s release, I have the great opportunity to chat with bassist Adam Sullivan.

Join me as we hear about Adam’s musical Journey, his Influences, how he gets his sound, and the band’s plans for the future

Photo, Laura Baker

Follow On Social

IG &FB @bythethousands
YTB @BytheThousands

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Will Turpin, Celebrating Collective Souls 30th Anniversary – June 2024

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Will Turpin, Celebrating Collective Souls 30th Anniversary - June 2024

Will Turpin, Celebrating Collective Souls 30th Anniversary – June 2024…

Will Turpin - Bass Musician Magazine - June 2024

I am sure many of you will remember my chat with Will Turpin in 2018 when he released his solo album Serengeti Drivers.

We had a chance to get together again as his band, Collective Soul, is celebrating their 30th anniversary and releasing their new album “Here to Eternity”.

Join me as we get caught up on the new album and all of Collective Soul’s projects, the details about his very own Real To Reel Studios, how Will gets his sound, and all the cool plans and projects going on soon.

Here is Will Turpin!

Photos: Cover, Derek Alldritt | Video Photos, Derek Alldritt, Lee Clower, Brian Collins

Follw Online

FB@ Real2Reelstudios
FB@collectivesoul
IG @ Willturpin
IG @collectivesoul

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Bass Videos

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #3 – John Patitucci IG Video, The Summer Festival Gig, iPads on Stage

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WORKING-CLASS ZEROS With Steve Rosati and Shawn Cav

In this episode we cover John Patitucci’s IG video about saying ‘no’ to the gig, the Summer Festival gig, and iPads on stage (sure it’s awesome but is it necessary?)

These stories from the front are with real-life, day-to-day musicians who deal with work life and gigging and how they make it work out. Each month, topics may include… the kind of gigs you get, the money, dealing with less-than-ideal rooms, as well as the gear you need to get the job done… and the list goes on from there.” – Steve the Bass Guy and Shawn Cav

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