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Need help for reading notation

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by joeyang761020, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Sorry everybody, I did do a search, but just that I can't find anything about it. So here we go.

    I started playing bass by my self, which means I can't read notation. But it never seem to bother me, until this summer. I have to play for my school's Jazz band in September. Of course, I need to start over all again. I got some notation piece off the internet, and tried it at home, and it didn't work out. I knew how notation play pretty well from playing Marimba. So I need some help on the tips and tricks of reading notation.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Off to General Instruction with you!
  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Interested in that, too. I'm getting a teacher who will show me. Guy studied with Michel Donato (one of Montréal's top upright bassists).
  4. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I'm not sure I'm understanding your question correctly?

    Anyway, you may want to start at the beginning. Exercizes which involve learning the notes on the fretboard, simple rhythms, and learning the key signatures. Getting a book like "Note Reading Studies For Bass" is beneficial as it provides helpful exercizes.

    Once you advance on that and are looking at a piece of sheet music to play, I've learned some tips over the years:

    - Give yourself a minute to peruse the piece.

    - Check for the lowest note and highest note in the piece. Figure out what position you should begin to play in that will allow a smooth transition to the next position if need be. Practice playing 2-octave scales. It helps to know your scales.

    - Is that a major or minor key? If you're stuck wondering if that piece of music you're playing is in F Major or D minor, try looking (but not all the time, there's always exceptions) at the last note or chord of the piece.

    Hope this helps.
  5. mattmcnewf


    May 27, 2004
    i'm in the same situation and i'm having trouble trying to find music to read. Ie is there a site with popular songs
  6. Me too, I was supposed to play bass this year for the Jazz band but since they already have two bassists that can read notes then I'm out of a job. Well they put me on trumpet which is okay since I played that before but I really wanted to play bass.
  7. Sorry, I think I was a bit unclear on the previous post,

    what I am asking is basically how do you read the notation and play it on the fretboard straight the way.

    I've been thinking yesterday, for example, If I am playing a piece based on G major. Do I read "G" as "the first note" I suppose, and play "A" as "the second note"? Is that the right way? Or is there any better way to read notation and play it straight the way.....

    BTW, I do know how to read notation...but just not playing it on bass.

    Thanks for any Info or tips you pros can provide.......

    Joe Y.
  8. Can you play from a sheet on another instrument?

    You don't want to take it note by note, although you'll probably have to at first. Eventually you want to move on to reading a couple measures ahead of where you are. You practice until you just know where your fingers go for a particular series of notes, and how to play particular rhythms. You'll read my phrase rather than in individual notes. Just like the way you read words in groups before you say them.