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Reading Chops and Improv

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bareass, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Hey all
    can anyone suggest a good book to build back up my reading chops and/or my imporv skills?
    i haven't read music in a while and think thats something important to keep up. as well i would like to help my self up to some improve skills, the biggest problem is i'm not sure what notes to play and find my self sticking to the blues box too much to get any sort of a solo out!.
    i was thinking like Jazz standards or something a long those lines, but i know a lot of them are just chord charts and i don't know enough theory to fill in the blanks
  2. or any improve hints.... (please no "just do it and you'll get it" suggestions... i'm already at that point!)
  3. Take a look at
    The Evolving Bassist by Rufus Reid
  4. ninjasmurf


    Mar 18, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Simplified sight-reading for bass b Josquin des Pres

    don't let the name fool you, it's a beast of a book
  5. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Reading any music consistently will help your reading chops.

    Reading Contemporary Electric Bass: Guitar Technique, Berklee press is good. This book gets you familiar with rhythm patterns.

    Trombone books are a good source of pure reading material.

    Improvisation requires background in harmony and knowledge of chords. Chords studies for Electric bass by Berklee press is a good place to start.Rich Appleman
  6. thank you all very much.
    i know that reading is the best, and only way to build up your reading chops, but the problem is a lot of the books out there are full of different scales. you get used to the pattern too easily and no longer read the notes.
    i've been thinking of picking up a cheap electric guitar and learning all the chords, but i haven't gotten around to it.
    thanks a lot, any more suggestions?
    keep em coming!
  7. funkifiedsoul

    funkifiedsoul Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    +1 an oldie but a goodie!
  8. Buogon


    Feb 2, 2009
    New Jersey
    + 1 on the trombone books, also baritone and cello books
  9. Tehrin Cole

    Tehrin Cole

    Mar 6, 2009
    Brooklyn,New York
    Endorsing Artist:Kustom Amplifiers
    The Improvisors' Bass Method(by Chuck Sher),is one that I recommend to my students.Not only does this book contain scales,arpeggios,chord progressions,....etc.,it also teaches you about modes,and positions in every key,and it gives you detailed,graphic fingerboard charts of each example,...very helpful!Trombone books are also a great source of information,as well as the"Evolving Bassist"by Rufus Reid.You can also check out tuba,baritone horn,and cello books,as well.You may also want to consider,buying some treble clef material,as well,...trumpet books are a great source of information.Don't just relegate yourself to "just jazz",if you really want to open yourself up,buy some classical material!There's an enormous wealth of musical information,out there,and being that you've already had prior experience,where reading music is concerned,I don't see you,having much of a problem getting back into it.Reading is tough,...you have to sit down,and practice it everyday.In closing,I'd like to touch on improvisation,for a moment.Learn the melody to every song that you learn,...not JUST the bass line.I say this because,if you don't know the melody,you don't know the song,....and improvising(soloing)over a piece,will always escape you!This will give you a great starting point,when it comes to hearing ideas TO play,....afterall,when you're improvising you're simply,re-creating the melody.Furthermore,your bass lines will become more melodic,in the process.These are just a few things you can do,just to get yourself started.So,good luck,have fun,and great success,in your quest!I look forward to hearing you play,someday! Peace!
  10. thanks a lot a gain. for the reading, i've done a few plays and used to have my sight reading up pretty good, so i have no problem reading a piece.
    learning the melody is a great idea... don't know why i didn't think about it. thanks a lot again everyone.. lets keep em comming, not just for me but for anyone else who comes across this thread looking for help and ideas.
    i deffinitly want to buy a couple of books, so i'm going to keep my eye out for some, i'll look on amazon tonight.
    I'm not limiting myself to jazz by any means, i play in a rock/classic rock/blues band. i just like the style, and a lot of other styles stem off of it so i think its a good place to learn, and it keeps al of my fretting fingers in good order.
  11. deckard


    Apr 4, 2003
    "Sight Reading for Bass" by Ron Velosky
  12. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    A favorite source is a series by Jamey Aebersold, featruring jazz play alongs, which include CDs and books.


    You can also buy many recommended books from this site. It's worth a good long look!

    Joel :bassist:
  13. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California

    It's really the only way to get better, at least in my experience.

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