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reading music

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Requiem, Apr 3, 2003.


  1. Requiem

    Requiem

    Feb 26, 2000
    Costa Rica
    Hey,

    I want to improve my music reading, just wanted to know if the method (that's how we call them in costa rica( the book I have is good enough....It is an old book by Rufus Reid, don't remember the name but I guess he only wrote one!!!

    What do you guys think....coments a new and better book by any chance



    Peace and PLEASE more peace, let's heal the mended hearts with music and sound!!!
     
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Pick up any fake book and play the melodies, the more reading you do, the better that you get at it. It's like a muscle, you gotta work it.
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The only way to get better at reading is to do it regularly. The best scenario is to work on this with a good teacher, but if you can't do that, just remember that the ultimate goal is to be able to HEAR what you're playing BEFORE you play it. To this end, it's great practice to try to sing each exercise you're about to work on before you ever touch your instrument.

    As far as a method book, you probably have an old copy of "The Evolving Bassist". It's a good DB book, and there are some good exercises in there that can be used for BG, but it wasn't written for BG, nor was it written as a reading primer as it focuses more on technique. For reading, I'd recommend Mel Bay's "Note Reading Studies For Bass". I use this with all of my beginning students, and I find it to be excellent....it covers all the fundamentals, and gets gradually more difficult as the book goes on. By the end, you're up to syncopated 16th note funk lines and the like. Highly recommended.
     
  4. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I'll second that recomendation. This book is an invaluable tool IMO in learning to or improving your sight reading skills. For reasons stated above, its very detailed and user friendly.

    BTW Durrl, without the aid of a teacher (yeah yeah, I know, I should get one) how would or more like should I know when to advance in the book? Until I nail the stuff perfectly everytime? Until I feel Ive got it down and can get through it pretty much perfect, etc??

    Im my own worst critic, and sometimes wonder if I judge myself a bit too hard. So you're advice is welcome on this.

    Sorry man, didnt mean to hijack your thread.
     
  5. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
     
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I would move on once I was able to play the excercise and move on to something more challenging and work on that until I was able to play that. You don't want to spend time practicing what you already know how to do.
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    My rule of thumb about when to move on from one exercise to the next is: when you can play it three times in a row mistake free with a metronome. But keep in mind, the more times you repeat an exercise, the less you are getting from it as a reader. You're still getting technique, and gaining a degree of discipline and precision, but by the (x)th time you play it, you're either playing by ear or you have it memorized. It's important to keep reading new material even if you can't play it yet. When I was in undergrad music school as a pianist, my teacher used to encourage me to sit in bed and try to "sighthear" music I had never played or heard before. She wanted me to do this with any piece I was to play in her studio BEFORE I ever took it to the piano. It's the best advice I've ever been given on reading.

    Also, remember to SING your exercises from the written music before you play them...this helps draw a direct connection between the way music looks on paper, and the way you think it's going to sound. You'll always play better when you have a sonic concept than when you're just pushing buttons.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm not sure what this sentence is trying to say and the rest of the post is completely unintelligible to me.

    I don't see how you can expect to help people if you are writing (or thinking) in this style. So you have been fired for being bad at something, but you go on to try to provide advice about that subject? :confused:

    I would say that you need to sort out your own problems and learn to read music and to write clearly, before acting like you are more "mature" than everybody else?
     
  9. woah bruce....bit harsh there. I am sure you have now reinforced Ninestrings hesitance to post again.


    But now to what I was going to ask, as reading is
    divided into rhythm and tones is it better to practice each separately intially or try to learn to do both at the same time.

    I was taught to learn them separately but I have found that this strategy is not the best way for me to learn other things (not music related).

    So I was wondering what people thought about these ways of learning to read based on how they learn other things.

    Simon
     
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Bruce, cutting off someone's head doens't make you taller.
     
  11. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I tend to do this once I have the line down to some degree, I'll just sing, G 2 3 4, C 2 3 4, etc. D e and ah, etc. (Depending on the notes) I do at least sing the notes everytime when I practice scales and arpeggios.


