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Reading bass cleft

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by yor123, Mar 29, 2001.

  1. yor123


    Mar 29, 2001
    New Orleans
    I have recently began playing my bass again after about a 15 year "break". Played in high school with buddies. Top 40 stuff for local bars and parties. Put it away when I went to college. Now that I have time and money, I am getting back into it. I never did learn music theory nor how to read bass or treble cleft. I am determined to learn both now.

    Just to give me a reference point, how long does it take to get to the point of proficient sight reading? I do not expect to do this in a weekend. But if I practice one hour or so a day just reading a score, you know, "singing" the notes and counting out the rythem with a metronome, should I expect to improve within months, years?

  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    If you can actually do an hour a day, you should progress pretty quickly. You'll progress faster with a teacher to point you in the right direction and to give you a goal for each week. It would also be helpful to find a sightreading partner to read duets with. Something about having another person nearby tends to make people focus better...Bass clef isn't any harder than any other clef.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    There are a few good books on reading the bass clef that might make it easier, because they have a systematic approach. If you just start out with random scores, you might be confronted with rythmns, notation symbols and notes all over the clef, plus above and below it, that will challenge your patience.

    With a systenmatic approach that starts out as simply as whole and half notes at first or just one string in one position, you gradually build from simple to complex and will have the satisfaction of feeling that you are succeeding.

    Two books who have approaches to reading that I like are:
    Mel Bay's Complete Jazz Book, Early Gately, $19.95

    Note Reading Studies for Bass Guitar
    I don't have it handy, so I can't provide more complete info. Sorry.

  4. yor123


    Mar 29, 2001
    New Orleans
    Thanks for the replies. I'll look up the books. I'm lucky to have a library that seems to get any book I want.
  5. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Some of the things I like are fake book melodies for treble clef and Bach Solo Cello suites for bass clef. VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME is the key; the more ya reads the better ya gits. In the music store bargain bins I've gotten some trombone books (Hits of the '70's for Trombone, Trombone Country Favorites, Manilow gets 'Boned etc.) that provided some good material. If you read for an hour every day you'll be able to cut many sight reading gigs within a year I bet.
  6. BaroqueBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    *points out the Bille etudes to get started. Bach might be a little too funky in the beginning*
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    One really nice book to work on reading in position / key is the Arban's trombone method. Man, that thing will take years to get through!

    And I agree with the Cello suites. I'm working one up right now (getting past the notes, into the music) and it's a beeatch.

    Also, the Berklee series book called "Reading Contemporary Electric Bass Rhythms" or something like that......fantastic.
  8. A couple other books that I've been working on are: The Finger Funk Workbook and Sight Reading Funk Rhythms for Electric Bass, both by <a href="http://www.anthonyvitti.com">Anthony Vitti</a>. They have some great rhythms and <b>no tablature! </b> You may want to check out his website. There are some other books of interest there. ;)
  9. RyldCorborel

    RyldCorborel Guest

    Mar 12, 2001
    Once again I'm going to mention beginning books for Tuba. I know you might not think that it'll teach you to much, but going through all of my old books has increased my talent at least tenfold.
  10. justasuperchic


    Aug 28, 2005
    Hey! I saw your post on reading bass... I'll admit it's not the easiest thing to do. When I was younger (like 8 or 9) my mom and dad put me in piano lessons and I liked it cause I love music but I couldnt ever read bass so I begin to hate it. I then went on to play clarinet where I read treble and then got tired of that so I went to play guitar. I love playing guitar though I can read music I have no clue how to read the guitar. But I will tell you this now its almost 11 years later I'm starting to play my piano again and believe me its still hard. Dont give up! I have been practicing an hour every day as well and every day it seems it gets easier and easier. Go get you a childrens book and gradually increase from there. You if start with something hard it will take longer but take those baby steps and you will remember more every day. Dont give up. Music is so great and I love seeing more and more people play. I live in Beaumont, Texas and you would be surprised how many people play music. You will also be surprised how few girls play. I only know of 1 other girl that can play guitar. Wish I knew more. Well Good luck and don't give up. -Amber

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