Sight Reading Book.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cassanova, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I cant for the life of me remember the name of the method book that Durrl, Pacman, and a few others have recomended in the past. Its a sight reading one and presented by Mel Bay.

    I went out and bought one today, its presented by Mel Bay, "Note Reading Studies For Bass" by Arnold Evans. Is this the book that has been recomended to assist in learning sight reading? If its not, I plan on going out tomorrow and getting the right one. Sorry that I cant remember the name guys.
  2. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I hereby subscribe to this thread!
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Yes, and it's a damn good book.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yep, that's the one. Go through it at whatever pace is best for you, but be sure to use a metronome at all times. If you want to be sure to really get the maximum benefit out of your reading studies, remember that the whole object of reading is to (gradually) gain the ability to hear what you see. To this end, I'd recommend the following steps:

    1) With the metronome on, clap the rhythm of each new exercise before you even pick up your bass. In the beginning of this book, this will be boring because the very first exercises are in whole and half notes....but once you get past the first 10 pages or so, it gets more difficult. If you do this exercise, you'll soon discover that you are starting to hear the rhythm before you play it, which allows you to play it "by ear through your eyes".

    2) With the metronome off, name each note by its letter name at whatever speed you can (kinda like a flashcard drill). This will help you recognize all of the pitches in first position quickly if you do it often enough.

    3) With the metronome still off, try to visualize where each of the pitches you are looking at would be played on your bass in first position (1st 4 frets + open strings). I have my students recite two-digit numbers: the first designates the string number (1-4 with G being "1" and E being "4"), and the second designates the fret (1-4), with "0" being the open string. So the open G would be the number "10", the G on the E string would be "43", etc.

    4) Now with your metronome ON, try to speak the pitches and rests in rhythm. This is a lot harder than it sounds, but is a great exercise for preparing to read well.

    5) Try to sing (IN rhythm) what you think the exercise is going to sound like. This will be painful at first, but it gets better with time.

    At this point, you're ready to pick up your bass and try to play the exercise. :) Good luck.
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Chris, thanks for the advice on how to tackle the book.

    I havent picked up my bass and practiced to the book yet, Ive just been reading it over right now. Trying to familiarize myself with it. (Counting the rhythms out and basically saying/singing its note. While I use my picking fingers to tap out the rhythm.) Im going to apply what you told me to as well. Reading the notes on the ledger is actually quite easy for me to do now, its some of the more syncopated type rhythms, and notes above and below the ledger lines that are giving me a hard time. So Im thinking this book will get me through all that.

    Thanks again!!