Request Books with Notation only and no tabs

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by lizardking837, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. lizardking837


    Jan 28, 2009
    Hey guys,

    Does anyone have any recommendations for books that feature only standard notation for songs and no tabs? It doesn't have to be genre specific, but classic rock, blue and the like would be ideal. I'm getting back into playing and I can't read for my life.

    Thank you in advance
    ugly_bassplayer likes this.
  2. Nick von Nick

    Nick von Nick Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2014
    Hey There,

    This book is a great one for solid basslines. I've only scratched the surface, and it's a heck of a workout sometimes!

    If you just want to train on reading rhythms (I often play them on a single note), this book is the Gospel Truth:

    You can get an insane amount of mileage from both of these, so I'll leave it there.

    ~Nick von Nick

    EDIT: Updated the link to the first book!
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  3. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Putting aside the bit in bold, there seems to be very little that has no TAB. If you are planning on learning to read, then good on you, and I wish you well.
    I have a Rick Laird book called 'Improvising Jazz Bass' that is all standard notation, as is the Chuck Rainey 'Complete Bass Player' series, which I also have. I don't know if these are still in print, but both are useful, but they are not song-based, which is what you requested. I lost patience searching for something similar many years ago so now I just write out my own. There is a thread on here called 'Bass Transcriptions' that you might find useful. Paging @ChrisDev
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  4. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    The Latin Bass Book by Oscar Stagnaro. Even if you don't care about Latin jazz, take the time to go through it and you'll be a reading monster.
  5. If some James Jamerson bass lines tickle your fancy, pick up a copy of Standing in the Shadows of Motown; The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson. Not only do you get some of his most popular music, you get his life story . . .
  6. lizardking837


    Jan 28, 2009
    Thank you. I will be sure to look into those. Also, I tried following the first link you provided and it wasn't working..

    I'll be sure to look through Chris Dev's thread. And the books not being song based is fine, at this point I have to relearn both clefs so any little bit will help.

    Thank you very much. Latin Jazz is a bit of a blind spot for me, but I will certainly look into it.

    I will be sure to look into that. I thought it was a pre-requisite to know a few of his basslines if you own a P-bass :cool:
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  7. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Grab anything in bass clef to learn to read music. Classical trombone is awesome for that and available in alot of libraries
  8. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Grab the Charlie Parker book in bass clef. Come back after 30 years of woodshedding that.

    Whenever you think you can play.....grab the Omnibook.......back to earth you will
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
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  9. dadglasser


    Oct 11, 2009
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  10. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    everything from jim stinnett. good stuff and pretty much every topic covered...

    jazz bass walking
  11. 2000TA46032


    Aug 1, 2018
    +1 on latin bass book! wow.. so much material there and you can hear Oscar playing the music on the included CD. The publishing company now has the digital tracks. CD Downloads | Sher Music Co.
    Just download the Latin bass book zip.
  12. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    it's funny you bring this up.

    I'm in the process of getting a beginner book for upright students published. I had a whole list of reasons for writing what I wrote, and am looking forward to seeing people using that.


    I started thinking about the need for an electric bass book. as far as I know, there is not one well written beginners method book (start from nothing up to about 1 year proficiency) with note reading only. From what I understand, the big publishers won't put one out without tabs because they think people won't buy it then.

    I'm still in the editing process for the upright book, but I may get involved in an electric bass method down the line. Anyone else think there is a need for such a book? When I started learning my teacher just wrote out the notes one at a time on music paper, because all the books out at the time had tabs.
  13. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    Interesting you say you can't read but you want to dive right in to playing songs.

    I would recommend getting beginner music books for Bass or any Bass clef instrument and learn the basics first or maybe a couple months of music lessons from a real music teacher.

    I taught myself basic reading skills with beginner books then took music lessons from there to be able to read more advanced music.

    By doing so, reading music is second nature just like reading a book.

    Good luck!
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The old 1960s Mel Bay (Roger Filiberto) books are all notation outside of some basic fingering diagrams (not tab) which are required in a true beginner's book.

    I haven't seen all the volumes of the Chuck Rainey series, but the one volume I have is all notation.

    Carol Kaye's books are all notation but not well written as a beginner's method.

    As someone else mentioned, if reading exercise is the goal, go to the library and take out songbooks. Go to flea markets and look for hymnals. Etc.
    SteveCS likes this.
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  16. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Carol Kaye's books have no tab.
    They can be purchased directly on her site.
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  17. Nevada Pete

    Nevada Pete Guest

    Nov 22, 2016
    I just ordered "Daily Grooves For Bass". Thanks. This is what I love about Talkbass! It will be nice to have some material written for 5 string, for a change (40 grooves are for five string).
  18. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    They are probably right. With most other instruments, kids get involved from an early age at school where they will follow a curriculum linked to the education programmes run by music schools. In the UK that's typically Trinity or the Royal School of Music. They will learn to sight-read as part of those lessons...
    The RSM does not offer a graded syllabus for electric bass. Trinity does offer electric bass in it's 'rock and pop' programme, and all of the materials include TAB alongside standard notation... Go figure!

    In the absence of mandatory reading tuition at grass-roots level, publishers are probably right to have low expectation of people coming out of those programmes, even the early-departing that come back later, having sufficient reading skills to buy books without TAB.

    As a mildly interesting observation, even in it's classical programme, Trinity does not mandate any theory pre-requisites, whereas with RSM, to take an instrument exam above grade 5 the student needs to have passed the theory exam at grade 5 or higher.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  19. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I don't play well.
    It's not strictly no tab, but check out Jason Raso's book "Improvising on Electric Bass: A Chord Tone Approach". Some sections have tab, a lot of it is notation only.

    Also, I may get some flack here, but if you want just plain reading practice/improvement, you can check out Jeff Berlin's Bass Education reading packages. Each etude starts by telling you the notes, but after showing you once, you only get the notation.
    SteveCS likes this.
  20. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
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