How to learn new songs/bass lines

I find sightreading very useful in both learning and practicing songs. Tabs are fine as a bass line’s shorthand of note placements on the fretboard, but notation is a far richer and more complete representation of the music, with all tempo and dynamics clearly laid out.

2 Likes

This is so true especially when you are the one inputting the notation and assigning all of the symbols and indicators. I’ve done a few on guitar pro with notation and learning to input tabs wow! That’s such time consuming the first few times but the act of recording notations actually cements them to my memory.

None of the people I play with uses any sheet’s except for the keyboard guy on both bands and both are responsible for keeping the set moving both uses their laptops. Plus it’s only 20-30 songs plus some encore I don’t need the sheets, lol. A couple of cheat notes is quite enough.

2 Likes

I agree that notation has that and is a tremendous reason to use it, but modern tabs have that too.

And you don’t need to sight read to benefit from it, just read.

I have been able to sight read on two instruments, and with both of them, it was only of incremental benefit over being able to read at all. And when performing with it, what carried me was that I knew the song, not that I was reading it in realtime; in a performance setting I used it mainly just to remember upcoming changes, kind of “sight skimming”.

YMMV, but I would say that while being able to read music is of huge benefit, being able to sight read at speed for most of us would only give small incremental gains. It’s not a very good substitute for actually knowing the song in your head.

4 Likes

You stated the differences well, Mike. Thanks a bunch. :slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

Perfect description of how I use most of the music infront of me, Howard—I’m “sight skimming”. Great description!

3 Likes

No one said that sightreading is a substitute for actually knowing the song in your head. I stated that sightreading is useful to me as a way to learn and practice songs. But c’est la vie. Mileage invariably varies.

3 Likes

I used to be a standard notation purist, since I’ve been using it for voice for many years, but I find the TAB awful useful…and now I use it. At least to get going.

2 Likes

I look at all notation as useful tools.

2 Likes

I had recently bought a metal bass songbook and the difficulty ranges from easy-ish to very difficult.

Think I’ll work up from the easy ones after getting the B2B course down, thanks for this post.

2 Likes