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Ersatz
05-13-2002, 05:35 AM
Hey. I'm a bassist, trying to learn to play a little better. Unfortunately, there are no bass teachers in my town, and neither of the SMALL music shops has any good bass music. Any hints for learning to improvise, write music, or read music would be appreciated. Currently I read music VERY slowly (think largo falling asleep) and play off of chord charts, using the base note only... pathetic, huh? Input, suggestions, and tips would be appreciated. Thanks!:cool:

EricV
05-13-2002, 10:30 AM
Hi...

here are some suggestions:
- When learning how to sight-read, start by sticking to one position, and concentrate on reading rhythms first. Like, play one note, and get used to quarter- and eight notes, rests, etc. You could take a sheet and just play the rhythms, concentrating on note values instead of pitches. Or you could try to get a book with easy drum exercises, they usually have some interesting rhythm-exercises too.
Make up some sheets of those exercises and play through those whenever you practise.
Later, expand on that by playing melodies, changing positions etc.

- Transcribe as much music as possible. First of all, itīs fun ( at least I think so and I used to do it a lot back then ), and you will not only improve your hearing, but it will also expand your musical vocabulary which might help you with your improvisations.

- When you do transcribe stuff, do it by writing it out as notation, not TAB. Get a program like Powertab or TablEdit, then read your notation and enter the notes as TAB into the program.
Once you click the "PLay"-button, you will hear whether your transcription is right regarding pitches and note values

- For improvisation, I recommend to jam as much as possible. You could i.e. make up your own jam tracks ( that way, you can focus on keys / scales / tempos you wanna work on ) with one of the programs I mentioned above, or you could get a small sequencer and program your jam tracks on that one.

- For reading exercises, use a metronome at all times. That way, you can accelerate way easier than without the metronome, and it will improve your timing, too.

- A real book can be an interesting source for reading-exercises or chord progressions you could improvise over...

I am sure some of the other guys do have even more good advice
Good luck and
Warm regards
Eric

chrisb
05-17-2002, 11:30 PM
Sight reading for Bass is a great book to learn.
Also, the Berklee bass books cover this topic thoroughly