For all you sight readers....Question?

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

  1. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    2 music stands and scotch tape. Or write out your own condensed chart.
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    There are free notation programs available, if I were you I would get a hold of one of them and copy the bass part only. You'll pick up some valuable skills for creating charts and you'll make your job a little easier on the gig.
  3. Calebmundy


    Apr 5, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Amplifiers
    Wow, this is such a broad statement and way off base! Why would the band leader need to re-write a bass-specific chart if the one he's got has chord changes, and the piano part will imply all the important rhythms? Especially when you take into account how few praise and worship leaders can do this at all, not to menion writing a "good" bass part.

    Also senor OP, I don't think you said you were instructed to play the bass-clef notes as written, but I deinitely wouldn't. In the example you posted, it's clearly not a bass part.

    I would second the "left-hand-tap" method mentioned by several others, as well as looking for places where you can grab open strings with the right hand to turn the page with the left.

    I've done a ton of theater and church gigs with heavy reading, and the page-turn is something my hands and eyes learned to do after a while. It's sometimes really impressive to watch myself get through the tune. If you stick with it, I'm sure you'll get it down pretty quickly. I personally love reading long complicated tunes, because it's like solving a puzzle in time-trying to hit the right notes and hits, and nailing the style, while still pushing passion and energy through the part. I would much rather flip seven pages than re-write something.
  4. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    You can do what you feel comfortable doing, but I wouldn't read the left hand of the piano. I bet you that it's not even close to what the bass player is doing in the recording.

    This has worked for me:

    Get the lyric sheet with the chords (this is usually 1 or 2 pages). The leader hands these out at our practice session.

    Listen to the tune and write the rhythm above or next to the chord. If the chord lasts for 2 beats, write a half-note. If it lasts for 4 beats, write a whole note. Sometimes you'll find a rhythm that is a dotted quarter-note followed by an eighth-note tied to a half-note. Occasionally, you'll find a dotted half-note followed by a quarter note. If you know how long each chord lasts, you should be able to play a very basic line.

    Next, listen to the tune again for the style. Is the bass player keeping is simple and playing one or two notes in each measure? Or, it the bass player pumping eighth-notes on the root? Is the bassist playing a nice rhythmic funky groove? Usually, it's one of those: Simple, driving 8's, or groove. You write that next to the section of the lyrics.

    Usually there will be choruses that are "up" and "down" so you can build the energy. Just make those notations in the margin. The leader should tell the group when to do this. If not, listen and adjust accordingly.

    I play a lot of worship songs that I don't know. I get a handful of new ones each week. I follow this process and I'm good. Everyone is different. I don't have a lot of time to prepare because I play in two other bands.

    The only time I dig deeper is when there's a bass part that defines the song or a fill that everyone expects to hear. Then, I transcribe it note for note. If it's long and complex, I'll notate it. If it's short, I'll write out the rhythm and the pitch names in the margin and draw an arrow to the part in the lyrics where it should be played.

    Lots of info here, but I hope it helps. Let me know if you want any further clarification.

    Peace and Music,
  5. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    Here is an example of what I usually do on the multiple page songs.

    Attached Files:

  6. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I just listened to some samples of that tune on iTunes. That sounds like a really simple song with a lot of sustained bass notes. Some of the rhythms in the chorus were like I mentioned: dotted quarter-note followed by an eighth-note tied to a half-note. Lots of root notes.

    I wouldn't transcribe any of the bass parts in that song. Provide a nice solid foundation and keep it simple.

  7. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I usually never transcribe any of the bass notes. I play off the root, and lock in with the drummer adding an occasional fill or something.
  8. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Cool. I thought I was answering your question. I'm confused... That's nothing new. :p I lost track of your original post. Sorry about that.

    I don't think you're cheating yourself out of sight-reading. The type of church gig you have isn't really a sight-reading gig. You can do reading on your own.

    At your church, do they ever hand out copies from the hymnal? You know, they want to mix it up and throw in some traditional music. That's a great opportunity to sight read. You can read the bass part, noodle around with the tenor part (still bass clef), and you can even throw a little melody in there on one of the verses (treble clef reading). When I'm standing around waiting for things to get rolling, I try to play the bass and tenor parts at the same time. That's always a nice little challenge.

  9. pete honeyman

    pete honeyman

    Mar 9, 2008

    A piece of plywood/hardboard/masonite as long as about four pages will sit on any music stand and is easy to carry in the car. Otherwise, you can usually play enough with the left hand while you turn pages with the right.

    However if the Musical director expects you to play off scores instead of giving you proper parts, he shouldn't be surprised if you have to stop playing to turn pages.

  10. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    We do 2-3 hymns per week which gives me some sightreading practice. I'll probably continue doing what I have been doing in the past. It makes it easier for me to concentrate on the quality of my playing instead of stressing out when I know a page turn is coming. Besides, the census I'm seeing is that what I get from the musical diretor isn't really what the bass guitar should be playing, and I definitely don't want to be playing what the pianist is already playing anyway. Thanks.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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