Damian Erskine is a career bassist, educator, and columnist, having played with a huge range of musicians, primarily from the jazz world. He’s an adjunct professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, and—viruses permitting—regularly travels abroad to teach. He has performed at many clinics and written for several prints and online publications, including this one, with a long-running series at No Treble coming to a close last year after over 500 installments. Erskine has recently launched the website BassEducation.com, an online school for anyone interested in beginning or developing skills as a bassist. We caught up with him for a peek into his never-more-busy world...
Damian, was the launch of Bass Education inspired by the current pandemic?
It had been in the back of my mind for well over a dozen years, but it was the pandemic and the cancelation of all my tours and the loss of all my work that finally instigated the process. I started Bass Education in March and I launched it in May. It’s definitely been a labor of love, but I’ve got a lot of great feedback from members and people seem to get a lot out of it, so I keep energized and inspired to keep it going.
You’ve kept membership prices at reasonable levels, which is great to see.
I’ve always been a big proponent of supporting the bass community. I’ve taught jazz workshops for Jazz Education Abroad, where we’d go to different countries like China and Thailand, and Lebanon. One of the things I was struck by was always how many people are hungry for music education but don’t have the means to access it. I want to keep the pricing affordable for everyone.
Online bass education is a saturated market. Did that thought ever deter you?
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