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Sheet music for practice

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by stratovani, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Would anyone know where I could download some simple sheet music so I could practice my sight reading? I don't mean anything by Bach or Beethoven, just some simple stuff in the bass clef with no accidentals. I've tried Google but I'm not finding what I need. Right now I have Notes De Musique for my phone, and I'm still doing Good Boys Do Fine Always and All Cows Eat Grass, but I need to progress away from that. My eventual goal is to transcribe Ron Blair and Howie Epstein's bass lines from the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers songs that our Petty tribute band does.
  2. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  3. dinodino


    Mar 9, 2008
    The usual suspects - Hal Leonard's Bass Methods taught me how to read. "What Duck Done" has some pretty simple bass lines with accompanying backing tracks for you to practice on.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    If you want to focus on rhythm only (which I highly reccomend)
    Cliff Engles' exercises are awsome

    Best part is: no bass is required. you can take them on the buss with you and practice them with tapping clapping or vocalizing etc...
  5. I found a great resource in my local library:


    I picked this particular one, because it has staff for vocals, guitar, and bass.
    Well, the bass notes for are supposed to be for piano, but they seem to work fine on bass guitar also.
  6. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Harwich, MA, USA
    A lot depends on what style you want to learn to read. The Carol Kaye books are good for a lot of different styles; other books focus on big band charts...You have to practice reading the styles you'll be called upon to read.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  7. alfoders


    Nov 14, 2012
    Orlando, FL

    Thanks for this suggestion, dude. I picked up a used one for cheap on Amazon.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  8. bigbri5050


    Jul 18, 2018
  9. bigbri5050


    Jul 18, 2018
    Many years ago I improved my sight reading by playing through simple Bach pieces which are often rhythmically simple and freely available on classical sheet music websites at no cost. Once the note positions are secure you can move on to work on the more complex timings. For this, I would use classical cello sheet music. Again, freely available, you can find graded cello studies that give you more complex timings. Hope this helps.
  10. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Anything will work. True the Simandl book and the Bach Cello Suites are the usual answers. And it's true that if you look at them, or listen to a recording they can sound really intimidating. But they don't need to be. Just get yourself a metronome and a nice easy tempo and give one count to every sixteenth note. The goal is to learn to ready a note and find where it is on the bass. Use them for that... you aren't going to sound better than Yo Yo Ma anyway, so whats the big deal. Take your time, learn something.
  11. bigbri5050


    Jul 18, 2018
    Perhaps I should explain my rationale for using bach pieces. When you learn with simple songs, you can guess the next note so you do not read in the same way. Sight reading demands obedience to the score no matter where it goes. You can learn to interpret and alter phrasing later on. If you are reading 'Baa Baa Black Sheep for example, your internal knowledge of the song tells you where to go so you don't read it. However, unless you have a teacher by your side, you won't know if you got a more 'random' collection of note right or not. With Bach, there is a sense of knowing if you get out of the genre. This don't sound right if you don't pay them right, even though you don't know the 'melody' by heart. This works for getting the right notes as you don't have to worry too much about timing. Once you have the notes sorted out, a cello piece will do the same thing, only for complex timings of notes.

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