Learning Standard Notation.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Kattabass, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. I can't read standard notation for the life of me. Quite quickly, I discovered tab, and learned it in 30 seconds. So, now I want to learn a skill I may not fully use, but I would like to know anyway. I bought the Bass Guitar for Dummies book. Does it contain enough information to adaquetly teach me how to read SR? If not, what resources on the internet can help. I'm trying to learn as much as I can self-taught.
  2. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    There are some excellent books & videos, but to help you get a grip do you know a program called Powertab? Free download.
    You see two rows: tab below, stave notation above. Click on the tab and put a number in: say 3 on the E string. A G appears in the notation. When you have a row of notes you can experiment by changing the notes to quarter notes, half notes etc & put bar-lines in, then hit play to see how close you are.
    With this and any theory book (the Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer has a nice clear theory section) you can make a good start.
    Everyone has a style of learning that suits them, but maybe this will help.
  3. Thanks, I'll try it out.
  4. chasfr


    Jan 4, 2005
    You might also try eMusictheory.com, they've got some great drills for reading standard notation. I find their "Paced Note Reading" particularly good. You can set it up for just bass clef, adjust the speed to your own level, and play with it for as long as you like, identifying notes as they slide across the staff. Give it 10 minutes a day for a couple of weeks and you'll be surprised how well you're reading.

    Good luck!
  5. orlfl


    Jul 22, 2005
    If you continue your career as a bassist, you will fully use it. You may not often be in situations where you have to sight-read, but being able to read, and put note names and keys with what you are playing and visualize what things look like on a staff will help you learn songs more quickly and remember them, find your place more quickly when you get lost, create better solos, and in general make you more available for a wider variety of gigs.

    Unlike some others, I have no problem with TAB and still use it on occassion even though I read quite well. But EVERYONE should learn to read standard notation. No matter how good you are, you will be better after learning to read. And the time saved in the long run learning and remembering songs will more than make up for the time you spent learning to read.