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books for sight reading

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cman500, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. cman500


    Aug 26, 2007
    what are some good books to improve sight reading?
  2. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Charlie Parker Omnibook in bass clef. Chord Studies for Electric Bass by Rich Appleman and Joe Viola, Berklee Press.

    I've sworn by these 2 books for years.
  3. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Harwich, MA, USA
    Exercises and Etudes for the Jazz Instrumentalist by JJ Johnson -- Hal Leonard
    Chesky: Contemporary Jazz/Rock Rhythms -- (intermediate and advanced) Colin Music
    Dance Band Reading and Interpretation by Alan Raph (Sam Fox Publishing) -- excellent for big band rhythms and articulation
    Sight Reading Funk Rhythms for Electric Bass -- Anthony Vitti
    Essential Sight-REading Studies for Electric Bass David MOtto (three volumes)

    See www.bassbooks.com for the last two -- I just got them.
  4. +1 on the Charlie Parker Omnibook

    The Carol Kaye books cover sightreading nicely.

    Check out some cello, bassoon, double bass, and trombone music. It's in bass clef & it is more than enough to give you years worth of reading material.

    Here are some of my favorites:
    Bach Cello Suites
    Simandl Book (Double bass)
    Double bass etude books (Zimmerman, etc.)
    Transcribed bass works (Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten, etc.)
    Standing in the Shadows of Motown (James Jamerson work)

    Hope this helps!

  5. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Quarters..... Any transcription of famous jazz walkers.

    Eighths...... Stagnaro's Latin bass book.

    Sixteenths......A.Vitti's Sight reading Funk Rhythms

    Swing Eighths/Jazz phrasing.....Stinnetts Paul Chambers book.

  6. jweiss

    jweiss Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    Park City, Utah
  7. if you check your local used book stores you may find old beat up copies of guitar mags w/bass lines.....as long as the transcriptions are there and the price is cheap why not.you really can find tons of good stuff if you look and it is way better than e pay where used back issues often are pricier than new
  8. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I will add Jim Stinnett's "Reading in Bass Clef" and "Reading Bass Parts" vol I, II, and III, and also Rich Appleman's "Reading Contemporary Electric Bass" and "Chord Studies for Electric Bass" to the above mentioned books.
  9. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    “Sight Reading” is really not possible. All reading is based on the ability to recognize previously identified symbols. You only become better at reading (sight reading) by being quicker at recognizing the elements of music. Now when I say, “recognizing,” I don’t mean with your eyes. I mean with your hands and ears. If all we had to do was look at music and not produce a sound then cool, just read. But playing written music is an entire different process.

    Because we read the written word with our eyes, we often think this is the only task in reading music. Not true. It is virtually impossible for us to remember when we ourselves did not recognize the alphabet letter, A. We studied the alphabet, spelling, vocabulary, composition rules, etc. The speaking part is easy because we have been doing this since birth. The writing and reading of a language is far more difficult. The opposite is true of music. Visually studying music is the easy part. Execution of a pre determined written part is challenging. Imagine trying to sight-read the Japanese language. For myself, it would take years of studying the characters to even distinguish them. Then of course I would need to know how to pronounce the words.

    A good sight-reader of music is someone who not only recognizes the pitches (the easy part) and the rhythms (fairly easy) with their eyes and brains, but who has also practiced the physical execution of the elements to the point of mastery. You must isolate and practice the elements that will be used when reading music. Just like a good writer and reader of written language needs to practice the pronunciation to actually speak, it is not enough to see and recognize written music to be able to perform the music. This false assumption would be like me saying, “Sure, I recognize this is a poem written in the French language” and then assuming I could read it aloud.

    While all of the above mentioned books and sheet music are totally cool, you will benefit very little by attempting to sight-read them. Bach is beautiful music but far too difficult to use when practice reading, unless you are already a very good reader. The Omni book is full of some of the most difficult bebop every notated and will not offer you the opportunity to practice the fundamentals you need. This book is not intended for reading practice. While transcribed bass works by Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten, etc., look really impressive and makes us feel cool because we have the hip **** on or music stand, this written music also is far too advanced for most folks to simply read.

