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suggestions on reading and sight reading/playing

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by ErikKrueger, Sep 22, 2002.


  1. hello sir,

    i am trying to teach myself how to read sheet music and sight read/play well... i am able to recognize the notes pretty quick from the sheet music, but i am still having trouble playing it right away... should i just keep up practice?? or do you know of any methods or websites that will help me out?

    thank you,
    erik krueger
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Erik,
    Please don't call me sir, Mike will do fine.

    Reading is like learning a new language. It takkes both practice and usage. I wrote a number of articles in bass frontiers magazine about reading. Here is the text from three articles. Sorry, I can't find the graphic images - perhaps you can find the charts and refer to them

    Article 2
    Article 3
     
  3. leanne

    leanne

    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I wanted to bump this because it is so helpful. :)

    Thanks!
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
  5. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    bassfrontiers.com is on the blink. Are the figures available online somewhere else?
     
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I am heading out, tomorrow for the NAMM show. When I get back, I'll scan them and post them

    Mike
     
  7. Your advice for sight reading has proven invaluable for me as I have an audition that requires me to sight read several pieces next month. But, as you said, reading chord charts and being able to improvise lines over them is a much more valuable tool for the average bassist. What suggestions would you make to assist in reaidng chord charts and speeding up the process of that learning curve.
     
  8. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Spearhead,

    The key to reading charts is twofold:

    1. Learn to recognize chord progressions and patterns such as 12 bar blues, II-V's, I-VI-II-V's and I-VI-IV-V's. Get a sense of what chord often follows others. You will then have a familiarity with the chart and be able to anticipate the changes

    2. Read ahead. Create a bassline that targets the next chord change. For example if your playing over an Am7 chord and the next chord is D7, you need to read ahead, see the D7 and creat a bass line over the Am7 that targets the D7. Start looking ahead one measure. As that becomes easier, start looking ahead 2 or more measures

    Mike
     
  9. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    This is something I rarely see discussed, and I believe has to be essential to be able to read busy music at fast tempos. I have a hard time with it, as it requires your eyes and mind to be operating in the future, while your hands and ears take care of business in the here and now. I know practice makes perfect, but if there are some tricks to make such practice more productive, I'd like to hear 'em.
     
  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    As I mentioned in the discussion about chart reading. The same idea of "Pattern Recognition" goes for note reading as well. Often a tune will have the same or very closely related figure throughout. Rely on that to be able to read ahead

    Mike
     
  11. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I understand the pattern recognition idea, but the basic problem is that part of you has to be operating strictly in real-time, while another part has to be operating in the future. Musical analysis helps to simplify what you are reading by reducing the number of unconnected things you have to consider, but reading the patterns 2 measures ahead of what I'm currently playing is tough cognitively. Also, are you making any progress on scanning in the figures? Thanks.
     
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I just got back in town from the NAMM show. Thanks for the reminder. I can probably get it done either Fri or Monday.

    When I am note reading I am not really reading two measures ahead, like I would be when I'm reading charts. Once I "know" the current measure I start looking ahead. But I do look for patterns. Another thing to do is to scan the music before performing it. Look for the common measures, the range, the more difficult lines and run them (at least in your head) before performance. Try as much preperation as possible

    Mike
     
  13. Mike you THE MAN G what a great wealth of information that you shared with talkbass online who needs music teachers ( nah just kidding ) thanks mike
    :hyper:
     
  14. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    You are very welcome

    Mike