#1
Hi, I've been playing bass for a little over 3 years now, and I'm trying to learn everything I possibly can theory wise so I can be an all around player and have a lot of knowledge of the instrument and how playing it works. Part of this requires reading sheet music and such, as I learn from Mel Bay and other lesson books where they teach you that way. Then in one book I saw a line from the author that said "99.9% of all rock bassists will be reading off sheet music for gigs, so you need to be prepared".

Now I know that's definitely not true because 99.9% of rock musicians are musicians that actually have stage presence and play on stage impressing the crowd, not sitting down or standing with a stand in front of them. But this made me think. I know that for a lot of other genres, such as jazz, this is true, but is it really advantageous to use sheet music if you're strictly a rock/metal musician? Like not knowing the theory itself, because that's important, but just reading it from sheet music? I'm still going to learn it anyway because it's the universal music language (and I used to play saxophone so it helps), but do rock and metal musicians ever actually write out their stuff in musical notation? And if not how often would they read from it?

If anyone knows what I'm talking about or what I'm getting at, please try to help me understand. I don't know if I worded it the way I'm trying to explain it and express it, but hopefully this will due.
#2
idk it really really depends on the situation. if you care enough to learn music notation, it'll pay off. it can't hurt, especially if you can already read somewhat from sax.

that's what made sight reading guitar music easy for me, i played trumpet for five years lol
ADD

Check out my self-recorded demos on my profile!!! C4C

Separation is an illusion.
#3
I think its an important skill to have as a musician, but not necessary. I do think you need to have a good grounding in theory to be a well - rounded bass player and musician.

Even in jazz (beyond high school jazz bands) you will not be reading off a written bass line. You will be handed a lead sheet with chords and you will improv your own bass lines.
#4
Learning to read music would make your life much easier if you're trying to learn theory. I usually write out my material in Guitar Pro and I write it into the notation part because writing in the tabbing part is really hard to work with for rhythmic values. I like reading off of notation simply because I always know which note I'm hitting.
Quote by anarkee
Even in jazz (beyond high school jazz bands) you will not be reading off a written bass line. You will be handed a lead sheet with chords and you will improv your own bass lines.

I generally sit down and write out bass lines for chords. I guess it depends on the person, but in my experience I get better results writing out a bass line beforehand that by improving them on the spot.
Last edited by pwrmax at Feb 20, 2009,
#5
What about when musicians compose music, though. Do any write it in musical notation? Because I honestly can't picture anyone from Led Zeppelin to Metallica doing that.
#6
Quote by maidenforce19
What about when musicians compose music, though. Do any write it in musical notation? Because I honestly can't picture anyone from Led Zeppelin to Metallica doing that.

You'd be surprised which bands actually do write it out. Sometimes they tab some parts and notate other parts.
#7
Quote by pwrmax
You'd be surprised which bands actually do write it out. Sometimes they tab some parts and notate other parts.


Really? Do you know any that do?
#8
Geezer butler writes out all his lines im pretty sure of it. And i reackon JPj wrote the basic's to his lines out. Learning to sight read is highly useful. I can pretty much do it perfectly on the trumpet, but still have trouble with it on the bass. Still learn anything you can.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
#9
I know how to read notation very well. (bass, tenor and treble) But usually when I compose I do it in powertab simply because I can use the number pad and arrow keys to input much faster than any other program I've used. Usually my mindset is in the staff area rather than thinking in terms of the guitar if that makes sense to you.
Quote by Cameronrobson
If a barn owl was fighting a tiger and flew away, it was just looking for a more awesome place to fight. This happens all the time on Dragon Ball Z.


Member 8 of "Using gay as an insult proclaims your idiocy" club
#10
Dan Briggs from Between the Buried and Me does. Opeth does, pretty much all the really technical things do. I can't see Cynic being able to understand their difficult music in tabs.

Even simpler bands like KMFDM write it in music notation. Its just such a better method. More work.. but SO much easier.
DB Player
#11
It's not really "essential" as a rock bassist, but it really is a great skill to have as a musician.

I dont really feel the need to write down my basslines for my band, if we played more technical music of course I probably would

For to record Tam, I play from chord sheets in my school band
Quote by guitarhero_764
I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

Ibanez ATK300 ◈ Sansamp VT Bass ◈ EHX Nano Small Stone ◈ Hartke LH500 ◈ Ashdown/Celestion 115
#12
Quote by ScottB.
For to record Tam, I play from chord sheets in my school band


That's incredible; you must have a great music program. Most of the people I run into at the HS level in the US and Canada are playing straight from sheet music.

Again, I think sight reading is a great skill to have. It creates a common template for composers to convey music to people to play. However, coming from music programs that stress sight reading as the ultimate, it can be a hindrance for improvisation and working something into an original interpretation.
#13
Quote by abornael
Dan Briggs from Between the Buried and Me does. Opeth does, pretty much all the really technical things do. I can't see Cynic being able to understand their difficult music in tabs.

Even simpler bands like KMFDM write it in music notation. Its just such a better method. More work.. but SO much easier.


Well yeah, I figured bands like Opeth and Dream Theater would. Maybe even like Atheist or Death? Who knows. I'm just really curious about this.
#14
As a rock bassist I think it's more important to have a good ear then to have good sight reading abilities. Work on your ear above anything else. It's a lot easier with simple rock basslines to play what you hear at a gig then to just read off music.
Last.fm

Fender Deluxe Players Strat > Big Muff > LPB-1 > Moog Ring Mod > MXR Dynacomp > MXR Phase 90 '74 > Fender Hot Rod 410 (soon)
#15
Quote by maidenforce19
Really? Do you know any that do?

Behold...The Arctopus do, and I think Dream Theater Do, at least Jordan Rudess.

Ibanez SR506BM
Ashdown Little Giant 1000w
Peavey TVX 115+410
A big ass upright

#16
Quote by anarkee
That's incredible; you must have a great music program. Most of the people I run into at the HS level in the US and Canada are playing straight from sheet music.

Maybe, but then again we play a lot more blues than jazz. C Jam blues is one that we're doing at the moment.
Quote by guitarhero_764
I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

Ibanez ATK300 ◈ Sansamp VT Bass ◈ EHX Nano Small Stone ◈ Hartke LH500 ◈ Ashdown/Celestion 115
#17
Quote by abornael
Dan Briggs from Between the Buried and Me does. Opeth does, pretty much all the really technical things do. I can't see Cynic being able to understand their difficult music in tabs.

Even simpler bands like KMFDM write it in music notation. Its just such a better method. More work.. but SO much easier.


LOL at the Dan Briggs remark. I can really see that. He is such a great bassist.
Quote by Azgirio
Yeah, you definitely raped his churches and burned his women.

Quote by LordBishek
Forgive the bluntness, but what in the chucklefucking hell is this?
#18
^that wasnt exactly
a) a remark
b) funny
Quote by guitarhero_764
I think you need to stop caring what people think about it. I stayed home all day today and masturbated like 5 times. Fucking blast.

Ibanez ATK300 ◈ Sansamp VT Bass ◈ EHX Nano Small Stone ◈ Hartke LH500 ◈ Ashdown/Celestion 115