    I do not want to rain on anyone’s parade, but if you want to become a better reader you need to accept where you are and acquire some music that will allow you to practice the basics. I know, the level of music you need to practice will not sound so hip but you cannot escape the fact that you must learn to walk before you can run. Mastery in performance of quarter-notes, eighth-notes, and diatonic pitches in a major scale, are but a few of the basics that are required before you move on. Again, I must repeat, recognition is not enough. Practice to the point of creating muscle memory is necessary for you to begin to sight-read.
    Bass Momma likes this.
  10. Lon86


    Jan 21, 2008
    Venice, CA
    Bass nerd sighted...

    If you can't do it...teach it!
  11. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    I see plenty of recommended books that dwell on the basics of sight reading, whats wrong with suggesting a few books that are a little more advanced? Once you've mastered those it's good to have some new challenges to tackle. You know what I mean?
  12. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    To learn to sightread there are lots of books and approaches, but key is once you have the basics down is to be reading everyday and preferably music you haven't seen before or haven't seen for a long time. So get as much music as you can anything bass clef like trombone, lower staff of piano, anything. I've had teachers just take a piece of music and put it upside down on the stand and say read it. Start getting good at sightreading bass clef start working on treble clef. Sightreading is one of those skills you just have to do it and do it everyday. Even carry some music with you and somewhere you have to kill some time pull out the music, tap your foot and tap or sing the rhythms of the music.

    Learning to sightread is more about training your eyes to SEE and read music the way you read words. Most words you see and instantly know and read, others you subconsciously have a way to break the word down and figure it out instantly. Music is same, but you learn to spot rhythmic words and apply melodic fragments of a scale, or intervals, or spot chords. All about seeing and recognizing.
  13. brusinow


    Dec 15, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Sheesh... no wonder great teachers like Jim rarely come around here anymore...

    It's one thing to disagree with someone on here (although for the record, Jim can DO just as well as he can teach) but it boggles my mind how the anonymity of the online world gives some people a free pass to be rude and disrespectful. :meh:
    Bass Momma likes this.
  14. Scot


    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
  15. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    +1 rhythm is huge! Clap away, its fun.

    If you feel like getting deeper, sing them with duration or play one note on the bass,with duration. It's important.

  16. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Well, fine. Thanks for that "wisdom."

    In fact, I am a teacher and a gigging bassist. I can assure you that comments like yours are what make people who can play and teach want to ignore the "General Instruction Forum."

    Oh wait, is this the General Instruction Forum?
    Yeah, it is. Perhaps good bassists who teach MIGHT visit. MIGHT.

    Excuse me for being angry, but the vast majority of professional bassists (all musicians, in fact) also teach. That you don't know that SUGGESTS you are no pro. SUGGESTS.

    I have a few manners left, even after a tough day of teaching, so I will not tell you what I really think of your comment about James S. :rollno:

    PS. Suggested reading:
    http://www.nhbassfest.com/artists/index.html Click on the bio link for Jim Stinnett.
  18. i for one hope that the pro teachers dont run off in disgust.i would love to hear any wisdom you may wish to dispense especially the free kind as cash is a tad low these days...i really would like to find sight reading material as well as some help with stuff that goes beyond the primers stage ie, triplets inside triplets ,quints etc.i guess what might be called intermediate to advanced,to figure out how to count that stuff out properly.....the hard part about trying to sight down a victor wooten line is that i aint victor wooten...ive got lots of gp and gftpm mags but they arent really meant as reference material......you can either play them or you cant and i suspect a lot of guys plateau out then give up frustrated
  19. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    What a drummer told me once about tuples is to find a word with the same number of syllables as the beats in the tuple you're working on. Each syllable is your beat, since we tend to say the syllables in words evenly you get a way to hear, feel the tuple.

    Or you could use the syllables from Indian music to create a pseudo word with the appropriate pulses.


    1 Ta
    2 Ta Ki (pronounced: Tuh Kee)
    3 Ta Ki Ta
    4 Ta Ka Di Mi (pronounced Tuh Kah Dee Mee)
    5 Ta Ki Ta Ki Ta
    6 Ta Ka Di Mi Ta Ka
    7 Ta Ka Di Mi Ta Ki Ta
    8 Ta Ki Ta Ta Ki Ta Ta Ki
    9 Ta Ka Di Mi Ta Ki Ta Ki Ta
  20. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    Wow, great this is something I'm very interested in and know the tiniest 3rd person knowledge of.

    I've considered taking a lesson from a tabla guy to really get this stuff.

    Please explain in detail.


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