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One word to describe this book – COMPREHENSIVE! For many musicians reading music is an often overlooked aspect of their musicianship, and for some musicians sight reading has been a dreadful and painful experience up to this point. But now in this book, Ron Velosky shares his practical and extensive experiences with us in an easy to understand fashion. Let’s face it, there is no real shortcut to learning how to read music. It is for this reason that many people never learn how to do it. However, if you want to be a really well-rounded player and be able to communicate with other musicians on common ground, then you really owe it to yourself to learn how to read the language of music. If you’ve struggled with reading music in the past, like many of us have at one point or another, then this book is the answer to all your sight reading problems. Sight reading is one aspect of music that you just can’t ever do enough of or get too good at. It doesn’t matter if you are a complete novice or a bassist who has been on the scene for twenty plus years, you will become a more knowledgeable and prolific sight reader through the study of this book.
Ron begins the book by explaining some basic, general music theory including the concepts of pulse, rhythm and meter. He then, in a very orderly fashion, explores the various subdivisions of a measure in the time signature of 4/4 including whole notes, half notes, eighth notes, quarter notes, sixteenth notes and all of their related rests. Through various fret board graphs Ron illustrates the location of the notes on the fret board along with suggested fingering and shifts. At strategically placed sections you’ll find review sections. These pages give you, the student a chance to interact with the book and check your understanding of the previously presented materials. Very nice indeed! Also in this book, you’ll find information pertaining to key signatures, arpeggios, ties, dots and dynamics. Ron expands on his written examples by sharing with you a vast collection of good advice and everyday useful analogies. To augment on help clarify the advantages of reading line contours and looking ahead in the music. Ron offers his insight on how to go about practicing sight reading along with a great analogy of how you can relate musical phrasing to spoken words. In order to get yourself in the right state of mind before actually reading a new piece of music, Ron lays out a useful checklist of questions that you should ask yourself before starting any sort of new material. Before concluding, Ron offer up a serious buffet of highly advanced and syncopated 16th note funk lines (good luck to you here), and then concludes with some helpful advice on how to approach triplets and compound meters.
This book is laid out in a very orderly fashion. The text is an easy to understand manner, and the precision of the actual notation makes reading through this book extremely easy. Electric bassists and acoustic upright players alike will benefit greatly from the wealth of information that Ron has presented us with in this book. Bottom Line: Sight Reading for the Bass may be the most important investment you ever make in your musical education. Period. This book is a can’t miss.