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Sight reading stumper

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, May 7, 2003.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    So I bought Note Reading Studies for Bass based on everybody's recomendation here, and I've been making pretty good progress through it (not bad for somebody who hasn't bothered to read music is 7 years, anyway!). I have reached a point where the etudes are starting to get too hard, and I feel like I should probably keep sightreading excercises that are more on my level before advancing on. Should I seek out some different books on my level, or barrel on through with the stuff that is too hard?
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Stop reading exercises and buy some music to read :rolleyes:

    The point is to be able to read music right? So now go find something to read. Like maybe some music you want to be able to play :D
     
  3. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Comtemporary Electric Bass Rhythms by Rich Appleman...Berklee series.Fantastic book of music for reading practice.
     
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Actually, the exercises in the book are music. I'd rather be learning to read on music that I don't know rather than music I do; I would end up just playing the tune from memory rather than read the notes in front of me.

    I ended up continuing through the book for about three hours today (it gets harder as you go along). I found that I didn't suck as bad as I thought. I am slowly starting to remember how to read. Once I finish this book I'm moving on to a bunch of other stuff. Sight reading is a part of my daily practice regimen for now on. I can't wait to get to the Charlie Parker solos for bass. Ouch!
     
  5. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Good book. Where are you at in it? Maybe I or someone else can see what exactly is giving you the trouble. I've had that book for almost 3 years and I still haven't gotten through the advanced exercises at the end. :D

    My advice to you would be to stick with the etude until you can play it. Don't move ahead. If you're having trouble with it go back and play the section before it over. If you're having trouble playing the etudes in the section that shows you 16th note rhythms, for ex., go back and play each rhythm individually. Play your etudes at a slow speed on your metronome until and work your way up.

    EDIT: By "don't move ahead" I meant don't move ahead in the book or skip around. I think it would be a good challenge to find sheet music of a song you've never really heard (I think classical pieces make good site-reading exercises) and try to play it. Give yourself a minute to look it over and then try your hand at it.
     
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm at the part when they start to introduce accidentals. I took one look at that and instantly thought this was a bit too advanced for my brain at the time. I actually can read music quite well.... on saxophone. I've never read bass clef or tried to apply reading to the bass, so I'm forcing myself to look at notes that I've always seen as a C and read it as an E. It's like learing to drive in England after driving on the right side of the road all your life.

    I guess I misunderestimated my own abilities here on this section; I did ok. I'm going to keep going and see what happens.
     
  7. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Accidentals can be quite tricky in my opinion.

    Let's look at Etude #1 on pg. 28:

    First things first, there are no sharps or flats in the key signature so you will have the Key of C (could also be Am, but if you look, the very last note in the etude is C, so we will go with the key of C).

    The first measure starts off easy with one accidental (the F sharp). A little note, if the next measure had an F in it (which it doesn't) you will play it as F natural. The accidental only lasts the measure. The second measure is a little trickier: You have A natural then an accidental (A flat), then a G...Now you come to another A. This has a natural sign so you would play it as such, but then it goes to A flat. The 4th measure is almost similar, but with the note E: E, Eb, D, E (natural), Eb, D, Db.

    Remember what it says on that page: "Learn to scan ahead in your sight reading to try to pick out any upcoming accidentals..." Giving one look at a piece with tons of accidentals can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Take it slow, and like it says, scan ahead.

    Hope this helps,
    Stephanie
     
  8. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Don't you mean it's like learning to drive in England after driving on the WRONG side of the road. ;)
    Everyone knows you should drive on the left
     
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    That's funny. I'm moving to England in a few weeks. Fortunately I will be relying on public transpotation, so no wrecks for me.
     
  10. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Scanning ahead is alot easier said than done at first. At least it was/is for me. But once ya start to nail the notes and rhythyms more naturally scanning ahead becomes a bit easier.

    Truth be told, I dont find the accidentals to be overwhelming, heck they're right next to the note you're supposed to play. What still intimidates me a bit is when I see a ton of sharps and flats in the key signature. But that too lessens in time.
     
  11. i totally hear ya- im a trumpet player thats trying to pick up this whole bass thing in a desperate attempt at combo playing RX, and its so confusing. i feel like i should be standing on my head or something.

    it'll help in the long run. its just a really long run.
     
  12. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Keep it up, fellow musician-who-had-to-transpose-every-minute-of-his-life-because-his-instrument-is-in-Bb! I found that it was really difficult at first, but after spending at least an hour every day at it, it became easy after about 2-3 weeks. I'm already on the advanced reading excersizes. Yeah!