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Reading Music

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by VSUBass, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. VSUBass


    May 27, 2014
    Closures are dumb, stupid & not very smart
    I can read music as long as it's simple, not too many rhythmic variations--which I can still figure out but VERY VERY slowly and to the point where I can BARELY hear the connection to the real time sound, you know, using the 1-e-and-uh 2-e-and-uh at about, say 60 BPM.

    To address this deficiency I'm considering buying "The Bassist's Link to Sight Reading - #1 Guide to Understanding Studio Charts" Is anyone familiar with this book and or have other recommendations that you think would work better for me?

  2. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
  3. I'm working my way through "Simplified Sight-Reading for Bass", and am generally pretty pleased with it. Here's the Amazon.ca link: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0793565189/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  4. Just like reading words, reading music takes repetitive practice. You say you can do it slowly, so now you just need to read something every day until you get to the point where you don’t need to think about it as much. I have no experience with the book you mentioned, but for not much dough (like 5 for $1, not much) you can usually buy old piano sheets from second hand stores. The left hand of easy piano sheets is enough to practice with.
  5. VSUBass


    May 27, 2014
    Closures are dumb, stupid & not very smart
    Thanks everyone, good ideas all around!
  6. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Good idea---but remember--- music for our instrument is written 1 octave higher than it "sounds"--- piano sheets are not.

    Also, piano left hand often is written lower than 1 ledger line below the bass staff.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Reading music is a skill. It takes time to develop, it will leave you if you don't use it. The best way to learn to read is get with any kind of group that reads music and do every thing you can to keep up with them. Even playing with one other musician is great. Don't jam over chords, read parts. Read music every day.... and don't just look at it and count, play it on your bass.

    One major problem a lot of people face is they just don't know their instrument as well as they thought. I was an excellent reader on trumpet, but went I switched to bass I sucked mightily. NOT because of the different clef, but because I simply didn't know ALL the note on every string all over the neck. If this is your problem, practice scales (in every fingering form you know) and arpeggios in all forms. This is a lot harder on bass than most people admit because we often just learn finger patterns and forms (boxes etc etc) without knowing the note. Say the name of the note out loud.

    Good luck, give yourself a lot time before you judge how you're doing. It's a process and it's worth the time.
    Howlin' Hanson and smeet like this.
  8. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    It sounds like reading rhythm is your problem. I had a drummer for an ear training teacher in college, and he broke it down into patterns derived from 16th notes. I still think in 16th notes to this day even when I'm reading. There are only so many rhythms that can be formed in a beat, and it's just a matter of where they start and end. Once you practice the surprisingly small amount of subdivisions there can be rhythmically, you'll be all set. It can take time though, and patience is very necessary.

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