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Finding Bass Sheet Music a Nightmare

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Dr_Trundlebush, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. Dr_Trundlebush


    Apr 23, 2004

    I'm a pretty new bass player really. I've only been playing a few years and usually read notation when I play. I get small gigs now and then with my band and a continuing hassle is finding sheet music for cover songs for the bass. I search the internet and figured I'd be able to find some sheet music I could perhaps download but found it wasn't as simple as that. All I found were guitar or piano sheet music and you had to buy them. Fair enough, they aren't real expensive so I figure I'll find bass sheet music, buy it and go from there. But never did find any. Does anyone know where I might get sheet music for bass? Recently I have been asked for a gig to play Ben Harper's "Steal my kisses", "Run" by the Paul Coleman Trio and James Taylor's "You've got a friend" (I hear the first 2 songs never even had sheet music made for them period.) as well as a few others so rather then painstakingly figure out the notes and transcribe them as I usually do I was thinking I could save myself hours and hours if I could get my hands on some sheet music. If anyone can offer any help, referalls or suggestions I would be indebted. Thanks guys,

    - Dr T
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Although there is bass sheet music out there, I think you will struggle to find bass lines to particular, popular tunes. Generally, it's expected that bass players will make up or improvise their own bass line based on the chords.

    I played bass in pop/rock bands for several decades without seeing a single written bass line - but it's pretty common to be given a chord chart of say, the guitar chords and be expected to come up with something more or less instantly!!
  3. This is nothing to do at all with the thread - but nice to see you back again Bruce!!

    There are loads books of writtemn rock and pop lines - but since I've no interest I've skipped over them. I'm sure you'll find them in the BG forums?
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Unless you've got really good sight-reading chops - including applying appropriate interpretation rather than just mechanically turning the dots into sound - transcription is a really useful thing to do. It gives you a really good handle on the song so that when you come to play it you can listen and adapt to what's going around you rather than desparately trying to follow the score and wondering why it doesn't sound any good.

    Of course, it does vary from gig to gig but, generally speaking, if you're not being provided with music, it's much better to develop your ear than your eye.

  5. Dr_Trundlebush


    Apr 23, 2004
    Sorry guys I didn't reply to my own thread. I appreciate your input. I come from a background of classical guitar so I have become somewhat disabled when my sheet music is taken away from me. On the bass though it has been getting easier I just need to do more improv I think and get a better handle on the notes on the fretboard. I haven't been bothered looking for music, instead I'm just figuring it out and that process has gotten a lot faster. I'm really loving this place so far. Some great bassists here I hope to learn a lot from you guys. Thanks again,

    - Dr T

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