This lesson is taken from Module 4 of the Bassic Fundamentals course and provides an introduction to the basic principles of sight reading on Bass. You can also take a deep dive into the world or music reading by enrolling on the Simple Steps To Sight Reading Course:
Click Here For The Simple Steps To Sight Reading
How To Start Reading Music
One of the biggest challenges with learning to read music is knowing where to start. When you have no basic knowledge of notation, it is impossible to force yourself into making sense of something you know nothing about – it would be like reading something in a foreign language. The trick is to overcome this barrier so you can practice by reading songs instead.
Bass players often get put off at this stage as your reading ability will be much worse than your playing and so going back a step seems boring and unproductive. But it honestly gets better. Once you have made the connection between seeing a note and playing it with your fingers, you will be well on your way to being able to read anything. The next step from here is to do exactly that and read anything and everything you can find.
Pitch Reading Exercises
The simplest way to start reading music is to break it into two parts – rhythm and pitch. We will concentrate on pitch for now so you can develop and use muscle memory to recognise where to place your fingers.
The exercises below may seem dull, but you only need to do them for as little as ten minutes a day to see massive differences in a matter of weeks. Stay in the first position for now as it would be impossible to learn the entire fretboard at once.
E String Pitch Reading
A String Pitch Reading
E and A String Pitch Reading
Remember to LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, SHARE THE POST (just click on your preferred social platform below) and then …
Sign Up To Talkingbass For FREE!
Join over 100,000 members and R.A.I.S.E your Bass Game Today!
Complete Social Network (Facebook For Bass!) FREE Ebook Downloads, Practice Tracks, Drum Tracks and MUCH MORE!
Excellent lesson. The point about keeping it easy is particulary good. If you want to write your own notation download musescore a free notation programme on your laptop or desktop
Great lesson mark. This is exactly what I need to help me with reading. I’m looking forward to the sight reading coarse
Thanks Trevor. Yes, Musescore is great. I use Finale and, occasionally, Sibelius but Musescore is a great free alternative. I use it on my Linux laptop rather than using Wine with my other packages.
Great lesson, thanks Mark you are really great
This lesson cleared a lot of doubts I had on sight reading, now I feel I’m on the right way to get to it. I’m an experienced player, but always struggled with this. I’m looking forward to the course. Thanks Mark, great work!
Hi Mark, great lesson for getting me started reading bass clef and finding the notes – thanks! I have one question – you say that the fingering should be starting from the second fret (except for the low F) and the lesson material talks about “First Position”. I’m confused what First Position actually means – is it based on the fret number or is there some other definition of First Position, Second Position etc?
thank you for the lessons that you are sharing its very very easy to understand and its very basic…thank you and God Bless you and may your lessons help other bass players like myself…..
thank you for the lessons that you’ve shared its very easy to understand and its very basic…thank you and God Bless you and may your lessons help other bass players like myself…..
Looking forward to the sight reading course Mark, I’m learning to read music after 30 years playing by ear.
It looks like I’m going to have to learn music again. I used to play flute. We worked with the Treble. So the scale changed on me. The bass’s D note on the treble is a B. Had that feeling something like this would happen. I realize I could just adjust a bass cleft into a treble on paper and it might be easier for me seeing I’m used to the Treble scale. I see this will be interesting. I’ve just known the Treble since 6th grade and here I am 42. I see this I going to be fun.
Great lesson thkx Mark for evrything your doing for us.
I´m gonna be best just for you.
I wish I had seen this 15 years ago! On a 5 string would the notes of the B strong be on ledger lines below the low E? Enjoy these lessons so much, thanks Mark!
Oops B string! Well it is strong too!
Today the start of PDF does not match this lesson, the least is you say 70 BPM and the PDF is 80, and you say you are doing two notes,starting on E, but the PDF starts out G, E, G, F. Lots of good ideas, except our checking our note against what we hear you play. You do so much stuff this was bound to happen sooner or later. Even II have made a mistake, it was back in 73….or maybe 84, something with a 6 in it I think. Maybe 16, I would ask the dog, she is good with dates, but she is napping right now.I will get back to you.
Great lesson Mark
I found this very beneficial. u never fail to teach me!
Love the preamble
don’t know if my dislexic will alow me to site read with a band, but you made the dots on the page less frightaning
I realise this is an old lesson but I’m a new bass player, only picked it up originally to help a couple of blokes jamming and now I’m loving it. I’ve played sax and bagpipes, these guys on the treble clef and until this lesson I was all sorts of confused about the difference. Now I just move the scale down one whole line and presto, I can read the notes!
Awesome teaching method Mark, thanks so much for Talking Bass, brilliant.
Thanks Mr Mark, very grateful for your teaching methods and the way you communicate them.
Love this approach…don’t like tabs for what I want and have read music with other instruments.
Thanks so much!
Thank you so much Mark. That was a great lesson – you’re very good at explaining things and you’re a brilliant teacher!!
is there a lesson for the D and G string that is similar
Yes. It’s all in the Simple Steps To Sight Reading Course
GSTK I find many people who teach bass alot good also very good. Most seem to center arouned learning songs and bass by tabs all good and very good to know but what I am looking for was learning to read music from ground zero. I feel that will be very useful. Especially at 74 I have never had any type of music training. Thank you so very miuch
I mark you wrote any book?
Where can I find sight reading lessons for 4 string bass in pdf or musicscore format please?