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sight reading material

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by seb, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. seb


    Jul 1, 2004
    (first thread ever)
    i've learned to play by ear and now fully realize the importance of learning to sight read.
    the etude books i have have have served me well(30 etudes simandl, melodious trombone etudes etc)but quickly get too difficult(i think) to help with sight reading. does anyone know of books that have interesting and progressive material i could use to sight read?
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Note Reading Studies for Bass by Arnold Evans
    The Evolving Bassist by Rufus Reid
    Standing in the Shadows of Motown by Dr. Licks
    The James Brown Rhythm Sections by Dr. Licks
    Building Walking Bass Lines by Ed Friedland
    Building Jazz Bass Lines by Ron Carter
    The Essential Jaco Pastorius by Hal Leonard Publishing
    Simandl Method for String Bass Parts I and II - International Music Company New York
    Bille Nuovo Metodo per Contrabbasso Parte I and II - Ricordi

    That'll keep you busy!!! :D
  3. get some Bach cello stuf...I struggled with that at an audition the other day. :crying:
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I don't know if this is "progressive" enough for you but I think a great way to learn how to sight read is to buy a bunch of fake or Real books and learn play heads if you're into jazz. I don't think heads aren't that hard to play at slower tempos. Of course you can choose something like Confirmation or Donna Lee and you'll have a hecka time challenging yourself with that on 4 strings.

    Two birds with one stone if you ask me. Oh btw, for me it helps if you know the tune as well. Makes reading rhythms a little easier since you know when certain notes are going to come in, especially when you first start out. The problem with learning from Solo books and stuff is that if you don't know what it sounds like, there's a better chance of goofing up rhythmically or reading the note wrong.
  5. Not really a problem - in fact if you don't know what it sounds like, then it's all the better to improve your sight-reading…

    - Wil
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Huh?!? If you don't know what somethings sounds like, wouldn't it be a problem if you accidentally made a mistake and didn't know it? :confused:

    Ok, if I reread what you wrote again, then yeah maybe it is a little better because it forces you to read it correctly. However, I think it's a good 'crutch' to have an idea of what you're playing at first until you feel really confident about blindly sight-reading a piece (pun intended). At least it did for me and nowadays I don't run the other way when asked to sight read.
  7. Exactly! When she was asked to play an unfamiliar piece, my flute teacher would never buy a record to hear how the piece sounded - she said that she didn't want to be influenced by the recording, but she wanted to make her own intepretation of the piece. Also, I've been caught out by thinking that I know a piece, and finding that I'm playing something which is different from what is actually written down (the Real-Books are notorious for this!). The only way to become really good at sight-reading is to sight-read unfamiliar pieces. No short-cuts! Lots of hard work! (but worth it!)


    - Wil
  8. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Although I can see the benefits from doing this your way Wil, I'm hesitant to say that it's the "only" way. Diff'rent strokes...
    Yes Real books are often wrong about many things, but among other things, musicianship also includes being able to know how to reinterpret things. And especially as a Jazzer, being able to identify what the 'common' keys tunes are usually played in and to be able discriminate when a tune differs from the norm. Wrong/varying/unneccessary chord changes, embellishments, and differing heads included. I remember hearing that most don't actually even play the changes that a standard is originally written in anyway.

    I remember when I was learning to sight-read, and how I WOULD make alot of mistakes when playing songs that I had never heard. Try reading for separate hands on a piano, it's challenging to say the least. However, I had an easier time when I have briefly heard the tune before. I totally remember this when learning rags like Maple Leaf or the Entertainer. Even before learning to improvise, I would rely on my ear alot and hearing a tune made it easier. My intention was not to create my own interpretation (that came later), but to duplicate exactly what is written. Sight reading for the DB is pretty much a breeze compared to piano.

    When I sight-read an unknown tune, the mistakes I made would often be pointed out to me only during a lesson with the teacher. I often reinforced playing the wrong notes because I would practice it wrong alot and would have a hard time correcting later on. Today my rhythm & note reading is much better and am much more comfortable sight reading an unknown piece. For myself, getting away from an influence isn't such a problem nor is intentionally playing something different than how it's written. I just think that this is a situation where using crutches in the beginning is very beneficial, IMO. Neither way is wrong but everyone is different. We'll just let Seb decide for himself.

    Sorry for the longer than neccessary post. :)
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I agree with Wil Davis, being able to deliver what's written without hearing it is what sight reading is all about. It's true the more you do it the easier it becomes also the more you do it in a real context i.e. on a gig also makes it a lot easier to do and also give you a lot more confidence which goes a long way to enabling to read a piece. If you believe you can do it, you'll do a lot more of it than if you don't believe you can.