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Sight reading standard notation.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tyler Hole, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. I am starting to get into sight reading music. I've been kind of (by kind of I mean getting completely lost after 5 measures) sight reading, but I'm having trouble getting used to doing it quickly. I know it will come with practice, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks to making it easier and if anyone has any pieces of music they could post (like if it's free online or if you could scan and post it) that would make good practice for sight reading, please post.


    [edit]Also, since I have been teaching myself how to read music, I don't know the answer to this question - How exactly do you determine where on the fretboard to play each note?
  2. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    This is what worked for me.... YMMV.

    It is very important to find some way to KEEP GOING. That is to say, as you are reading music, you WILL make mistakes. If you stop to correct them, the road to good sight reading will take longer. So... work with recordings, a metronome, other musicians, whatever, just don't let yourself get in the habit of going back to correct mistakes as soon as you make them... keep going as till you reach the end of the chart, even if you only get a handful of notes correct.

    Then, slowly, out of time, work out the mistakes, figure names of notes, right rhythms... whatever went wrong. After you have worked out the problems... get the time going again and have another go at the chart in real time and without stopping.

    Trying music at a slow steady speed is better than picking your way through making mistakes and correcting. If you can't get past a few measures without a breakdown.... try some easier music.

    Good luck. Believe in yourself by having patience with yourself. If it was really easy to do, everyone would be doing it, and musicianship wouldn't be all that special.
  3. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    set yourself up so you can see your fretting hand and your sheet music

    one tip is to go through the piece without a metronome and don't worry so much about rhythm and just try and nail every note... do it as slowly as you have to... this will improve your note recognition skills, and you can then add in more rhythmic discipline afterwards... if you start off as a slave to the metronome immediately you'll find yourself skimming over stuff you really should slow down and have a good look at.. (I know this is the opposite of what BassChuck advised... so maybe you try a few different ways and see what's best for you :) )

    when starting off, try and play as much as possible in 1st position... find pieces that go from low E to the C at the 5th fret on the G string... for a beginner it's work enough to deal with this range of notes (the money notes.. the ones you get paid to play and the ones you'll be using 95% of the time) than to get up above the 5th fret...

    there's a few pieces of sheet music on my site (link below) some like the Zappa stuff are not really suitable for starting sight-reading practice but there are a few others that might be useful.. there's also some links to other bass notation sites in my links on the left of the page
  4. Thanks for the replies. I will definetely try the ways mentioned and find out what works best. I'll get started with it when I get home from school.