Book Review: Damian Erskine "The Improviser's Path - Exploring the Bassist's Path To Mastery"

June 30, 2014

In this follow-up to his previous book, Right-Hand Drive, seasoned bassist and acclaimed educator Damian Erskine goes well beyond the conventional methods of teaching improvisation within the context of jazz harmony. By being frank about his own practice regimen and establishing relatable connections, Erskine—who’s an adjunct professor at Portland State when he’s not on the road—excels at making complex concepts graspable even to novice bassists, covering everything from scales and modes, chords on bass, and rhythm to odd meters, soloing, and phrasing. Each concept comes with plenty of in-depth background, every bit of theory is explained in practical terms, and each chapter includes charts for readers to play through. Erskine is highly articulate, very experienced, and refreshingly generous with his wisdom, and readers will quickly find that they’ll gain as much from his personal insights as they will from hitting the charts. A labor of love, and a future classic.

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