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Theory versus Groove


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[quote name='Bilbo' post='1019748' date='Nov 11 2010, 09:40 AM']Learning to read music does not require a 400 page tome but a short 'these are what the dots mean' explanation. THe difficulty (which is less so now) is finding source material to [i]practice[/i] reading. In my day, the books were full of Campdown Races, Franki and Johnny and excerpts from The Trout and had no value for me as a player then or now. Nowadasy there are more options (many transcriptions are on here).

FOr instance, learning what each note means is easy. Take a blank sheet of music paper and write a series of notes in straight crotchets, four beats to the bar (i.e. no rhythms to read). Write out 8 bars of two notes, say A and B in a randon sequence (ABBAABAABABBAABABABBABABAABAB, for instance) - concentrate on reading those two notes alone until you get the 8 bars right (if you find you have learned the sequence, write out another one - you are learning to read, not to play this sequence of notes). Then Write out eight bars using only A, B and C. THen try 16 bars of A, B, C & D. and so on. I recommend you don't learn those mnemonics (All Cows Eat Grass etc) because they tie you into a process that slows you down. Just learn two notes, then add a third then a fourth and so on. You will be reading sraight crotchets in no time. Then you can start looking at reading rhythms after you know what the notes are.[/quote]

That does seem like great advice. :)

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[quote name='Bilbo' post='1019748' date='Nov 11 2010, 09:40 AM'](ABBAABAABABBAABABABBABABAABAB, for instance)[/quote]


Is that an advanced AABA jazz structure ? :)

Not seriously, i get it, thanks and will focus on those very 2 notes tonight for starters

Quite excited


EDIT: this thread has suddenly become very positive, thought theory vs groove, what's better was gonna get solved the Harry Hill way

Edited by lojo
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[quote name='silddx' post='1019155' date='Nov 10 2010, 06:39 PM']I could be tempted to get this book. I just find the whole idea of learning to read rather daunting and wonder if I will be able to commit to learning, I can get very lazy if not pushed and find it difficult.

Is the book really good Alistair?[/quote]

Why dont I bring it to the SE Bass Bash *, along with a few other bits and pieces and everyone can make their own mind up !


* assuming Mrs Thunderbird doesnt want to go shopping that day :)

Edited by thunderbird13
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[quote name='thunderbird13' post='1019985' date='Nov 11 2010, 01:03 PM']Why dont I bring it to the SE Bass Bash *, along with a few other bits and pieces and everyone can make their own mind up !


* assuming Mrs Thunderbird doesnt want to go shopping that day :)[/quote]
That will be ace! Thank you!

Any news on the job BTW?

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[quote name='Doddy' post='1019204' date='Nov 10 2010, 07:14 PM']I've not used that particular book,but judging by the other 'Bass Builders' books I'm guessing that it'll
be pretty good.

This looks like a good book too

[url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Reading-Bass-Complete-Essential/dp/0793581974/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289416215&sr=8-1"]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Reading-Bass...6215&sr=8-1[/url][/quote]

Well I have just ordered this one! :)

I have come across their books before and found them quite good so fingers crossed I will be able to get that sight reading job along side the trumpet player this time next year. :)

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[quote name='silddx' post='1019279' date='Nov 10 2010, 07:58 PM']I'd like to know what Jake might recommend. I am a professional trainer and been trained as a trainer - I had a lesson with Jake last year and if anyone I've ever met knows how people learn, and what individual's learning styles and requirements are, it's Jake.[/quote]
Thanks for that Nige it's very kind of you to give such a qualified viewpoint, high praise indeed. I have never trained as a teacher it just strikes me as obvious that the best way to get people to learn is to discover what interests them so conversation is as important as content.

[quote name='silddx' post='1019279' date='Nov 10 2010, 07:58 PM']Maybe there's a book out there which Jake feels more or less accommodates different learning styles and needs?

Not dissing anyone else's opinions of course, I'd just like to know Jake's opinion too.[/quote]

I simply learned from a basic tutor book for double bass and it really just showed where the notes are and gave exercises and pieces based on the parcels of information contained within the progress of the book.

I think note (thats pitches) recognition is best done slowly and consistently trying not to stop for errors, but rhythm reading is to my mind the more challenging so I would advocate spending time on them separately and [i]then[/i] together.

When it comes to books, really I think there is no substitute for quantity so just as much of whatever you can get your hands on.

The Major's sight reading exercises are really useful (to be found in the theory and technique forum), I like some of the melodies and devices that he uses as when reading them, what you are playing takes form and therefore makes sense. My only suggestion is that as well as his stuff, anyone interested, should also get their hands on heavily idiomatic parts to realise and learn what elements of written music make the idiom (style) identifiable, a good example being the Jamerson Standing in the shadows book as the transcriptions (although some are a little incorrect) really show you what makes the guy sound like he did, which is primarily semiquaver groupings and chromaticism. Understanding those elements upon reading massively helps with the deeper skills of interpreting.


