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sight reading

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by labrat, May 14, 2003.

  1. Okay guys, time to get away from the tempo topic and to something more positive.

    I started relearning my sightreading (bass and treble).

    The problem is that I have copious amounts of treble material (several 4 inch binders of classical guitar material- alot of it is excellent stuff), but very little bass stuff to work on.

    Since it's been many years, I need to start slow at the beginning. I printed the reading lessons from the "Libster" site a long time ago (excellent lessons on reading, but not enough volume; i find myself memorizing the parts instead of actually reading, after 1 or 2 passes- it's a pity the site closed down)

    So, any internet sites with good stuff to practice. Or any resources in general. I'd prefer more of novice level for now. I'm planning on sticking to stuff in the key of C for a month or so.
  2. Now that I think about it. How did any of you learn to read bass clef? That may prove educational in itself.
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How about a hymn book? A lot of tradtional hymn arrangements are written for four part vocal harmony (SATB) and therefore have both a coherent bass part (B) and bass clef counter melody (T).

    I think you can also rewrite the treble clef as a bass clef, adding three flats to the key signature (so a piece in C ends up in Eb, while one in D ends up in F).

  4. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Why?Reading is reading,don't break it up.Just start with simple stuff.Tuba music is good.Get a fake book in Bass clef and play the melodies,some are very simple.The best book I've come across is "Reading contemporary electric bass rhythms"by Rich Appleman,Berklee Press.Starts with whole notes and moves on it's very musical.
    You learn by just doing it,every day.That's the key if you go away from it,you lose it.
  5. Cool, those are some good ideas.

    I'm familiar with losing it. I'll try and get a hymm book or a fake book.
  6. The Hal Leonard Bass Builders book called simplified sight reading studies for bass is excellent. You can also find loads of transcriptions of stuff on the net, especially here
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    You could transpose treble parts to bass clef, then read them....hmm....that would be a good excersize to learn treble and bass clefs fluently.
  8. Bass87, the help is appreciated, but those transcriptions are over my head for the moment. They have Jaco, Stanley Clarke and similar in there. At my best, I doubt my reading could handle names like those. But I'll aspire to that level. :D

    Not a bad idea WR, i have a ton of stuff from eythorsson.com (or is it eythorson.com?) where there's thousands of pages of classical treble clef music and exercises (it's a classical guitarists dream). I'll try to transpose to bass.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The thing is, if you are 100% confidant in reading any given clef Without your instrument, it will be A LOT easier to make that connection WITH your instrument.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Reading bass clef vs. treble clef is EASY. The two differ by one staff line.

    Treble clef is EGBDF (bottom to top) and bass clef is GBDFA. Once you get used to that you can read either clef easily enough.
  11. Perhaps. But some of you have sight read from an early age (public school band, ect.) so it's more ingrained. It takes alot of work for me, I didn't attempt it until my mid-20's. But, I'll keep chugging along. Anything to better myself.
  12. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    I started at 25...5years later and I can sight-read a lot of things,and I can get some pretty difficult stuff off the page quicker and quicker all the time.Chug on!!You'll get there:)
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I learned to read treble clef when I was 9 or 10, I could read it 100% fluently, and I could sight read pretty well(on sax or trumpet )

    then I picked up the bass when I turned 12, and I learned to read bass clef, but it never clicked the same as treble clef did, and to this day I still occasionally trip up and look at a Bass clef A as an F or something silly like that....it has also been very detrimental to my sight reading abilities.
  14. ibanezman80


    May 7, 2003
    U wanna learn how to sight read....eh? What I did is I joined the Youth Orchestra in my city and played double bass. It was a sweet deal, they were in need of bass players, so they rented me out a double bas for cheeeeeap. The orchsta's done for the season, but now I can sight read like nobody's mother. I'd recomend that if u can join a symphony somehow, do it. But...if your too old er something n' can't, jus' practice practice practice.

    P.S.- Don't just sight read stuff in the key of C to practice, accidentals are good for you.
  15. I use cello music, and it's relatively easy to find.
  16. I found an old string bass method book hidden away in my library, it looked pretty good. I'll try to find some cello stuff too. Thanks.
  17. ibanezman80


    May 7, 2003
    yeah, cello music would probly be good because, if i'm not mistaken, most of it is on the higher part of the bass clef, and it's good to practice sight reading the higher notes.
  18. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Well, I learned treble clef long before I learned bass clef. I played violin from ages 9-14. Had to learn to read sheet music of course. Took keyboard/piano lessons in 11th grade. Then took up the acoustic guitar when I was 20. I am glad I learned all this (though wishing I learned more) because it gave me a big push in learning how to read music.

    At age 22 I started playing bass. I automatically bought Mel Bay's "Note Reading Studies For Bass" and worked from that book (still do). Also at my bass lessons I get sight reading "pop quizzes", so to speak, in which my teacher will have me play a piece of sheet music I am not familiar with. That has helped me immensely in pinpointing what problems with sight reading I have.

    So that's my story, beginning to the present. :)

    I'd also like to add to that sight reading isn't just knowing what the notes are when you look at them on a sheet of music, but it's also knowing rhythms on the spot (syncopation can be quite tricky), knowing where to change position on the spot, how would you know if a key was in C Major or A Minor?, articulation, dynamics, etc...

    By the way, I also like Mel Bay's "J.S. Bach For Bass" (ignoring the tablature of course :meh: ).

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