#1
I got recruited by my school Jazz band to play bass. One of the music teachers knows I play the guitar a bit, so he asked me to try it out. I took the music home for a week and had it down in a couple days.

Yesterday I jammed with them and did great, until they moved on to another piece, which I had never seen before. They didn't have any music for me, just the conductor's score. They thought I could sight read, but I'm a pianist by trade, and (bass) guitar is just a hobby of mine. If I have the music a week beforehand I can play it by the time practise rolls around, and this is what I planned on doing.

Do you think this is alright? It's just a crappy school band (it's really not very good), I didn't think sight reading skills would be a requirement.
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#4
If it's anythign like my school band, we normally rattle off 2-3 pieces just doing some final adjustments on dynamics and phrasing and stuff, then work on one or two other pieces just getting them together. Because we change pieces a lot sight reading is essential, so seeing you know the notes on the staff presumably, just build up the memory between the music, the fretboard and your fingers.
Founder of Jaco society

[22:08:23] <Confusius> I wish I was a bassist
[22:08:26] <Confusius> you fuckers look cool


Want to know how to play bass in jazz? Read this.
#5
Im taking a guitar class, and i have to do sight reading. honestly, i hate it. but id say its important, as schools seem to like teaching sight reading. and ibn a jazz ensemble, if its more than just a guitar, bass player, and a drummer, if theres horns, id think u have to learn it.
#6
Maybe as a temporary solution ask the conductor for the pieces beforehand until you build up confidence in your sight reading?
Founder of Jaco society

[22:08:23] <Confusius> I wish I was a bassist
[22:08:26] <Confusius> you fuckers look cool


Want to know how to play bass in jazz? Read this.
#7
I know what you mean dude I'm in the same situation. I have about 11 pieces of music to play but only 3 I have down. I play piano for the jazz band because when I signed up they already had enough guitar players and I had dabbled in piano for about a year before now. I can't really sight read at all and when I asked my teacher if he expected any of us to sight read he said no, but everybody knows how to. I feel like I've fallen too far behind already. Like today he gave us this song called "No More Blues" which is 8 pages long! Good god theres no way I'm gonna learn that thing.
Duke Ellington - If it sounds good, it is good.
#8
huh? whats sight reading?


Playing a musical piece you've never seen or heard before by reading the sheet music and playing it on the spot.

I played sax in school jazz band, and could read music, but I sucked out loud at sight reading. I would take the sheet music home, pick it apart note by note and memorize it. Same for marching and concert bands, I couldn't read music for diddly, so I memorized every note of every piece we played regularly. and some of those pieces were 8 pages or longer. If you listen to it and memorize it as a song, then memorize your individual part as it fits into the song, you can memorize a 12-16 page, 3 movement piece, I did...every marching tune, every concert piece and every jazz band piece was committed to memory, and I played sax solos too in jazz band. Improvised those though...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#9
As you said "its only a crappy school band" so thats perfect, right? Perfect because no-one will expect great things or a great sounds from it. Which leaves you in a win-win situation. Sight reading isnt essential, but its a great thing to be able to do. So you're learning by being thrown in the deep end in a sink-or-swim situation. The sooner you come across this situation and develop the mechanisms to cope with it - gain the experience - the better it is for you because at some point (you go to college, move to a bigger city, want to 'make it') you'll be thrown in above your head again. But this time you'll be better off for having this experience under your belt.

Its painful learning to read music, but the more you do it the easier it comes and its something I've never regretted learning how to do - I dont use it often, but its really saved me on the occasions when its come in handy.