    I got fired from a job once due to poor sight reading skills, I feel that I can still give good advice on how to read. Even back then when I got fired from the gig for poor sight reading skills, I felt I could give advice on the topic. Knew how to do it to some degree, just wasnt good at it and didnt know as much about it as others did. A good analogy is sex, you dont have to be good at to know how to do it and give advice about it now do ya???? Your advice just wont be as thorough and as good as others that know more on the topic. Just my humble opinion.
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Exactly.

    The "bed" part isn't important, you can do this anywhere....It's just what she suggested as a way of making sure that I didn't cheat and run to my instrument to "check" myself on what I was hearing.
     
  13. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    A good exercise for rhythm is to tap the beat and say the rhythms.A good exercise for notes is to sing/play them as unmetered melodies,that is, without regard for rhythm.Having said that I would'nt suggest to look at rhythm and melody(or harmony for that matter)as separate things,they are all connected.If you're struggling to get the notes or the rhythms off the page then isolating the problem is required.
    Kenny Werner says something is'nt mastered until you can play it perfectly every time without effort.Too many times we play something correctly 2 or 3 times and assume we have it,but go back to the same exercise in an hour and can you still play it?If not the material has'nt been absorbed yet.
    Sight-reading practice though,2 or 3 times and move on.
     
  14. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    thanks once again for the valuable advice you've provided to me teach ;) Thanks to everyone else too for their input, its very much appriciated.
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think there's some misunderstanding there - I was just saying that I didn't see what point was being made? :confused:

    I mean the whole post part from the first couple of sentences on, is almost impossible to read, but is preceded by two sentences saying how :

    "some guy gets on here and tries to find a way to drag my post down to their immature level."

    This to me is saying that he, "ninestring" is somehow more mature than everybody else on this board. Which to me is pretty insulting to guys like you, Ed and Chris to name just a few! :mad:

    And then to follow it with something like :

    "I have been fired a number of times for not reading music well. it's the one thing that never seems to be c made easy . It is easy to read any music notation,but it is how you look at it . It is good to count ,but it is slow. "

    What on earth is that saying!? :confused:

    But the rest is even more intelligible - I was just saying that maybe a little more thought about how to express your own ideas, might be in order, before labelling everybody else as "immature"!! :mad:
     
  16. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I agree with Bruce,I had no idea what he was talking about.
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's not about this point in particular - this was just the only part I could actually understand - although I don't understand why and in what context it was mentioned - what point was being made? :confused:

    My main point was that the post starts out by calling everybody else immature and then proceeds to be incomprehensible, while purporting to be giving advice.

    My view is that you can have a lifetime's experience - but if you can't express what you're saying, to another person, then there is little point in attempting to give advice - particularly in a forum like this.
     
  18. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Why have I not been doing this? It makes perfect sense, but it's not really occurred to me to actually sighthear.

    I'm able to do it - but, I haven't really applied it to sightreading on piano.

    I suppose it's because (unfortunately) in the past, I've always tried to avoid sight reading (on piano, that is) - and just done the bare minimum necessary for exams.

    I've always primarily been an "ear" player, and I've always been able to conceptualize music in my head and play it - but *reading* it on paper and playing it always been an obstacle (notation that is, chord charts are good).

    It's odd. I know how to read music perfectly well, and write it (actually, on trumpet, I've always been a decent sight reader) - but with piano, I see music and it's like I have to start *thinking*, and applying my mind to it. Ugh. I could *hear* something (or conceptualize it in my head), that might have the two hands playing separate rhythms, and play it quite naturally - but if I try to read it, without hearing it - things go a little pear shaped.

    I imagine this is because I came from more of a self-taught background with piano, which, in many ways I'm very thankful for (I've learnt so many things, that - IME, teachers are just *not* teaching).

    I suppose what happens is, without realising, I switch off my "ear" when I have music in front of me - and replace it with the dots on the page. I guess that's what it is - I haven't developed the ability to translate notation into *music* in my head quickly!

    Rather than switching off my ear and replacing it with the dots, I think need to use the dots to *hear* the music?

    Thanks, Chris! :)
     
  19. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    ahhhhhhh I see, thanks for clearin that up.
     
  20. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Fantastic!That sums up reading skills!!