I'm away from home till early next week so may not have a chance to check back in on this so if you want any further info PM me. I can pick up messages on the iphone.

Finally I would say that learning to read music should be a positive challenge, the goal of which is access to music that you might not have encountered without the skill, so an open mind to styles really helps, just enjoy the fact that slowly (be patient) and bit by bit you can find a new way to interpret a code into lovely sounds. When you play/read something and it starts to take form in your ears it's a lovely feeling. Also try, when looking at music, to imagine where on the bass it would be played.

I am of course available for 1-1 tuition and I have had really nice comments from most of the basschatters I've taught, so despite feeling like an over arching bore I must be doing something right :)

Edited by jakesbass
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[quote name='jakesbass' post='1020728' date='Nov 11 2010, 01:41 PM']but rhythm reading is to my mind the more challenging so I would advocate spending time on them separately and [i]then[/i] together.[/quote]
When I was at BIT many many many years ago the first 6 months of the 12 month program on reading used no pitches, it was rhythm only. Just tapping with your hand or a stick trying to internalize all the possible rhythms. I like this approach and when I learn a tricky new piece from notation I tend to tap it out first and then come back for the notes.

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[quote name='Vibrating G String' post='1021095' date='Nov 12 2010, 10:26 AM']When I was at BIT many many many years ago the first 6 months of the 12 month program on reading used no pitches, it was rhythm only. Just tapping with your hand or a stick trying to internalize all the possible rhythms. I like this approach and when I learn a tricky new piece from notation I tend to tap it out first and then come back for the notes.[/quote]


There are two Louis Belson books which are great for this, and both well worth a look.

1] Modern Reading Text in 4/4: For All Instruments by Louis Bellson
2] Odd Time Reading Text: For All Instruments.
[url="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Odd-Time-Reading-Text-Instruments/dp/0769233724"]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Odd-Time-Reading-T...s/dp/0769233724[/url]

Amazon and all the usual places.



Garry

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[quote name='jakesbass' post='1020728' date='Nov 11 2010, 09:41 PM']I am of course available for 1-1 tuition and I have had really nice comments from most of the basschatters I've taught, so despite feeling like an over arching bore I must be doing something right :)[/quote]


I too can highly recommend Jake for lessons, I had a two hour session, all be it 25 years to late, got assessed etc.

Jake not only gave me pointers which where holding me back (right hand speed) but also made me feel very confident about what I had self learned well even though I didn't know it (left hand) so positive stuff


As noted yesterday, last night I started to learn to sight read, I wont forget the notes I focused on and where they are

Im going to learn by sight all the notes without thinking or translating in my mind etc, as per Bilbos wise words above, once I have done that I will start with rhythm, no stress no time limits but progress each week


Cheers guys for the debates, it has helped me, despite these threads appearing to be non productive sometimes, they are

Edited by lojo
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I have decided to try Jakes approach too and have sent my parents to WH Smith for some manuscript paper to start doodling some dots down on while they are out shopping tomorrow.( Im nearly 33 but cant go near town on a saturday!) Like lojo says there is no rush for me either and I wont get stuck in fully until my book comes as I dont want to learn something wrong as its always harder to unlearn it again IME.

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' post='1021755' date='Nov 12 2010, 05:53 PM']I have decided to try Jakes approach too and have sent my parents to WH Smith for some manuscript paper to start doodling some dots down on while they are out shopping tomorrow.( Im nearly 33 but cant go near town on a saturday!) Like lojo says there is no rush for me either and I wont get stuck in fully until my book comes as I dont want to learn something wrong as its always harder to unlearn it again IME.[/quote]


I found this

[url="http://www.blanksheetmusic.net/"]http://www.blanksheetmusic.net/[/url]

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Nice one I just added that to my favourites list. I am working with a local guy who has some nifty bass lines for me to learn and for the first time in 20+ years it would be easier on my brain cells if i had a method for writing down the notes even if it quite crude compared to our reading experts here at BC. This is the fella [url="http://www.myspace.com/barronone"]http://www.myspace.com/barronone[/url] I have been learning the tracks Spiders in your bed, Inconsoleable and Broken and bruised of the ones listed. Nice bass lines for a guitard! :) Still have a bass quality about them IMO.

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Ha ha! I'm doing Bilbo's sight reading for bonzai babies exercise too! High G and Low B naturals, totally random (am I right in thinking that's a minor 6th interval?). It's FUN! I'm learning what the notes on the stave look like, and on the bass, and the relationship between them. AND I can hear them in my head.

