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SAMPLES FROM THIS TITLE
The samples are in pdf format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to be installed.
Click Here for Introduction and Table Of Contents
Click Here for Sample #1
Click Here for Sample #2
Every bass player who reads music eventually has the same question: "I know the basics. Now what?" This book aims to answer that. Specifically, there are two objectives:
1) Help readers become ready to read anything. Given this goal, the exercises are written in various keys, times, and styles. For reference, the book is broken up into four chapters: quarters, eighths, sixteenths, and triplets.
2) Provide tons of reading material. When I wanted to improve reading, I quickly ran into a problem: I'd buy a reading book with great explanations, but only one or two examples to work on the concept. I felt if I spent $15 or $20, there ought to be lots of actual reading material. In this book, there are 50 full pages of exercises.
THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU MOST IF YOU
- Know basic reading rudiments (note names, repeats, key signatures, etc.).
- Play with a metronome or drum machine.
- Start slow. If necessary, start really slow. One of my teachers in college used to make me practice as slow as it took to play a piece perfectly the first time. It felt achingly slow at first. However, I found that he was absolutely right. Practicing at 40 bpm, with each click representing a 16th note, can be a great way to get better at reading because we're training our brains to prioritize accuracy over speed. This allows us to make accuracy a habit.
- Do a mental checklist before each exercise. Quick-scan every exercise for three things: key and time signatures, lowest and highest notes, and signage. By signage I mean repeat signs, codas, or other musical "instructions." These mental notes help us avoid getting caught off guard.
- Get into the habit of looking ahead as much as possible. This is a tricky but super-useful skill because it requires us to play the current material while figuring out what's coming next. It enables us to interpret the notation before it happens, thus minimizing mistakes. In Studio Bass Masters, famous bassist Nathan East notes his keen support of this skill.
- Remember that variety is the name of the game here. This book was intentionally written with varying levels of melodic content. Some exercises are more of a bass line, others are melodies, while others are more like an etude. The reason is to reduce the amount of music we're able to predict. If we can successfully read unpredictable exercises, we'll easily be able to play more predictable ones.
Written in standard notation only (no TAB). 54 pages.