Wanna learn to read standard notation

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by leffe luffer, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Hello everybody

    Heres the deal. I know a decent amount of music theory and I currently rely on tab to write and read music. I have been thinking of learning to read standard notation for a long time now but I now feel like diving into it. I´m doing this both for funs sake but also to see if it will affect and make me grow as musician and a bassist.

    :help: So my question is this: Is there any resources on the internet where you can learn this or do you know any good books for learning this?

    Hope some of you music nerds out there can help me :p
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    how'd you learn your theory if you can't read standard?
  3. Standard notation is not ther same as music theory it is mearly a language to express it. I don´t need it to learn the theory behind building chords, scales, modes or diffrent ways to harmonize and creating music. At leas thats my view of it.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I never said standard notation was the same as music theory, I asked how you learned it. What did you do without having standard notation? Because, I've never heard of someone learning theory and not knowing how to read.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    As far as learning how to read, and teaching yourself. Learning the notes is the easy part, when you are teaching yourself, what will likely take more time is learning how to read rhythms. So, what I suggest is to solidify the note part first. An exercise I used to do was to fill up a page of manuscript paper with note heads. just note-heads, no barlines, not staves, no stems. So, then just read through that page, just to get the notes down. Once you feel comfortable doing that, throw sharps and flats into the mix, both as accidentals and in the key signature.

    So, once you got the notes out of the way, you can spend all your time with reading rhythms. I don't have any book suggestions...I use the berklee book, reading contemporary rhythms. But if you know how to count and subdivide, then you shouldn't have a problem reading rhythms.

    then it just becomes a task of putting it together.
  6. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    One of the quickest ways to learn to read standard notation is to learn to write standard notation.

    Consider buying a pad of manuscript paper and writing out, in standard notation, the bass lines to songs that you know well.

    Most such pads explain music notation and you can teach yourself the types of notes, rests and accidentals.

    For the beginner, this is highly tedious work that will initially progress slowly. With practice, however, you'll get faster.

    Keep in mind that it's probably more important to develop your ear than it is to learn to read and write in standard notation. Not a bad set of skills to have in your toolbox, however.
  7. I see what you mean but it is not that difficult. I simply read about how things work and then study some examples in tab format and learn the intervals on the bass neck.

    Thanks for the advise on learning to read=). Actually I timing and rythm is the only thing I can read to some extent in sheet music. Ilearn simply by using a program called powertab that is for writing tab on the computer. Simply by studying the symbols that´s shown when I add a quarter note to the tab( the music is shown both in tab and standard notation). Time sig/ rythm is simply mathematics when you ´think about it.
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    which is why I said you should be fine if you can count and subdivide ;)
  9. I think it's possible to have an understanding of theory without being able to read. Before I learned to read I had an understanding of scales and harmony and could effectively use them. Obviously it's hard to become a truly effective player without being able to read but I don't think you absolutely have to learn one in order to understand the other. The world of music would be much better if you did though! :)

    I've known plenty of people in orchestras that can read like crazy but wouldn't know what to do if someone asked them to improvise over something that modulates. On the flip side, I've known lots of jazz bassists that could only read the chord symbols on charts and could still play effective and entirely 'correct' lines.
  10. Don_Cholo


    Apr 2, 2004
    this is an easy trick used to remember how to read. you've probably seen this trick in books. starting on the bottom line and going up whole steps (one line and then to the next) Good Boys Do Fine Always. the first letter of each word is the note. starting on the line that's in between the fist and second and then going up in whole steps, All Cows Eat Grass. again the first letter of each word is the note.
    plus some other good facts to know: the two dots of the bass cleff always have the line that F is on to show what key it's in. for flat key signitures the order is BEADGCF, so if there are three flats then BEA are going to always be flat. for sharp signitures it's just the reverse, FCGDAEB. the top number of the time signiture is how many beats are in each measure and the bottom number is the beat that gets one count.
    this is pretty much all i used to start reading and i just practiced reading a lot and now i can site read like its a habit, and any begining bass playing instruction books should help u out a lot too.
  11. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    This Bass Clef Trainer helped me a lot. I drilled it 10 times every morning when I first booted up my PC at work while my mail was pulling. I can recognize any of the notes instantly now. The key then comes by playing and playing and playing to get to a point where there is a connection from your eye seeing the note to your finger hitting the right spot without any thought process being involved. I'm there on many notes now, and still have a long way to go. I've found the FastTrack for Bass Songbooks to be a fun way to do it. There are 3 or 4 different books. You get the tab, the standard notation, and a CD with a band to play along with. Some of the songs are very easy, and some are more difficult, but it gets you reading and having fun.
  12. That Bass Clef Trainer is awsome LowJoe! :bassist:
    Thank you soooo much for putting up the link for that! I'll be using that along with "The Evolving Bassist" and I'm sure it'll help immensely.
  13. If you want to learn how to read quickly and easily the musicdojo.com classes would be extremely helpful. I skipped the first class (been reading music, mostly treble clef, all my life, but am not used to reading bass clef, and have trouble translating the notes to my fingers on bass) and have finished 7 lessons so far. It's been helping me a lot. :hyper:
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Try and find some walking bass lines, they are generally rhythmically simple, but have a good variety of notes. I don't know any books that have a lot of them, but if you can find a good source, practice sight reading them, set yourself a tempo, work with a metronome, and have at it :)

    another good way to improve your reading, TRANSCRIBE basslines :)
    this will not only help your ear, but it will really help your understanding of how different rhythms are written. Not to mention it will *lock down* your ability to know all the notes on the staff.
  15. That Bass Clef Trainer has helped me SO much, just in the past 30 minutes of using it over and over and over, I pretty much have everything memorized. I myself have been teaching myself that for a short time now, and that is the most useful thing I've come across.
  16. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I picked up this book a couple of weeks ago, it starts of with rhythms and then working its way into notes/basic theory...