It just seems like the right sort of one step at a time method. Eventually we'll have all 12 notes down and I can tell all my friends I'm on the 12 Step Programme :)

Edited by silddx
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Haven't read right through this, sorry if I'm repeating anything already said, but here's my 2-penneth -

I can read music (classically trained) and have a reasonable knowledge of theory which is really helpful for most musical situations. I can read jazz lead sheets and dots (not brilliantly unless I've heard the music first - I'm definiately more of a ear/feel player!) I can also improvise (some readers-only find this extremely difficult).

I know musicians who have reading/theory knowledge but struggle with the most important part of making music which is IMO is feel (or groove!?) and a good ear, and some that perhaps don't have good knowledge and technique of their instrument (the latter is me at the moment with the bass :) ).

The fact that I can read music and lead sheets means that I can (attempt!) to play in most impromptu situations and situation where reading is required, and the fact that I can play by ear/feel and have theory knowledge means that I can play at jams and use that knowledge to hopefully construct a reasonable solo that works (if I'm lucky - sometimes doesn't go quite so well - but I'm working on it :) )

So I would say that if you get the chance - soak up all the knowledge you can, I've noticed bass notation usually seems to have the dots above the tabs (certainly in the couple of books I have so far) which I think is great - you can learn both at the same time. And.... study a bit of theory - it takes a bit of will power and determination but the benefits are great, so it's worth doing.

:lol:

Edited by SaxxyBass
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[quote name='Lord Sausage' post='1022367' date='Nov 13 2010, 01:29 PM']Why one over the other. Have both, like i do. Much better![/quote]
Like some of us said, when time is short, one makes priorities.

Of course both is best, but Pete was asking if you are in a band situation, which one is the most USEFUL. Playing your instrument to a good standard is clearly more USEFUL.

But both is best which is why a few of us are starting to learn, this thread gave us a swift kick in the arse to provide the extra motivation.

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Well I found an hour today and have made a start!
[attachment=63950:Stave.jpg
I have a stave with the notes on at the top but have played all the little made up tunes in my head without looking at it. Everytime I introduce a new note I have included it on the left as a reference. I have even added a sharp and a few whole notes on the bottom stave!

That link for the free paper is excellent lojo nice one, I have made mine as big as possible for now and will reduce them as I go. In fact I think I could of gone a bit smaller from the off, Running before I can walk!

Im going to try and play off a sheet with no letters on and including all 12 notes to start with then start splitting it up into bars in 4/4 as and when. I can already get a grasp of the time in my head anyway and its quite fun trying the little sequences in different styles with guess what, A groove of all things who would of thunk it? :)

Edited by stingrayPete1977
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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' post='1022518' date='Nov 13 2010, 03:17 PM']Well I found an hour today and have made a start!

(I have a photo but it wont upload at the moment? I will add it later)

I have a stave with the notes on at the top but have played all the little made up tunes in my head without looking at it. Everytime I introduce a new note I have included it on the left as a reference. I have even added a sharp and a few whole notes on the bottom stave!

That link for the free paper is excellent lojo nice one, I have made mine as big as possible for now and will reduce them as I go. In fact I think I could of gone a bit smaller from the off, Running before I can walk!

Im going to try and play off a sheet with no letters on and including all 12 notes to start with then start splitting it up into bars in 4/4 as and when. I can already get a grasp of the time in my head anyway and its quite fun trying the little sequences in different styles with guess what, A groove of all things who would of thunk it? :)[/quote]
That's wickid!

I've just been reading some simple stuff in Andrew McKinney's Learning to Read column in BGM this month. I was on the khazi reading the exercises on the stave with no bass obviously, and I got it right, including the timing! I hope I keep this up for once because it's really satisfying and I can see how useful it's going to be!

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I have got the pic to upload now.(see above post) It sounds like you are nearly there silddx. I dont have as much time as I would like spare this week but I will do what I can, Its a marathon not a sprint as they say!

Just noticed it has removed all the text from my last post now I have added the picture! I cant be bothered to write it out again.....

Edited by stingrayPete1977
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Interesting post... but I'm staying out of it!

Anyway, those guys giving reading and writing a go, I thought I would share this link with you - I find it very useful and its certainly better than spending a load of money on blank books or getting a pen and ruler out!

[url="http://www.blanksheetmusic.net/"]http://www.blanksheetmusic.net/[/url]

Enjoy!

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' post='1023733' date='Nov 14 2010, 06:46 PM']I have got the pic to upload now.(see above post) It sounds like you are nearly there silddx. I dont have as much time as I would like spare this week but I will do what I can, Its a marathon not a sprint as they say!

Just noticed it has removed all the text from my last post now I have added the picture! I cant be bothered to write it out again.....[/quote]


Made some progress with the notes, but in chaos here, near finished converting part of my garage into a music room, its now plastered, so hopefully I can move in next weekend and set everything up permanently

Then I can practicing reading and playing everyday, no excuse :)

Well done Pete and Sliddx, right behind you

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