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SAMPLES FROM THIS TITLE
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The goal of this book is to help bass players develop total proficiency in reading accidentals. The inspiration came from a friend who worked as a personal trainer. He told me he'd isolate muscle groups to gain strength. I began to wonder: what if we isolated an unfamiliar bass skill and became an expert in it? What impact could this have?
I also began to imagine being able to read anything. ANYTHING! What gigs would I enjoy doing? What musicians would I play with? What opportunities would open up for me? Whatever your answers, those key opportunities make practice feel worthwhile. This book was written from this desire to help others improve.
Sight Reading Workout For Bass: Accidentals is a complete guide that, if practiced slowly and regularly, will add great value to your recognition of accidentals. The exercises work as building blocks, so it's recommended to play them in order. Resist the urge to jump ahead, particularly in the first two chapters where things can feel repetitive. It's this very repetition that's needed to build the crucial muscle memory to read like a pro. So be thorough. Musical growth is directly proportional to hours spent practicing. Here are a few more great to-dos for practicing with this book:
1) Always look ahead!
2) Always look at the key signature, but more important, remember the key signature.
3) Always keep going! Do whatever it takes to remember this mantra. Say it everyday when waking up, write it 100 times, and tattoo it on the inside of your eyelids to see it every time you blink. In other words, if a mistake happens, never stop and start over. I am all too aware of our tendency as artists to fix our mistakes. However, there isn't time to fix mistakes on gigs. We must teach our brains and fingers to do what's required with a live audience: sight read with excellence, and recover quickly from any mistakes. The show must go on!
A personal note: I started out playing by ear, as many players do. Reading was a skill I had to learn through sheer practice and experience. I know the temptation to give up due to frustration. In fact, I did give up once, and lost several potential years of practice time. Let me tell you what I wish someone had told me: if you're tripping up on simple exercises, don't criticize yourself. Instead, adjust the tempo. If you know notes and rhythms, there's a tempo at which you can read any exercise perfectly the first time. It may be 5 bpm. That's okay! It's better to read slow and accurately than fast and inaccurately. So cut yourself some slack, have fun, and remember that speed will come.