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I can only read tabs?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ambra, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    See... nothing muddled. Apparently, in Italy they use Fixed Do. Now we are all on the same page.
  2. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    That has to do with solfeggio, right? Moveable Do isn't very common in Italy, that's also why I was unfamiliar with your standard notation.
  3. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    What do you call Gb? Sol-flat?

    Genuinely curious.
  4. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    Sol bemolle :D that b you see is from Italian bemolle
  5. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Banned

    Learning to read music is easier than it seems so don't fear it. It takes some work that may seem a waste of time since you'll be playing more slowly than you probably can currently play but its worth it and really doesn't take long. A little bit every day goes a long way. There are even apps where you can practice ID'ing notes. While this doesn't do anything for your fretboard knowledge, just getting the note names ground in helps and you do the fretboard work at home.

    Once you can read, another intimidating thought can be choosing the fretboard location in which to play any given note. I let that dumb thought scare be for basically decades. I've been able to read for years since I grew up playing wind instrument but I was always hesitant to get serious about bass reading due to the position issue. After a couple of months of working on sight-reading (and going right back to work out the hard parts since sight reading isn't going to efficiently help your technique/physical deficiencies) my hands are dramatically improved at basically just going where they should. It's really weird how it happens and I now understand why advanced players can't usually explain how they do what they do; it's just a matter of doing it slowly and working a few things out then it snowballs into greatness. Haha. Learning to shift is key and practicing multi-octave scales, being sure to force yourself to shift a lot, even exessively, is key for this practice time. Get comfortable shifting up the neck so your hands can learn to be comfortable finding alternative positions for any given note. I recommend Ed Fuqua's Walking Bassics for this. Not too hard, not too easy. Walking bass, as you know, is highly mobile, and will force you to consider different locations for a given note and in short time you will see identify note groupings and you hand will just shift and hit all the right notes and you'll be a good reader.
  6. JW_Manhattan

    JW_Manhattan Banned

    Feb 8, 2017

    I couldn't find a TAB version.

    Good luck!
  7. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Try Guitar Pro... best of both worlds, in terms of music notation and tabs.
    stevenA800 likes this.
  8. Hambone 70

    Hambone 70 Guest

    Sep 21, 2012
    As a trumpet player, it's still scaring me! Knowing where to find a note that can be on any (or all) of 4 or 5 strings is a challenge I'm struggling with.
    Ant Illington and Ambra like this.
  9. Kun2112


    Nov 2, 2013
    *Please ignore this next section and most of what i have said....
    Yes this is VERY confusing for someone who learned do re mi.

    Do is a note, but it only has correct meaning in that key. A, B, C, D, E, F, G can all be do if the song is in that key.

    Picking songs I'm pretty sure you have heard:
    Take Rush's Tom Sawyer. For this song "do" is E, because it is in the key of E.
    Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. For this song, "do" is A.

    I have friends who are music educators that I have asked for a good Italian "teoria della musica" book.
    I have to go to band rehearsal now, but will check in later tonight.

    Edit: I see that you use fixed-do in Italy.
    Here is a chart to help translate: Solfège - Wikipedia
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
    hrodbert696 and Ambra like this.
  10. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    That's another big problem I had, especially because I don't have a teacher to ask if I'm doing it correctly. I tried sometimes to translate tabs to E G to do re mi but I can't say I'm really able to read :rollno:
    Ant Illington likes this.
  11. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    Is this an app?
  12. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    Yeah, that's very confusing :rollno: thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
    Have fun with your band, hope we will talk later! :D
  13. Kun2112


    Nov 2, 2013
    I really thought Italy was movable do. Most of what tried to explain applies to that. That's what I get for not taking a history of music theory class in college.
    Sorry, I think I may have confused your learning a bit, but that chart will be helpful in finding resources online.
  14. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    They may have an app, but I'm referring to the computer version...
  15. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    I'm not even sure music books talk about it. At least, I had my father's book and it didn't. Moveable do is very confusing to me but I guess I just need to get used to it.
  16. Ambra


    Feb 18, 2017
    If you mean Guitar Pro Six I already know it, but I wasn't sure about buying it yet!
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  17. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Learning to read standard notation. Is useful, but probably the least useful skill set of a electric bass player. I've played countless sub gigs, and if it's not a DB pit gig, I'm not going to have to read.

    The problem with tabs is that you're learning the motor skills to play, but not developing the mental skills.

    The most important thing is learning to improvise a line within a chord progression. Then you're actually playing bass and not recalling muscle memory patterns. To do this, to need a little bit of theory knowledge and some practice.

    Listen to as much music as you can focusing on the bass lines. Eventually, you'll be able to predict the movements in the lines in songs you haven't heard. Once you can think bass, you're on your way.

    You don't have to give up on the tab. You do have to develop the motor skills as well. Playing songs that push you helps with that.
  18. Here are a couple of places you can start:
    CyberfretBass.com - Reading standard notation - Bass - Primer
  19. Kun2112


    Nov 2, 2013
    Please forget everything I said about A, E, ...
    Here we call do C.

    But there are people who learn in a way where what they call "do" could really be "sol".
    I was thinking you were like the second set of people.
  20. I read this far and now am compelled to respond without reading all of the contributions. I will probably end up duplicating another posters advice in the flow of the thread, so apologies up front.

    The thing missing from tab is the rhythmic content of standard notation. I know some do their best with tab, but I think my generalization fits. Perhaps ironically, the musician usually listens to a recording to learn the proper rhythmic pattern to play the tab, so it encourages some ear training.

    So as to your goal, OP, "to improve and train my ear so that I will be able to recognize the key or the notes", start now by charting out, as best you can, the chords of the songs you do know. Take your best guess as to major/minor, and tensions, focus on the roots first.

    Figure out the name of that root note (you can def get a chart of the notes on a bass' neck). Then you try to determine if a chord is major/minor, which brings bit of theory - what determines maj/min? And thus what is the 3rd of this chord in this song I know? So then with your ears - you play those notes on your bass and see if they match your recording. Figure out as much of the chords, bassline, and for advanced placement, all of the melodies, for songs you "already know". Do that work and you will be well on your way.

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