Sightreading 101 for Bass: Reading Standard Notation, Vol. 1

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Volume 1 of Mark Michell’s new instructional book series SIGHTREADING 101 FOR BASS: Reading Standard Notation focuses on the absolute basics of learning to interpret, read, and sightread standard notation. Volume 2 is to be released later this year and will incorporate additional concepts with music that is more complex.

Volume 1 is geared for players who have little to no experience reading standard notation and are looking to learn from square one. This book will help players to go from never having read music before to reading basic notes and rhythms in multiple key signatures. Each chapter incorporates a single new concept that is carefully broken down and gradually integrated through numerous exercises, allowing you to practice it very thoroughly before moving to the next chapter. This provides you with complete flexibility in choosing a comfortable learning pace when working through the book. For players who are already able to read standard notation, Volume 1 can also serve as a great practice tool if you are looking to brush up on your sightreading skills.

This book contains 116 total pages, over 140 exercises, descriptive examples and figures, a full-color gloss front cover and spiral bounding, which is most convenient for allowing the book to stay spread open on stands and flat surfaces! All exercises are playable on 4, 5, and 6-string basses.

Topics covered:
-Learning the Notes on the Fretboard
-Utilizing the Full Fretboard
-Parts of the Musical Staff
-Learning the Notes in the Staff
-Notes on Ledger Lines
-How to Analyze a Piece of Music
-Sightreading Tips, Methods, & Approaches
-Reading Note/Rest Types & Values
-Understanding Keys & Time Signatures
-Memorizing Key Signatures
-Recognizing Patterns
-Memorizing Intervals Spacings
-Recognizing Arpeggio Types
-Reading Rests
-Playing in Different Keys
-Mixing Note/Rest Types in the Same Measure
-Reading Rhythms & Syncopation
-How to Subdivide & Count Rhythms
-Grouping Rhythms Visually before Playing
-Selection of Practice Etudes

Excerpt from book:

“…Learning how to properly read standard notation and how to sightread were, without a doubt, the most beneficial skills I acquired in my formative years of bass playing. During those years, being able to read traditional sheet music opened many doors and provided many opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. Every single time I went to apply or audition for a gig, whether it was playing in the local orchestra for a theater performance or playing in jazz ensembles throughout high school and college, knowing how to read “sheet music” was strictly required. Reflecting back on my years spent performing with these groups, I wouldn’t trade those for anything, as they were some of the most musically-fulfilling experiences I’ve had with the bass. Most importantly, performing with those groups quickly taught me some of the most essential skills when performing live music that still continue to be valuable today. For the aspiring bass player looking to get out and play, I can attest to the fact that being able to read standard notation allowed me to become a more marketable musician when applying and auditioning for any given musical opportunity…”

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