For all you sight readers....Question?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by tbone0813, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    How do you handle turning pages while sight reading? Some of the songs we do at Church are 7 pages long, and require multiple forward & backward page flips. I usually just create a chord chart for the song, but I feel like I am cheating myself in learning to sightread. Any advice?
  2. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I personally like just using a second music stand. :p I know that's the easy way out of it, but really, it sucks having things more than 4 pages long, especially with back and forth action going on.
  3. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I will try to get three pages on a stand and try to minimize page flips. Sometimes if not enough time to flip pages I will grab second stand if room to fit it. As for turns you have to anticipate them and feel out a point you grab the page. If the chart was done by a good copist then they will lay things out to make turns easier. But page turns are just something you practice when rehearsing the tune.

    I would say if you don't have to read any notes making your own chord chart isn't a bad idea. The the less distractions the more you can focus on the music. I would just say be sure to put measure numbers and rehearsal letters on your chord chart so in case they refer to them.
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I try to minimize the number of pages I need to read from if I can. In some situations I can re-copy the bass part to make page turning easy which results in me turning the page because I've memorized 4 bars or the bar I'm on has a whole note, repeat part, etc. In situations where you don't have the luxury of re-copying then if you can get two stands or a wide stand do that and tape the pages together so that it's one continuous wide score.
  5. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Put your music in a binder with plastic sheets, you can turn them quickly and violently, and if you leave a page slightly askew you can turn it with your headstock.
  6. E2daGGurl


    May 26, 2008
    Because I do sightread, it's not important to me - at all - to practice more sightreading. Indeed, it's the opposite - I need to get to where the song is entirely in my head, and the steps to that involve just writing out the bars (without their repetitions) with codas and notations so that I can get bunches of pages on one or two pages.

    The plastic binder method is what I use when I have to sightread - like you have to do in church - and you need to sometimes turn just before or just after where it actually goes off the page. When I used to perform in a jazz band, we photocopied, reduced slightly and taped, religiously, to get things to fit on four pages across a stand. Seeing it all there gives one much more confidence, that's for sure. The photocopy/taping method is great because it eliminates the confusion of back and forthness.

    You could get an assistant and have them turn the pages while they learn music. Some kid should love that job. :)
  7. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    A decent and somewhat affordable cheat that I've found is to go to a local used computer store (I went to the goodwill computer store) and get the cheapest laptop you can find. Mine ran me about $50 and it's just a beat up old Pentium II, but I got a spare battery on eBay for like $12 and I scan all my sheet music into PDF form, that way I can just throw the laptop up during a gig, and go to the next or previous page with a single keystroke. It's nice also because I can store a lot more music than I could if I were carrying sheets. I'm still trying to figure out a way to have some sort of foot controller to work for it.
  8. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    when I have to read piano/vocal/chordcharts that are 5 bars a page when accompanying choirs and what not I will often just boost my volume and play with just my left hand. I get a good enough tone for sight reading purposes and I keep up with the well rehearsed group and get the job done. It's not ideal but by the 3rd time through I remember when the styles and main parts of the song are. It's also taught me to analyz parts of a song (AABA etc.) on the fly so the next time through I can get more and more detailed with at least memorizing how it goes if not specific parts
  9. elpezpr


    Feb 7, 2008
    Works for me too.
  10. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Can you give us an idea of what you're playing? Does the bass line need to be followed note-for-note? Are these pop tunes or carefully crafted arrangements?

    I would avoid a 7 page score for one song. There has to be a lot of repetition in there. I'm sure you could boil it down with repeat signs.

    When I have to do a page turn; if needed, I will try to keep the left hand going while the right hand turn the page in a flash. I hammer on with my left hand to keep the notes going. That might sound bad in some contexts (and if you can't control it). I play a P-Bass with flats on it so I don't sound clanky when doing such a thing (which is rarely anyhow).

    I hope this helps. Let us know a little more about the tunes you're playing.

  11. mrman740


    Jul 2, 2006
    I wish I could read music so I could have the same problem and answers. I just happen to memorize all the songs as I hear them. It's kind of frustrating, though, when I show up to a job and someone hands me a chart.... BTW, love that laptop idea!
  12. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    The songs are modern Praise & Worship songs from all the popular publishers like Word, and Hillsong. I don't have to, and usually don't play the bass line as it is written for sake of not repeating what the pianist is already playing. I do need to keep up with the notes, and the chords are usually written above the lines so that helps, but I still need to follow along with the rhythm which requires all the page flips following the repeats, D.S.', CODA's, etc. Here is an example of what we play off of.

    Attached Files:

  13. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    That's just an example of a lazy bandleader forcing a bassist to read off a piano arrangement. I guess if its church it might be more informal, and you could definitely give the leader a bit of leeway, but in a more professional situation, I would refuse to deal with that sort of stuff. You're being forced to work harder because a bandleader didn't want to write out a proper bass chart.
  14. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Based on the sample you shared, I'd say writing out your own chord charts is just fine. Get it all on one page.
  15. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    It definitely is informal, and the congregation is small. The new worship leader took over when the last one left. The new guy is just there to lead the songs. He really doesn't have any experience in arranging. All this is fine with me. I'm there to serve. I am interested in becoming a better player in all areas, and this is one that I need a little help in.
  16. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    Read those chords!

  17. I would hit the copy machine. Next I would get a pair of scissors and some clear tape.

    The result would be some good, easy to use, lead sheets.
  18. bassbrock


    Feb 20, 2007
    Callahan, FL
    LOL I have that exact song written out as a bass chart for myself... heck with that piano only version. And yes, that specific song is repetitive.

    To answer your question, I just make charts for myself. Sometimes the rhythm guitarist wants a copy as well as the drummer. I do my best to get them on one sheet, and use the 'repeat chorus two times' type stuff to eliminate dead weight. If the verse is the exact same arrangment, sometimes I'll just put "second verse, same as first" and so on.

    That way I can focus on my supporting role for the band and not lose my place on page three of a seven page series of piano sheet music. It is distracting when the bass drops out or plays the wrong note when I turn a page :-D
  19. The binder/sheet protector idea is great, but for long charts - and those with repeats, D.S. symbols, etc - it has its own weaknesses. On the longer ones I try to manage the folds so there's as minimal movement as possible. But, sometimes, like when you're handed a real Dagwood of a chart on the gig, you just go with it. I always try to scan for navigation, and quickly memorize the last bar/first bar of any necessary page turns.
  20. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    Can you post an example of the bass chart that you use?

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