#2
A few questions.  How much basic music theory do you know i.e scales, chords etc?  And do you read tab?
#3
1) learn to read music
2) practice sightreading

that's about all there is to it really
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#4
Quote by anarkee
A few questions.  How much basic music theory do you know i.e scales, chords etc?  And do you read tab?


All pretty much immaterial to learning to sight read music.

I learned to read music (because "tab" didn't exist) while playing classical music on a pipe organ (two to five separate manuals, two feet playing heel and toe on bass pedals). Once you can read music, constant exposure to it and to the need to read quickly will get you to "sight read," meaning that you read it and play it simultaneously.

What really cemented that ability in me was the constant need to read music and simultaneously transpose it to whatever key saxophone I was playing (most reed instruments are not in the key of C). The transposition thing got tougher when we had singers come in and announce to the band that they sang in a completely different key than what we normally played for a given song.

Worse, very often in a band situation, the band leader would simply distribute hand-written scores, and we were expected to *read* his hen-scratching, translate that to music and, often, transpose it to the key of our instrument.

Tab is largely a crutch for finger placement on guitar because there's more than one location for the same note (that doesn't happen on keyboards or orchestral instruments).

Reading standard music for a guitar can be slightly difficult without "sight reading" because guitar music is written an octave above what the notes actually are. If it were written accurately, almost everything would be in the bass clef (remember that middle C is actually the first fret of the B string). And with more than one position for any given note, reading it while playing it can make things a little cross-eyed. Add to that orchestrations that require "walking" parts (rejiggering fingering completely on the guitar to accommodate what would be a single finger movement on a piano makes jazz guitarists look like wizards) and the like, and you've got some seriously WTF? moments.

Best advice is Hail's -- practice. Eventually it becomes easier, but there's no magic.
#5
I was waiting for the OP to answer, because I would have told him to toss any material that has tab and standard notation.  It will hinder you because you will fall back to using tab and not learn standard notation.  I honestly find tab for bass a bit troublesome, since most tabbers seem to assume you can make a six fret jump with my size hands easily. 

Knowing some scale knowledge can help because you can relate the sequence of a scale, say C to the note position in standard notation.  Also, teaching yourself to sing the note or say it when you read and play it helps solidify the position on the stave.

I was lucky that i learned to read music in 3rd grade--I had some chord and scale knowledge from playing mandolin and guitar which I think helped as well.  I don't disagree that practice makes perfect, and I think you jumped to a conclusion on my original post.  I wanted to see where the OP was to give the best advice.  If they didn't read tab, then telling them to ignore tabulature would have been useless advice.  And if you have no musical knowledge, you are in a different learning curve than if you have some basic theory under you belt.
#6
Quote by anarkee
If they didn't read tab, then telling them to ignore tabulature would have been useless advice.


i mean, it's easy to forget sometimes, but this is a tab site
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Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


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You win. I'm done here.
#7
^With some guitar pro thrown in.  I concur, but I've even seen posts where people do ask how to read tab  
#8
Quote by anarkee
I was waiting for the OP to answer, because I would have told him to toss any material that has tab and standard notation.  It will hinder you because you will fall back to using tab and not learn standard notation.  I honestly find tab for bass a bit troublesome, since most tabbers seem to assume you can make a six fret jump with my size hands easily. 


Scale does sometimes get in the way, ya know? I've got hugemongous hands, but grabbed my new (to me) seven-string a couple of days ago and figured I'd just practice some of the stuff I normally do on LPs (24.6" scale) on the new LP-bodied seven. Problem is, the scale on that thing is 27". Oops.
#9
Quote by ethanmfrager1
I am having a really hard time learning and need some help.

Check out "Note reading studies for Bass" by Arnold Evans. It might be what you are looking for.
#10
Also maybe take a look at Beginner bass by Hal Leonard. I learned to read music out of those books for trumpet and i have the bass ones as well. they're a nice reference and they'll start with the absolute bare bones basic stuff.

edit for clarity
https://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Bass-Method-Beginners-Pack/dp/0634099698/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498448066&sr=8-2&keywords=beginner+bass+hal+leonard
Last edited by SovietStar at Jun 25, 2017,
#11
SovietStar The combined book for the first three Beginner bass books are solid.  They are a great way to ease into sight reading.  Good recommendation!
#12
Listen to anything 'anarkee' has to say, she's been round the block a few times.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#14
I was taught theory to get my military trade qualifications, the more theory that I learned the more that things made sense, theory is an international language. Andante means the same to a French musician as it does to a Chinese musician and will be written the same. I studied at 'The Royal Military School of Music Knellar Hall London England' where military musicians from all over the world ie Borneo, Fiji attended.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
Last edited by John Swift at Jul 4, 2017,
#15
Another good book if you want to delve even further is The Oxford Concise Dictionary Of music.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#16
While there's a risk of being driven to suicide by this book (I'm told there are documented cases), there is always the dreaded Simandl:



If you can get through this, you'll be well on your way to being a great sight-reader.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#17
Quote by anarkee
I was waiting for the OP to answer, because I would have told him to toss any material that has tab and standard notation.  It will hinder you because you will fall back to using tab and not learn standard notation.  I honestly find tab for bass a bit troublesome, since most tabbers seem to assume you can make a six fret jump with my size hands easily.

Knowing some scale knowledge can help because you can relate the sequence of a scale, say C to the note position in standard notation.  Also, teaching yourself to sing the note or say it when you read and play it helps solidify the position on the stave.

I was lucky that i learned to read music in 3rd grade--I had some chord and scale knowledge from playing mandolin and guitar which I think helped as well.  I don't disagree that practice makes perfect, and I think you jumped to a conclusion on my original post.  I wanted to see where the OP was to give the best advice.  If they didn't read tab, then telling them to ignore tabulature would have been useless advice.  And if you have no musical knowledge, you are in a different learning curve than if you have some basic theory under you belt.

Quote by anarkee
I was waiting for the OP to answer, because I would have told him to toss any material that has tab and standard notation.  It will hinder you because you will fall back to using tab and not learn standard notation.  I honestly find tab for bass a bit troublesome, since most tabbers seem to assume you can make a six fret jump with my size hands easily. 

Knowing some scale knowledge can help because you can relate the sequence of a scale, say C to the note position in standard notation.  Also, teaching yourself to sing the note or say it when you read and play it helps solidify the position on the stave.

I was lucky that i learned to read music in 3rd grade--I had some chord and scale knowledge from playing mandolin and guitar which I think helped as well.  I don't disagree that practice makes perfect, and I think you jumped to a conclusion on my original post.  I wanted to see where the OP was to give the best advice.  If they didn't read tab, then telling them to ignore tabulature would have been useless advice.  And if you have no musical knowledge, you are in a different learning curve than if you have some basic theory under you belt.


 Excellent points. 
 I find that an easy piano book of songs is a good choice for practice. Just remember that it's one octave higher than one that's transcribed for bass. I usually start from the fifth fret on most songs. Unless it has a lot of open E, F, G notes in it. 
 I'm starting to use the treble stave to play my guitar. It's painfully slow at first, but I know it's well worth the effort. I will know the notes on my guitar as well as I do the bass.