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Roy Vogt's Bass Ed Think Tank

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Roy Vogt, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Eminentbass


    Jun 7, 2006
    South Africa
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Amps and Sandberg Basses.
    I have immense respect for guys who do this kind of work. My only pit experience was filling in for someone one night at an amateur production of "Funny Girl", which seemed like a pretty straight forward score(until I realised everything was in cut time at fast tempos).

    I survived it by being prepared, attending all the orchestra rehearsals and observing the bassist who I was filling in for but still nothing could prepare a novice like me for that headspace and for having to watch a conductor while stressing about keeping up with the score in front of me. I was sharing the pit with people who play for our local philharmoic. It's second nature to them and I can only admire how those guys do it.
  2. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    I actually got to play West Side story in high school (we had a GREAT orchestra and choir/drama program) We were certainly not sightreading, and it was really hard, even with months of rehearsal. Great fun though, the best, most interesting music you will find in musical theatre.
  3. CDweller


    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    I've been seeing Will Lee play bass at The Bitter End the past few Mondays along with Anton Fig in support of guitarist/composer Oz Noy. Oz writes some amazingly musical stuff; quirky, melodic (rather angular...), and usually funky too. It's primarily a sight-reading gig, and Will is amazing. He nails the complex time signatures on the fly on stage, while center stage.

    Years of experience right there.
  4. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    Will Lee is a professional sight reader who has to sight read every single night on the Late show. I bet he is good at it after 20 odd years!
  5. i'd bet he was pretty good at it already when he got the gig
  6. it'd be interesting to get the charts just to see how you do,and what areas need work
  7. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    Good point! You don't even show up at an audition like that unless your reading skills are first rate.
  8. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    For guys in the classical world, it really is second nature to read the music, watch the conductor, as well as keeping half an eye on the section leader to make sure you are bowing the same, or plucking at the exact same time, all this while listening hard to yourself and the section to make sure you are playing in tune! It is all part of the gig. The key is that after years and years of reading, that skill is so strong, that the brain has room to focus on all the other stuff.
  9. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Will got his first gig and ticket to New York because he could sing and they needed a singing bass player for Dreams (a BS and T style horn band with The Brecker Brothers and Billy Cobham). Like Mark Egan, he was a bad horn player who was convinced to change instruments by Ted Crager at the University of Miami. When I was in grad school there, his Dad Bill Lee was the Dean of the School of Music. He's an example of the best of "School" plus "Street" I know.
    BTW, Oz uses Michael Rhodes here in Nashville and Michael flat KILLS the gig!
  10. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Yeah, but charts for show are highly controlled! They are signed for, markings must be light and erasable and they are returned at the end of the shows run.

    Charts for those shows are the cruel real world so far as I have experienced. (mind you I never got fired and was offered another pit gig, but the level of reading killed me!)
  11. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Again this is a skill gained in application, letting a task become second nature to allow a new task to be learned. This applies in amost things in life from walking to driving, from reading to writing. One of Jeffs ideas is that learning is done out of time and then the brain sorts it out when it has enough experience of what is trying to be achieved. We all agree on that its not a new idea, its not really out of time, or out of sync, its sorta like compartmentalisation. The brain takes its time to order the information and make sense of it and when it does it has an instant recall of it to be used when required. Again Jeff says don't look for improvement it will happen, again this is true by the very nature of how the brain works in these matters. All tasks in application become second nature...music included.

    Just keep on using music in its many forms, read a bit here and there, study play, etc and you will gain an academic knowledge, but you need to apply that knowledge to have a real understanding of it...a working knowledge, and that means playing with others.:)
  12. I've done about 20 or so theatre shows in the past few years. (A community youth theatre group, so not exactly Broadway!)

    I still don't consider myself a great sight reader. I typically get the score a week ahead of rehearsals, and get a chance to go over it. This isn't always the case, though. I've had some shows where I show up for the tech dress rehearsal and they hand me the music. It's a challenge!

    I agree with posters above. Just by repeatedly doing it, my reading gets better all the time. Being more relaxed in that position helps, too. I find I can more easily fill in the 'do for now' passages until I have a chance to sort them out later.

    The really neat thing about shows is how many different styles of music you are exposed to. From Johnny Cash to Smokey Joe's Cafe to Seussical!
  13. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Hi Cats. I thought to write in to make a request. I have an intention of using really great music books to put into The Players School of Music's library. I am gathering up what I have and am going to different sources to find great music books, that is, biographies on musicians, arranging books, composition books, CD's of all kinds (mostly jazz), sheet music DVD's that contain real music information and any literature that can be considered worthy of regard.

    If you, your schools, or any source that you know of have materials that you are not using and would like to send it to me, I would be happy to have it.
    Thanks much. Take care. Whatever you have can be sent to:

    The Players School of Music
    923 McMullen Booth Road
    Clearwater, FL 33759

    Best regards. Practice well Cats and thank you!

  14. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Duly noted, Jeff. I'll look for duplicates in my Music/CD library and send it along.
    Take care out there and don't be a stranger, please! :)
  15. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Be sure all the books you send have the tab marked out. :)
  16. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    The issue of reading for me is, I am not a professional nor will I ever be. I play in a band for fun, we aspire to do originals and mostly rock covers. I learn songs by ear and the dreaded tab to expedite the process. I hash out original parts using my ear and some theory. I have never had to read in these situations. The problem is if you take lessons from a good teacher, he communicates with standard notation so you gotta read. The same if you want to use books and dvd's, it's all communicated in notation. Much time and effort is then spent on learning to read which is just ancillary to the real lesson. For me, reading is a skill that has to be maintained, but outside of lessons never used. I learn to read at a very minimal level, then six months later, back to square one. It's not like I'm in music school or constantly taking lessons so it becomes frustrating to get the skill and loose it over and over.
  17. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota

    I see your point but usually when i dig deeper into this kind of response, and i do not direct this at you Adivin, but see if any of this applies to your situation, the point pretty much apply. Its about forming good habits, reading is about spending time doing it. Over breakfast, over lunch, on a train, on a bus are good times to read. Spend less time on the PC, gaming, watching TV, listening to music, playing music. The last couple in particular are good ones.

    In a practise routine most will spend to much time playing not practising, and two much time listening to music rather than learning to read music. Since these are skills in music it is about finding ten minutes a day to read, and that is constructive reading, actually learning new ideas. ten minutes a day is 1hr.10mins a week, thats 57hrs. a year...over two days worth of reading.

    Thats just on ten minutes a day, and the better you become the easier and faster you read, the more you learn. Every day you do not put this into practice means it just take longer to get to where you want to be...if sight reading is your aim.

    I do not see it as a skill that is lost over and over again, once you have it you just need to use it and 10mins a day will do that easy. I had a friend who put one in his bathroom and learned to read in there. :)
  18. i guess the big question is whether or not us old farts can get up to a respectable level,or is it like languages where the window is open wider at a young age,and much more difficult later
  19. rosanne


    Sep 30, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I'm also wondering about this.
  20. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    NEVER too late!;)

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