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The Jazz Band

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

  1. Bassnovice


    May 4, 2005
    Hey guys I didnt know if this was the right place to post this but ohwell.
    I have been playing bass for a while now and I have finnally been getting some notice. I have a friend in the jazz band at school which has won alot of awards and things, who told me today that they were looking for a person to be like a back up bassist for the band. The one that is playing bass for them right now is my bass teacher.
    Apparantly the music teacher who does pretty much everything for the band (including playing sometimes) raised my name up in the discussion. My bass teacher said that I would be an alright choice but I cannot read music very well.
    My bass teacher and my music teacher both help me in learning to read music but i'm not very good at it yet. I dont know if they want a backup bassist soon or not. But I was wondering whether there was anything I could do like either learn to read the music better or just try to be a better player so not knowing how to read very well might seem like less big a deal.

    Thankyou if you took the time in reading this and if you did could you please try to help me is some way.
  2. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Hey there Bassnovice, the best thing you can do to get ready for the jazz band is work on your reading. You'll need to be able to sight read the bass lines from the charts that the band is using. I was in your same spot back when I was in high school. I joined the jazz band and did not know how to sight read. It was a difficult and challenging learning experience, but I'm really glad that I stuck it out and developed my reading skills. Go for it, you'll be a better player in the end!!
  3. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Read a lot. Read everything you can get your hands on: charts, books, bass mags. The more you do it the easier it gets - no foolin'.

    There is no shortcut. It's like learning to read another language - it just takes practice.
  4. I was also in your position. I used to learn trombone as well, my teacher was also the head of the stage band. One day at a lesson I brought my bass music by accident. Inside I had put a copy of Teen Town, which I was slowly working on. But, my teacher jumped and put me in the stage band on bass; I could barely read at all!

    But, I stuck at it and used my teachers skills as a general musician to help me work through the process of learning to sight read charts. It's the best mistake I've ever made!
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Hey man, the best way to do it is just dive in. I couldn't read very well at all last year when I joined our school's jazz band. For a while, I was in COMPLETELY over my head. Just takes time, and a *lot* of reading. Read everything, from basslines to leadsheets and trombone etudes -- that's actually not a joke, either. Trombone parts are written in an excellent range for you to read higher bass parts and for you to familiarize yourself with the neck in all positions.

    Good luck! Your teacher(s) will be a huge help. It's all just work -- don't worry about becoming a better musician to make up for the fact that you can't read very well, because learning to read well will make you a better musician! :D
  6. Go for it man. I was in a position similar to yours, and it was one of the best choices I've made. Your skills increase nonstop at a rapid pace, when you start to play in a jazz band. Playing with a drummer, wind and brass, reading notation, building your chops, etc. It's all good.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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